While a strong majority expressed a desire for closer racing – 89% agreed F1 needs to be “more competitive” – many felt this could be achieved by reversing some of F1’s recent rules changes. A significant number – 80% – wish to see tyre competition opened up again, while 60% voted for a return of refuelling.
DRS, introduced in 2011 to aid overtaking, appears to have fallen out of favour – just 40% believe it has improved racing in F1. There was little appetite for the introduction of gimmicks such as success ballast too, something only 26% want to see.
The calls for three-car teams appear not to have won many over either. Despite declining numbers of teams, a mere 14% agree F1 would be “better served by fewer teams running more cars”.
“You believe that the championship structure and grand prix weekends are well formatted with few changes required,” noted the executive summary of the results.
“However, the health of the sport can definitely be improved; there is a recognised need to attract new fans and retain existing fans who are in danger of being lost to other sports. This is due to in part to changes in TV broadcasting contracts and the increasing perception of (over) influence of business interests within F1.”
The point about television broadcasting was emphasised by the fact over half of those who responded said the increase in pay television deals had made them less likely to watch races live.
“More than ever, F1 needs to feature the best drivers and you are looking to drivers to take a lead in engaging with fans to revitalise the sport; drive technical and sporting change to improve the spectacle and appeal of F1,” it noted.
“Your key areas for change in the short-term are to the sound and power output of F1 engines, with more emphasis placed on driver skill, a return to re-fuelling and the re-introducing tyre competition.
“There is also a desire to see increased competition through a relaxing of technical regulations and the implementation of team budget caps.” The latter point was supported by more than half of the responses which were counted.
The survey findings were drawn from a weighted sample of 133,000 responses from a total of 217,756 submission.
2015 F1 season
- How a secret Mercedes engine mode helped pressure Vettel into a race-ending puncture
- Over 100 driver penalties issued in record-breaking 2015
- Part-time racer? The facts of Hamilton’s ‘jet-set lifestyle’
- A unique atmosphere: Going to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza
- The Complete F1 Fanatic 2015 season review