Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

F1 survey shows fans “love” bonus point for fastest lap

2019 F1 season

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Formula 1 claim their fan research has revealed a very positive response to the bonus point for fastest lap which was introduced this season.

F1’s global research director Matt Roberts said the introduction of the bonus point had been criticised at first but within a few races had become very popular.

When the bonus point was announced in March “avid fans were erupting like in an outcry, how dare we add a gimmick, we’re trying to be like NASCAR or whatever,” said Roberts. “And then actually, after the first few races we did some surveys and everyone said they love it.”

In a poll which RaceFans began in August, 49% of fans who have responded so far disagreed the bonus point for fastest lap had made the first 12 races of the season more exciting, while 36% felt it had. Max Verstappen has said he “doesn’t see the point” of the rule.

Robert admitted surveys “aren’t perfect” for understanding fans’ opinions. The sport also uses social media monitoring to track fans’ reactions, which Roberts said this proved useful for contentious changes such as the bonus point for fastest lap.

“On Reddit and Twitter and Facebook they were complaining about it. We had done some research around that, I think it was last season or the season before, and that had come up as the one that people would be most interested in and would find most appealing. So that did help inform some decisions and research.

“People did say they wanted that, it’s just once it was announced you suddenly got the fear factor of the avid fans going ‘How dare you do that?’”

Social media is a valuable tool for marketers because it gives them access to fans’ unfiltered views. “With Reddit conversations, they don’t know that their words are being monitored, so they’re just speaking freely,” said Roberts.

Another hotly-debated change which social media monitoring gave insight to was the new F1 logo, which was revealed at the end of 2017.

“With things like the logo, on Twitter the Twitterati came out and said ‘How dare you change the logo?’,” said Roberts. “But when we did research after, ‘Do you like it?’ most people went ‘Yeah, it’s fine’. They said the logo was great, it was fine.

“But very few people said, ‘I really, really hate it’, so I think the rule is don’t always listen to what people say on Twitter.”

How else does Formula 1 use social media and other tools to monitor fans’ opinions? Read the new RacingLines column by @DieterRencken later today on RaceFans to find out

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70 comments on “F1 survey shows fans “love” bonus point for fastest lap”

  1. “And then actually, after the first few races we did some surveys and everyone said they love it.”

    Telling that the survey was done “after the first few races”. It was actually quite interesting the first few races, with the novelty factor—especially because the radio traffic broadcast during the Australian GP made it clear the podium-placed drivers really cared about it and were going for it. I have a feeling if you did the survey now a significant fraction of fans will have forgotten that it even exists.

    I’m not opposed to the FLAP point, and if you had a very close points battle, it could be compelling. Like so many other things F1 is proposing these days, it’s trying to add things on the margins—but none of it really matters unless the field is tightened up.

    One thing the social media crowd has definitely changed their tune is Bryan Tyler’s theme music. Seems like it’s turned out to be the most popular thing Liberty have done so far.

    1. One thing the social media crowd has definitely changed their tune is Bryan Tyler’s theme music. Seems like it’s turned out to be the most popular thing Liberty have done so far.

      IDK, man, I still mockingly sing “poooohhmmm pom pom pom pom pooohm poohm” at the start of each GP. And to me, this is the best cover version of the tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r2OkH7zU_c ;)

      1. Best thing I’ve seen all week!! hahahaha, had me in tears!

  2. everyone said they love it

    ‘Yeah, it’s fine’

    They said the logo was great

    Time for me to refer a dictionary for the meaning of “love”, “great”, and “fine”. I could have sworn I knew these words’ meanings all along.

    1. The good thing about listening to twitter is you can pick which tweets are eligible to be considered for review.

    2. Not sure their analytical bots are getting irony which might explain why their results deffer from Racefans…

  3. I really do wonder who these fans are that “love” the point for fastest lap. It isn’t the first time fans were surprised about what apparently they found fans like or not. As mentioned in the article, about half of us here think it added nothing positive and a bit over a third think it is a positive.

    Off course their way of asking loaded questions with answers leading you into a certain direction might be part of the answer. I guess it’s good they also look at other sources of information like reddit to get a bigger picture of what fans think.

    Overall, I still think the bonus point doesn’t add to F1 at all, although at least so far it also hasn’t caused too much damage.

    1. I wouldn’t save ‘love it’ (Macca’s would sue me) but to me it is a welcome addition and has occasionally spiced up radio traffic and racing towards the end of the race.

      But then again I’ve always been a ‘glass half full’ person, as opposed to many others on social media.

      1. @coldfly I wouldn’t say it’s spiced up racing. For some it may have spiced up the spectacle, but it’s only used when there is minimal risk.

        25 to 30 secs clear behind the driver, put on some new boots and do a qualy lap. Lewis had resource spare on Sunday, no one else was prepared to risk the FL (Max’s margin to Alex was too tight, or may be they had engine concerns).

        I’ve nothing against it, but I don’t think it adds anything to the race.

        1. I wouldn’t say it’s spiced up racing. For some it may have spiced up the spectacle, but it’s only used when there is minimal risk.

          Vettel – Germany.
          Drivers on the edge, and sometimes over it, is ‘spicing up’ the race. Vettel would not have risked it if not for the extra point on offer, @psynrg.

      2. @coldfly – good to see a comment and reasoning from a regular which is positive towards the FLAP, that gives food for thought & discussion.

        Would I be wrong in assuming that the chase for a FLAP helps enliven the end of a race where the outcome seems inevitable? i.e. no challenge for podium positions, the lower-down points positions are also mostly settled, so at this point the hunt for a FLAP is something that offers entertainment until the chequered flag?

        Was the FLAP something that you were consciously following in at Spa or Monza, or even for that matter, at Germany?

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          2nd October 2019, 17:30

          @phylyp – I seem to be at the opposite side of the argument throughout this to most people….

          When I first heard about it, I liked the idea. I thought they’d focus on it and show sector times when someone was going for the fastest lap. I thought it might be something exciting to follow at the end of a dead race.

          Instead, it’s been rubbish. Drivers don’t have to “go for it”, they just have to turn their engines up a bit, get their batteries ready and pit for new tyres. We don’t even get shown the fastest lap at the end of the race – I guess because it’s not exciting to watch because they aren’t on the limit – it’s a normal lap with the engine turned up…..

        2. I do follow FLAP and second guess who might go for it (on the current or on new tyres).
          I recall vividly how I was following the gap Vettel had to Verstappen to see if he could steal away the FLAP (and suddenly saw the gap increasing again). @phylyp
          I agree with @petebaldwin that they can make more out of it (show Vettel in Germany on the last lap; and see how he missed a turn). On the other hand it is incorrect to say it’s not shown on TV; Liberty shows constantly who has the FLAP and a ‘winners box’ with the name and picture of the FLAP winner.

        3. I follow it every race man. If I see someone else steals it, or see two drivers switching it a lot, I get excited.

          1. Thanks @coldfly, interesting to hear that. I also think that what @petebaldwin is saying is for FOM to show the driver actually trying to set the FLAP. However, that tends to happen on the last lap, and FOM prefer following the car in P1 for a good portion of that lap until the chequered flag, and give only glimpses of other cars/battles.

            Maybe they ought to put a small cut of the FLAP winner’s lap on the F1 YouTube channel to show how it happened (I’m not sure if they already do, I don’t follow that channel).

            Yaru – good point about two drivers swapping times, that is fun, and wish it happened more often.

  4. FLAP is so exciting! FLAP is so cool! FLAP is so awesome!

    FLAP makes one or two top-6 drivers just drive a bit faster on the last or so lap, even without pitting! Tyres doesn’t matter! Soft tyres – good, worn Hard tyres? No Problem!

    So exciting, so “loved”, that I am just going to wet myself right now!!!

    1. I don’t have to explain hidden, but pretty obvious meaning, do I?

    2. As many people “love” the fastest lap point as love the Safety Car!

      Just 1, Bernd Mayländer

    3. Agreed, FLAP is a really good addition to F1. And I’m glad a lot of fans agree too.

      (Not bring sarcastic)

  5. :D Enough of this Sarcasm, I love fastest lap. It gives drivers like L.H. something to do on final few laps, when it is usually boring as hell, engines turned down, fuel conservation mode.

    1. I am still split about it, in Singapore Kevin Magnussen went for FLAP and stole that point away from top 2 cars. In silverstone on last lap Hamilton pulled out a lap out of nowhere. These are instances where FLAP is awesome and does add something to show. And there are occasions when drivers from top-10 make a pit stop(usually free) for soft tyres to get extra point and that’s where it doesn’t really add anything exciting.

      1. Good summary.

      2. I enjoyed the fact that K-Mag screwed everyone over by taking that point away.
        “If I can’t have it, no one can”
        I enjoyed the fact that it screws the points tallies and stats!

        1. Yes, what K-Mag and Haas did that was particularly enjoyable.
          Yes, check box … I Love It.!
          Hope we see more of that.

  6. Usually their surveys go like this:
    Q: Do you like FLAP point?
    A1: Yes, it’s great
    A2: Yes, it’s excellent
    A3: Yes

    1. Please read the article. One of the option needs to be “Yes, I love it” ;)

      1. No worries, @phylyp. Ross will make sure the fans all love the reverse grid qualy races next season. I already love it so much, that I want to set it free. Free from the fixin’-what-ain’t-broke F1 boffins.

        1. @jimmi-cynic – see, this is the kind of thing @jeanrien alluded to – you make all these comments, which Liberty’s bots see as positive and in favour of the proposed changes. And they then go on to implement it.

          You might blame Liberty and Brawn all you wish, but I’m going to lay blame for the ongoing demise of F1 by a thousand ̶c̶u̶t̶s̶ comments on you.

          1. LOL! @phylyp. Oh…perhaps you weren’t joking.

            In that case, ATTENTION: Brawn bots, what I love about F1 is 3.5L V10s, short 700kg cars and open cockpits – no halo please. Thank you. I’ll find my own way out to the past.

    2. Indeed, the way the questions are phrased in F1’s surveys always makes it very clear what answer they want fans to give.

  7. Alright,fess up!!
    Who’s the joker that has been posting around and on multiple accounts saying that they love the bonus point? :(

  8. I’m not a fan…

  9. Define fans. Survey is a good study to determine who’s actually into racing and who’s into the show.

    1. Who are they asking for these too? I never get asked. And judging by the replies, no one here was asked. You’d think at least one person on such a widely used forum would’ve been one of the people selected. How do they figure out who to ask? Who knows…

      1. You sign up on F1.com and they invite you to participate in these surveys. It called F1 Fan Voice.

  10. A serious point: Who actually goes to Reddit for their F1 news? Surely there are enough reputable sources out there to get your news without having to hear it on Reddit?

    1. Actually from what Ive seen Reddit is quite good. They, unlike a lot of F1 News sites, actually have a black list of dodgy sites, sites that have no F1 journo’s, but pretend they do, and those sites that rip other reputable sites off. They also are good at pointing out the stories that have taken quotes out of context to pursue a particular agenda. For example they wont link a PF1 story, but will if its on Racefans.

      1. Surely it is easier to just go to the sources you know are reputable?

        I’ve never heard of any of the dodgy sites they list so don’t have to worry about them.

        1. So rather than click on the links to the stories at the top of this page for example, you have each reputable F1 site bookmarked separately and then you look for the story when you get there?

          I go to Reddit f1 news and just click the links to each story I’m interested in, knowing beforehand what site I am going to. As I do here. Not forgetting that their are numerous F1 related stories that are not confined to the F1 press.

        2. You can but you also want to discuss it with a community.

    2. @geemac Reddit is definitely the best place for F1 news and my go-to site for news. It’s faster than traditional motorsport news sites and for me it allows to read news from sources I couldn’t get my hands on any other way. It’s cool how from Reddit you can find links to news from German, Italian, Dutch etc. sites and the main storyline has been translated in English on Reddit.

      Of course there are lot of rumors and false news on Reddit, but it’s up to me to check the sources and decide what to believe.

      1. I go to Reddit for f1.5 news :)

        1. Well hello there, fellow 1.5er :) @tango

  11. Neil (@neilosjames)
    2nd October 2019, 9:15

    The main reason I dislike it is that it’s often a prize for being mediocre… someone at the rear end of the podium or top six who, by virtue of not being involved in the main fight, can take a pit stop and get an extra point.

    And as someone who appreciates the rare beauty of a grand slam/grand chelem (pole, lead every lap, win and FLap), especially now they’re so difficult in the undercut era, I was rather irked when Hamilton was denied one at the French GP when Vettel made a late stop and beat his fastest lap by 0.024s.

  12. I will only love the fastest lap point when someone crashes out of the lead, or podium at least, while pursuing it. Until then I’ll uphold my utmost dislike.

  13. The survey was well worded and gathered valid data it was worded

    “How much do you love the fastest lap?

    A) Massively – best part of a race
    B) A lot – it increases my excitement.
    C) A little – i watch to the end
    D) Not much – it’s not affected me

    Easy to get the answer you want isn’t it?

    1. This of course is fictional before anyone starts flaming me about not writing up the real survey and is purely written to demonstrate how easy it is to get false positives.

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        2nd October 2019, 11:26

        Thanks for adding that it was fictional… I actually thought it was the real question, given that it’s written very much like some of the questions on the Fan Voice website!

        Can remember one about crowd shots after there was a bit of anger about them flicking to the crowd during the Bottas-Hamilton fight at Silverstone… two positive options, and one very negative, with no option to reflect what seemed to be the majority view – that crowd shots are OK, but not while there’s actual action happening on the track.

        1. Anyone else getting annoyed at the choice of car to follow in quali, especially Q3? Seems they follow which ever car is setting the flying lap first for the whole lap, on Saturday we was watching Vettel set three yellow sectors whilst Le Clerc was punching in the purples, it was clear seb would not improve and charles and lewis were flying, but all we saw of the true flying laps was them cross the finish line!!!!

          1. Seb was giving the camera a tow, so they were physically unable to cut away.

      2. There is no incentive to fake it. They don’t actually care about the Fastest Lap as a concept, only so far as how much people like it to make the show more fun to watch.

        If their data do show that most fans hate it, then it is fairly easy for them to not mention it at all.

        There’s so many things they know most fans hate but can’t change because it is really hard to do. Fastest Lap is not one of those, asthey can drop it next season without any trouble from teams or regulstors if they need to.

        If their research shows people hate it, I guerentee you they will drop it in a heartbeat.

        And I’m not saying nobody hates it, as Racefans comments section seems to show, but whether Racefans demo constitute the majority opinion is hard to say.

  14. I’d like to see it allowable for all drivers on the grid, not just the top 10.

    I’m pretty sure that’ll make it more exciting, cause then u might see the top drivers on wornish tyres against a midfielder in fresh. True not the most exciting thing, but interesting

    1. True. It would give those drivers in the lower positions something to race for, instead of just schlepping around in P14 for 20 laps. I imagine that the resulting frantic pit stops and midfield battles would add a lot of excitement.

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      2nd October 2019, 13:54

      This just wouldn’t work out though. The teams that can barely ever score points by finishing in the top 10 would purely focus on this and make sure they pitted right at the end with very little fuel left so they can score a point. It won’t look good on them if 100% of their points were scored this way, which very possibly would be the case as they wouldn’t have any other points to loose, even if they fell back multiple positions. I think it is pretty clear and a good decision to only allow the top 10 to be allowed to take part in this.

      1. @thegianthogweed – I like the idea of extending the FLAP point to all drivers. You raise a good point as to how it can be gamed.

        Maybe we should give the FLAP only to the driver, and not to the team? I personally hate the idea of a team’s score not equalling the drivers totals, but in this case, I’d view the FLAP as not just the fastest car + tyres, but also the drivers skill in not overdriving the car and blowing his chance.

        By giving the point only to the driver, it helps them from a glory perspective (and can influence the WDC standings), but denies teams the chance of using it to get ahead in the WCC for a better chunk of prize money.

    3. F1oSaurus (@)
      3rd October 2019, 18:35

      No it makes perfect sense not to allow it outside the top 10. They should not allow it if a pit stop was made 10 laps before the end of the race either though.

      The point is that it should be skill based and not just a case of being out of position with a lucky big gap behind.

  15. I’ll go with ‘tolerate’ rather then ‘love’

    1. Me, i’ll even go as far as to admit to be ok with it

  16. I don’t like the way that this guy talks about the “avid fans” as though they are an enemy that must be conquered and converted.

  17. I wasn’t fond of the idea when they announced it & i’m even more against it now after 16 races.

    I don’t think it’s added anything of any value from a racing standpoint & still don’t believe that pitting for fresh tyres with 4 laps to go because you have a good gap behind you & getting fastest lap almost by default is worthy of a point.

  18. I think the issue with the fastest lap rule is simply the huge gap between the top 3 teams and the midfield teams means the last car in the top 3 can nearly always just pit for fresh tyres and it’s a slam dunk extra point. While this is disappointing in that respect there are two possible ways to fix it. The easy solution is just remove the extra point. The best solution for us all however would be for a closer performing F1 field so there is far less chance of a huge window in order for the front runners to be able to pit. I think the competition for fastest lap would then be far more interesting.

  19. I like it, don’t see a downside to it and long may it continue.

  20. Fastest lap should be more than just a single point. The teams don’t have enough incentive to get it each race because 1 point makes very little difference in such a stratified contest. Make fastest lap 10 points and you’ll see some really fast racing going on!

  21. FLAP has just exposed how slow and conservative the cars run towards the end of a race these days that a midfield car can put on new tyres and start running fastest of all.

    Make the cars closer, the racing more competitive and the drivers won’t need an incentive to wake up.

    1. Dude no matter how close you the make the racing, a car with fresh tires will always outrun one without. Teams don’t do it because its not worth the pit stop

      And if you need to change tires to get to “fresh” status, then you’ve screwed your strategy because your not making the tires from the last stop last long enough hence inefficient use of tires.

  22. I know that most people here don’t agree with me, but I like the idea. I watched the last two races live (and it’s several years since I last did that). Before the bonus point for fastest lap, teams often turned the engines down and accepted the result as soon as the pitstops were done. The bonus point means that the gaps matter, and there’s something to play for in the last half hour of every race.

  23. I like FLAP, because it sometimes is the most intriguing thing to follow in the final laps. I cannot say that I love it, because sometimes it is “anticlimax” because it is set by the slowest driver of top 3 teams. How to improve it? Mr. Ben Rowe was so right saying “The teams that can barely ever score points by finishing in the top 10 would purely focus on this and make sure they pitted right at the end with very little fuel left so they can score a point.” My suggestion would be – top 10 finishers receive 2 points for FLAP, while “outsiders” just 1 point for FLAP.

  24. Yup, I love the Fastest Lap. Its a good addition.

  25. RocketTankski
    2nd October 2019, 21:04

    Other fun truths include: “cigarettes are good for health, girls must wear pink, and Avatar is the greatest movie ever made”

  26. Not saying fans don’t like it but surveys are statistics and statistics are manipulated all the time. I stopped believing survey and poll results many years ago. The only people who know the truth are those who handle the data. And I trust no one!!

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