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Fans’ Forum vox pops and British GP Preview -Video
Fans’ Forum vox pops and British GP Preview -Video
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Jul 2010   |  12:05 am GMT  |  26 comments

The final video from last week’s FOTA Fans’ Forum, powered by Santander, looks ahead to this weekend’s British Grand Prix, with perspectives from McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, Force India and Lotus and features vox pops from after the event from the fans who attended and from the panelists.

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Hi James

Thanks for setting up the forum – I was lucky enough to be there, and please don’t take my following comments as criticism of the forum; it’s a criticism of the panel really.

I came away feeling a bit deflated really, but couldn’t put my finger on it. Having re-watched all the videos and read some more, I now know why. I don’t feel that the fans are really being listened to by FOTA despite this forum. For example, the most controversial issue in F1 right now is probably the moveable wing for next year. I don’t want it, but more importantly, it seems that most fans and drivers don’t want it (from reading comments on pages such as your website). But FOTA turn up to events like this for good PR, and then just brush our views aside, essentially saying that they know best.

Ross Brawn has said it will work. Martin Whitmarsh said that if the moveable wing doesn’t work then they will do a u-turn. But they miss the point; we don’t want it to ‘work’, because for it to ‘work’ means that the racing has succeeded in becoming artificial. It’s really insulting for them to say they’re listening and then when something as seemingly universally disliked as this comes along it’s ‘oh well, it will work and we’re going to do it anyway’.

FOTA are so obsessed with ‘breaking into new markets’ that they continuously forget that F1 has been around for many years with the fan base they have, who recognise F1 as a real sport as it is. I welcome new fans, but not at the expense of existing and loyal ones.

I don’t like football, and I don’t expect FIFA to go changing the rules every year to try to get me into it. Surely to do so would be grossly unfair on fans who have been fans for their whole lives.


Excellent James, that was very insightful. I hope there are more in the future with different people etc.

p.s. Tony has possibly the funniest laugh I have ever heard!!


Really enjoyed the Fans Forum movie clips and would love to go to one in the future. Thanks!

Niall O'Callaghan

Hats off to you James. I must admit that I didn’t understand the depth of your knowledge, your passion, and your important presence in the F1 world when you were a fulltime TV commentator, I don’t think it was conveyed properly from that era.

However since you set this website up, I have to say that I really think you have raised the bar considerably regarding F1 journalism. You get right into the heart of important issues and inform readers on many many aspects of the sport from technical things to internal team member relations. But most importantly you have connections with many many people in the industry and you seem to utilise them to the full potential such as organising this Fans Forum.

Congratulations on creating such an irreplaceable and informative F1 website, but more importantly congratulations on helping create an F1 community for those fenced out on the other side of the barriers. Getting a proper look inside the F1 world is fast becoming easier with your efforts. Good luck for the future.


I am delighted that somebody is at least giving the fans a voice. If you go on the official F1 website all you’ll find in terms of interaction is a mechanism for selling you something. This sends the message to me that the sports governing body has no interest in the fans whatsoever but for extracting money from us.

The FOTA fan survey at least gave us a voice and asked the salient questions. FOTA are at least willing to see what it is the fans like or dislike about the sport, something the sports governing body (unbelievably) doesn’t seem interested in doing.

So yes, very well done for contributing further to the interaction.



just wanted to add my thanks and appreciation to yourself and all involved with the first Fans Forum. Exceptionally well executed.

Many thanks.

Ps,cheers Santander


Yep, Fantastic!

Amazing to hear the replies overall in these videos. Not the bland corporate soundbites at all, but five men, all very passionate about the sport, giving the inside and personal line.

Nice to see humour given and taken too. Multi-million deals are surely lost and won between these men, but they can have a laugh about it too.

Nice one.


Well done mate and well done to FOTA for giving something back to the fans.

F1 has just got so much better since Mosley is no more and FOTA are at one.

Show the world that F1 can be a sport again.


Thanks it was fun to do. The teams were great. Hope to do more outside the UK in future

Zobra Wambleska

This was such a good event, I could see it as a great opportunity to promote the sport in the US by having a forum here. Thank you James, you’re doing a fantastic job for all of us.


Austin 2012 here we come!


I have found all the Fans Forum videos to be very interesting.

I think in-season testing has to return in some form as it can only benefit the sport, the teams and the drivers.

Thanks for organising the forum James, I look forward to more of these.


Great job on this James, hope to see more of it in the future.


Yeah, James, I give you eleven out of ten for that, good on you! Thanks.




Is there any chance we’ll see others replicate Kobayashi’s strategy from Valencia in future races this year?


Thoroughly enjoyed the videos. Great to see the media taking advantage of the opportunities that new technologies offer to establish direct connections with consumers. James and Joe Saward are leading the way in this new environment, and it’s all the better for us fans. Thank you.



fantastic job on the blog and on the forum! Looking forward to more of these in the future.

A bit of video production advice for future episodes: The sound levels were a bit uneven, and the crane mounted camera camera motion (especially behind Paul) was a bit distracting. Other than that, great job.


Congratulations James for organising such an event and for coveing a good 35 minutes of it via Youtube.

It was great to see the connection made between teams and the viewing public. F1 is so exclusive that this forum was a breeze of fresh air.

If you renew this experience, it would be great to have it outside Britain. I’m not sure how many Canadians and Australians (or even Germany) follow your blog but it’d be great to include views from outside of Britain.


+1 from Canada!


Hey James,

Kudos on the forums, let’s hope more occur and in other locations. I noticed on Autosport they commented along the lines of “not every fan is British”. Whilst this may be true, I can’t help but feel the concerns fans have are universal. Here’s hoping the more comments along the same lines, the better!

Also loved Jocks comment about the drivers with the skill having 7 championships 😉

Keep up the awesome work and news – thanks for championing a sport you clearly love.


James, to address the “not every fan is British” comment, perhaps next time you could have a small segment to include your ten favourite comments from international readers. If you wanted to go high-tech, perhaps even have them submit a video of themselves asking the question…


We will do Forums for fans overseas, don’t worry.


Happy to hear that as I’m enjoying the forum almost as much as the racing.



There seems to be talk again concerning the format of the GP weekend, bringing back some in season testing and having more races.

Why not turn Friday into a test day, with a separate allocation of tyres and engines? The fans, media and teams are already there so the extra costs are minimal.

Wouldn’t this at a stroke mean the following?

Solve the testing issue. Allow young drivers seat time. Allow the teams to run local drivers at some races to create local interest both with the fans and commercially.

I can see lots of upside I would be interested to year from someone at the top as to the downside.


Good idea. Perhaps to further increase testing time, what about Thursday and Friday? This maximizes testing time without the need for costly testing teams. Make the Thursday ticket 10 Euros (or equivalent in other currencies).

I’m basically just taking a few ideas from other commenters and mashing them together. 🙂


Absolutely FANTASTIC forum you set up James.

You really should be very, very proud to have “brought both sides together”.

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