'STILL THE 'COOLEST': Formula 1 fans want the sport to be exciting again and rated Ferrari's Kimi 'Iceman' Raikkonen as their favourite driver. Image: AFP / Patrik Stollarz
LONDON, England - Formula 1 fans want change but without gimmicks or knee-jerk reactions to a sport many now describe as expensive and boring, according to a survey carried out with the backing of leading drivers.
The Grand Prix Drivers' Association said in a statement on Wednesday (July 1 2015) that 217 756 fans from 194 countries responded to an online survey between May 22 and June 8.
REAL SPORT WANTED
Association chairman Alex Wurz said: "The fans are clear: they don't want a radical overhaul of GP racing that takes it away from its historic roots. It might sound simple but the best drivers and teams fighting on a track in the most exciting cars is their priority. We, the drivers, passionately share that view.
"They want competitive sport, not just a show, and they think F1's business has become too important, jeopardising our sport."
In a separate statement to fans, in a summary published at gpda.motorsport.com, Wurz said a revolution was not required - as Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene had suggested.
Neither was "an artificial show with gimmicks introduced to simply make it more entertaining" wanted.
The results came on the day of a strategy meeting in London, ahead of the 2015 British GP, grouping the six top teams as well as the commercial-rights holder and governing body.
They are considering changes from 2017 to make the cars faster, louder and harder to drive.
Wurz said the association would examine the data and work with key stakeholders "to put fans' feedback at the centre of our sport's future.".
LOUDER, FASTER CARS
The summary revealed fans wanted louder and more powerful engines, more emphasis on driving skill, a return to refuelling and competition between tyremakers.
They were also in favour of relaxing technical regulations and introducing budget caps.
Worryingly, the top three words used to describe the sport were "expensive", "technological", "boring" - in that order.
Respondents had an average age of 37 and 75% had followed F1 for more than 10 years. Kimi Raikkonen was the favourite driver and Ferrari the top team.
Some 77% felt business interests had become too important and 89% said F1 needed to be more competitive but only 32% said F1 needed to promote increasing fuel efficiency and only 14% said it would be better-served by fewer teams running more cars.