Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Baku City Circuit, 2016

Rosberg expects long stay at Mercedes

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Nico Rosberg expects a significant extension to his contract to drive for Mercedes, who he has driven for since 2010.

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Comment of the day

Formula One may be getting more and more complicated, but not everyone thinks it’s excessive:

How is F1 complex for fans? i watched with beginners a couple of times and they understand it fine. The new qualifying was the hardest part i ever had to explain. People who want to watch a new sport are eager to learn and don’t mind the rules. They accept it as a part of the whole.
Melvin (@Thetick)

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On this day in F1

Sebastian Vettel won a soporific European Grand Prix on the streets of Valencia five years ago today, leading home Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber.

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  • 9 comments on “Rosberg expects long stay at Mercedes”

    1. The problem with COTD is, that while it is a very valid point, the issue is simply that people don’t want to watch F1 as a new sport. F1 needs to attract an audience, or most of the potential audience won’t choose F1

      1. No, the issue is F1 doesn’t want to be watched as a new sport! F1 is in a competitive “new” industry, and much of it starts off or is arguably free. There are new TV series’, new online games, new friends, new pop music, new Facebook groups, new jobs with homework, new priorities, etc. F1, at least in New Zealand, specifically markets itself as a premium entertainment product, so only those who are actually interested in another sport will be in the position to become new fans, but even then, there are lots of other sports that are looking for new fans, and they appear much more frequently on TV than F1.
        The rules of rugby seem to me as far more complex than F1, and the rules specifically stop the flow of the game, and yet that has a far bigger following here than F1, and the reason is simple: you can see it for free! If you want to watch it live (and presumably without adverts) then you buy the premium product, if you don’t want to watch it then you wait a while and, low and behold, it is on the Free to Air channels! Oh! and if you miss it for some reason … wait a day or two and there is it again! … and again! … and again!
        To be popular F1 needs to be seen on Free to Air TV … several times and online for free. If you want to watch it in real time or without adverts, then you should pay. If you can’t afford it or don’t see why you should pay, then you still can see it for free, but you get to see it with adverts.

    2. agreed, rules and what not are fairly down on the list of things to impede a new audience, things like limited fan interaction and lack of competitiveness are higher up on the list!

    3. Agreed with COTD I watched with beginners a couple times and they’re fine with the rules and eager to learn. Even they’re understand why there are cars that always seems faster than the other when I explained every team built their own car hence the difference.

      The main problem for them is the lack of access. Good thing that we have a FTA TV coverage here albeit with poor commentary and loads of ads interruptions, but for an access to quality coverage to increase their interest, the only way is a via paywall tv or illegal streaming which too much for an effort for beginners or newbie in F1.

      It’s not the rules are the main problems for the beginners, it’s the access to watch them. Oh and they’re confused with the scheduling as well, why some are every two weeks, some are only week apart.

    4. To a degree I agree with the COTD. I noticed that it didn’t take me too long to understand other series and how they work, including IndyCar which has a lot of completely different lingo to what we have in Europe. If anything, I found understanding all the rules and regulations of sportscar racing more difficult to understand than F1.

      I think part of the issue is the frequency of drastic rule changes. We had drastic rule changes from 2009-2011, 2014 and again next year, and that’s before we mention things like the tyre rules this year. But we’ve also had some rule changes come and go, because they were just plain naff. That will also confuse some people I suppose.

      F1 is by no means the most complicated sport to try and follow from a casual or a hardcore standpoint. But I feel that having to re-learn major rules pretty much each year now does put some people off.

    5. I am sure new rules are not keeping people away.

      Real issues are paywall, tracks and on track action, lack of socialmedia presence and global decline in car intrest.

      All other things are just superficial issues of the day, that kind of make it more fun.

    6. On the surface, F1 is easy to understand, but beneath the surface- F1 is really so complex that I try not to get too involved- otherwise it will exhaust me mentally.

    7. Our local sports radio station has an ex-Australian cricketer on board who has said a number of times that as a casual f1 observer and sports fan in general it is the predictability and lack of action at the front that makes F1 difficult for him to bother watching, and feels his opinion might be common amongst many Aussies who are not hardcore fans.

      Hard to disagree.

      Martin Brundle put it well in amongst the ‘new’ qualifying format furore in Melbourne that the format decision masked the real problem. The problem that has existed for decades in F1, in that it is difficult to follow closely to another car with the existing front wing regulations.

      All the talk of 2017 has me confused. On the one hand it will be cool to see and say the cars are faster, but honestly will we know the difference from behind the TV or in the stands? Maybe. But if the lap times were maintained through way more mechanical grip than they have now but offset by a reduction of aero grip, surely this would result in better racing. Better racing means more casual fans watch, more likely of a result like Jack Miller’s shock win in a wet/dry MotoGP race last night, at least less predictability of a Mercedes walking off into the distance, and even if it ends up that Nico or Lewis win, I for one won’t mind if the race itself is a cracker.

      It’s not the complexity or otherwise that drives fans away. It’s the boring races combined with predictable results doing it. And as much as the cars will look cooler, not sure 2017 will change much on that front.

    8. The way I look at it, complicated is not a problem in itself. F1 can be enjoyed on different levels and the media and commentators and pundits are there to thin it down as required.

      What I see as the problem is that the complexity is hidden within the teams, and FOM are hopeless at getting it out there for fans to enjoy. They don’t tell us about ES energy use at all now, so we can’t see drivers attacking and defending strategically, for example. We don’t get any temperatures even though tyre temperatures are pretty decisive for why any car is going faster or slower than others. We don’t get gps, which is a goldmine they can’t be bothered with.

      So cars are going faster or slower and it’s fundamental that it’s skill, but we have little idea what skills and whose. They HAD radio which gave us insights, even which drivers didn’t know about slow-in fast-out lol, but took it away so now we know even less.

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