The full statement from FOTA
The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) today outlined its roadmap for Formula One at a press conference at which senior management figures from all 10 current Formula One teams shared the stage together
Setting out its proposed agenda for the evolution of the sport, FOTA unveiled a dynamic package of unanimously agreed proposals which, pending the approval of the FIA, will take effect in 2009 and/or 2010.
These proposals are aimed at increasing the stability, sustainability, substance and show of Formula One, and have all been developed as a result of rigorous interrogation of a FOTA global audience survey carried out in 17 countries earlier this year. The study canvassed views of existing fans but also, for the first time, drew on insights from a cross-section of general and infrequent followers of the sport, in line with FOTA's stated ambition to broaden as well as to deepen the appeal of Formula One.
The proposals can be classified under three headings - technical, sporting and commercial - in line with the three working groups inaugurated when FOTA was formed in September 2008.
These proposals will ensure the retention of Formula One's unique and essential sporting 'DNA', improve the show for all audiences, reduce costs, and increase the value proposition to the major stakeholders.
Luca di Montezemolo, Chairman of FOTA, said: "This is an unprecedented moment in Formula One history. Above all else, for the first time the teams are unified and steadfast - with a clear, collective vision. Thanks to this unity, all the teams have already managed to make a significant reduction to their costs for 2009.
"And, while we will continue to compete vigorously on track, we all share one common goal: to work together to improve Formula One by ensuring its stability, sustainability, substance and show for the benefit of our most important stakeholder, namely the consumer. It is with this mindset that we now intend to work hard, with our partners at the FIA and FOM, our shared goal being to optimise the future of Formula One."
* More than 100% increase in mileage per engine (eight engines per driver per season)
* Reduction in wind tunnel and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) usage
* Engine available at €8 million per team per season
* Engine available at €5 million per team per season
* Gearbox available at €1.5 million per team per season
* Standardised KERS (put out to tender, with a target price of €1-2 million per team per season)
* Target a further 50% reduction of the 2009 aerodynamic development spend
* Specified number of chassis, bodywork and aerodynamic development iterations (homologations) during the season
* Prohibition of a wide range of exotic, metallic and composite materials
* Standardised telemetry and radio systems
* Testing reduction (50%)
* New points-scoring system (12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1), to give greater differentiation/reward to grand prix winners
* Race starting fuel loads, tyre specifications and refuelling data to be made public
* Commitment to recommend new qualifying format
* Radical new points-scoring opportunities (eg, one constructors' championship point to be awarded for the fastest race pit stop)
* Further testing reductions (four four-day single-car pre-season tests plus one single-car pre-season shakedown)
* Reduction of grand prix duration (250km or a maximum of one hour 40 minutes) pending the approval of the commercial rights holder
* Increased data provision for media
* Explore means by which the presentation of Formula One action can be more informatively and dynamically presented, common to other sports such as tennis and cricket, to dramatically improve engagement with the public
* Nominated senior team spokesman available for TV during grand prix
* Commitment to enhance consumer experience via team and FOTA websites
* Mandatory driver autograph sessions during grand prix weekends
* Commitment to enhance consumer experience via TV coverage
Key Demographics Of Global Audience Survey
* 17 countries surveyed
* First ever poll of Formula One devotees alongside non-Formula One devotees (ie, marginal and/or low interest fans)
* Responses were weighted according to the size of viewing market in each country (to avoid small markets skewing the results)
* Results were segmented by interest level in Formula One, demographic profiles (age and gender), country and region
* Total audience is comprised of:
- Regular fans (25% by volume, predominantly male, cross section of ages)
- Moderate fans (44% by volume, female and male, cross section of ages)
- Infrequent fans (31% by volume, unlikely to watch grands prix, predominantly female,
cross section of ages)
Key Findings Of Global Audience Survey
1. F1 isn't broken, so beware 'over-fixing' it
The current race format is not viewed as fundamentally broken (across all levels of Formula One interest) and therefore doesn't require radical alteration. There is a strong desire for Formula One to remain meritocratic, while consumer interest is driven most by appreciation of driver skill, overtaking and technology.
Implication: there is no evidence to suggest that grand prix formats need 'tricking up' via, for example, handicapping, sprint races, reversed grids or one-on-one pursuit races. Formula One audiences appreciate the traditional gladiatorial, high-tech nature of the sport and would not respond favourably to a perceived 'dumbing down' of the current format.
2. F1 needs to be more consumer-friendly
An individual's view or understanding of Formula One is framed almost entirely by their local broadcaster. Unlike most global sports, the vast majority of 'consumption' of Formula One is via race-day TV coverage, supplemented in part by traditional, non-specialist newspaper coverage.
Formula One fans are also mature consumers of new media channels (eg, on-line, mobile) and other touch points (eg, gaming, merchandise). The global nature of Formula One, although an attractive characteristic in itself, impedes the uniformity of race schedules, and often results in consumption of a race being limited to locally broadcast TV highlights programmes. Only devotees (25% of the total potential viewing audience) are likely to watch a race live if it occurs outside peak viewing times.
Implication: significant opportunities exist to build audience via other channels such as internet and mobile.
3. Major changes to qualifying format are not urgent
When asked to consider alternative qualifying formats, all fan types expressed a modest preference for a meritocratically determined starting grid. There was some degree of interest in allowing luck to play a part in shaping the starting order, but the general sentiment was that the fastest driver should always start from pole.
Implication: there may be justification for minor modifications to the current qualifying format, following further trials; however, a major change to the format will not result in a significant increase in audience.
4. Revisions to the points-scoring system
As with qualifying, all audiences want a meritocratic points-scoring system. This means that they want winning grands prix to count for more than it does currently. There is an indication that all audiences would like to see a greater points reward for winning grands prix.
Implication: a minor adjustment to the existing points system is justified
5. Evolution of pit stops and refuelling
All audiences view pit stops as integral to their enjoyment of grand prix coverage; however, they rank the most important and compelling aspect of pit stops as tyre changing rather than refuelling. Race strategies were not highly ranked as a determinant of interest in Formula One.
Implication: audiences are unlikely to diminish if refuelling is discontinued. Tyre changing is an important driver of audience interest (in pit stops) and should not be further automated.
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