The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association put together a long, but mildly amusing survey asking Formula One fans who they are, how they relate to the sport and what they want to see in the future. Ever wanted to see every questionable Bernie-ism listed out for the voting? Well, you can take that survey here.
How much do you value the glamor and glitz of the race weekend as a whole? Or would you rather see more focus on the actual racing part? Furthermore, what are your feelings about double-points races or randomly activated track sprinklers? Yes! Track sprinklers made the cut!
A few chuckleworthy vote-ables aside, there were a couple possible choices that struck me as odd. One question that asked about the future style of the Formula One cars and didn’t list the answer I really wanted to put (“please revise the aerodynamics such that cars can pass without using gimmicky DRS flaps”). Instead, it pictured several cars from other series and concept cars, including Ferrari’s future concept, a WEC prototype and the DeltaWing, which was curiously still listed as the “Nissan DeltaWing” despite the two entities discontinuing that relationship (very acrimoniously) quite some time ago.
Another question asked what we wanted to see on the grid itself, and all the different aspects (grid interviews, celebrities, racing staff) were lumped in with each other. One choice presented a bare-bones grid of only race-essential personnel, and the next included everything as-is, despite the fact that there’s really only one element of today’s grid presentation that’s a bit outdated and tone-deaf.
Mostly, though, the data collected from this survey actually seems like it may be of use to the sport, as it asks about everything from refueling to tires to even cost cutting measures and how fans follow Formula One. That’s right: here’s our chance to prove to Bernie Ecclestone that the Internet does, in fact, matter. (And by the way, can we have more options for live, streaming video?)
Motorsport.com is hosting the survey, and according to their write-up, the GPDA believes this will help drivers understand fans’ priorities better, and be able to relay that feedback to Bernie and the FIA.
In an interview with the BBC, Wurz said Bernie was on board with the drivers’ effort, and actually “curious as to what the fans think.” GPDA directors Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel also stressed to the BBC the importance of understanding what fans actually want from the sport before making any major changes, such as those recently approved by the F1 Strategy Group.
“We want to go to Jean [Todt], Bernie [Ecclestone] and the stakeholders and say: these are the answers of our consumers, let’s find the real reason and find it we can implement it,” GPDA chairman Alexander Wurz told Motorsport.com. “We want to go in to a constructive conversation with everyone involved and be the interface of the fans, of their opinions, and what the drivers think.”
Wurz says that this is but one of many upcoming efforts to bring drivers closer to their fans, which would be a welcome change in the elite and seemingly walled-off world of F1.
While the GPDA stresses that this isn’t a political move to open items like grid size and customer cars up to fans, some drivers such as Fernando Alonso have been openly critical of the recent decisions made by the F1 Strategy Group. Perhaps this is a way to get in a few words before those decisions approved by the Strategy Group go to the F1 Commission and the FIA World Motor Sport Council for approval.
Either way, it’s good to see Formula One take a stab at listening to its fan base. You can find that survey here. Go! Tell them what you think in a series of check-boxes and bubbles!
Photo credit: Getty Images
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