FOTA to hold “fans forums” in Britain, Canada and Italy

2011 F1 season

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Start, Barcelona, 2011

The Formula 1 Teams’ Association is to hold further “Fans Forums” following the first event in London last year.

FOTA president Martin Whitmarsh announced the plan in a “Letter to Formula 1 fans” published today.

Here’s the statement in full:

As some of you may remember, in early 2010 FOTA undertook a global research study together with our partners at F1 Racing and LG Electronics.

The study sought opinions and feedback from the global fan base, and was conducted to help us better understand our strengths and to prioritise our challenges for the future. The survey was exhaustive and took on average more than 35 minutes to complete, so we were very pleased and grateful to receive detailed feedback from more than 85,000 fans from more than 190 countries.

A year on from the announcement of the initial findings, we feel it is appropriate to share the work we have undertaken and the actions we have implemented over the past 12 months.

First, you provided FOTA with a very strong mandate (more than 80% support) to work to support the teams, to develop technological improvements and to enhance the reputation of F1 around the globe.

As fans you voiced your opinion that F1 needed to attract new followers by ensuring its position as the pinnacle of motorsport from both a technical perspective and driver perspective. More than 90% of you highlighted that more exciting racing and increased opportunities for overtaking represented the most important issues for us to address.

Through the FOTA Technical Regulations Working Group and in partnership with the FIA and our new tyre supplier, Pirelli, we put this issue at the top of our agenda. Writing as we are after the Spanish Grand Prix, five races into the 2011 season, we hope you feel that innovations such as the Drag Reduction System and the revised tyre compounds have made very positive contributions in this area.

Within the 2010 study we asked you about KERS Hybrid, and the feedback from fans was that you did not feel the technology had been given sufficient time to prove its benefits to the sport. So the rules have been amended, increasing the minimum weight, to allow its use again in 2011. In this way we hope that F1 can become an invaluable "laboratory" via which we may fast-track this technology to road car applications and thereby spread the benefits of F1 to society as a whole.

We also asked for your feedback on our proposed points system for 2010, and, while you were in favour of our plan to award points down to 10th place, you also stated a preference for a greater differential between points awarded for race wins and points awarded for lesser placings. We took that feedback on board and the points system was revised ahead of the 2010 World Championship, resulting in the closest F1 title battle for many years, with four drivers vying for the Drivers Championship at the final Grand Prix.

Thanks to FOM Productions, HD television broadcasts has been adopted from the start of the 2011 season and this is an important achievement that matches the expectations of many of you.

We are pleased with these achievements, but we are not complacent. We know that there is more work to be done, and we aim to continue to listen to our global fan base so that you may continue to guide our efforts to improve the sport we all love.

Finally, in the 2010 study, you asked for the opportunity to engage directly with the teams and drivers; we conducted a Fans Forum in London in 2010 and we are pleased to announce three further Fans Forums planned for this year in Canada, Great Britain and Italy. And while we will not be able to meet you all, rest assured that we will be listening and will be continuing to push for enhancements wherever and whenever possible.

Together with you, we now look forward to a fascinating and challenging race here in Monaco.

2011 F1 season

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Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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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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29 comments on “FOTA to hold “fans forums” in Britain, Canada and Italy”

  1. Great stuff. I hope they have drivers.

  2. The most important point is still missing – the tremendously dull tracks. Modify them and the artificial needs will become obsolete.

    1. Yes!
      As well as putting races together in some obscure countries where there is no audience for F1.

  3. 2011 Fan Forum…

    Fans: We want this, this, this, this, and this.
    FOTA: We will take all this on board and help make F1 a better sport for our fans.

    2012 F1 season…


    2013 F1 season…


    Honestly why do these things? Nothing ever becomes of them.

    1. 2010 fan forum:

      Fans – we WanT HD
      2011 season – f1 in hd

      1. We asked for HD long before 2010 :)

      2. I’m sure many would have to say on the 2013 engines, but I doubt they’ll change.

        1. Bigbadderboom
          27th May 2011, 14:23

          I think you have hit the nail on the head Fixy, this may well be about opposition to the proposed FIA changes to the Formula. Although seeking fans feedback is admirable in concept, I think we may end up playing a deciding part in objecting to the changes. Not really that I’d be bothered as long as the end result is the same! Ideally V8’s or V10’s, lots of noise and proper BHP!!!

          1. I am fortunate to have experienced the turbo’s period in several GPs.

            The sound of Nelson Piquet accelerating out of the Huchenholz corner on 1 lap qualifying tires with a 10 minute lasting 1.5 liter 1200 BHP 4 cylinder BMW turbo engine has made more impact on me than a full field 18.000 rpm V10s passing by.

            So I’ll wait for 2013 before I make a judgement…

          2. I wish they’d give us an example of what the 2013 engines are going to sound like, because I can’t believe they could possibly sound good.

          3. Something like this:

            So, much better

  4. That funny. I was sitting in my exam earlier (I finished early) thinking “I wonder if there’ll be another FOTA thingy. What a coincidence that they announce more today!

  5. I went to the 2010 fans forum and thought it was excellent. I hope I can go again this year.

  6. How can one attend the Fan Forum?

    1. Last year James Allen’s website ran it, so keep an eye out there.

  7. Want to get me to spend $ and attend some races? Make the tickets a bit less expensive and open the paddock up to the fans like they do in the US. My biggest problem is lack of accessibility and value for the money. For the price they charge for a seat at a race, it isn’t worth it to me as things are now. And I LOVE F1 and never miss a session on TV.

    1. I agree with you. I just don’t think race tickets are worth the money. F1 wants this aura of exclusivity, but I don’t think they’re very good at understanding how to build a popular fan base.

  8. If we had refuelling with these tyres the races would be really good
    every1 is saying that the racing is good this season and it is but at the end of it the same guy is winning
    no1 wants another Schumacher-esque domination
    Hopefully that will change this weekend

    1. If we had refuelling with these tyres the races would be really good

      Reducing the range of weights at which the cars have to run (which would happen if refuelling came back) would only make racing and strategy more predictable. Already this weekend we’re talking about the possibility of a driver gambling on fewer pit stops – that would be out of the question if they had to commit to a fuel strategy before seeing how long the tyres last on race day. I’ve never heard a compelling argument for bringing refuelling back.

      1. Agreed. Nothing made races more predictable than F1 cars running around on an optimum fuel level on tyres that never saw the slightest hint of degradation.

        2005 showed just how bad things could really get, when you had refuelling, but no tyre stops. How was the driver supposed to rectify having to drive around on worn tyres without having to pick up a penalty? No wonder that format lasted for just one season! Boooooorrrring!

    2. Without bringing in something rediculous like success ballast, you can’t prevent another ‘Schumacher-esque domination’, we just have to cross our fingers and hope.

  9. Well we can also get the fia to do in season bans for technology allowing team a big advantage ( under safety reasons) Fans, skirts, active suspension etc were all banned. Why they havent banned hot blown diffusers is beyond me!

  10. How about V12’s with turbo’s and front an rear active wings anytime…an low profile tires with spinner’s :)

  11. I wonder if the Italian one will be at the GP? I’m going so that would be cool :D

  12. Fans wanted more overtaking, so FOTA gave them DRS instead of reduced aero dependence.

    Fans thought KERS needed more proving, so FOTA raised the minimum weight requirements instead of making KERS unlimited.

    So, you know, be careful what you wish for.

    1. I don’t mind F1 as it is. The only thing that needs improving in my opinion, is the coverage. Other than that, don’t change anything!

      1. I agree. I just don’t think the TV coverage has moved with the times. There’s been very little innovation over the last 5 years. Split screens during pitstops, more driver radio, new camera angles (with all the action in the cockpit what about some on-board future of drivers playing with their knobs (scuse the pun)), LESS ADVERTS (for those who don’t have the benefit of getting BBC), more user control (taking Kangaroo TV to the viewers at home rather than just on the track) etc.
        At the moment I just feel like we miss out on so much great action.

  13. I hope the forum works for the best of both F1 & F1 fans.

  14. I hope the fans think twice before ticking the box marked: YES. I want lots of technology.

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