Over a month a half back on 22nd May, the Grand Prix Drivers Association (GDPA) had established and lauched the Global Fan Survey in order to gather fans’ opinions. To avoid a further dip in the TV ratings and in order to connect more to a younger audience, the drivers launched a Global Fan Survey which includes proposals such as refuelling and potentially louder and faster cars for the 2017 season.
The main aim and motive of this survey was to know the fans desires and wishes:
“As Formula One drivers, we love and admire this sport. We share the feelings of fans who get excited about the purity of man and machine as we compete against the law of physics and, of course, the stopwatch. Without Fans, F1 would be nothing: which is why the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association wants to know more about you and what you think about the sport. We believe this Global Fan Survey will give us a unique opportunity to understand how we as drivers, and F1 as a whole, can do more for you.”
The first results of this survey have revealed some not-so-surprising facts:
- Ferrari are the most followed team, followed by McLaren and Williams.
-Kimi Raikkonen is the most popular driver followed by Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
Now let’s get to the percentages and summarise the big revelations. Over half of the F1 fans are aged between 25 and 44, with an average age of 37. Over 75% of the voters have followed the sport for more than 10 years.
80% do not follow one particular driver while a third of the entire audience supprots one particular driver and one particular team. A majority (32%) believe 2000s produced the best looking cars.
Artyon Senna, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost, in that order, were voted the top 3 drivers of all time. With Mercedes dominating the scenes at every weekend this year, 89% believe the sport should be more competitive and not surprisingly 73% of the total audience voted that the sound of the F1 engine is important to them. 60% support the return of refuelling to the sport, despite the teams rejecting the idea.
“I’ve never had refuelling since I’ve entered into F1, it was already after the refuelling day," Nico Hulkenberg added. “I’m open for it but I don’t think that would make racing more interesting. Refuelling is something very strategic and [there’s] a lot of maths that plays into there, so I’m not sure.”
Again without any surprise, 80% support the presence of more than one tyre manufacturer in the sport, like there was in the early 2000s (Bridgestone and Michellin). As for this reform, the FIA is to stick just one manufacturer and will select between Pirelli and Michelin for the 2017-19 period.