Have Your Say: How Can Formula One Improve Fan Interaction?

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Have Your Say - Fan Interaction.jpg
    In our latest 'Have Your Say' article we wonder how Formula One could do more to improve the way it interacts with fans of the sport.

    All sports rely on one thing to improve and grow - the fans. Sport is nothing without fans, from those paying the big money to attend the race in person, to TV viewing figures to attract the sponsors and the masses of merchandise sales that provide vital income to the teams and the sport itself.

    Seeing as Formula One is the largest and most popular form of motorsport on the planet, one would be forgiven for thinking that the interaction with the fans so important to the sport is beyond compare of it's motor racing rivals. This is not so.

    New owners Liberty Media are working behind the scenes to introduce bigger and better ways to bring the average fan closer to the action out on track, but after years of neglect is it a case of too little, too late? Big strides have already been taken during 2017 to arrest the slide towards milking the average supporter for their hard earned cash without giving anything back, especially following the announcement of several new initiatives launched at the recent Spanish Grand Prix, but can the sport do more for the average punter, and if so what can they do?

    So the question for this week is as follows:

    What can Formula One do to improve the interaction with fans of the sport, and attract new followers?

    Try and be as creative as you want to be with this one. From the realistic and easy to implement to the extreme and ambitious, all ideas and thoughts are welcomed! After this article has run for a couple of weeks I will compile all the responses and write an open letter to Liberty Media and the FIA, published of course on our website front page as well as communicated directly to the powers that be.

    We probably won't have our voices heard, but the more who respond and the better the quality of those responses the more we could help make the sport we love better for everyone involved.

    Come on, think of something brilliant and let's change the world together!

    Let the suggestions begin.... :)

    Have Your Say - Fan Interaction - Formula One 2 Seater .jpg
    Have Your Say - Fan Interaction 3.jpg Have Your Say - Fan Interaction 4.jpg Have Your Say - Fan Interaction 5.jpg
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  2. felippekiss


    More closed to the fans, something that is happening after years. Maybe a zone for a few hours of the day where it is possible to take photo autographs or just talk to the pilots or something like that, for example as it happens in Blancpain GT
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
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  3. Ploddy


    I think increasing the audience base and bringing the younger generations in are most important. Lifting the ban on social media was an important first step and as you can see, is working a treat.

    Now, the biggest single thing they can do is make streaming available. While ever they are caught in the prehistoric cable TV model they will never increase the fanbase, and it will be forever the domain of the wealthy and upper classes. Who can afford $60/month for Foxtel? $10 a month for live and on-demand races and practice sessions would get it done. Watch it on any device you want, from anywhere. You only have to look at the success of the NBA in this respect. It's a profitable, sustainable business model, and wildly popular. And whatever you do, make it live and complete. A 1-hr 'highlight show' is rubbish. Sport is meant to be live.
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  4. BoogerMac


    One word...prices.
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  5. TrumpetReich


    Open up broadcasting. At the moment I *cough cough* use certain streams online because I'm a poor college student who doesn't have any sort of cable plan. That said, if they offered any kind of legit streaming online for every session, I would gladly play.
    On track, opening up the drivers to the public is always great. That's up to the individual drivers as well, but the sport thrives on fans attaching themselves to drivers and teams.
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  6. Boby Kim

    Boby Kim

    Let drivers tweet during races:thumbsup:
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  7. Kurupt CDN

    Kurupt CDN
    DirtT Tuned Motorsports Premium

    Ive yet to attend a f1 race but from a televised perspective it would be nice if they eliminated all the damn commercials every other lap and saved them for full course cautions.
    We dont have the f1 channel in canada and all races are aired on tsn.
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  8. darkelf1


    WOW, the girl in this pic is so beautiful...:confused: eh, offtopic:cry:

    Anyone got more pic of this girl?:inlove::x3:
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
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  9. Dirk Steffen

    Dirk Steffen
    Porsche Factory Jackass™ Premium

    1) give fans a view for pay platform where they can watch ANY race on archive ANY time they want via stream

    The biggest issue I have had over the years following F1 is the insanely tight grip on any media F1 related. Fans just have no chance to legally watch the sport they love at their leisure.
    For years I do pay for F1 - buy annual app subscriptions to be able to follow live races when traveling, buy pay TV subscriptions to be able to watch live races via stream and buy tickets for the GPs I am able to attend.

    Even as such you get the feeling as a fan that you are acceptable as for your wallet content but doors are shut in front of your nose any possible chance there is.

    This is part of the frustration, following F1. For years the F1 culture was all about the money the holders of the rights could squeeze out of the content. The fans have ALWAYS been way down the priority list. THIS is what frustrates many fans and have had some of them loosing interest in the sport entirely.

    2) open the race weekends for much more fan and family friendly experiences:
    - STOP the crazy VIP ticketing and expensive, super short pit walks
    - open the pitlane all weekend long between sessions for ALL ticket holders - if that means dropping support series racing, so be it - for the fans it is much more important to be closer to the teams, drivers and cars than to watch the odd cup race from behind the fences.

    The sport has been separated WAY to much from the fans over the last years. Sure safety related fencing and catch wires have their place but for fans it can be feeling a lot like being completely separated from the actual sport nowadays - there is just no real interaction any longer, fans and the teams seem not to breathe the same air any longer even being on the same track all weekend long.

    Some of the entertainment programs in the ticketholder areas during the race weekends seem to become weaker and weaker every year - it is now much more about product placement and sales than entertainment in the visitors areas.
    There used to be good quality family entertainment around the track, now it is only highly overpriced fast food, car manufacturers showing their latest high performance vehicles - but please DONT TOUCH - and pricey souvenir stands.

    Where are the cart racing boots, lotteries, local specialty food stands, vintage F1 racing car exhibitions, …
    (this is something I always enjoy about Le Mans - this is a true fan oriented event).

    3) organize easy transportation around the racetrack for fans all race weekend long

    I can speak here only for the Chinese GP - it may be better organized at other venues.
    I usually buy tickets for several spots all around the track to be able to photograph.
    Transportation for fans around the track is exclusively by foot.
    Shuttle services for fans to get from one grandstand to another would be great as distances can sum up over the weekend (I usually hike 20-30km each day all race weekend long and do have to miss certain spots / sessions as I simply cannot manage to get there in time).
    A good way to solve this on the cheap would to allow local bike rental companies access to the race track visitor areas.
    Same goes to travel from the remote parking lots to the grandstands - it is always hiking weekend when its race weekend ;-)
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  10. Ghoults


    1) this is a great start:

    More drivers briefings would be great

    2) f1 has tons of historical footage in their archives. It would be great for fans to have better access to it. Either indirectly by making the footage available for people who want to make documentaries. Or make some documentaries yourself. Or start digitizing it and make a video service out of it.

    3) Improve the way f1 showcases it technical aspects and force teams to show more:
    - make car technical inspections live streams. Put a camera or camera man there to film the process for every car
    - every team must showcase their car before every race by having the car placed on stands without tires, wheels and engine cover

    4) create f1 online subscription that is not about the races. Call it F1+ or whatever. Possible content:
    - the historical archives
    - full driver briefings (even edited ones would be great)
    - live streams of technical inspections of the cars
    - live weather cameras
    - pit lane cameras that show the teams building their garages
    - historical full races onboard videos
    - technical findings of the ross brawn's group's findings and explanations and interviews about the technical aspects

    5) ideally you'd want live streaming service for the races as well but this is unlikely to happen
    - full race weekend streamed at 4k with lower resolutions as options
    - put high def 360 cameras on the cars and allow viewers to control it in real time when watching live
    - offer team radios live for all teams (uncensored)
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  11. ETandK


    For me its about racing first, close, exciting and un-predictable racing,

    You can have all the paddock feeds and gossip, if its a one or two horse race it remains boring in my opinion.

    And like Alonso said after the Indy 500, any of 20 drivers / cars can win, and that is where F1 is falling short by a long way.

    I'm not into eating salad, its about the main course........
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  12. m_mirk


    For me it’s mostly two things:

    1.) Better media access:

    In Germany we have RTL with crap commentary and more advertising than racing. You go 5 minutes racing and 6 minutes advertising. I really like to have a good media stream like Blancpain or WRX. I can watch that stream anytime with high quality from every session with a really good commentary. The commentary is none that uses the 5 minutes before advertising to explain DRS again (to the new viewers ...). I watched accidentally a free practice session with Alex Wurz and I learned more from him in one hour than in ten years from RTL. Maybe you can also choose from different commentators: one that is technical, one that is for new guys, one for family etc. Stream should be cheap too, but I would be willing to pay 5 € per race weekend.

    2.) Racing action:

    I was visiting F1 in Hockenheim last year and it is really sad to say as a big fan: you can spend your weekend way better. It’s hard to get there, it is way too expensive, it is very crowdie and the race was so boring. You sit on your chair there is nothing exciting to do in the brakes and once the F1 race started there was a two second gap between every car all the way to the end. Even GP2 was more action and sound. F1 was only about the names and brands.

    So it is most important to get more action:

    - Best sounding cars, we are far away from it at the moment

    - Aerodynamik kills close racing: I don't care if they take turn 1 in Hockenheim with 250 or 200km/h. Both is very fast. It's much more important that cars aren’t lined up with two second gap after two laps and continue like this to the end. So let’s take away most of the downforce and we will have much more power than available grip. That is harder to drive and better to watch. It just looks perfect in WRX when you have these 500 hp city cars going all sideways with more power than grip.

    - Change qualifying: today you have the fastest guy on 1 and the slowest on 20. That’s the way you start and end also most races. You have good races when someone has issues in qualifying and has to battle his way to the field. So I think of this option:

    Make a qualifying race on Saturdays which is reversed grid from championship standings. This race will determine grid for Sunday’s main race (optional: plus half the points). Or you can have a second race with reverse top 10.

    - I would love to see the best drivers also race with same material. Because at the moment there are only four drivers which can win a race. I think in the past f1 drivers were also racing BMW M1 or Mercedes on the raceweekend. That would add much more to the show if you have several rounds with different group of cars which may vary every weekend: like TCR, WRX, GT3, Stadium Trucks, Porsche Cup. Or even simple street cars that are typical for the country which hosts the race: so you have some PickUps in US and Tuktuks in India.

    Thumps pressed, that we get some of that :)
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  13. Rupe Wilson

    Rupe Wilson
    rFactor Senior Club Manager Premium

    half all the ticket prices.
    have open pits like WSBK
    and some drivers need to stop acting like little prima donnas
    70% of the grid need to feel they can win the race. (We all know fans like to support a winning team)
    X amount of fuel per race how you use it is up to you.. allow different engine sizes, different sizes of cars. relax the regulations on design. To many restrictions spoil it.. all cars do not have to look the same..
    Spread the money out better..

    In its present form i don't much like f1 :(
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  14. ears


    Get off PPV and onto terrestrial / online FTA.

    I realise channels need to show adverts but surely for live events, these can be shown in an inset box? I watch RTL for some races and they do this for some breaks nut not all.

    Or even the other way around, the coverage in an inset box while ads run would be better.

    I think the new owners probably know this. I wouldn't be surprised if there's wrangling behind the scenes to get out of some of Bernie's TV contracts.
  15. paracletus


    NOT "fan boost!". Utter farce.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  16. Andy_J

    PC Veteran Gamer and Biker.

    Take a leaf out of the TT at the Isle of Man. Although even the TT has started doing VIP areas that are way too expensive. But you can freely walk around the pits and competitor area's and chat with the stars if you can get near them. But free to air media coverage or at least affordable HD coverage is the way forward in my opinion.
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  17. larre90


    To attract more people, F1 should do this:
    Legal (& free/very unexpensive) streams on their homepage, like IMSA.
    Lower the prices for attending a race. It becomes way too expensive for most fans.
    "Driver of the Day" should be worth a point for the drivers' standings.
    "Fastest Lap of the race" also.

    But this won't work, if the races are this boring as currently. So, I would suggest a few things: New, very tight rules for chassis, with very less room for self-developed parts. Much more DF created by the groundeffect, so dirty air isn't so much of an issue anymore and cars can follow each other. Get rid of the DRS. So everyone has more or less identical chassis. For the engines, I would suggest a WEC-like system. So you can have different types of engines but allover the very same amount of power and torque. Get rid of the tire-system. Let there be more tiresuppliers like Michelin or Bridgestone or even Firestone or, or ,or. Then let the teams choose their favourite compounds, and let them use it without the force to use another one. Also reintroduce refueling. We will see much more different strategies in the race with cars on faster ones appraoching on cars with slower ones. That creates tension on and also beneath the track. For qualy I would suggest a three-lap-dash. Every driver gets one shot with three laps in a row. Take the times for all 3 laps and add them together. No shootout, no second chance. Even a slower driver could end up on front, if he doenst make a mistake on these laps. On the other hand, if a good driver makes a mistake, he could end up way down the startgrid. So qualy would be way more intense. No need for CS points here.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  18. Gopher04


    Let us take the cars for as spin on our own.
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  19. Rob


    lol. That must be Barcelona. Even at 21 my tongue was on the ground. Second only to Amsterdam, IMO..er...yea, off topic.

    I have not been singing the praises of IndyCar because they are faster. lol.

    To get the "Formula" right, they will have to keep the glitz, keep the expensive cars, but get the fans right into the action, as Liberty stated. Think LeMans. Think the Indy 500.

    With F1, they have all the tools they need to make it great again. They just need to de-construct the bureaucracy that Bernie built up. And keep the reins in diversified hands that care more about the sport than $B profits or limiting access. I've often thought -- well, maybe that's what makes F1 special? The "distant" feel of it, both in real distance and perceived. Thing is, that's good and all, but it falls flat after a while. So many personalities are not allowed out. We are stuck with people like Martin Brundle on the T.V. and Pascal Wherlein in the garage.

    The question seems asked because perception *is* changing and it's stated in the open by the leaders of F1. That's a good first step, and we saw it in action in Barcelona.

    Oh brilliant. :thumbsup:
    "Obama spied on me!" :laugh: would now be "I'm going to kill that bastard Raikkonen because he banged my wife."
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
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  20. Matt Lenart

    Matt Lenart

    if you live in the GTA like i do... just get an antenna and watch it for free on NBC (WGRZ-TV Buffalo). they show a lot of sports this year... including british premier league, cycling, horse racing, f1, etc. just get a cheap antenna ~$30, aim it at grand island (Buffalo) and position it as high as possible.