Formula 1 fans think grand prix racing is more “exciting”, “competitive” and “prestigious” than it was two years ago, as the results of the 2017 Global Fan Survey are revealed.
After the 2015 survey, produced in association with the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA), left F1 facing big questions as fans said key attributes were that it was “boring”, “corrupt” and “threatened”, the trends this year are hugely encouraging for new owners Liberty Media.
The 2017 Survey, which kicked off at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, had more than 215,000 participants and delivered the biggest sample set ever for a sporting survey.
One of the biggest messages coming out of it was that there is a growing feeling of optimism about the state of F1.
When fans were asked for words that described F1, it was interesting to see that use of the word ‘exciting’ had been picked by 38.7 percent of fans, compared to 14 percent in 2015.
Use of the word ‘boring’ dropped from 33.8 percent in 2015 to 13.9 percent this year.
There was a 44 per cent increase in fan belief that Formula 1 is ‘the pinnacle of motorsport’, and a 43 per cent improvement in the statement that the sport fields ‘the best drivers’.
Data from the 2017 survey indicates the average Formula 1 fan is becoming younger and that the fanbase is now more diverse, with more female respondents than ever before.
One thing that has not changed since 2015 is the belief of fans that F1 should not adopt gimmicks to help improve the racing.
Fans showed little support for changes to the rules that would introduce sprinkler systems, success ballast, reverse grids or a return to rapidly degrading tyres.
With regards the format of the race weekend, fans do no support the introduction of a Saturday race, a third/reserve driver race or replacing the full-length grand prix with two shorter races.
There is support for the awarding of championship points for fastest lap and the return of tyre competition between manufacturers. Fans are also in favour of a return to mid-race refuelling.
Full results of the Global Fan Survey can be downloaded here: https://f1survey.motorsport.com/