Key Formula 1 figures cautious on fan survey results

Senior Formula 1 figures have urged caution in the way findings of fan surveys are interpreted following results that include calls for a return of refuelling and a tyre war

Key Formula 1 figures cautious on fan survey results

Two major fan surveys were recently carried out - one by AUTOSPORT, and , and another by the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.

The results of the former were presented to various chiefs in the F1 paddock, and some expressed surprise at what fans say they want to see.

On the subject of F1 returning to more durable rubber (63.3 per cent in favour) and a battle between tyre companies (77.9 per cent in favour; GPDA 80 per cent), Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told F1 Racing: "I think that's rose-tinted spectacles.

"If you go back and look at what Ferrari did with Bridgestone against Michelin with Renault - everyone else suffered.

"[More durable tyres] will make the racing worse, you'll have one-stop races which are never exciting."

Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff highlighted that a return to refuelling (61.3 per cent in favour; GPDA 60 per cent) would "limit the variance on strategy and you will see less overtaking".

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier added: "The problem with refuelling is you get into a computer-driven strategy with no flexibility.

"Today you can mix-up the strategy quite a bit, which you wouldn't be able to if you had to refuel."

Manor president and sporting director Graeme Lowdon said any call for refuelling and a tyre war "hasn't been thought through".

"People forget, no-one used to overtake in the refuelling days, it was all done in the pitstops," he added.

"Sadly I think a bit of amnesia has crept in from the fans with regard to those two things."

In response to 50.4 per cent of fans being against F1's drag reduction system to aid overtaking, Boullier said the message is mixed.

"I watch old races sometimes at home and you look at the huge gap between the cars - there was very little overtaking," he said. "But we enjoyed them.

"In 2013 we had perhaps the closest-ever racing in Formula 1 and there were so many overtaking manoeuvres and pitstops that people couldn't understand what was going on.

"That was a crazy season. What do people want - overtaking or not?"

Pirelli chief Paul Hembery believes it would be risky for F1 to base its direction purely on the results of the surveys.

"If you want exciting racing, the survey results go against that," he said.

"A team will spend a lot of money on the best tyres and the best engine and there will be no overtaking and they'll disappear into the distance.

"That happened in the early 2000s and the audiences fell through the floor.

"The responses of the survey seem to point towards that so people need to think about what they're saying."

shares
comments
McLaren's Jonathan Neale says F1 power unit penalties confuse fans
Previous article

McLaren's Jonathan Neale says F1 power unit penalties confuse fans

Next article

Lotus F1 driver Pastor Maldonado not interested in driver coaches

Lotus F1 driver Pastor Maldonado not interested in driver coaches
Load comments
The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call Plus

The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen's clash in Austin has thrust the debate about rights and wrongs of wheel-to-wheel combat firmly into the public spotlight, prompting complaints about the Formula 1 rules process. But what can the FIA do to prevent the issue resurfacing?

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle Plus

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

Formula 1
Oct 27, 2021
The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

Formula 1
Oct 26, 2021
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021