GPDA set to launch fan survey – but will it make a difference?

The Grand Prix Drivers Association is set to formally announce details of its Global Fan Survey in Monaco on Thursday afternoon.

As revealed here over the Spanish GP weekend, the organisation wants to interact with fans, and find out what they want from F1.

I think the fans are very important, their opinions,” said GPDA director Jenson Button today. “And that’s exactly why the GPDA has a global fan survey which will be announced tomorrow. I think it’s massively important because we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the fans. This is a sport that needs fans, we have millions of fans around the world and it’s always interesting to have their opinion.

To see where they think the sport it, where they think the sport can go. Obviously we all have our own ideas, which is great, and I think the sport is in a good place right now – but there’s always room for improvement – as there is in any sport, especially a sport that’s always changing like Formula One in terms of technology and what have you. So, I think it’s really important, it’s going to be interesting to see how it goes.”

Asked if he thought the results would have any impact he added: “I think our aim is just to put them in place and to see how it goes. I think that it’s very interesting to see which direction the supporters of this sport and the fans of this sport feel that the sport should go in.

It doesn’t mean that it’s going to change anything, it’s just interesting for us as drivers but I think for us collectively in Formula One, to get a better understanding. And I don’t think it’s been done for a while, so I just think it’s necessary to do and hopefully we’ll get some positive results.”

My earlier story on the GPDA’s plans can be found here:


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13 responses to “GPDA set to launch fan survey – but will it make a difference?

  1. peterg

    I’m not sure what is more disturbing. The very drivers, that drive the cars, needing to hear from the fans what needs to be improved. Or a GPDA director say “It doesn’t mean that it’s going to change anything…”

    Total PR spin by the GPDA, an organisation that whose members don’t take seriously enough, anymore, to even have a current F1 driver as its President.

  2. ronmon

    Nobody in F1 cares at all about what the fans want. That has been made clear abundantly and repeatedly. They can go pound sand.

    • MJR

      This was shown in FP2 yesterday. It rains and there is no action. Rather than entertain the paying spectators to a display of wet weather driving they are treated with contempt.
      By practising the drivers might even improve their wet weather driving skills. In what other sport do the participants not take every opportunity to train and perfect their performance.

      • Gary

        What’s the point of improving their wet weather driving skills? FIA never lets them race in the wet anymore.

  3. Pollerunner

    I have been a fan for 42 years. If you do not like the show you are not a fan. Why should the show change all the time to please the loudest fans WHO just turn away when something els comes around. A sport/show should not change just to please the masses. Nothing will increase for ever just look at Nokia, Apple. Just leave it as it was I will still watch F-1. Let the drivers and team owners have a say they know more than the armchair fan and newsreporters( Sorry Adam) WHO alway live best by putting things down. Yes I know there are something call change and progress.

  4. The fact that F1 is going back to season 2007/2008 by 2017 means that a lot of time and money has been wasted!

    Lots of fans already saw that, but no…

    But the people in de F1 are not aware of the real world, that real world that isn’t going to pay huge amounts of money to watch -usually- dull races!

    Lifes has changed, but F1 didn’t follow. Hence the problems of today…

  5. GeorgeK

    An ineffective driver’s union in a floundering sport that will soon go the way of the Dodo, because it is being micromanaged by Dodos.

    And I believe the general public no longer has an interest in fast cars and the people who can bend them to their will on closed race courses. As a young man everyone I knew aspired to own a performance car and followed racing in general. This generation seems interested in buying Prius type cars and little interest in racing anything.

    A generality, I know, but it seems to become more real every year.

  6. DW

    These are people that no longer get to decide on their own helmet design due to legislation, need to walk a predetermined FIA path to even get a super-license, and have little say in the modern teams … this is a total waste of time and effort.

    An therein lies the main problem.

    Modern F1 is all about the engineers, not drivers.
    They make the rules, have the biggest influence by far on performance, make up the majority of team staff, and are the reason behind the enormous budgets.

    And that is why they don’t and wont ever see the problems the rest of us do. Just like gamers, who get super-excited when a new amazing spec graphics card is released, these engineers actually find the current Formula 1 really exciting. I’m sure they’re really surprised about the negative sentiment and declining audience, because they’re loving it … and getting paid handsomely for it.

    • GeorgeK

      Your point about F1 being about engineers and not drivers is spot on. Back in the day it was also about engineers, but our hero drivers were able to make impacts that created a fan base. A good-great driver could flog a mediocre car to at least a podium or an occasional win.

      The engineering has evolved to a point where there are millions spent to make a car .1-.2 quicker than the competition, with only 2-4 teams with the budget to do so.

      How do we get it back to being a driver focused sport? Make all the cars the same as in in a spec series like IndyCars? I wish there was a clear cut answer, and the F1 ownership could excercise the will implement it and keep the engine suppliers all on board with the direction.

      Quite the Gordian knot, but we seem to be lacking the Alexander figure to cut through it.

      • DW

        I think the biggest change is the ratio of engineers to other team personnel.

        We now have aeronautical engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, software engineers, etc making up probably 70% of the entire team … and where they were previously challenged to come up with clever solutions within the sporting rules, they are now making the rules.

        And they’ve created an engineers sandpit that is awesome for them to play in, but excludes the rest of the population that is looking for something far simpler.

  7. Frieda

    I don’t know, at least they are willing to ask the questions! No one else seems to be interested in what the fans have to say. I have answered the survey. Maybe they can’t do anything about it but they CAN put it in the hands of others. At least it’s a start.

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