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Poll picks favourite F1 driver: It's...

2015-07-31 07:53

GUESS WHO! Fans have voted for the favourite driver and teams. Who do you think it is? Image: AFP / Marwan Naamani

ALAN BALDWIN

LONDON, England - Lewis Hamilton has edged out Kimi Raikkonen as Formula 1's most popular driver, according to a global fan survey carried out by Britain's Autosport magazine and associated publications.

A separate online survey in July backed by the Grand Prix Drivers Association and motorsport.com found Ferrari's Raikkonen to be No.1 ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

Each found Ferrari to be the most popular team, followed by McLaren.

NUMBERS DECLINING

Only 35 000 people, overwhelmingly male and mostly aged 18-40, responded to the Autosport survey compared to 217 756 who contributed to the GPDA-supported one. Nationality details were not given for the former.

The Autosport survey found Belgium to be the most popular grand prix, ahead of Monaco and Canada, and the 1990s the favourite decade for the sport.

Of the respondents, 37.4% had never been to a grand prix and 37.6 of those with no plans to attend cited the cost as the reason.

Asked how much they would be prepared to pay to download or stream live races to a phone, tablet or computer, 43.4% were unwilling to pay anything while a further 31% would pay less than $5.

As far as rule changes were concerned, 91% were against any return of double points for the final race of the season but 61% wanted to bring back refuelling.

'MORE TECHNICAL FREEDOM'

73% opposed using artificial methods to tighten up races and most were against introducing reverse grids and qualifying races to determine the starting grid.

However, 62% liked the idea of teams being allowed to buy 'customer' chassis from rivals and 86% wanted to see more freedom in the technical regulations.

More than half of respondents expressed opposition to a calendar of more than 20 races a year, with a majority also opposed to new venues such as Russia and Azerbaijan.

A total of 91.2% wanted to ensure historic races such as Monaco, Italy, Britain, Belgium and Germany were protected.

F1's provisional 2016 schedule has a record 21 rounds, with Azerbaijan due to make its debut, while Germany was dropped this year and the future of Italy's Monza circuit remains uncertain.

Asked whether they would stop watching F1 if Red Bull quit, 93% said no. The same question about Ferrari saw 72.7% also say no.

Who is your favourite Formula 1 driver or team of 2015 and why? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts or use the Readers' Comments section below...


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