Ferrari’s popularity “still very high” despite slump in F1 survey – Binotto

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto isn’t concerned Formula 1’s recent global fan survey indicated the Scuderia’s popularity has dipped.

In brief

Binotto not concerned Ferrari’s popularity may be dwindling

A survey of over 167,000 fans produced in conjunction with F1 found Ferrari has fallen from its usual position as the most liked team by far to third place. Ferrari ranked third with 18% of fans’ support behind McLaren (29%) and Red Bull (19%).

Asked by RaceFans at the United States Grand Prix whether he was concerned by the development, Binotto said he is confident the teams remains as popular as ever.

“First, we are focussed on performance, that should be the priority,” said Binotto. “But I think popularity as well is important.

“I heard about the results of the survey. I have to say, if I do my own survey today and I look at the grandstands here in Austin there is still a lot of red colours and I’m pretty sure that our popularity around the world is still very high.”

Domenicali pays tribute to Terzi

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali paid tribute to former Williams chief aerodynamicist Antonia Terzi, who died earlier this week following a car accident.

“I am deeply saddened to hear that our friend Antonia has been taken from us far too young,” said Domenicali. “She was an incredibly gifted and talented person who loved what she did and gave everything 100%. My thoughts are with her family and friends at this very sad time.”

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Comment of the day

Ross Brawn’s reaction to the criticism of sprint qualifying races disappointed many readers:

I expected that F1’s senior figures would play with words to promote sprint races, but this is far more disappointing to hear.

Fresh new fans are the lifeblood of any sport, but if you lure them with just cheap gimmicks they’ll leave when a competitor dangles a better carrot. F1 cannot sustain short-term gimmicks forever, it’s inherently a complicated, intricate sport that deserves to be treated with more respect than this. If the new casual fans aren’t already aware of this, they will be with time.

Brawn and co. would of course chase the money, that’s to be expected, but to insult the fans like this is ludicrous.

Happy birthday!

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Author information

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

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13 comments on “Ferrari’s popularity “still very high” despite slump in F1 survey – Binotto”

  1. One thing that irks me a bit regarding F1’s praise of the sprint is how they seem to often draw the conclusion that F1’s increased audience/engagement is because of the sprint when i’d argue it’s probably more down to the fact we have a competitive & compelling championship fight.

    I think back to years past when we had title fights like this & how that always resulted in higher TV audiences & increased overall engagement & interest.

    How many of the more casual fans F1 has apparently attracted & who are apparently largely in love with the sprint will still be watching if 2022 (Or any future season) is less competitive? How many of these new casual fans will follow F1 onto PayTV platforms, Attend GP’s regularly & buy the games & other merchandise? How many will still be watching in 2-3+ years time?

    Looking at attracting new fans is important, But it shouldn’t come at the expense of the longer time fans & it shouldn’t be done in a way that will turn that segment of the fanbase off. Not only because it’s that portion of the fanbase that will have the most engagement, be more willing to sit through periods of dominance or duller races/seasons & spend money on PayTV, Subscriptions, Race attendance & merchandise but also because once you lose them they are usually the hardest to win back (Especially if in the time away they find new stuff to follow).

    1. F1 being attractive to younger fans predates this season however. It has been increasing from a percentage since 2015. You can Google the official PDF of the survey fairly easily and 167,000 is no joke of a sample size.

      I’ve actually look at the survey PDF and the data points are pretty interesting as are comparisons to the surveys done in previous years.

      It’s not just about the increase in engagement either, they’ve actually outright asked in the survey what fans think of sprint improving the show and it indeed more popular (but Brawn wasnt truthful when he said it was the majority – it was 44% which is a plularity and only 6.7% higher than No, the remainder are neutral).

      And these fans aren’t too divorced from the so called “traditional” fan either as the stereotype might suggests. They dislike reverse grid idea, hate tech freezes, hate success ballasts, do not want sprint races at all GPs, want drivers to be allowed to race, etc. And they think there isn’t enough overtaking and competitiveness despite having positive view of the sport in general. (This can be seen in the net percentage numbers in the survey PDF, with younger fans much more represented based in the % numbers)

      It’s not just a age thing either, but more fans are coming up from outside Europe as well (more than in the past), so some of the cultural differences will be as a result of that.

      Some of the changes coming will definitely alienate some of the older fans
      (more sprint being the obvious examples) but if the survey is any indication there are more commonolities than differences among them so the changes they make will likely help keep most people happy, IE growing the future fanbase while keeping the existing ones happy.

      I think all in all, for sport that is sometimes seen as outdated or is a dinosaur, F1 is doing a good job of attracting younger fans, better than most sports even.

      Sports also evolves, every older fan was once young too and will likely have disagreements over the generations before about certain things. That is just life.

      1. @yaru Good comment.

        @roger-ayles It doesn’t irk you a bit it irks you a lot, given the content of the majority of your comments. You accuse F1 of drawing to a conclusion erroneously regarding Sprints and then go on to draw your own conclusion that the new fans being drawn in won’t stick around for a less competitive season. That’s an assumption on your part, but is it not better to at least attract new people and hope they stay? Or better to not draw new people at all?

        What irks me about attitudes such as yours is that you presume a less competitive season next year and project the new fans will quickly fall away, which completely ignores the new cars, the budget caps, and the fairer money distribution all designed so that indeed we have more competitive seasons on average than we have had in the past, including this recent huge run Mercedes has been on.

        All the hard work to right the ship the teams and F1 have been doing since Liberty took over , and you so easily ignore all that because of 3 and 6 Sprints. I’m pretty sure they well know that the main goal is more competitive seasons. Oh I know you can wax poetic with a long list of superficial complaints of graphics, pre-race shows, sponsors etc. Seems to me you’ve hung in for a lot worse in the past in terms of uncompetitive seasons. We still have incredible cars and drivers plying their trade on the track, and with the new chapter that will only increase. Shame you can’t see the forest for the trees and would rather sit and make all kinds of doom and gloom assumptions of your own.

  2. Best/worst job in the world: to compile surveys to FIA/F1 teams -no matters the results you present they read them as they want.

    1. Plus ca change…..

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      3rd November 2021, 7:17

      This is true for any kind of survey to be honest. Any company will want the statistics to show you in the best light possible.

      It was Mark Twain who once wrote:

      “There are are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics”

      1. The official survey said fans overwhelming do not want sprint race at every GP. The net support for sprint race (it made it more exciting) was also around 6.7% over (not more exciting). Which isn’t too good of a number, so it’s classified in the report as “Uncommitted” which the defined as areas “fans are split”. This also so happened to roughly match the Racefan poll they did many months back.

        Guess these bad things from FOM point of view are all lies then……

  3. Past form reference has indeed been effectively irrelevant this season, as rightly pointed out by Toto.
    French & US GPs are the prime examples, so RB win in Mexico & Brazil isn’t a given either. Anything’s possible.

    1. Any race is not a given but you can not say that Red Bull doesn’t have a advantage in Mexido because they do.
      Their Highrake has a innate drag on high speed while Mercedes doesn’t have on high speed but in Mexico that turns into no drag but still a ‘high’ downforce level while Mercedes should be faster on the straight but very bad in the corners.

  4. A trend I’ve noticed within my social circle is that a lot of newer fans follow the drivers more than the teams. It would be interesting to see if there is some correlation with F1’s own data.

  5. Ofcourse Ferrari is still populair but that does have anything to do with F1 more with their ‘normal’ cars..
    Lewis has a couple in his garage Max has 2 Daniel has one so the name is still meaning fast cars. But their are coming back this season slowly but steady.

  6. Becoming a fan of an F1 team is often a dangerous thing. You fall in love with one, buy very expensive merch and have a connection to them – and then they leave the sport, are bought and change identity or disappear altogether. Often it’s simply easier to support a singular driver or a team that’s mostly too large or too successful to collapse or leave. I’ve found myself a homeless supporter several times.

    Ferrari shouldn’t worry though about losing popularity. Often people will change alleigance and support to the one that’s winning and then switch when they start to lose – people sometimes just like to support the winner. You see it in Football, and you see it here. If and when Ferrari start taking wins and titles again they’ll see that support return with interest.

  7. TYRES: About bluudy time. Hope he is right.

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