UP IN SMOKE: The scorched remains of Nick Heidfeld's Renault during the 2011 the Hungarian Grand Prix. Image: AFP
MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Formula 1 drivers are to ask fans worldwide for their opinions i what is being billed as the most thorough survey yet carried out by any sport.
A statement from the Grand Prix Drivers' Association said the initiative would be formally presented on Thursday (May 21) in the Monaco paddock by association directors Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Alex Wurz.
The statement added: "With the GPDA Global Fan Survey, the drivers aim to create the most extensive survey of fans' opinions yet undertaken by any sport."
'MORE ENGAGEMENT NEEDED'
GPDA chairman Wurz, who now competes in the World Endurance championship and is a two-times Le Mans winner, told Reuters earlier in May (2105) that the drivers wanted to give more back to their fans at a time of change when unfavourable comparisons are being made with other types of racing. He explained:
"To make sure this sport remains at the pinnacle and gets ever more popular we would like to engage more with the fans. I hope it's cool. The fans will tell us if they like it or not and that's what we want... we want to give a little bit back and communicate with the people who love the sport as we do."
F1 has a reputation for being exclusive and inaccessible compared to series such as World endurance where fans have much more access to the paddock and drivers during race weekends.
REFUEL: MIXED VIEWS
The sport has also been through major change with the introduction of V6 turbo/hybrid engines in 2014 and more upheaval to come.
The sport's 'strategy group' announced after a meeting that a proposal to reintroduce in-race refuelling had been put forward for 2017, as were moves to make cars quicker, louder and more "aggressive". (As if there weren't enough of that on our roads already. - Ed)
The changes have yet to be approved by the governing body's Formula One Commission and World Motor Sport Council, with mixed views already about refuelling which was banned in 2010 because if was seen as expensive and dangerous.
This is what Vettel said way back in 2010 about the subject...