An audience of 300 will hear from Lewis Hamilton, Kamui Kobayashi, Martin Whitmarsh, Ross Brawn and some of F1’s leading engineers today at the FOTA Fans’ Forum, sponsored by Santander, which is being hosted at the McLaren Technology Centre, starting at 11am UK time.
This the third FOTA Fans Forum and the second of the 2011 season after a successful event in Montreal last month. A third event is planned for Italy in September.
The Fans Forum concept began on this website with fans sending questions and views on F1. I started forwarding some questions and suggestions to FOTA and the FIA. At the same time FOTA was doing a Fan Survey with F1 Racing and LG, canvassing fans’ opinions worldwide.
The next logical step for us was to give the fans a chance to meet key figures from the sport face to face in a context like this. FOTA liked the idea and we organised the first event 12 months ago at London’s BAFTA theatre and this year the plan is for three events.
The event at McLaren is the largest one yet and it’s exciting that it’s evolved as it has. The event was many times oversubscribed.
The Fans Forum is the fans’ chance to ask questions and put across your points of view on F1 directly to the people who create the golden moments of sport.
Most of the fans attending today have sent in a question. This allowed us to see by volume of questions on each subject, which are the most pressing issues.
I’m moderating the event and I’ve picked a wide selection of questions. Some of the key subject areas of interest to fans today are:
– Ways of getting fans closer to the sport; at the race track and via new media
– Overtaking in 2011 – is it too easy with the DRS wing?
– The new engine rules for 2014; V6 1.6 litre turbos – the right sound for F1?
– Getting the balance right between cost saving and technological excellence
– Mid-season rule changes
Part 1 will feature Martin Whitmarsh, (FOTA chairman and Team Principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) Ross Brawn, (Team Principal of Mercedes GP Petronas) Graeme Lowdon, (Sporting Director and President of Marussia Virgin Racing) and Robert Fernley (Deputy Team Principal of Force India F1 Racing)
Part 2 sees Paddy Lowe, (Technical Director of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) James Allison, (Technical Director of Lotus Renault GP) and Paul Monaghan (Head of Car Engineering at Red Bull Racing) take the stage.
And Part 3 will have two of the fans’ favourite drivers Kamui Kobayashi and 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton, no doubt answering questions about their overtaking skills!
For those who are not able to be there in person, it is being covered by BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra. Full audio recordings of the event will be on this site later this afternoon for streaming or download, videos and a transcript will be pushed out via media and F1 team websites from this evening, photos will be available for fans to download on PHOTO LINK.