This weekend the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) released the following letter for the sport’s fans.
Dear Formula 1 fans,
As some of you may remember, in early 2010 FOTA undertook a global research study together with our partners at F1 Racing and LG Electronics.
The study sought opinions and feedback from the global fan base, and was conducted to help us better understand our strengths and to prioritise our challenges for the future. The survey was exhaustive and took on average more than 35 minutes to complete, so we were very pleased and grateful to receive detailed feedback from more than 85,000 fans from more than 190 countries.
A year on from the announcement of the initial findings, we feel it is appropriate to share the work we have undertaken and the actions we have implemented over the past 12 months.
First, you provided FOTA with a very strong mandate (more than 80% support) to work to support the teams, to develop technological improvements and to enhance the reputation of F1 around the globe.
As fans you voiced your opinion that F1 needed to attract new followers by ensuring its position as the pinnacle of motorsport from both a technical perspective and driver perspective. More than 90% of you highlighted that more exciting racing and increased opportunities for overtaking represented the most important issues for us to address.
Through the FOTA Technical Regulations Working Group and in partnership with the FIA and our new tyre supplier, Pirelli, we put this issue at the top of our agenda. Writing as we are after the Spanish Grand Prix, five races into the 2011 season, we hope you feel that innovations such as the Drag Reduction System and the revised tyre compounds have made very positive contributions in this area.
Within the 2010 study we asked you about KERS Hybrid, and the feedback from fans was that you did not feel the technology had been given sufficient time to prove its benefits to the sport. So the rules have been amended, increasing the minimum weight, to allow its use again in 2011. In this way we hope that F1 can become an invaluable “laboratory” via which we may fast-track this technology to road car applications and thereby spread the benefits of F1 to society as a whole.
We also asked for your feedback on our proposed points system for 2010, and, while you were in favour of our plan to award points down to 10th place, you also stated a preference for a greater differential between points awarded for race wins and points awarded for lesser placings. We took that feedback on board and the points system was revised ahead of the 2010 World Championship, resulting in the closest F1 title battle for many years, with four drivers vying for the Drivers Championship at the final Grand Prix.
Thanks to FOM Productions, HD television broadcasts has been adopted from the start of the 2011 season and this is an important achievement that matches the expectations of many of you.
We are pleased with these achievements, but we are not complacent. We know that there is more work to be done, and we aim to continue to listen to our global fan base so that you may continue to guide our efforts to improve the sport we all love.
Finally, in the 2010 study, you asked for the opportunity to engage directly with the teams and drivers; we conducted a Fans Forum in London in 2010 and we are pleased to announce three further Fans Forums planned for this year in Canada, Great Britain and Italy. And while we will not be able to meet you all, rest assured that we will be listening and will be continuing to push for enhancements wherever and whenever possible.
Together with you, we now look forward to a fascinating and challenging race here in Monaco.
Martin Whitmarsh Eric Boullier
Chairman and Vice Chairman, FOTA