Sprint Qualifying aimed at ‘young people who don’t want two-hour races’

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In the round-up: Formula 1 motorsport director Ross Brawn says the sport’s new Sprint Qualifying format is aimed at attracting new younger viewers.

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In brief

Young fans may prefer Sprint Qualifying – Brawn

Formula 1 will hold its first three Sprint Qualifying races later this year. In an interview for The Muscle Help Foundation, Brawn said the series has been “trying to get a sprint race format into Formula 1 for a number of years”, partly because they believe it will be more popular with younger fans.

“It’s a format we want to test,” he said. “Things change and young people don’t necessarily want to watch two hours of racing on a Sunday afternoon. We may find the short format racing’s more appealing to them.

“But we don’t want to disorientate our loyal fans who are really the core of our sport. And so can we find a combination? That’s what we’re testing. So there are three races this year. We’ll take stock and then we’ll decide what the next step is for the future. ”

One-month grace period for new flexi-wing rules

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021
Gasly’s rear wing was inspected in Portugal and Spain
A one-month grace period will accompany new rules which come into force next month to prevent teams using rear wings which are designed to flex at speed.

A new technical directive will be imposed from June 15th increasing two of the load tests which rear wings are subjected to. While the rules specify the wings may not deflect by more than three millimetres when the load is applied, a tolerance of 20% will be permitted over the first month of the rules’ introduction.

The FIA will study footage from cars’ rear-facing cameras to detect any cars which may not be fully compliant with the directive. The sport’s governing body is understood to have started taking a closer look at teams’ rear wings following its inspection of Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri at the Portuguese Grand Prix. The same car was inspected again following the Spanish Grand Prix.

Daly to carry “Tired of Pricks?” slogan

Conor Daly, Carpenter,  IndyCar, 2021
Conor Daly’s new IndyCar livery

Conor Daly will carry this new livery from this weekend’s IndyCar race. His Ed Carpenter-run car will carry sponsorship from MannKind Corporation whose needle-free insulin product will be promoted with the slogan “tired of pricks?” on its sidepod.

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Comment of the day

Lewis Hamilton’s winning edge in the title fight is already showing, says Lemayian:

While both teams are at the top of their games, especially Mercedes, their two top drivers, Hamilton and Verstappen, are in my opinion who need, more than anything else to be easier razor-sharp throughout. And in this case, Hamilton just has that edged on Verstappen in race execution, which shows even in the championship standings.

True Hamilton had that mistake in Imola, which he minimised the impact as much as possible with a little bit of fortune (fortune favours the brave), but his mistakes are far between whereas as for Max, sometimes little mistakes just hinder his race weekends, (Bahrain, Portimao).

What I can say for certainty, Mercedes and Hamilton will win this year’s championships, constructors’ and drivers’ from recent history. When Ferrari pushed Mercedes and Hamilton, both rebounded with such a gap to their rivals that most of us scratched our heads wondering how they found that much performance from.
Lemayian (@Lems)

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On this day in F1

Today in 2006 a huge crowd cheered Fernando Alonso’s Renault to victory in Spain

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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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159 comments on “Sprint Qualifying aimed at ‘young people who don’t want two-hour races’”

  1. There are other race classes that are shorter… also ones that are longer like WEC. Maybe make the 24H of lemans also available as a 8 hour race, so we dobt have to stay awake late night and survive the next day to even see the finish?

    1. COTD right there. Although I think, for the sake of the young people, they should make it the 24Minutes of LeMans they might just about be able to watch that.

      1. They had a 24minute du Mans. It was a kart race for kids that was run during the event.

    2. 24 minutes of Le Mans? Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…

      1. The 24 minutes of Le Mansfield – Top gear have done that one :)

    3. WEC does have shorter races…. Le Mans is only one event on the calendar.

      Always loving the derogatory comments on different viewers’ viewing habits and time available.
      If F1 was actually interesting for the whole 2 hours, maybe more people would want to sit there for that long?

      1. that’s what the highlight packages are for, they can just watch the summary on the F1 youtube channel if they find 2 hours too boring. (or 1h20 more usually with how fast they are these days).

        People who don’t find F1 interesting will not find a quali race interesting either. It’s not like it’s a fundamental change to how the racing will be, how much the cars battle, etc. There’s F2, BTCC, etc. that have great racing over a shorter timeframe.

        I kind of don’t see the point in the quali races, but I’ll be happy to watch them and see how they are in practice.

      2. Mostly it is interesting for the 2 hours. Not if you just watch the global tv stream , but if you actually follow the other streams like data and tracker you’ll discover the beauty of unfolding strategies. The races arent only won on track, its a team sport

    4. 24Minutes of LeMans lol. Just add some fanboost and young people will obviously love it.

      1. Throw in some DRS to increase overtakes on the straight and we just might have a banger

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          14th May 2021, 12:22

          I assume we’ll have some celebrities racing as well yeah? I’m not watching unless there’s at least 3 Youtubers and a footballer.

    5. Yeah, I find this kind of thinking “oh, young people don’t have the patience” generally comes from people whose kids aren’t even young anymore and they don’t get enough contact with their grandchildren to see that if the action is good enough to pull a fan in, people can spend a lot of time with stuff.

      And if you get the F1TV pro thing, you can even just pause and continue hours later (did that just last week, got it started for the start, then did some other stuff and watched most of the race with about an hour or so delay, worked a treat).

      1. Yep. No shortage of people here happy to show their age.
        No doubt, in many cases, their youth was so far back that they’ve forgotten what it was like.

        1. When I was a kid, all I had to play with was a cardboard box.

          Cardboard box? Pure luxury! All I had was dirt.

          Dirt? You were spoiled. Tarmac!

    6. We all know « young people » don’t watch Netflix and the x-number of episodes per the x-number of seasons.

      Appalling comments by F1 board, faking every lie so we swallow that pill.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        14th May 2021, 12:56

        Quite a few young people, including myself, do watch long series and lots of episodes at once. However, unless we’re with other people, we’re normally doing it along with something else. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ll normally be watching old F1 races/watching TV series/listening to music while doing something else (usually video games tbh).

    7. I thought the race highlights in 5 minutes would tick all the boxes for the tic tok generation?

      1. I think the youngsters might also like a ball to be involved somehow in the racing.

      2. The tik tok generation are all online monetarising their reaction streams whilst they binge watch Drive to Survive or the full races, as a break from spending 8 hours solid on Call of Duty. Gotta find ways to pay for their F1 subs.

    8. In the end so called hard core fans will follow F1 what ever happens. Yes some may and will leave after time but if F1 wants to grow and be the pinnacle of motorsport it needs more casual fans. For that sprint races or qualifyings or whatever they are called are a perfect fit.

      Whatever happens Verstappen, Norris, Leclerc, Schumacher, Russell will be fighting for the championship in a sport that is called F1. No one will know will the races be 2h, 1h, 4x 30min but in the end it will be the best team/best driver who will win.

      I hope that they will keep sunday race as it is but I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future we would have 4 30min races.

    9. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 12:53

      This is a very good point, and I definitely enjoy championships with both shorter and longer formats (FE and GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Rounds for the shorter ones, and WEC and GTWCE Endurance Rounds for the longer ones).

      But they aren’t F1. FOM aren’t making any money off of those championships. It’s natural that a company is going to do what is best for it’s finances, and they have likely studied the data from those other championships and are willing to experiment. I’ll withhold judgement until after the trial.

  2. You know what a younger demographic really does not accept?
    Paying for television service.

    1. True that, and rightly so. The monetization of our attention has developed to the point where they should be paying us to watch.

    2. @mrboerns

      Netflix and Amazon beg to differ?

      1. Netflix and Amazon are cheap, and have lots of varied content. F1 in the UK is around £40 a month to watch.

        1. Just under £34 per month. Not cheap.

        2. I agree, F1 is too expensive to watch live in the UK. Sky’s coverage is very good but not worth the amount it costs. Even when they do discounts for the F1 package, it’s still too expensive.

          Back when Hamilton was winning his first world title in 2008, ~9 million people were watching live in the UK. Now Sky are happy about their highest ever viewing figures for F1 ~2 million, with the years between being closer to 1 million. Thats a massive drop off, with the majority of fans not willing to pay.

    3. @mrboerns, That’s right, and because this is a new/extra product I expect that it will not be covered by the exclusive rights already contracted to payTV broadcasters therefore FOM can distribute it FTA or youtube etc. I live in hope and expect the no-stop format to be superior entertainment, chess is ok but does not make for great TV, races won by tactical tyre wear are more chess like.

      1. NeverElectric
        14th May 2021, 2:44

        I think F1 will eventually end up on a platform like Netflix / Amazon / Facebook / Google-Youtube anyway, as will most sports events in future.
        Those tech giants have the money and monetisation tools needed to offer such events as part of their streaming services, much like is the case in New Zealand (where SparkSport, a streaming service akin to Netflix and owned by a telco giant, has exclusive F1 and cricket broadcast rights).

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          14th May 2021, 13:09

          I agree with you here and expect that it will not be long until F1 starts handing out rights deals to streaming services. They have already reportedly been in talks with Amazon and of course DTS airs on Netflix, so they clearly see potential in that market. I expect the first step would likely be offering F1TV as an add-on channel on Amazon Prime or similar (like they have with Eurosport player already), although Amazon (or others) themselves getting full rights wouldn’t be too surprising.

      2. RandomMallard (@)
        14th May 2021, 13:01

        I expect that at least for this season, SQ will not be on FTA (for the UK) for 2 of the 3 races. I expect Sky’s contract probably has some kind of provision that grants it exclusive rights to FP1/2/3, Quali, the race, and probably something along the lines of ‘any further track action involving F1 cars’ or something to that extent.

        However, the first SQ weekend will be the one weekend where UK viewers can catch all sessions FTA on C4, so you may be in luck for 1/3 of them.

    4. I think that if a platform offers solid coverage, and a reasonable price, people will pay for that if they can afford to.

    5. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 7:11

      Well 1 of the Sprint Qualifying sessions this season is on the only weekend where UK viewers get live FTA coverage. Whether that is the reason for holding a SQ at Silverstone or a consequence of it remains to be seen.

    6. @mrboerns exactly. It’s a rather tone deaf comment from Brawn – it’s not that young people don’t want to watch a full grand prix, it’s that they can’t unless their parents already pay a ton of money for Sky sports.

      I got into F1 in a major way when I was 8 years old. Lots of children are perfectly capable of watching a full race and enjoying and understanding it. It’s this degrading idea that “young” people all have ADHD or something – I find it very reductive. I’m now 35, anyway.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        14th May 2021, 8:05

        Well I don’t see what Ross Brawn could do about this. He didn’t sign the deal. Nor did Liberty. Bernie signed the contract to increase F1’s value before he sold it. The contract runs until 2023 and it would cost Liberty FAR too much money to break it. And then it needs other parties to be interested to take on the contract other than Sky. The BBC didn’t want to keep paying for it, and I think it was a similar situation for RTL in Germany.

        I think it could be a good idea that the first SQ session is being held on the 1 weekend UK fans get live FTA coverage of all sessions, as it could give a better understanding of engagement (it could also go completely the other way, but there are 2 SQ sessions locked behind a paywall so that could easily be redeemed)

    7. You’re completely right there. I’m 16 years old and I’ve never seen a full grand prix simply because my parents don’t want to spend money on it and I can’t afford it myself. So it doesn’t matter if a race is 2 hours or 30 minutes if I (and probably a lot of other young people too in my situation) can’t watch it.

  3. I must admit that I am disappointed by Ross Brawn’s opinion on this matter. I would hope that he wouldn’t cave to the lowest common denominator attention span, because that is not what F1 (or sport, really) is about. Kinda shameful, to be honest. It’s sound’s a bit like something Bernie would say.

    1. @ferrox-glideh

      This may be borne out of necessity. When the T20 format was introduced in cricket around 15 years ago, the purists, media and fan decried as an abomination alike. I didn’t like it, and still don’t. There is nothing like a test match, but, having said this, I recognise that T20 essentially saved cricket. We are still watching test cricket thanks to T20.

      The amount of money that has poured in the game is significantly attributed to the rise of the IPL.

      I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to most things. As I said, T20 isn’t my cup of tea, its importance cannot be discounted. Although, where F1 differs from cricket is that the latter offers various formats of the game, hence one can pick a choose, with the former, the format is THE format.

      I’m going with an Open mind, but nothing beats a good qualy session.

      1. @jaymenon10, @ferrox-glideh, However in F1 the original format was mainly a non-stop flag to flag race, stops were allowed for a myriad of reasons from changing spark plugs to changing drivers but were never mandated or encouraged.

        1. ColdFly (@)
          14th May 2021, 6:42

          Stops were never mandated or encouraged, and I doubt they initially wanted to reset race gaps and gift full laps after just the smallest incident just for the show.

      2. @jaymenon10 I look at it the other way. To me twenty20 (the abomination) destroyed test cricket because the powers that be were conned by tv broadcasters into saturating the air waves with this crap because they saw it as a way to maximise their monetisation not the sports.

        I no longer watch cricket – twenty20 has ruined any test cricket skills in most players so it’s hardly worth looking at, and the “short form” deluge is just backyard cricket at best. No skills on display, just bash and crash.

        Ross has pretty much said that they’re going to do the same to F1 to “save” it so I don’t expect that I’ll be watching any of that soon either.

        1. @dbradock

          I remember watching an interview with Harsha Bhogle not too long ago talking about this. He explained that due to the economics of sport, with out the advent of T20, Test Cricket may have disappeared all together. You have to admit, rightly or wrongly so, T20 did increase general interest in cricket, it made a bit more fashionable etc. These things dont matter to me, I just enjoy the game, but due to the world we live in, these things are occupational hazards.

          With regards to diminishing skills, I am with a 100%. Nothing quite like the entire Aussie attack vs Rahul Dravid. haha

      3. I agree but T20 sits alongside the other formats. This in F1 is interfering with the real deal. And T20 brought cricket to about the same time span as a grand prix! Surely 2 hours is not that long. If we must have a shorter format, I’d rather a sprint race dedicated to giving reserve drivers experience independent of the top-tier F1 event.

      4. T20 is so much better and entertaining than a 5 day test. It’s like watching someone play checkers for 5 days. I get that some oldies still like checkers. But society elvolves, and sports do too. The F1 format has changed too with drs and added safety. A lot of conservatives have held up F1, bring on the sprint races!

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          14th May 2021, 9:13

          It’s much the same as the proposals with F1 – if you don’t really understand cricket, you’ll prefer T20 because it’s much more simple and immediate. If you don’t understand F1, you’ll most likely prefer a short sprint race rather than an intriguing strategic battle over 2 hours.

          Where I think they’ll struggle with F1 is that a sprint race won’t work in the same way as T20. In T20, batters are less worried about getting out so they play a much more aggressive game and it really changes the way the sport is played. A shorter race isn’t going to change much. Drivers aren’t suddenly going to drive much more aggressively and not worry about crashing – they’ll do exactly what they do in a longer race but for a shorter amount of time.

          1. Where I think they’ll struggle with F1 is that a sprint race won’t work in the same way as T20. In T20, batters are less worried about getting out so they play a much more aggressive game and it really changes the way the sport is played. A shorter race isn’t going to change much. Drivers aren’t suddenly going to drive much more aggressively and not worry about crashing – they’ll do exactly what they do in a longer race but for a shorter amount of time.

            This, even less aggressive I would say as the bulk of the prizes are handed out on Sunday and a crash in the Quali Sprint would ruin Sundays starting position. The teams know how to balance risk and reward. Is that 1 place higher up the grid worth the risk of starting at the back?

      5. The comparison with cricket is a good one! And I do agree with you that the shortest format actually saved the longer format as it brought in more viewers and provided a differentiated product. (Ironically, the loser has probably been the 50-over format in cricket which is now neither here nor there).

        But where F1 differs from cricket is that cricket doesn’t have just 1 championship throughout the year. Cricket teams can optimise focus on select formats / tournaments and excel in them. In F1, there is only one championship and 100% of the points towards that come from a single format – a 2 hour Sunday race. Everything that happens before that is just prep for that.

        Addition of a format and giving it points is a good thing where F1 finally diversifies from its one (and only) core product. Hopefully, we see more experimentation and more points being awarded to such alternate format. This will only add to some innovation and bring in new crowds. Of course, the legacy 2-hour Sunday race should not be touched (like test cricket).

        I see F1 going the cricket way. The addition of other formats will actually enhance the value of the 2 hour format while we will see some chopping and churning among the experimented formats.

        Netflix has shown that change is good. Let us not unlearn those lessons.

    2. Ross Brawn has only ever cared about one thing and that is Ross Brawn’s wallet. He has always done whatever it takes. He is essentially Bernie. Except Bernie wasn’t a cheat when he operated a team.

  4. @Keith,
    Ferrari indeed might have missed the 1st World Championship race but F1 as a sport actually predates the World Championship by a few years. The first race under F1 rules took place in 1946 as the Turin Grand Prix. And Ferrari actually missed that race too!
    Having fallen out with Alfa Romeo (in pre-WW2 Grand Prix years Scuderia Ferrari being practically the official Alfa Romeo racing team), it took Ferrari until 1948 to join F1 with the first in-house designed car, the 125 F1, also at the Turin Grand Prix the birthplace of F1 just two years late.

  5. Well well well. Finally Ross admits that they’re looking to replace F1 races with shorter ones to cater for the “young people” who don’t have an attention span.

    And there are those Ross apologists that said we were being overly dramatic by suggesting that the “qualifying race” gimmick was just the thin edge of the wedge.

    F1 as we know it, or F1 races as we know it, will be very very different in the next couple of years. Hopefully they’ll at least keep a few “endurance” format weekends just for us old people but I’m not even confident they’ll bother in their endless pursuit for young people.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 7:25

      Well Bernie tried his best to stay away from younger fans by signing pay TV deals and not engaging with social media, so they need to try something to gain them back. So far they are doing a good job, but whether Sprint races were the correct next step remains to be seen.

      You see, due to a process known as aging, there eventually comes a point where older F1 fans can’t watch F1 anymore. With F1’s age demographics currently quite a bit older than other sports’ (no matter what Florentino Perez tries to tell you), F1 needs to get younger fans engaged for purposes of longevity. As someone else mentioned above, this could be similar to T20 in Cricket. Without the new format, the sport risked fading into obscurity as its fanbase grew older, but the new format seems to have successfully engaged many younger viewers (I don’t like cricket so can’t talk personally, but it seems to have worked well, despite a barrage of criticism when introduced). Like I’ve said throughout, I am happy for them to trial these races and reserve my judgement until after all 3.

      I don’t see anywhere that suggests Ross Brawn is trying to replace F1 races with shorter ones, quite the opposite, saying they want to find a combination, which, if the trial is successful, would likely compose of a SQ on Saturday and a normal race on Sunday. But for goodness sake if that is the case going forward, move regular Quali to Saturday morning so casual fans can still watch it.

      1. What a condescending bit of rubbish. Amazing how whenever an article about Brawn appears, we get a bunch or random new contributors that spout on about how wonderful Liberty/Brawn are and how evil Bernie was.

        1. They are both evil.

          BTW @dbradock – can you please show where Ross actually said they are interested in “replacing F1 races with shorter ones”?

        2. @dbradock On this issue you are the overly dramatic one, condescending towards Brawn. Your baseless comments are way over the top and way out of line. I await your answer to S’s question.

          1. If you two can’t recognise a shift in language from Ross that is that blatant the you’re truly missing the message @robbie and @s

            Just to be clear – it’s moved from “we wanted to see of we could make qualifying more exciting” to “things change and young people don’t necessarily want to watch for 2 hours on a Sunday” is a huge indication of where they want to take things.

            If you can’t see that as intent more pity you.

            F1 is going to change and Ross is driving it. I never trusted him when he was in charge of Ferrari and see no reason to now.

            That’s how he sees it as being best for Liberty – not really a problem as far as I see it – I’ll just cancel my subscription as soon as it does.

          2. @dbradock As I say nothing is going to change for Sundays, and to me making qualifying more exciting, in this case via Sprint Qualifying, is absolutely fine, especially if it brings more youth into the sport and they become life-long fans. I think you are giving Brawn way more power over this than he has. The teams have to be on board as well, and Brawn is unlikely doing anything he and many others, along with Liberty, haven’t discussed ad infinitum. I think it is you that is reading way more into the message than it is us missing the message. The message is teams better balanced financially, money distribution better balanced, cars able to race more closely, and thus a sustainable F1. How you can erase all that good, and decide that something relatively small potatoes like Sprint Qualifying is the death knell, is beyond me. It makes no sense whatsoever.

        3. RandomMallard (@)
          14th May 2021, 13:23

          Firstly, I do apologize for coming across a little bit condescending. I had only just woken up and was not in the best of moods, and some of my comments do, looking back, seem a little wrong and condescending.

          And yes, I agree with S here. I got no indication that Brawn was suggesting ‘replacing’ the Sunday race. That was however, an idea proposed by Bernie! It was one of the last major proposals he put forward, and it does look like it may have partly inspired Liberty’s SQ attempts (and while I am indifferent on the current format proposed, I definitely feel it is a better alternative than Bernie’s proposal).

          I think it is quite obvious that I was not really a fan of Bernie. However, while I don’t dislike Liberty as much, I am getting slightly more concerned at the approach they are now taking. The turning point for me will be how they react to the SQ sessions. If they don’t go to plan, and they accept that and cancel any further attempts to push forward, then I will respect them for that. But if they are a failure and they continue to promote the idea, then I will probably look on Liberty quite a bit differently.

          1. @randommallard I hadn’t read those quotes from BE, lol, and I have utter confidence that Brawn, Liberty, and the teams will be leaving Sunday races alone. Brawn has only ever said that, and I very highly doubt the teams would accept anything other than the races on Sundays being as they always have.

          2. RandomMallard (@)
            14th May 2021, 14:56

            Yeah I agree with you @robbie. I’ve put elsewhere on this thread (I can’t remember exactly) but I don’t think Liberty dare to touch the race format itself. I don’t think the teams would be very happy if they changed it either

  6. Young people (anyone under 50 years of age, but not all) have no sense of history or tradition and are not likely to watch F1 no matter the length of time. Things develop over the length of a long race that affect the results of the race. It is like me trying to explain American baseball to a Brit, or a Brit trying to explain cricket to me. The results are called strategy I believe.

    1. People have a sense of history that they experience. I started watching in early 90s, and don’t see anything too historic about how F1 racing has been. Don’t be scared of change, it often leads to better things.

    2. I think the short attention span thing is a cop out and a justification for finding any way to line his pockets. It takes more attention to follow the too long season than one 1.5 hour race.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        14th May 2021, 6:53

        If the ‘owners’ are not allowed to make money, then what should their objective be?
        Maybe concerned fans should start a not-for-profit to safeguard the historic F1 racing.
        I might join for sentimental reasons, but it won’t stop me to go on the development journey with commercial F1. I don’t agree with all changes, but am overall glad that my preferred sport evolves.

      2. RandomMallard (@)
        14th May 2021, 13:38

        I don’t think the season is necessarily too long from a fan’s perspective. Many young football fans (myself included) will happily follow a 38/46 game season with European and cup competitions on the side, and that’s before you even mention International football. I expect there’s probably all kinds of psychology research into short term (90-ish minutes) vs long term (~9 months) attention spans.

        However I can see the problem from a team’s perspective. F1 isn’t like other sports in the way that F1 is always moving around the world, and that must surely be difficult for team member’s and their families. I think the current calendar is about the right length, although anything over ~25 races should be avoided imo.

  7. Young people who dont want 2 hour races know nothing about F1 races… you need at least the 300km lenght to design, apply or develop an strategy and expect it to deliver, if you can´t follow the strategy battles in a F1 race you are watching the wrong sport

    1. Who are these young people? I can’t be alone in having started watching F1 as a child. Why are people so predisposed to think children have no attention span? Many of them do.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        14th May 2021, 8:00

        Firstly I meant to reply not report.

        Secondly, the circumstances around young fan engagement were different back then. Bernie tried his very best in his latter years to inadvertently decrease young fan engagement, by signing Pay TV deals and not using social media. Liberty have done very well so far at changing that (I believe F1 is now the fastest growing sport on social media). However, we will have to see what effect Sprint Qualifying has on this, whether it is for better of for worse.

        On a different note, is @keithcollantine planning on running a Rate the Sprint Qualifying poll? I mean the name isn’t as catchy but under no circumstances must it interfere with the main rate the race poll because that format is tried and tested for many years and is perfect and it would mean I would never vote on a rate the race poll ever again in my life ever. (Sarcasm filter off)

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 7:35

      And that’s the problem: not enough young people do know much about F1 races. Bernie seemed to inadvertently try his best to make sure no young fans joined during the latter years of his tenure with the lack of social media and the Pay TV deals. Liberty seem to be doing a good job of recouping some of those losses, although whether Sprint races where the correct “next step” remains to be seen.

      I can’t be sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if what Brawn is saying is being slightly misunderstood. I think what he may be trying to say is if the younger potential fans tune in to the Sprint Qualifying on Saturday, see it’s shorter and give it a try, they are probably more likely to watch the main race on Sunday and enjoy that. Certainly more likely to watch again than if their first experience was 20 cars trundling around Sochi for an hour and a half two weeks beforehand.

      1. @randommallard although thoroughly disliked by many, the move to pay tv is hardly unique to F1 – not least because a number of those media companies are using the hook of exclusive access to a particular sport to maintain an audience in the face of rising competition from online subscription services.

        In this case, if Brawn is hoping that potential younger fans may tune in to the “sprint qualifying” session, it does beg one question – how many of those potential younger fans will have access to watch in the first place? The hope might be to appeal to a new audience, but in practice it probably won’t be available to most of that new audience the sport might be trying to tap into.

        1. Not to mention the fact that pretty much every person I know under 60 subscribes to at least 1 streaming or media service, most of them to multiples.

          For mine the Pay TV issue is a bit of a myth – sure the sporting services are overcharging but that’s what they gauge the market can handle.

          The other thing is that once you’ve got a service, whether it be for F1 (and I doubt there’d be many that subscribe just for that) or football, you have access to a wide range of sports – the problem has not been pay TV, it’s been encouraging people to watch F1 instead of something else be it another sport or something else entirely at the time that it’s on.

          So how do TV companies attract fans to a particular sport? Well generally they don’t for anything other than whatever the most popular sports are in any country. Maybe that’s where they should be looking – how about getting Sky, Fox etc to spend more time advertising F1 to its subscribers.

          1. @dbradock I disagree with that. Pay tv is definitely an issue that is causing a significant decline in viewership, and hence revenues for F1 and its teams. A few years ago when the switch started I was looking into paying for a sky subscription so I could continue watching every race live, as I had always done. The cost would have been something like £800 per year, because you have to buy a standard package and all the sports channels just to get access to the F1 channel.

            I couldn’t justify that amount of money for just one hobby, even if it’s an important one for me. I’m sure if I’d bit the bullet and paid then I would have watched a few of the other channels casually, but that wasn’t enough to make me commit to it. Bear in mind I was (am) a hardcore existing F1 fan with a decent paying job, and pay tv was still too big a barrier to keep me watching live. I can’t imagine many people without a history of watching F1 signing up, unless perhaps they had all the pre-requisite channels in their package already and so the additional cost was much lower for them.

            F1 TV is maybe aiming to plug that gap for people who only want F1 coverage, but from reviews I’ve seen it’s still a poor product with a lot of issues to sort out. If one of the big streaming outlets adds F1 to their existing service, such as Amazon prime did with tennis, then that would be a much better value deal and less of a barrier to entry, but as it stands now their are not really any good quality options which provide reasonable value for money to watch live F1.

  8. Agag sounds a bit desperate for that merger saying F1 needs to go in that direction. Not really. For as good as electric is, it doesn’t mean there won’t be something more sustainable appearing in the next 20 years (although synthetic fuel from waste is probably not it.)

    Also that headline is a bit sketch. F1 chiefs back merger? Big difference between sharing a race weekend and a merge.

  9. If they want to experiment, I’d like to see at least one race in which they are given a tire that they can push to the limit for 100% of the race. What is there to lose? Worst case scenario, it doesn’t produce great racing. Best case, we see drivers and cars pushed to the limit with some surprises in who excels and who struggles

    That would be fun and fascinating to see. They had compounds like that from Goodyear and Pirelli in the late 80s and early 90s with fantastic on track action. I doubt creating an extremely durable tire would be a challenge for Pirelli.

    1. Too bad F1 has such silly fuel restrictions now that also prevent them from driving that hard for so long.

      1. Most of the races are not fuel limited as it is, and I haven’t heard if there will be a fuel restriction for the sprint qualifying so I assume it is the same. The teams under-fuel the cars because it is faster to run on low fuel and do some fuel saving during the race than to fill the tank and run flat out.

        1. Exactly – they can’t refuel, so they have to carry it all. They try to carry as little as possible because it is mass, so can’t push 100% for an entire race due to fuel.
          They are also not allowed to exceed a specified fuel flow rate for short term gain, as was possible in the past (albeit increasing the risk of engine failure).

          Nick T’s post asks for a race run 100% flat out. But it won’t be happening due to tyres OR FUEL.

    2. Three compounds and you chose how you use them. If you want to run with no pitstops on the hards then do it. If you want 3 stops on soft then fine. If you want hards on the corner of the car that takes a beating then do that and run the rest medium. I don’t like all these artificial tyre rules.

    3. ColdFly (@)
      14th May 2021, 6:57

      I agree @Nick T.,
      And Sprint Qualifying could be a perfect opportunity to test this. Just mandate the tyre which can be ‘abused’ for 100km.

  10. BTW, that’s not a bunker with its own race tracks. It’s parking garage with race curbs. Maybe a track for a kart.

  11. As if all the old people watching F1 didn’t start when they were young. Same with football or any sports.

    I don’t believe there is much research gone into this and probably just prejudice from old people.

    1. +100000000

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 7:41

      Yeah the current set of older fans got into it when they were younger because there were different circumstances at play. Bernie seemed to try his best to stop younger fans from getting into the sport by putting everything behind a pay wall and not engaging with social media. Liberty have so far been doing quite a good job with recouping those losses (F1 is now the fastest growing sport on social media I believe), although we can’t yet be sure if Spribt Qualifying was the right “next step” for them.

      The difference with football is that young people can actively engage in playing it without having to spend a fortune, unlike motorsport. And with F1 locked behind a pay wall in many countries (many of which were contracts signed by Bernie not Liberty), they need to experiment with new ways to try and increase young fan engagement.

    3. @balue
      They want to attract those young spoiled tiktok brats who brag about spending loads of money IPhones, games… They want some of that action too.

  12. This is the wrong approach. Everyone in the world watches football every weekend. From start to finish including halftime it’s almost 2 hours overall. Like a F1 race. And you don’t see FIFA aiming for a short match.

    What makes something interesting to watch is the spectacle and excitement. It can be long or short but if something’s boring it’s not going to change. F1 needs a closer field, not shorter races.

    Take last Sunday for instance. Had it been a shorter race, we’d have had Max leading Hamilton all the way during 100 Kms and nothing would’ve happened at all. Is that worth watching? Would that make it better than the full race? Of course not…

    Ross brawn has been a major let down ever since he joined. Every decision he’s made, from bonus points to sprint races, are really not what I expected from someone like him

    1. Right. If it is compelling to watch then the time is meaningless. They are not dealing with the fact that it is not compelling and instead dealing with shortening the boredom and thinking that will bring in the youth.

    2. Ross brawn has been a major let down ever since he joined

      I don’t know what people are excepting from him though. He works for the shareholders who want to draw attention to the sport by any means even at the expense of its long term future. They just need someone technical to introduce the gimmicks.

      1. ** Sorry for the wrong Quote tag

    3. @fer-no65 Yes football is really the best comparison as it’s the same length like you say, plus not many overtakes / goals. Still adored by youngsters all over.

      My 11-year old and his mates can do computer games for hours on end. Before it was mundane building in Minecraft (that even I despaired of), now it’s riding a horse around endlessly in Red Dead Redemption 2. If people his age group have this power of concentration and patience, I don’t see how that would change when they are teens and might discover F1. My 13- yo. nephew has discovered it already, but that’s because he prefers driving games. My general impression is that they like when the experience is honest and realistic. No gimmicky games. Fortnite didn’t last long for example.

  13. seriously?? give the babies what they want ?? And we wonder how we have landed with this micro-aggression crap…

    if you cannot spare 2 hrs for a sport you love, twice a month may be… please take a hike…

    didn’t expect this from RB.. :(

    hope i didn’t trigger someone with this …. lol

    1. ColdFly (@)
      14th May 2021, 7:03

      And we wonder how we have landed with this micro-aggression crap…

      I wonder what IS ‘micro-aggression’.

      Maybe Toto’s fist-bouncing of his keyboard ;)

    2. Zach (@zakspeedf1team)
      14th May 2021, 7:11

      Notice that Ross Brawn, who is 66, is the driving force behind the sprint races, not a “young person”. But keep believing whatever you want to believe I guess.

    3. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 7:46

      It’s not about spending 2 hours twice a month to watch a sport you love, it’s about trying to get younger fans who currently don’t love the sport to get into it. A young person is much more likely to watch the main race if they’ve enjoyed a shorter, less complicated (not pitstops etc) race the day before than if they happened to watch 20 cars circulate Sochi for 1.5 hours 2 weeks beforehand.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        14th May 2021, 8:04

        And finally reason speaks rather than emotion, @randommallard

        It seems that most comments on this page are by people with short attention spans who don’t take the time to read beyond a headline and share their instinctive emotional views.
        Maybe F1 keeps the old fans young at mind ;)

        1. So your comment about the attention span of commenters here is not driven by an emotional response?

          1. No @ferrox-glideh,
            I carefully read and pondered @randommallard‘s reasoned comment and compared that to the other comments available at the time of writing my response.
            Based on my statistical analysis of all these comments I came to the conclusion as shared in my reply above.

            Of course it is only a hypothesis that it is due the ‘attention span’ or something else that most comments seem to be based on the title only rather than the full detail of Ross’ quotes.
            Further research might be needed to prove or disprove this hypothesis.

        2. So you derived no emotional pleasure in insulting the commenters whose analysis you found lacking? I am afraid you may be missing out on one of the great joys in life.

          1. I do have this weird emotional high when people miss the sarcasm in some of my comments.
            Only therefore I will never include emoticon cues or similar clues.

          2. @coldfly “I wonder what IS ‘micro-aggression’” lol!

  14. The idea that young people has been dispelled long ago, by the very people who now propose short races, the TV companies. Just look at the number of channels where you can watch a whole series in one long session.
    No doubt they are looking to the day when they can charge per race and F1 will have followed F3 with three races per w/emd.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 7:53

      Very few channels. But what you do find is an enormous number of streaming services where you can watch a whole series in one go. But unless young people are with friends/family (I can speak from experience), they are usually doing something else while that series is on the background (video games etc)

  15. Zach (@zakspeedf1team)
    14th May 2021, 7:09

    I’m tired of boomers blaming us “young people” for all of their crappy ideas.

  16. Young people can’t afford to watch F1 anymore, especially in the UK.

  17. Yeah, but they watch 2 hours of football or 4 hours of NFL or NASCAR? Sure, the problem has to be the length… (if there is a problem)

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 7:50

      The difference with football is that young people can actively engage in playing it without having to spend a fortune, unlike F1. Same with NFL.

      And Nascar? The one that has a safety car after a certain, predetermined number of laps to shorten the race into 3 shorter ones, awarding some albeit fewer point at the end if the first two. Yeah that seems to have worked well for young viewer engagement as you suggest. Maybe F1 should try these shorter races…

      1. @randommallard has it really worked as you claim?

        There are quite a few fans who complain that NASCAR’s overuse of unnecessary yellow flags to bunch the field back up often ends up making the races unnecessarily lengthy, and that having “a safety car after a certain, predetermined number of laps to shorten the race into 3 shorter ones” is actually compounding that issue, rather than making it better.

        Equally, has it actually increased engagement with younger viewers? There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of evidence for that – if anything, it looks like the opposite has happened. Whilst the viewing figures are starting to steady a bit, the number of younger viewers, both in absolute terms and percentage of the audience, appears to have dropped slightly – from 23% to 19% – during that period, suggesting that it’s not really helped draw in younger fans.

        1. Sarcasm isn’t always easy to spot in comments but I think he was making the same point as you are. NASCAR has serious viewer issues across the board and these fake ‘shorter races’ definitely haven’t increased young viewership.

          1. @mysticarl I don’t think it was sarcasm. Check his other comments in the thread.

          2. RandomMallard (@)
            14th May 2021, 12:16

            @keithedin it was mainly sarcasm.

            My points in the rest of the thread is that we haven’t yet seen how these races are going to pan out. Let’s wait until we actually have some data and information on them before we rush to judgements.

          3. RandomMallard (@)
            14th May 2021, 13:58

            @mysticarl I should have made my sarcasm more apparent. Thank you.

            NASCAR’s viewing figures are a very interesting phenomenon. No doubt they are down on what they were in the 1990s when Indy couldn’t decide who should have been in charge, but even with a unified Indycar, it is still the dominant motorsport in terms of viewing figures. They seem to be in a similar situation as F1 in that they are trying different formats (staged racing, the playoffs etc) and meeting a barrage of criticism from the purists and traditionalists. To be honest I’m not sure format changes are the only reason NASCAR’s figures are slowly declining.

        2. ANON, It sure as hell didn’t work for this boomer !

      2. @randommallard My understanding of the 3 stages of NASCAR races is that it is meant to incentivize more racing within the race, rather than having drivers/teams settle in for the duration until the end with a four hour plan. The points offered give more reason to be going for it more mid-race. It’s not about shorter races, just stages of a race that is still just as long if not a bit longer as anon suggests.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          14th May 2021, 12:36

          And I feel that is what F1 is trying to do here. They are replacing a practice session with a race, and awarding a few, but nowhere near as many, points for it. I don’t think F1 is trying to make the main races shorter (even this FOM administration isn’t that stupid), I think they just want there to be more actual racing and less trundling around on practice laps.

          Whether it is successful or not, as I have said many times on these sprint races, I am happy to reserve my judgement until after they’ve been trialled.

          1. @randommallard For sure we shall see and for me all along I have just had so much respect for Liberty and Brawn and the teams in tackling all the key aspects that vitally needed addressing, that them experimenting for a potentially more exciting way to qualify, and by then also making Friday a more key day of the weekend, I am full of patience for that trial. I think they’ve earned the right to take their entity and see what they can do with it, all the while them knowing they can’t stray too far from the DNA for the base fandom, all the while knowing the teams would not agree anyway.

  18. Things change and young people don’t necessarily want to watch two hours of racing on a Sunday afternoon

    I never thought I would hear Ross Brawn speak such nonsense

  19. I am not totally against the idea of a sprint-qualifying race; actually willing to give it a chance before giving a judgement, however this reasoning from Brown left me really disappointed. Is he saying that the sprint race is not for the older generation? Is he admitting that is is all a gimmick after all?

    While we re at it; why dont we have cars in different shapes and colours like Super-Mario? They could drop bananas and all sorts of stuff to defend from their opponents (much better that DRS is’nt it?). They can also litter the track with funny obstacles. Ohhh I m sure my 5 year old would love that !!

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 13:42

      @barkun this is not meant to be a personal attack of any sorts, so please don’t take it the wrong way, but it does make me chuckle how you get some fans who say the cars are too similar and others saying the cars being different would be too much like super mario (I do understand that they are completely different ideas, it just shows how easily the fanbase can get riled up when something is taken out of context).

  20. Rather condescending and at odds with reality.

  21. Three purist in me hates the idea of gimmick of sprint races

    But I can’t help but feel i am going to find it entertaining still

  22. I have been watching F1 since James Hunt became champion, and I have no issue whatsoever with sprint qualifying at all, extra race, no complaints. My issue is that it should not impact the point scoring for the championship, after all – we dont award points for qualifying currently so why should that change?

    Maybe give them the medals that Bernie was so keen on for the top three, but certainly no championship points.

  23. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    14th May 2021, 8:46

    Why would ‘young’ people just watch a qualifying race that means very little (in terms of points). I know he has to tow the party line but Liberty’s obsession with more and more and more, quantity over quality concerns me.

  24. They need to get rid of the pay walls around F1 if you really care about viewing figures. Long-term it’s detrimental to any sport to limit the viewership of it.

    Just look at Cricket and Golf, and other sports that are in participational decline – it’s not just because they take time and/or money to play, it’s because the younger generation aren’t exposed to it in the same volume as they were 20 years ago. F1 and motorsport in general will go the same way if the pinnacle of them is hidden away for the majority. I’m not sure I’d be into F1 now if I hadn’t watched it as a kid and I definitely wouldn’t have had sky growing up.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 12:28

      I am still hopeful Liberty will get rid of the paywall where possible. I can only really speak about the UK paywall as that’s where I’m from, and I know the contract with Sky was signed by Bernie in his final year in charge and runs until the end of 2023. There are 2 problems with this going:

      1. It requires other parties to be interested in the rights. The BBC gave up midway through their contract and I *think* the current situation in Germany was RTL (the FTA broadcaster) choosing not to renew it’s contract more than F1 choosing Sky exclusivity.

      2. It makes Liberty an enormous amount of money. What I’ve heard is that the Sky deal (and I don’t know whether this is Sky across several countries but *think* it is just the UK) makes up 1/3 of FOM’s TV revenues. That would be a big hit if they got rid of it.

  25. ian dearing
    14th May 2021, 9:01

    Since F1 opened up its content to social media we have a plethora of sites run by younger fans, and they show no desire for short races or any of the other gimmicks being proposed by those who are tasked with getting the F1 share price as high as possible for short term gain.
    And these guys regularly attract tens of thousands of views to their uploads. In some cases exceeding 100,000 views. And on one such site, in excess of 500,000 views. They are no less knowledgeable than the older fans and share the same concerns. We are being spun a nonsense.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 12:30

      This isn’t about younger fans who are interested in the sport, it’s about younger potential fans that aren’t currently interested in the sport. F1 clearly believe they would be more likely to follow the sport if they saw a short, less complicated race the day before the main one than if their first exposure to the sport had been 1.5 hours of Sochi 2 weeks beforehand.

  26. Re Sprint Qualifying: As I said before on the poll article: “Doesn’t”.
    Re Conor Daly: Bypass allowed XD

  27. RocketTankski
    14th May 2021, 9:29

    In video games it is often a 3 lap race, so just go with that. Replace qualifying with a dance challenge mini-game. The driver with least Likes has to wear a squirrel costume. It’ll be great.

  28. I wholeheartedly disagree with Brawn.
    And the premise absolutely disgusts me. First the FIA destroys the sprint racing part of F1 by artificially introducing the worst parts of endurance racing: engine saving, gb saving, tire saving/degradation, and in a smaller respect fuel saving. You get rid of the most unique features of F1, the sound.
    You don’t change the technical regs to what the tracks allow or you adapt/build tracks that emphasize what the cars can do.

    While at the same time WEC has turned into a 6, 12 and 24 hour sprint race.

    And now every person, sort of involved with F1, needs to produce this propaganda that sprint qualifing is the silver bullet, the saving grace of the formula the FIA allowed to be in such a state in the first place…

    It’s a race to the bottom and now they claim idiocracy…

  29. I think this reasoning for sprint races is fallacious. Young fans will watch a football match which with intervals and start ceremonies lasts a couple of hours, and some are even demanding old standing terraces.

    If it is compelling enough, as others have pointed out above, then fans will accumulate and get to understand the real nature of F1. If the FIA/FOM logic were correct then F2 and F3 would be awash with new young fans. It isn’t. The lower series do well enough but to suggest sprint races are the magic bullet for young fans to be attracted is without evidence.

    I suspect they have misunderstood market research on this when younger people have said the ‘going around in circles is boring’ that fewer circulations will be less so (in fact it will be more so because a damaged car in a sprint race is major headache for the real race).

    I, like many older fans, had the opportunity to get close to the action at circuits such as Silverstone and were thrilled by the machinery (I remember looking into a six wheel Tyrell cockpit), the dare devil drivers and their chase for glory. We then became enthralled by the technological race and the strategies on the track.

    Today kids cant get close at all, the pits are ‘sanitised’, the corporate control makes drivers behave like executives, only Brundle seems to try to explain some of the intricacies on live TV, FIA/FOM seem to want to rules, rules, rules and the raw excitement has gone for the casual onlooker. And without that the initial attraction which feeds into the wider understanding and enthusiasm has gone too. Other sports and activities have more immediate impact in the age of instant gratification.

    I fear young feedback on sprint races will be “shorter and still boring” as teams take care of the machinery.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 12:42

      I’m not sure about the age demographics but I can assure you that the junior categories are awash with new fans. All 3 of the F2 races in Bahrain peaked with over 250,000 viewers on Sky Sports F1 in the UK alone, which is 5 times what they were getting just a couple of years ago.

  30. Sounds patronising. Maybe F1 just shouldn’t appeal to the tik tok demographic, and instead appeal to all those young people out there that value care and craft. There are people all over the world like that, they are just not the ones that shout the loudest.

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      14th May 2021, 12:43

      This is exactly it. Older fans were once young and the tried and tested formula was more than enough to entice us. This dumbing down of our historic sport to bring in ‘young’ people is ridiculous. Just the premise alone “A Tik Tok race to decide the order of the adults race.”

      At least get rid of Friday qualifying and start the Tik Tok race in reverse championship order if we want to make gimmicks more interesting.

      Or better yet. Don’t touch a thing and work on the on track product.

  31. I will suggest to the International Olympic Commitee
    to split the Marathon in
    42 x 1km races

    1. I hope each segment is broadcast on YouTube shorts @gosac

    2. Interestingly, introducing Sprint Qualifying brings F1 closer to the Marathon than F1 as we know it today, @gosac.

      Today F1 is like a Marathon where participation (if more than 26 cars) and starting position is determined by running a 1km ‘sprint’.
      The proposal will test if it’s more exciting to determine qualification and starting position based on a 14km qualifying run.

      It’s a bit novel and scary for F1 fans though, even if it’s just a test :P

    3. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 14:59

      I think the better solution for Qualifying would be where Brawn suggested running different formats at each race. Monaco could be a 100m swimming race, 5 drivers at a time, the winners progressing to a super-pole shootout race with the rest decided on times

  32. Its going to be very quiet here on a Friday whilst the majority avoid the qualifying results and wait for the repeat later that evening.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 14:52

      Well they’ve just announced the times for Silverstone and it is very odd. FP1 in the middle of the afternoon followed by normal qualifying at 6pm UK time. I still think the better solution, if they had to push these ideas through, would have been Quali on Saturday morning.

  33. I’m 43 and I can’t. Have VIP tickets whoop whoop

  34. Scotty (@rockonscotty)
    14th May 2021, 11:59

    In order to please the younger crowd, the FIA will pilot a driver assist mechanism that uses a randomly assigned items. The items will be awarded at the end of each sector when the driver crosses a square painted on the track. These items will include banana peels, turtle shells (red and green) and a go fast fungus good for extra battery and extended drs zones. Here we go!

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 13:06

      Don’t forget the blue turtle shells that give the team in last place the right to give the leader a flat tire!

  35. Sergey Martyn
    14th May 2021, 12:32

    Aimed at tik tokers who can’t concentrate on anything that lasts longer than 2-minute video clip.

    1. Opinion on Bayern Munich?

  36. Why do I get a feeling that they are just saying anything that comes to mind to justify these sprint races, because they themselves have no idea what to make of it?

  37. These “young people” are no more likely to watch the Sprints as they are the Grands Prix. Why? It costs too much money.

    I’m not even a “young person” and I’ve given up. I want to watch races but it’s not worth the £40 a month to have Sky. I earn an OK wage but I just can’t justify spending that every month, so I can’t imagine how they expect a student or someone on low income to pay that.

    1. I want to watch races but it’s not worth the £40 a month to have Sky.

      I suggest all to use the marvels of VPN (even some free one) and get an F1Pro subscription, @mattj.
      A lot cheaper and the money goes straight to the pile from which (also) the teams will be paid.

      1. I’m actually watching the Channel 4 highlights. Quite enjoying the lack of David Croft.

  38. The real barrier for attracting new fans isn’t the weekend format or even the quality of the racing, It’s the barrier of PayTV.

    I’m also not sure these sprint races are going to be the best advertisement for F1 if they do end up been as static as I think they may be without some of the elements such as strategy which often help make the GP more interesting/exciting.

  39. I wish they would apply the same logic to baseball games. Or American football. I’m not young but I don’t actually have 4 hours on a weekend to spend watching a sportsball game. (I watch the highlights or the recording with a finger on the ff button.). We need sprint games in some other sports. I have no issue watching a 90 minute f1 race.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th May 2021, 14:50

      That’s why American sports have quarters (apparently, I’m not American but it seems to be something that is always talked about in the UK). It was once used a justification for Bernie to try and split the main race on a Sunday into two separate races of ~40 min. Which is an even worse idea than SQ.

      1. I think thats more to flog food and advertising.

    2. GtisBetter (@)
      14th May 2021, 19:40

      To be fair, A nfl game could be done in 2 hours it it wasn’t for all the commercials.

  40. There is already something for those who don’t want to watch the grand prix in full, It’s called the highlights program.

    Put the 30 minute highlight package they produce for F1TV on a Free platform be it youtube or a FTA broadcaster & that gives the apparent low attention span young viewer something to watch without having to add gimmick races that detract from the full grand prix.

    1. @roger-ayles I wonder why they’re not focussing on that instead of destroying the product in the hope that they’ll attract new fans.

      Surely a few hot “highlights” packages on YouTube, complete with some big crashes will attract the new fans so much better.

      Let’s face it, if it has cars, lasts longer than 2 minutes and doesn’t have a crash it’s just boring and uninteresting.

    2. @roger-ayles Yes this is exactly it.

  41. It makes sense, no matter how much fans might hate it, the younger generation will love it, why? because shorter attention span. Everything now on social media is cut shorting stuff to make the content juicier which is what the younger generation love and there is no moving around it. Youtube shorts, short articles, tik tok videos.

    I believe F1 should strongly hold both formats short and long so that they cater to both types of fans. In the end it’s a win-win situation. In conclusion it will be really tough for F1 to ignore their younger fans.

  42. I think it has been pretty clear that this was the reason for Sprint Qualifying since it was introduced. Although I dislike the system, and would prefer for the format to be left alone, I do think it will have the effect that Ross Brawn wants. I can accept this ‘Sprint Qualifying’ as long as it isn’t taken any further (e.g. awarding full points), but I don’t think it will improve the show in anyway. There are plenty of other series (BTCC, for example) which have shorter races but are more exciting and are a bit gimmicky, so from a personal point of view, I wish these ‘young fans’ would watch those instead, leaving F1 pure. But obviously that doesn’t help F1 in terms of viewing figures.

    Despite being a ‘young fan’ myself, I will admit that I haven’t been too keen on many of the changes over the last few years. F1 becoming more active on social media hasn’t been an improvement at all, as twitter generally brings out the worst in people and I preferred it when F1 stayed away from it. Similarly, a friend recently showed me a YouTube video of memes related to the Emilia-Romagna GP, and I felt disappointed that this kind of thing has now expanded into F1.

    But I am still glad that Bernie is gone. Not least because he recently suggested that the actual Grand Prix should be reversed grid.

  43. NASCAR: Remember when they turned Bristol into a 360 degree total stadium and had people falling off the top of the stands to find a seat. Now they are lucky to reach 50% capacity at any track, let alone Bristol. There’s your NASCAR barometer, along with the mindless breaking of the “real” race into segments which only serves to shorten the actual race. Along with Charlotte and other tracks where they paint the seats to look like fans are there. Disingenuous at best and stupid. Then there’s the fact that NASCAR refuses to use their black flag for flagrant rules breakers. Short races? You folks should stick to playing at your local go-kart track or the putt putt golf course.
    I watched my first F1 race in the early 60’s, Watkins Glen in 1969, Can-Am (the best no rules racing class ever) at Road America , the Indy 500 in 1968.
    I hate to say it, but I think F1 is heading down the same drain as NASCAR.

  44. as always: pure GOLD what you guys are writing on this website

  45. then let them watch formula e rather than tampering with a time-tested system. next year they will argue that a fan boost arrangement increases viewer engagement. we’ve already added a point for fastest lap isn’t that enough changes for a few years?

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