Can you turn a friend into an F1 Fanatic?

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Sebastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Montreal, 2010

The new F1 season is less than a month away. But not everyone is ticking off the days with the same kind of anticipation as we F1 Fanatics.

Perhaps you’re in the lucky position of having a group of friends who all like F1.

But there are others know that when they excitedly relate what happened in the latest race they’ll get only blank stares from their mates.

BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey has made it his mission to attract a new crowd of fans to F1. It’s a great idea, but will it work?

I’m not sure that plonking an F1 virgin (not the team, the other kind) in front of the Bahrain Grand Prix is the best approach. Even hardcore F1 buts were struggling to keep their eyes open through last year’s race.

So what is the best way to get someone who’s new to F1 into the sport? Is it even worth trying?

If I were trying to indoctrinate a mate in the wonderful ways of F1 – and I speak as someone who has tried and failed in the past – I would do it by showing the sport at its best.

Forget Bahrain – after last year it’s too risky. Pick a race that works well for your time zone and can be relied upon to entertain.

Think Melbourne or Montreal – the two best races of last year according to F1 Fanatic readers.

Once you’ve got them interested, drip-feed them a few YouTube clips of the sport’s greatest moments. Villeneuve vs Arnoux, Mansell vs Piquet, Mansell vs Berger… Mansell vs anyone, really. That’s how I got hooked.

Providing, of course, you can find them before Bernie Ecclestone has them taken down.

And make sure you get them to the “Senna” movie, if and when it finally opens in your area.

If you start hearing questions about whether there’s a race this weekend, your plan has worked.

But complaints that “it’s just cars going round in circles” or “it’s all down to the car – the driver doesn’t make a difference” are signs your subject is one who will never know the peculiar pleasure of getting up at 3am to watch a practice from Shanghai.

Have you ever tried to get a friend interested in F1? Did you succeed or fail? Share your stories and tips in the comments.

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Image © Bridgestone/Ercole Colombo

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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150 comments on “Can you turn a friend into an F1 Fanatic?”

  1. Tom Chiverton
    16th February 2011, 9:05

    Ummm, isn’t Jake leaving F1 anyway ? Seems an odd time for him to get a new ‘mission’ in F1…

    1. I don’t think this has been confirmed or denied. But if your referring to the Olympics, then their only on for less than a month. I’m sure if he had to present it, he would still do F1.

      1. If Jake left BBC I would be the happiest man ever, the man is such a tool. With his stupid tweets and weird walk.

        I want Steve Rider, bring some professionalism back!!!

        1. Twitter and BBC faux-grassrooots marketing. Ooh ooh maybe it’ll go viral, trending topic, flashmob … gimme a break, I’ve gone all queasy.

          Pretty much everyone that was likely to be interested in F1 has had plenty of opportunity to discover it for themselves, it’s hardly been a secret … but that’s not good enough apparently, let’s rope in a 140character street-team to astroturf and railroad friends and family. Why not just leave them alone to go about their business? They’re grown-ups they can make their own choices for leisure time.

          The pricetag for the FOM rights must be causing some squeaky bums in BBC management, y’know, the current economic climate. Need to desperately pump-up the audience to try to better justify the outlay. A memo from the top-floor dressed up in a hash-tag.
          Well maybe you shouldn’t have grossly overpaid Bernie for rights no-one else in UK media wanted.

          Jake is a guy with an eye very much on the main prize, and his current gig is a stepping stone, F1 will get dropped liked a hot-tyre for the next rung of the media ladder, whether you all #bringafriend or not.
          I am not sure who he thinks he’s kidding with this stunt, but I wish he’d give it a rest.

          1. Oh give it a rest, it’s just a bit of fun.

          2. It really annoys me when people start moaning about people trying to increase the popularity of something: “Oh no, if everyone else likes it then I won’t feel special.”

            I don’t care at all if Jake Humphreys sees this as a way to improve his profile and position in the BBC – fair play to him. There are too many people involved in sports on television who are happy to pick up a pay cheque for minimal effort (I’m looking at you Alan Shearer, who can’t even be bothered to do any research on the sport he is supposed to provide ‘expert’ opinion on), and if it succeeds in building the profile of F1 even slightly in the UK media then I for one will be delighted.

            Steve Rider is fine, but he is just a suit in front of a camera – liked him on Grandstand but was bored by him fronting F1.

          3. No, it is a piece of dubious and self-serving marketing. If Coke or NewsCorp tried to cynically engineer a similar stunt, people would be repelled.

            Some might enjoy getting your leg-lifted and pointed where to go … that’s fine, not a problem, but just maybe it sticks in the craw of others, others that object to getting played for saps.

            I’ll give it a rest when your man Jake (and any new-media PR marketing firm that primed this piece of nonsense), when they give it a rest.

          4. Indeed. Lighten up buddy.

            If you always concentrate on the negative, you miss out on all the good stuff. :D

          5. Why not just leave them alone to go about their business? They’re grown-ups they can make their own choices for leisure time.

            Fair enough. But did you introduce yourself to F1, or did someone else? If you take a look at this forum topic, you’ll notice that a lot of people, if not the majority, were introduced to F1 by their family or a friend – myself included. I can’t imagine where I’d be had no-one shown me this great sport, but I know I’d have a lot less to look forward to.

          6. Actually, Feynman is right, I think ‘self-serving’ marketing should be banned. Only marketing that doesn’t promote what it relates to is allowed.

            Companies should be forbidden from promoting their services and everyone who hasn’t got into F1 by now is hereby banned from being introduced to it and liking it.

          7. @damonsmedley

            My Grandfather got me into it – he was the only big fan in my family. My Dad watched casually but didn’t make plans around the calendar or worry if he missed races. The first season I remember properly watching was ’92 which is possibly a big factor in me becoming obsessed (it helped that at the time my Dad had a Mansell ‘tache!).

          8. Damon, I found it by it races being on TV, and reported in newspapers, and summarised in news reports, and drivers appearing on entertainment TV programmes, and in adverts, and the sport being in films and ‘F1 driver’ as an icon maintaining an unbroken high-profile presence in popular culture through the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s.

            There are undiscovered Amazonian tribes that know the name Stirling Moss.

            It’s not hidden … people somehow not knowing about F1 isn’t the issue. They just don’t much fancy motorsport. That’s all … leave them alone.

            If Lineker had pumped-up a football fan to try and railroad me into watching a football game, I’d leave them in precisely no doubt as to where to go. And so vice versa, don’t ya think?

            Dobin, marketing is fine … dressing it up as fake grassroots stinks. Getting people to go out and do your marketing for you, and have them exploit friend and family relationships to help secure BBC Sport budget and headcout, that is beyound creepy. Makes my skin crawl.

          9. Feynman, there are some people out there who think they know how they feel about F1 but need that extra push. I’ve had the same happen to me with many things, in fact it’s the kind of pre-conceived opinion that everything “must be so” you’re spouting this kind of things is trying to get over, no wonder you’re against it!

          10. If Jake is only using F1 as a stepping stone, then we should really appreciate him while he’s still around.

            I think he’s the best anchorman we’ve had for years.

          11. @ Feynman

            “Undiscovered Amazonian tribes that know the name Stirling Moss”

            If you know that doesn’t that imply that these tribes have been discovered?

        2. All the old guys were boring, Jake gets involved talks to people and has plenty to say about various aspects. Sitting in those rubbish little studios the race could have been going on in a whole different time zone.

          Tweets, well everyone is talking about tweets like they did with Facebook so if it’s not F1 it will be something else, look a £1m Pound Drop, over use of tweets x 100000.

          He likes the sport but I imagine will take a leave of absense for the Olympics to commentate on that instead, he loves a bit of athletics.

          I sometimes think people are only happy when they grind away to achieve what they want, like with Legard, Keys and the like. If you don’t like it don’t watch the build up.

  2. is he leaving?

    1. No, rumour is he will temporarily stop to present the 2012 Olympics but thats it.

      1. Jake’s always made it clear he’d be mad to turn down the opportunity to front the Olympics when they’re in London – and he’s right, he would be mad not to.

        But that doesn’t mean the guy loves F1 any the less. He just realises other things go on too – and most of us can understand that, right?

        And yeah, I’m sure he’d be back fronting the F1 afterwards.

  3. Well, I already got my mother but she always had a remote interest, watching it when my brother used to be interested in it.

    A more interesting story would be a friend of mine voicing interest in F1 because she has a thing for foreign nations (i.e. everything that is not European) and there is a Russian and an Indian driver. Maybe I can work on her a bit.

  4. Does the Senna movie have a lot of race footage in it?

    Completely agree with the sentiment of this post though. Introducing people to F1 can be difficult, most of my mates don’t like it.

    Definitely keep away from Bahrain. Watch the Australia race live, then get your mates to watch the repeat if its good!

  5. the peculiar pleasure of getting up at 3am to watch a practice from Shanghai

    This made me chuckle because it’s so true.

    I’ve managed to get my wife interested in F1 over the past few years. She not a fanatic like me, but she keeps up with the news now and again and watches almost all the the races with me.

    But even she gets annoyed at me turning on P1 and P2 in the early hours of the morning for distant races and then being tired for work :)

    So from my experience, you can get someone interested in F1 and it’s well worth it.


    1. Ha, Ha, I also got my wife at least interested as well in the last couple of years. And my sister in law is also showing some sings of interest at times.

      Not too succesfull otherwise (my brother is OK, but that was more or less independantly evolving).
      Quite a few rally fans in my surroundings, seems it is big at club level in the Czech Republic with a long history (remember the car Robert drove was a Skoda). So it is a pretty tough battle here!

      My son is a longer term prospect, but I do not want to push it too much on him for now.

      1. Another wife story. We’ve been married for almost 5 years and now she knows more about F1 than most of my male motorsport loving mates. My favourite party trick? Having her name more F1 and MotoGP drivers/riders/teams than any of the boys. Priceless. We’re in Perth, Western Australia and braved the 36/37 degree heat to see a handful of laps by Webber and Ricciardo at our local track last November. Her response? “We’re going to a grand prix!”

        Now as for my 2 year old daughter…

        1. Unfortunately, my wife cannot stand F1. I have tried – by gosh, I have tried – I have even taken her to the British GP. She must have been the only person at Silverstone reading a book…!

          1. Actually, she used to like F1 in the summer when it was on ITV… the deal was she would get a new glass of Pimm’s on the patio at every other commercial break!

    2. Yep, that’s my problem! Early morning quali and races, or failure to produce Sunday breakfasts as I just have to watch the first 20 laps or so first… (a lot of over fried bacon).

      I got into F1 via my dad, but also listening to this music and Murray Walker commentating on Mansell and Senna battling out on track, difficult to surpass! Living in Brazil now, finding friends interested (and well informed) about the races and drivers isn’t a problem. Getting my young son to not root for the ‘red cars’ is!

      1. Or Hunt commentating of course…

  6. I’ve turned quite a few of my friends on to F1, to the point where they get out of bed in the early hours of the morning to watch some of the more distant Grand Prixs. Of course, I suspect a lot of the initial interest was helped by the fact that we had to go to the pub to watch it. Offering food and beer is usually a great way to convince someone to come along.

    1. When you present it as a party yes they seem they are interested other than that there’s no way. They have one simple question all the time. “What do you find that so interesting, the cars are all running in circles?” As you can guess this sarcastic question doesn’t amuse me in any way.

  7. I haven’t got any friends into F1, but when one started showing an interesting in Hamilton’s career I slowly drip-fed him news and tried to extend f1 conversation for as long as possible. he’s a massive Man Utd fan but says F1 is now his favourite sport; he particularly likes the 6am races, which is the sign of a true fanatic ;)

    1. Congratulations!

    2. I love the 6am races too. Once the race is over I have my entire sunday ahead of me to do things.

      I’m not a big fan of the 1pm starts, its slap bang in the middle of my day so its hard to do anything else for 20 weekends of the year.

  8. My mum is a bit of a Rubens Barrichello fan she felt bad when he crashed at monaco. She also keeps going on about DCs chin.

  9. jake from my point of view, is a not very exciting individual. He isn’t able to excite anyone who already is a fan, so trying to bring new fans into it. No way. He isn’t the right person for the job.
    I am a spanish fan, and i don’t listen to him on bbc live, but when i have the chance to listen to him, the feeling i get it’s that of a person who talks about f1, not belonging there at all.
    Just my opinion, and i know i am not alone.

  10. Unfortunately I’m one of theose people that gets blank faces

    1. Nice to see you here then, conversing about F1. Let me have a try.
      Look at the great series about the Champion of champions. Doesn’t that get you at least mildly interested?

      1. hi BasCB im not able to find that series can u pls help.btw champions forever is a classic

          1. oh my bad.yeah that was good

      2. I think he was referring to the fact he gets blank faces from his friends when he talks to them about F1. Not his own face is blank or why would he be here?

        1. Maybe a cry for someone to show him?

  11. I kind of got one of my friends interested in F1 back in 2008, although I’m not entirely sure how. We were on holiday in Corfu, and me and a few mates went off to watch the German GP at the pub.

    One of them had no interest in F1, and was only there because the rest of us were, and he left halfway through. But apparently this got him semi addicted to F1 that season, and like all casuals he became a Hamilton fan

    The weird thing was that the first half of that race was utterly tedious. He left before Timo Glock’s crash which of course transformed it into one of the best GP’s of the season

    1. Although, I should add, on another trip in Budapest with the same person last year, I couldn’t get him to stay in and watch the Belgian GP with me, so perhaps I failed. I was in that brilliant city for about 48 hours and I spent about 5 of them watching the F1… time well spent!

    2. Ned that’s brilliant; I’m (my dad actually) from Corfu.

      1. Yeah I remember you said you were part Greek. I’m afraid I can’t say I know much about the island. I’m sure it’s a lovely place- but I was in Kavos which is perhaps the tackiest, scruffiest, drunkest holiday resort on earth. But still kind of fun :)

        1. Haha yeh, it turned into a mini-Ibiza during the late 1990s, it’s kinda depressing to see so many of the tourist towns dead nowadays. But fun while it lasted. We’re from Aghios Mattheos, my grandfather used to be the Mayor and oversaw the installation of the sewage system, my great-grandfather was responsible for planting a heavy number of olive groves, sorry not F1 related! Although on the subject my dad said he only ever watched it for the crashes but I think that was a bit of an exaggeration :P

          1. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with going off on a non-F1 tangent!

  12. i think its quite pivotal for the friend to quickly favour a particular driver (maybe hamilton) at the start of being a fanatic. then support that drivers closest rival (maybe fantastic fernando)

    it gives an opening to passion that will build

  13. Have tried for 7 years with my fiancée (then girlfriend). I am slowly succeeding one step at a time.

    Bringing her to gokart with a friend (girl) of mine on and on has helped. She is a decent go karter now and understands racing a bit better (it’s not only turning round around a circuit and it is physically demanding, an aspect people often overlook.

    Now she watchs some of the F1 races (the late morning ones that is) and I sometimes agree to do things instead of watching a grand prix. So I can’t watch say 4 or 5 of the grand prix but get to watch all the others, and have my girlfriend watching with me for some of them. It’s a trade off but worth it.

    Give me 10 more years…

  14. My mum got Hamilton confused as pop star last night at the brits.

  15. All my girlfriends became f1 addicts :) I explain a lot….

    1. Same here. Well, ‘addicts’ is exaggerated, but they went from complete ignorance to remote interest.

      1. You mean when f1 was on the tele, their interest was on the remote? I know ppl like that! :)

        ( I forget their names.. ) ;)

  16. My friend got me into F1 while we were walking in Spain. It was the season that Alonso was at Mclaren. We were watching it with a group of Spainards so I decided to start cheering on Alonso. I also had the enjoyment of booing Mclaren and Hamilton as pantomine villians for the whole season! The atmosphere in Spanish pubs was incredible. I’ll always remember watching the Canadian GP in a small tapas bar in Pamplona which was packed to the brim. Quality.

    I got my other friend into it the following season by going out on the town and coming home and watching the Austrailian GP. By the end he was hooked.

  17. I managed to get a friend into F1 by complaining about the injustice done to Lewis Hamilton in Spa 2008. He sympathised with the apparent pro-Ferrari/anti-McLaren bias (not saying there is one, before people jump down my throat, just that it could easily be seen as existing based on that race and the preceding years). He likened it to a similar apparent bias in Scottish football (which I don’t and never have watched). He now only misses a race when there’s a football game on.

    1. “He now only misses a race when there’s a football game on.”
      Fair enough, good job!

  18. I remember some time ago after an Qualifying session at Albert Park and then a few of us headed into town for a drink, and I ended up chatting this chick at a Bar telling her that I had an awesome day at the track etc. And then she says “what’s up with that Kimi Raikkonen guy, he’s absolutely got no emotion” and she imitated him to a tee – I think I was briefly in love with her!

  19. Great to take up this Idea and adress the flawed points in what Jake advises us to do.
    I agree with never taking the risk of introducing a newby at a race like Bahrain.
    I did watch last year with my wife and son. After getting to really look forward to it we were close to turning it off in about the middle through and only stubbornness (and comments from the live blog, that’s a good catch as well) helped us see it through.

  20. I did once hold an ‘F1 party’ last summer, I was going to have a barbeque as well. Nobody turned up though, it’s not that they weren’t interested, more likely they forgot…

    1. Or the weather was bad? Don’t give up, make it an annueal feast!

      1. It was warm and sunny!

  21. DangerousBryan (@)
    16th February 2011, 10:04

    I’ve managed to convert plenty of people. My ex is now an avid watcher as is her parents, just from knowing how much I am into it and knowing that most Saturday’s and Sundays have essential viewing planned! My wife also watches it too and I think the phrase “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” rings true! I support McLaren, but my wife is a ferrari fan so there is competition in the household!

  22. Unfortunately most of the people I know are into foodball (yawn) so I’m usually a conversation killer if I say anything about F1. The nearest most of them get to racing is MotoGP, which I’ll agree is alright for a laugh but I prefer to watch races in full and not blink and you’ll miss them.

  23. ‘And make sure you get them to the “Senna” movie, if and when it finally opens in your area.’

    Interesting. I take your quote as an example, hope you won’t mind, Keith.

    If I would to bring a friend to the “Senna” movie when it opens in the cinema, I can almost guarantee to convert him/her into an F1 fan, but too bad not a modern F1 fan.

    He/she will be turned into an Ayrton Senna fan and also a fan of the era of 1984-1994 which turbos once ruled and also the combination of V8s, V10s and V12s in the same field where sparks once flew and when drivers were real men and had real balls.

  24. I converted one of my best friends to F1 in the best possible way – we were on holiday together in Australia in 2009 and happened to be in Melbourne on GP weekend, so I begged her to go to the race with me. In the preceding days I explained a lot about the sport to her, and she read the F1 Racing season preview so that she’d know what was going on. She later declared race day to be the best day of the whole holiday. She hasn’t missed a GP since, has been to the Hungarian GP two years running and also goes to Goodwood Festival of Speed and other motorsport events. She’s not only crazy for F1 but also GP2, WRC and just motorsport in general – having never watched a race in her life before going to the Aus GP. I never imagined I could convert her but all it took was one great race and she’s hooked for life!

    Of course, it’s not that easy to get mates to pay to see a GP live if they don’t already follow the sport, but I’ve had some luck converting my friends just by watching it on TV. A lot of people don’t bother with F1 because they don’t understand the rules or know anything about the teams/drivers, and sometimes all it takes is for them to watch it with someone who can explain it to them. I’ve had a couple of mates who swore they’d never watch F1 actually getting quite excited about it once I’d told them a bit about it and helped them understand strategy stuff during races.

  25. i successfully tunred my wife into an f1 addict (now is a fan of alonso dunno because of his skill or looks – maybe the latter) and also my 3 yr old daughter (although i dont know how she appreciates it) and my upcoming son’s 1st birthday theme party is “Pixar’s Cars, Hotwheels and Ferrari F1”.

  26. I would love to say I’ve turned my girlfriend into an F1 fan but I would by lying… She was a fan already!

    Saying that, she lived in Monaco for 7 years and went to school there with Nico and babysat for Piquet Snr!

    I have a few friends who like it but can’t say i have turned anyone into an F1 fanatic.

    1. Wow! Went to school with Nico?! Were they friends? That’s quite a story. :-)

      1. Yea I’m a bit jealous!

        I don’t think they were friends as such, he was in the year above but they knew each other.

        I was more impressed babysitting Nelson Piquet’s daughter. She was babysitting at his house!

  27. I have been able to turn a few friends onto f1, i have found that quali works well for it. each section of quali is short enough to hold there attention, there breaks for getting drinks and hitting the loo. and here in australia there on a saturday night(helps for fun party atmosfare). After awhile a few, not all but a few will start careing what happens on the sunday, and you just keep going from there.

  28. My eldest son is a big fan of F1, my daughter not so big but still a fan. My 2 youngest son’s are getting there. My wife… Well, put her in the ‘they’re just fancy colored cars going round in circles’ camp. After nearly 23 years I think I should stop trying to convert her, the only drivers she knows the names of are Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. I think she still thinks old Nigel Mansel is still racing.

  29. Unfortunately a lot of the F1 fans I knew in school stopped following F1 once they entered university. I started actively following F1 in 2001. Most of my friends started a little later, at the height of Schumacher’s dominance. I guess it’s understandable that a lot of them lost interest after he retired the first time. And having to fight for F1 over cricket on a university common room TV in India? Always will be a losing battle.

    A couple of them started in 2005 only because Karthikeyan was driving. Never underestimate the draw of having a driver from your country!

    1. So now you can lure them back as “the fastest indian” is making his rentree!

      1. I doubt it. Not many tuned in last year when Chandhok was driving. And at this point in time, I think Karun is the better driver of the two.

        Plus there was a massive publicity drive when Narain drove in 2005. Petrol pumps in my hometown still have hoardings of Narain wearing those yellow Jordan overalls. The exposure Karun got didn’t even come close.

        Although an Indian GP might draw more people in this year :)

        1. I bet you would enjoy vistiting that with a couple of friends!

  30. I tried to drag my cousin into F1. The race I wanted to show him first was the German GP this year, and he fell asleep at one moment :-( . Later on, he didn’t understand my reaction to the Felipe Massa move. In the end, he still managed to watch 2 races without me, but I don’t think he truly liked it. The race I wanted to show him first was the German GP this year, and he fell asleep He often told me F1 was a sport for rich people, like golf or horse riding (I don’t have to tell you my reaction), and that he prefers watching football.

    Well, in my opinion, not everyone could be a motorsports fan. For some people, the sound of an engine is a sweet music, for some it’s just a big noise. That depends on the sensibility of everyone in my opinion.

  31. Thanks to this site there are a few fanatics that feel like friends :P

    I know quite a few people who like F1 but they really are just casual fans. I’ve tried so many ways to get them more interested but it just isn’t happening. One friend did start to pay more attention to F1 when we realised we both liked it but he was nowhere near a fanatic. I’m hoping to convert one though when the Senna movie comes out as I’ve already made her promise to attend and I’m hoping that film will pluck at her heart strings and show the emotion behind the sport or at the very least she’ll think he is fit and want to see more racing drivers.

    1. I was about to give Superted666 my vote for COTD before I saw this

      or at the very least she’ll think he is fit and want to see more racing drivers

      1. That’s not how you got into F1, is it Steph?! :P

        1. It really isn’t Damon! I do support Massa afterall …

          1. What are you saying? :P

  32. I’ve tried and failed. A few years ago I forced a friend to watch a race – a race which just happened to be Suzuka 2005. He loved it and wondered why he didnt watch it more, but with it being the end of season he forgot all about it and then couldn’t be bothered to watch it in 2006.

    Luckily one of my best friends just so happens to be an F1 fanatic, so I don’t really need to convert people. My girlfriend likes it, but only because the noise sends her to sleep…

  33. Christian Briddon
    16th February 2011, 11:36

    My wife has always had a mild interest in F1 since we first met (18 years ago) but since we got married her interest has increased massivly. People don’t believe she actually likes it until she starts to discuss it with them and they realise her F1 knowledge is formidable!

    Last season my 6 year old daughter also started getting interested. She watched the last 6 races with me and was asking intelligent questions while it was on. I was so proud. Unfortunatly she is claims to be an Alonso fan just to wind me up. :-)

    Also unfortunatly my daughter keeps asking to come with us on our annual trip to Silverstone. It’s expensive enough just for the 2 of us!! :-)

  34. My wife is probably more interested in the background, the personalities, and the politics of F1 than the actual racing (can there be much more of a damning inditement of the quality of racing of recent years), especially last season because the personalities fighting for the title were much stronger. It is easier to create a narrative to capture the casual fan’s attention with the conflict between the drivers involved: Hamilton vs Button (British drivers as equals in a British team), Hamilton vs Alonso (still seen as enemies even after a couple of years), Massa vs Alonso and Ferrari (David being crushed by Goliath), Webber vs Vettel (Ozzie grit vs the German favoured son).

    She watches more of the build up than the race because Jake, Eddie and DC interact well with each other and don’t just sit there like the Match Of The Day panel and chortle about in jokes from the golf course, and in Martin Brundle’s grid walk you get to see some of the drivers’ personalities come through somewhere outside a stage-managed situation.

    I don’t know how I would turn someone round from not being interested to being a committed fan – I have said it before but I think the BBC could bring in more people with a Football Focus style F1 magazine show on Saturday lunchtime.

  35. I must say, Formula One is one tricky sport to get in to, as a fan.

    I always found it ‘boring’, and was part of the ‘all they do is drive round and round’ gang. In fairness, I was about 12, so one could be forgiven!

    Fortunately, Psygnosis created a wonderful series of Formula One games for the Playstation in the form of Formula One (1995), and Formula One ’97. I would play these games alongside my Uncle, slowly learning the tracks, the drivers, and the teams. I would then get cut short, as my Uncle would want to watch the race. Often, I would then leave to see my nan, until one day, I decided to stay. Monaco GP 1998. I’ll never forget the image of Alex Wurz’s Benetton sliding out of the tunnel, with no front wheels.

    I kept asking questions. “Why do they go in to the pits?”, “why do they change tyres?”, “why doesn’t he just knock him off the track?”. To my uncle, I was either extremely annoying and distracting him from his Sunday viewings, or he was maybe happy knowing he was creating a new fan of the sport he loved.

    After this, I studied Formula One as much as I possibly could. I was intrigued. I was mainly interested in the safety of the cars and the circuits, and the fallouts from these big incidents.

    What I realised from there on, was that in order for Formula One to be accessible for a newcomer, you had to have someone alongside them answering their questions.

    It highlights how important a commentary team is, and how difficult it must be striking a balance between commentating for long time fans, and introducing the sport that never stops to new fans.

    I have got a couple of friends in to Formula One as a result. For any new gadget or ruling, i’ve often already ‘briefed’ them during pre-season on it, and therefore captured a bit of interest and intrigue. I think it may be a combination of them feeling like they’re perhaps almost getting some ‘inside news’ (as it’s before the season’s start), and the satisfaction of knowing what the commentator/driver is referring to when they talk about these new gismos. I’ll hapilly answer any questions to the best of my abilities during a race, and I think having these niggling questions answered instantly certainly helps enjoyment.

    Let’s face it, watching something you don’t quite understand is often quite distracting. I credit BBC for the job they’ve done in walking the tightrope.

    1. “Monaco GP 1998. I’ll never forget the image of Alex Wurz’s Benetton sliding out of the tunnel, with no front wheels.”

      I can see how that would leave an impression. My God!

      I agree with you about having someone along side that is knowledgeable and also the importance of a good commentating team. Having a goofball like David Hobbs also makes it fun too.

  36. I have been trying and continue to try, although it isn’t easy here in the US. Not only is TV coverage here not so good (that’s putting it diplomatically), but most races are not on at convenient times for most people. Added to that is the fact that many, if not most, people here equate auto racing with NASCAR — which, right or wrong, has a certain reputation that makes many people want nothing to do with it.

    Still, I keep trying, albeit with only very minor success so far. Since F1 occupies about 90% of my brain at any given time, I’m only too happy to talk about it with anyone who stands still long enough to listen. ;-)

    (I do have a tip for getting straight female friends interested in F1. It can be summed up in two words: Mark Webber.)

    1. He is usually the driver my wife asks about first when she walks in to the room during races!

      1. Really? The “drivers” I’m most interested in are Jessica Michibata and Nicole Sherzinger.

        1. Well she is a heterosexual woman, so surely it isn’t too much of a shock to find that my wife is more interested in the drivers than their girlfriends?

          1. I really miss Connie Montoya – what a woman…

  37. Most of my freinds at university I know through the Edniburgh University Motor Sport Club, so its fair to say most of them are big F1 fans or at least watch it on a regular basis. 2 out of my 4 flat mates watch every race, either live or repeat for the fly-aways and I’m probably going to Spa this year with a bunch of freinds from the Isle of Man. So its fair to say I’ve got plenty of friends who like F1! But unfortunately that means I’ve not got much room for promoting F1 with my mates.

    the peculiar pleasure of getting up at 3am to watch a practice from Shanghai.

    Haha to be honest Keith even I struggle with that one

  38. I imagine for most people it’s something that happens fairly early on in life, just like with most sports. I love watching F1 and hockey – why? I don’t know, they both make me yell at the television. I could not for the life of me explain why for others it’s football (of either kind) or basketball or anything. I’ve never gone on a campaign to convert people, but my friends don’t really understand why I get all excited about it and just smile politely.

    Anyhoo, I think that what we really need is vision: think long term – begin the indoctrination while they’re young and impressionable! Then again, in my wife’s family, the only person who watches F1 is…. her 86 year-old grand mother, so go figure.

  39. I was very much of the opinion that F1 “is just a bunch of cars going round. Maybe the only bit worth watching is the highlights for the crashes.”
    Then a friend who like F1 invited me round to watch the 2008 Brazilian GP. Watching Ferrari celebrate, only to be told that Lewis had won the championship got me hooked.
    I have been sliding down the slipperly slope to fanaticism ever since.
    Addmitedly I was already an engineer and a petrol-head so perhaps it was really only a matter of time…

  40. i Get the blank faces although some take a vague interest in motor sport in general (e.g They only want to see the crashes.)

  41. My folks bought me a scalextrix when i was 9, which got me into watching F1. All the brits since James Hunt have contributed to the hunger i have for F1.

    Yes i am patriotic and love the idea of a british driver being on the top tier of the podium in every race.

    I have spoken about each race on a Monday morning and its amazing to see how many other’s tuned in over the weekend.

    Only problem i have is my wife wishing they were on in the middle of the night!

  42. Oh I often bang on about how wonderful the sport is but I just don’t think people get it!

    Personally, I would explain some of the science involved and how that science relates to driver capability..or incapability. Oh and tell them there is a boost button this year. That might prick up a few ears.

  43. My ex got into F1 to the point she’d ask how “Alfonzo Fer-Nandos” was doing. Probably could have worked a bit harder at it to be honest…

  44. I watched my first full season last year. I first got interested while catching a rerun of the 2009 Monaco race on Speed TV. Then, I went to the official F1 website and watched the Race Edits, which are cool because they’re set to music and have the highlights of the race. I also watched the onboard laps. From there, I looked at the history of the sport, learning about Senna, Prost, and the others. I was disappointed not to see more U.S. drivers and teams, but I still hold out hope for the future. One thing that helped bring me into F1 was that I liked racing, but was never crazy about NASCAR and the IndyCar series has been a mess for so many years. It all probably goes back to watching the Indy 500 when I was a kid, and cheering for Rick Mears! Anyway, I have my wife hooked now too. She loves Sebastian Vettel!

  45. I got into F1 in early 2000 when I bought a catalog on eBay for the yet released E46 BMW M3 from a nice fellow named Joachim who lived in Kerpen, Germany the hometown of Michael Schumacher.

    I have always been into cars, but never followed Formula One. I grew up in Southern California home of the hot rod and car crazy folks. In the early 70s, I was in the midst of the emerging “Ricer” [tuning Japanese imports] phenomena decades before it was even called that. I was aware of a grand prix being held in Long Beach at the time, and I liked Mario Andretti, but back then I usually only watched oval races on TV.

    Joachim’s admiration of Michael and his love of F1 made a huge impression on me. We would chat via email about cars and on occasion he would go to F1 races and send me photos. One day he said he was gonna “hop” across the border to attend the Belgian Grand Prix at this place called Spa Franchorchamp. The photos he sent me left me slack jawed. Beautiful green rolling country side with magnificent machinery ripping through it. I was hooked.

    I began watching SpeedTV [SpeedVision then] here in the US and immediately liked the trio of Bob Varsha, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett. I soon got into a ritual of watching the races at 3 or 4am and as the red lights would turn on one by one I would crank up my home theater’s volume for the start of the race and the screaming chaos of turn one. I’m sure the neighbors in my apartment loved me for that. One of the most amazing things I’ve seen in F1 to date was that shocking pass Mika Hakkinen put on Michael at Spa in 2000.

    These days I have been trying to recruit new F1 fans by converting car enthusiasts or reigniting the passion in former F1 fans. I do this all through email updates of articles from this website. Pre-season, testing live updates, Champion of Champions, 2011 livery unveilings and various articles I get on my iPhone F1 app.

    So far I’ve reignited the flame in an old friend and Schumacher fan now living in Boston. We know each other from the graphic design department at Toyota. A few miles from I live Nissan, Toyota and Honda all have their US corporate headquarters. The great Carroll Shelby also has his headquarters less than 2 miles from my apartment. With my constant email updates I’ve worked my Boston Celtics fan friend into an F1 frenzy.

    I’ve also worked with a few current and former F1 fans in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, and I’ve been active in trying to get them back into it. One of them was a big fan in the days of Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda. One day after a production meeting he brought out his old F1 posters from the 70s. They don’t make ’em that cool looking anymore! I told him that David Hobbs is one of the commentators for the US feed, and he said, “I remember him from Formula 5000!”

    I have an old friend who never watched F1 until I got him into it last year. About two-thirds of the way through the 2010 season I told him how Michael in 2005 at San Marino[?] tailgated Fernando Alonso all over the track for the last 12 laps and Alonso didn’t crack under the pressure. His response was, “Hamilton and Vettel are really really fast and I think Alonso whines like a little girl, but he’s now become that scary guy you don’t want chasing you at the end of a race.” Now does that sound like an F1 fan?

    1. Good stuff! Its always nice to see another F1 fan from the U.S.!

    2. @ManjuBoy – Great story!

      I remember watching my first GP, the 1999 Hungarian race. I was amazed by the track and the cars, never knowing what they were before. I recognized a few names from that Formula One ’97 on Playstation. I started watching on Sunday mornings and got hooked. Shortly after I purchased “The Encyclopedia of Formula One” and learned everything about the sport through 2000.

      When I moved from NY to Charlotte, NC, two of my cousins were there and learned how competitive and high-tech F1 is and fell in love. They watch every race now and have been for a few years.

      In 2009, my girlfriend moved from NY to Charlotte and did research on F1 before moving. She went from knowing nothing about the sport to watching it with me every Sunday. My two cousins were jealous of me and her when she got me the book, “Art of a Formula 1 Car” last year!

      It’s definitely difficult to get some people into it, but for competitive people who love sports, it seems to be easier when they realize everything that’s involved.

      Keith, all 3 of us cousins read your site daily! Thanks for the good work and great community.

    3. One morning I arrived at a place I was doing freelance work for last year and noticed something cool on my desk.

      The guy that showed me his 70s era F1 posters had bought me a 6-wheel Tyrrell Hot Wheel. He, his wife and daughter were at Target when he saw it, so he bought me one in thanks for all the F1 Fanatic articles I’d forwarded to him!

  46. A question for my fellow F1 fans.

    I’m a true blue American. But why on earth can’t we make a good TV program about cars?

    Top Gear from England is amazingly good. I also enjoying watching Fifth Gear on YouTube.

    Japan’s Best Motoring International {BMI] is a fantastic show too.

    It seems like every car show we create in the US is terrible. Well, except for Motorweek which is more of a car review show.

    Battle of the Supercars while interesting from a performance perspective, is dominated by a phony, obnoxious and manufactured quarrel between two guys with no personality.

    And “American” Top Gear is the Mt. Everest of green cattle dung. Could they have gotten three guys with less personality? Who are they aiming this show at, people who have never driven cars before?

    We Americans are known for our love of cars, but we just don’t have the car shows to back it up.

    1. Its an interesting question. Probably the closest the U.S. has come to a decent “auto” related show was American Chopper, and that was about motorcycles! You’re spot-on when you talk about getting the right personalities. That is really what it will take. The cars will always be interesting, but you need the right people talking about them. Perhaps retool the American Top Gear with the Mythbusters people doing the show!

    2. I think that Top Gear works so well partly because of the weird relationship the British have with cars.

      I’m generalising here, but Americans seem to love their cars because they learn to drive earlier and can afford to choose a car rather than take what they can afford because they seem to be cheaper over there.

      This gives me the impression that you guys form a closer bond with a type of car as part of your personality while in the UK you pick up whatever you can afford to buy and insure even if you don’t really like it. This means we can make fun of cars without many people being offended.

      For example years ago when the Vauxhall Vectra came out Jeremy Clarkson reviewed it by standing next to the car for two minutes saying nothing and looking bored. Imagine a US show doing that to the latest Ford F-150! Ford would drop their advertising and the network would be bombarded by angry Ford owners offended that they were being personally made fun of.

      At least that’s the impression I get – maybe I’m totally wrong!

    3. Pope and Dobin, excellent points!

      Now that I think of it, I did enjoy Monster Garage and Overhaulin’, but those were “customizing” shows and not really car programs like Top Gear. I have great respect for the design and mechanical minds of Jesse James and Chip Foose. To me, both shows really captured the spirit of the Southern California car scene. And I might even add Pimp My Ride to that list.

      I think the mistake producers of car show in the US make is that they try to create The Man Show with cars or car reality shows, and I think those types of shows are more for the mass consumer than the true petrol head. And I don’t like reality TV, so that’s what eventually put me off to Monster Garage when it became all about personal conflict and not the design and build process.

      The guys on Top Gear [UK] are definitely not what we in the States would think of as typical car guys, but the love Jeremy, James and Richard have for cars is undeniable and it comes through in every segment they do. Plus, they have great chemistry.

      The different way Yanks and Brits bond with cars is something I never considered and is probably a really big reason. In SoCal we car guys fall in love with certain models or manufacturers early on and rarely stray. The idea that enthusiasts in the UK pick up whatever they can afford is something I’ve become aware of only recently through the Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car segment interviews.

      Thanks for enlightening me!

  47. I turned my mother into an F1 Fanatic.
    She wakes up early every Saturday and comes to my house to watch qualifying, then I go to hers every Sunday for the race. We have watched every race together for the past 5 years.

    1. When you get excited for Friday practice and Saturday qualifying you know you’re a fan!

      1. Unfortunately Practice isn’t televised in Canada so I can’t watch that with mum, but that doesn’t stop me from logging into the F1F live feed for Friday practice sessions!

        1. Ahh man, that sucks!

          My friends think I’m crazy for waking up so early to just watch Friday practice.

  48. I got interested in F1 through a friend several years ago. Prior to that, I hadn’t really paid attention to it.

  49. My girlfriend hated F1 in 2009/start 2010 because i was usually talking about it, and she couldn’t give a damn. Then i “forced” her to watch a race, actually i sacrificed an hour of my life to watch an episode of gossip girl, so she could “pay” me back by watching a race. And so she did, and after like 20min or so she was hooked. I don’t remember what race it was, but it was in the early part of the 2010 season. Now she is a F1 Fanatic, and she usually follows the news as they come along on this site.

  50. Show fantastic moments on YouTube, and talk about the passion and history behind it all. That’s how my flatmate got me to fall in love with Manchester United.

  51. The only time when my then girlfriend, now wife watched almost a whole race with me was Monaco 2010. I’m still proud of predicting Schumi’s overtake on Alonso.

    Unfortunately, the price is too high: she only hold out for so long, because I accidentically recorded the race without sound. So now I don’t bother…

  52. I am fortunate to have 3 friends that are F1 fanatics. This year I am going to try and invite a F1 virgin to come and watch a race and hopefully I can get him hooked. Annually I host the Aussie GP at my house. This will be the third year of me hosting. I really try to make the race an actual event and not just a race. I try to have a theme ever year.. This year being chicken wings.. I’m making 5 different types of wings and I also make jello shooters. We use them to play drinking games during the race. This year the game will be how many times can DC mention something about Red Bull. I also decorate my place McLaren gear due to 2 of the three of us being McLaren fans.. The third is a Ferrari fan.. I think if you make the race more than just a race you have a very good chance in getting more people interested

  53. ‘Plonk’ is such an excellent word.

  54. Failed, failed and failed some more. No one in Kuwait cares about F1.

  55. My friend introduced me to the F1 world by showing me the 2008 Monaco GP, and then the Canadian GP..
    Now I’m more of a fanatic than he is =]

  56. I have gotten my wife into. After 8 years of me and my Dad forcing it upon her. She is not a ‘fanatic’ but she watches a good bit and she has her favorites and not so favorites. She was a Honda fan, now she just has drivers she likes (Button, Vettel….).

    I have gotten a few of my buddies to the point of at least being interested and sort of half following it to the point where they know who the top guys are and such.

    You have to keep in mind that I am in the US and I would imagine that it makes it twice as hard to become a ‘fanatic’, but it never stopped me!

    1. Oh yea, I am trying to get a few more into so that when the US GP in Austin comes up, we can make a trip of it!

  57. I’ve brought a lot of different people with me to the race in Montreal over the years, which is how I caught the F1 bug in 1997. All have agreed it’s an amazing spectacle, but few have followed through.

    Unlike any other sport worth watching, to be a real fanatic to have to be a student and dedicate your self to the subtleties. These are far from few in motorsport, which is why we often here the non-fans refer to ‘watching cars drive around in a circle’, which drives me up a wall…

    In Canada, it’s not as easy to come by F1 coverage in the day-to-day news and TV sources, and other motorsport receives a low profile relative to hockey, NA football and other sports. So you have to work a little harder to be a fan here.

  58. My friends have all shown varying degrees of interest in Formula One. They all bought F1 2010, but they don’t play it a lot. I remember last year, one of my friends was saying how much he enjoyed the Bahrain Grand Prix last year.

    My friends and I have however decided that we need to go to a Grand Prix in the future, preferbly one of the more glamourous races such as Monaco or Singapore.

  59. My wife. She didn’t know anything about it when I first met her. Now she gets up for all the races with me and gets in a bad mood if Ferrari do well.

    The main reason I got her interested wasn’t to get her to enjoy it though. It was to make her understand that going to visit the inlaws on a Sunday during a race weekend is a BAD IDEA.

  60. I have followed f1 religiously from an early age but always found my friends had little or no interest in it. The difficulty was getting them in front of the television. Last year Halls at uni there was only one TV, therefore f1 took priority. Once they started, and am talking about 20 people here, they started supporting drivers, teams and really wanting to watch. The BBC has helped a lot but also knowing the politics of the sport really captivated the people who couldn’t care less about Hamilton’s personality for example. Ironically, the two races they enjoyed most were Singapore and Monza where the politics of pit stops and defensive driving were important. Korea, Montreal, Monaco and Melbourne were also the most exciting races for a lot of them. What do these races have in common? An exceptional Alonso performance or an unpredictable scenario favouring him. So it may just be the excitement that they enjoy as obviously the room had an atmosphere! But, in the boring races learning about Senna and the old days really interested them as well.

    So I think that the most exciting way to watch the sport is with us, f1 fanatics!

    1. Forgot to add, now three of them are going to 3 separate GP’s with their girlfriends despite never watching a race pre-2010!

  61. My friend tried to get me into watching it in the mid 90s, but I was infatuated with snowboarding at the time and couldn’t be bothered with anything powered by an engine. As time passed, and after a few major injuries, I needed another sport to placate my competitive spirit. Ironically, it was NASCAR that got me watching F1. NASCAR was just starting to become popular nationally, and I just didn’t get it. In an attempt to gain some perspective on the sport, I tried watching CART, IRL and F1. I was immediately taken with F1. The history, the constructors, the drivers; it was all there, and I’ve been a F1 Fanatic ever since.

    1. You mention history.

      Thanks to Keith, the F1 Fanatic threads, and some friends that have been F1 fans longer than me, I’m really becoming aware of and gaining massive respect for the history of Formula One.

      The Champion of Champions tournament had me researching these past F1 greats and watching YouTube videos of their past exploits. The Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna tributes on YouTube are amazing. Also a co-worker and F1 fan from Chile told me to rent Grand Prix and Le Mans.

      Let’s just say I was blown away by both films!

  62. My wife is now a huge F1 fan, thanks to some consistent lobbying by yours truly.

    She watches now mostly to humour me, but a couple of other factors definitely helped:

    1) She thinks F1 drivers are super-dreamy. As soon as she saw an interview with Jenson Button, that pretty much sealed it.

    2) I pointed out that F1 races dont last all that long, and they are in a lot of places we might want to go on vacation anyway. We are going to the Montreal race this year, and making a whole weekend of it. Wives love weekends away, it seems.

    Frankly, if she watches, doesnt mind when I go on big nerdy rants about races, and will actually attend races with me, I am totally fine with her having crushes on drivers. Its actually really cute how upset she gets when one of the “cute drivers” crashes out.

  63. i have try but without success, but it’s a friend who made me a TOTAL ADDICT about F1, now i’m more addict than her xD

  64. i got my girlfriend watching F1 two seasons ago and she loves it now. she makes her picks for the driver’s and constructor’s title based on how the cars and drivers look. in 2009, she thought that the Brawn GP cars look great and that Button was hot, so she picked him to take it all before the first race. she was right. We live in Florida and are already making plans to head to Austin in 2012!

  65. There was a link on here posted, a double page youtube clip showing the difference between f1 cars and sport / touring cars going through eul rouge (I never spell that right!) At spa, watching it makes you think that f1 drivers are more like fighter pilots!

    Get a friend to watch that, or the senna movie – whenever that comes out – should do the trick!!!

  66. I try to do my bit each year by running a fantasy league for my family, friends and work colleagues (as I have done since 1996). It gives people a greater depth of interest in the racing but I don’t think it has ever really converted anyone. It is a very hard thing to sell to casual observers, and even those who do watch regularly often say to me on a Monday morning “ooh, that was a boring race wasn’t it?”.

  67. I tried to explain F1 to my girlfriend once, but the yearly stupid rule changes made it impossible. It’s not a sport if its different every year. Slicks/no slicks, Kers/no Kers, Refueling/ No Refueling. Good (last years) Qually/ stupid 107% rule. Why not 108 or 109%. The powers that be will only be happy when no one bothers to take ‘the show’ seriously anymore. Good luck with getting anyone new to watch it.

  68. – Hey what are you doing?
    – Reading articles about F1.
    – Oh, that boring and static kind of race?
    – Well, actually it isn’t stat…
    – Yeah right, don’t need to covince me – let’s go drinking instead.

    That’s mostly the reaction of my friends ;) Actually I have no friends interested in F1. I know there’s a lot of F1 fanatics around the polish web – too bad I didn’t have the chance to meet one personally ;)

  69. I turned Portugoose into an F1 Fanatic fanatic. That’s gotta count for something right?

    No but it’s sad here in the US. Me and Portugoose are the only ones who even know what F1 is at our school! And if they “know”, they’re usually thinking of Indy or NASCAR, which really sucks. There’s no love for F1 in most of the US, south Florida is one of the only places that actually has a decent viewership, but 90% of the viewers a Brazilian, which explains a lot.

    I’ve managed to fit two run on sentences in one comment! I’m a failure…

  70. TheRacingCoconut
    17th February 2011, 8:19

    I managed to convert my dad. Dad has always been a gadget freak/technology guy so it wasn’t that difficult really once he saw what goes into making these cars. We live in Australia so most of the races are on at about 10 or 11 at night. But it is really impressive that a man in his 60’s can be motivated enough to get up at 3 in the morning to watch the North American and Brazilian rounds.

  71. I’m working on it! :D

  72. There are days when I wonder why I watch F1. I find I get caught up in the news drama more than the race itself. I will admit Qual is the best of any racing to watch.

  73. Am from India – was on an Europe tour in Aug’2010 and happened to be in Belgium around the Spa race. Just out of curiosity, went to the race and now i am a branded, crazed, F1 fan :)

  74. With luck we won’t even have a Bahrain race, saving F1 neophytes from a baptism of boredom!

  75. If any of you think you have it hard getting people to watch F1 with you try doing so in a country with **** media coverage, HORRIBLE race times, and the best races being covered by FOX Sports (aka commercial every 2 seconds).

    The USA has just not come on to F1 racing like they have with NASCAR and similarly dumb forms of car driving.

    If we had a decent version of TOP GEAR perhaps more people would get into high performance motoring, but until then, we have 2 no-name idiots and Tanner Foust so I’m not counting on the help anytime soon.

  76. Yes, it’s been done, still possible ……however they can’t be (average) Americans. Most Americans prefer for one reason or another to watch 2 ton, V-8 800HP stock cars make left turns for 3 hours than an F1 race. No Americans, No American track, No american team and more importantly they believe it’s all about money.

    Converting someone to an F1 fan is easiest when the person is an engineer as they’ll be most appreciative of the technology behind the cars. I’m sure I can write very long analysis, but i have a lot of work to do so i’m cutting this short

  77. I wasn’t into F1 a few years ago then one of my friends who is hugely into it and the technical side of it got me hooked from never watching a race prior to 2008 I’m now hooked, loving the early starts and keeping up to date daily with whats going on from the teams. Bit of a late bloomer I’m 21 now but ill still be watching F1 as long as I can imagine.

    I think if anything is going to get people into to F1 its going to be the highlights on BBC, sure if your an avid follower of the sport the race is great as it is, but to attract new comers its a great concept. I’ve got a few people who normally loathe F1 to watch a few of the highlights and with most of the ‘boring’ laps out the way they seem to love it. Seems to be working at the minute for my friends at least.

  78. Some people can get into it by being invited on a group trip to a race. You’d be amazed that it is possible to bring someone to pay 300£ or more to go to an F1 race, without having followed the races seriously last year. But because they know You are going to a race, they start following it more closely and after the event, they know much more about it, and going home You realize they have bought more merchandise than You.
    During the winter time the tickets are the cheapest and You can try to arrange a trip with some of friends and their friends. The mental preparations up to the event You all are going to travel to, will increase the interest enormously with those who are not yet addicted to it.

  79. I’ve managed to get a few people interested in F1 to varying degrees simply by finding connections between what they are interested in and things that are happening in F1. Timing is important, both with regard to the F1 and the other person. It’s also usually best if you don’t sound like an obsessed freak or a marketeer.

    One of my favourite tactics has been to wait for the long-lapsed viewer to say something out-of-date like “Doesn’t Schumacher win everything?” or (most amusingly) “What’s Damon Hill driving this year?” (only 10 years after he’d retired, mind you). Correcting the error, if done gently, can lead to a longer conversation and persuade that person that it’s worth tuning in again.

  80. Stuart Richards
    21st February 2011, 13:37

    I think I have succeded in getting my little cousin into F1. He now watches the races suprising my auntie by naming every driver on the grid. i have done my job

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