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Should Formula 1 copy American racing?


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#1 Cyanide

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:10

Juan Pablo Montoya made a point that's probably been on people's tongues for a while now

 

IndyCar works and it works well because of its closer approach to fans, but not just. The sound and the racing are great and the investment + the money involved really falls shy of some budgets in Formula 1. 

 

Should European racing look into how its done in the U.S.? And perhaps stop obsessing about spending less money because, well, no matter what they do they'll always spend a lot more than they probably should. 



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#2 OvDrone

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:12

Did you see what happened to Tony Stewart lately?



#3 PayasYouRace

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:13

Fan interaction is definitely one area that F1 could learn from Indycar and US racing in general.

 

I wish he hadn't mentioned the sound. It's just going to result in another sound thread.



#4 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:16

F1 needs to let fans see the drivers and cars at close quarters......pit lane walkabouts, autograph signing sessions etc.....not certain about paddock access as cars will be in pit garages, all you'll see in the paddocks are the transporters etc. 



#5 Cyanide

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:19

To be fair, I think the sound is fine but I also think IndyCar sounds slightly better. So I wouldn't necessarily touch on that issue. 

 

What I definitely would change is approach to fans. It really needs a revamp in that area because it's not even remotely close to the audience. 

 

Did you see what happened to Tony Stewart lately?

 

That has nothing to do with the topic at hand, since its referring to IndyCar mainly and that's more strictly regulated than sprint car racing. 



#6 OvDrone

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:05

That has nothing to do with the topic at hand, since its referring to IndyCar mainly and that's more strictly regulated than sprint car racing. 

 

Sorry about that, mate. I was being a bastard and I threw some bait, in a vain attempt to seem funny.

 

Alas, yea, F1 needs to be a part of the more 'modern' social networking interaction. The feeling you get when you walk near the Paddock is the overreaching sense of corporate entitlement that place and people have. It's not a gathering of likeminded individuals with a shared passion for racing. It's just bullshit 'investments' and caviar. Gone are the days when a dude like Mika Hakkinen could at least just wave a hand at you, while you sip on a beer at some grandstands nearer to the garages.

 

Indycar seems cool, awesome, relaxed and sure of itself (apart from some rumors I heard of Montoya still seemingly a bit of a c***). F1 needs to learn from that.

 

That being said, that is the model of choice for me when it comes to the US side of things. Nascar is my direct opposite. Please spare me the bullshit 'child on one shoulder, the other two in hand, wife dearly next to you while you think of the American Dream, jets flying overhead spraying everyone in the red-white-&-blue of freedom while you stand there hearing a harpy defile your anthem and thinking how best to just **** up Kyle Busch's day'.

 

Spare me that, at least. We already have Brundle's ego and the overt mad ramblings of the one we call the Kravitz.


Edited by OvDrone, 13 August 2014 - 10:07.


#7 CoolBreeze

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:05

Thing is, F1 is too overprotected sport. The drivers are like cry babies. Slight rain, and it's either a delayed start or a safety car start. These guys are arguably the top talented drivers in the world and they can't even handle slight rain. 

 

Then, they get shielded from the fans, and hardly meet the fans. It's just so restrictive. The business model is weird. The super rich guys gets to tour using the Formula Paddock thing, some super expensive scheme. And most of the time, they have no idea about F1 at all. Then the real fans are just behind fences. Think about it. 



#8 sopa

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:14

One important reason IMO why F1 is so restrictive is that there is a chassis design competition between all teams. Everyone has their own different chassis design. And everyone wants to keep their things secret as much as possible, and not let random people wander around their garages. In contrast in IndyCar everyone uses the DW12, so it doesn't make that much difference in terms of fan approach.

 

I am sure F1 can and should ponder ways how to open up a bit more to people, but I can understand, why teams want to keep at least some vital secrecy.



#9 Cyanide

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:16

Thing is, F1 is too overprotected sport. The drivers are like cry babies. Slight rain, and it's either a delayed start or a safety car start. These guys are arguably the top talented drivers in the world and they can't even handle slight rain. 

 

Then, they get shielded from the fans, and hardly meet the fans. It's just so restrictive. The business model is weird. The super rich guys gets to tour using the Formula Paddock thing, some super expensive scheme. And most of the time, they have no idea about F1 at all. Then the real fans are just behind fences. Think about it. 

 

This. 

 

Costs are way too high in my opinion, especially for paddock club tickets. I get that they're offering premium services to beholders of those tickets, but come on. Over 3,000 euros for something like that is clearly only accessible to movie stars or people with ridiculous amount of money. 

 

Fans deserve paddock access so either cut down the premium services and paddock ticket prices or come up with something so not only John Travolta or Pharell Williams can get close and personal with F1. 



#10 Thomas99

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:18

All f1 needs is internet streaming. The way people watch TV has changed and F1 doesn't offer that.



#11 Slackbladder

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:18

The sound issue aside, and i'm not commenting on that, as I'll it to people which have heard it on track.

 

You have to agree with him

 

There's two things to do, Make 1) The cars, and 2) The drivers the stars. That's it. 

 

For example, 2013 was marred by domination over tyres, who cares about tyres? No one.

 

Ban or restrict pit to car radio. I don't want to hear about drivers managing brake balance or this that or the other when they're in a race, let alone a team telling them what corner they're slow at or this that or the other. Let them race! Let them feel the car and show their skill. Hell, ban telemetary for the teams too.

 

Let them use whatever toys or gizmo's during setup and practice, but let it be a sport and a entertainment for those hours on a sunday.



#12 Kraken

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 11:53

Thing is, F1 is too overprotected sport. The drivers are like cry babies. Slight rain, and it's either a delayed start or a safety car start. These guys are arguably the top talented drivers in the world and they can't even handle slight rain. 

 

Then, they get shielded from the fans, and hardly meet the fans. It's just so restrictive. The business model is weird. The super rich guys gets to tour using the Formula Paddock thing, some super expensive scheme. And most of the time, they have no idea about F1 at all. Then the real fans are just behind fences. Think about it. 

Talk about over exaggeration. They drive in rain all the time unlike some American series. When they don't race it's because it's incredibly dangerous. The cars don't function at all below a certain speed, no grip, no brakes no matter how talented you are.



#13 JHSingo

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:01

I think most sports events in America are far better than anything that takes place in Europe/rest of the world. They're just better at putting events on. I mean, look at the build up to say, the Indianapolis 500. Never fails to give me chills.

 

So I do kind of agree with what Montoya says. I think the way to boost ticket sales is beautifully simple - make them more affordable, and increase fan interaction. The other thing that needs sorting is the support package. In Europe it's not so bad with GP2, GP3 etc, but at some races there is hardly anything racing alongside F1. They should look at an event like the Silverstone Classic - packed race schedule, meaning there is very rarely a pause in the on track action.



#14 03011969

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:07

There are some fair points, and some aspects of American racing that could be wisely incorporated. 

 

It still seems a little unfortuitous to be suggesting it at this time.



#15 Tourgott

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:16

Football has absolutely no fan interaction  but it became the most popular sport.

 

There are other problems like the sound and the artificial racing which are more important.



#16 DamonHillOfBeans

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:20

I've never quite understood this "drivers should meet the fans" complaint. Just how, logistically, do you expect 50,000+ race fans to meet 22 drivers over the course of a weekend? I've seen touring car paddock tours with a couple of thousand fans queuing to meet 30 drivers and it's been chaos. I'm all for a bit more access and transparency, but the rose-tinted nostalgia days of wandering the pit lane and meeting your heroes have long since disappeared, if they ever really existed for the ordinary fan. 



#17 E.B.

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:27

Talk about over exaggeration. They drive in rain all the time unlike some American series. When they don't race it's because it's incredibly dangerous. The cars don't function at all below a certain speed, no grip, no brakes no matter how talented you are.


I think the biggest danger of racing in the rain is the lack of visibility, rather than the ability of the drivers to cope with slippy conditions.
 
 

but the rose-tinted nostalgia days of wandering the pit lane and meeting your heroes have long since disappeared, if they ever really existed for the ordinary fan.


Yes it did really exist, and thanks to Goodwood it still does!

#18 redreni

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:27

That question could be interpreted in a number of different ways, but I'm struggling to think of any interpretation that would lead me to answer "yes" to that question. What could F1 learn from Indycar? How to have a schism and lose nearly all your fanbase? How to have an horrifically ugly spec chassis? Indycar has admittedly been producing some consistently good racing, from what I've seen, but so has F1 this season. I think the two things are different and neither needs to try to be more like the other.

 

As for F1 learning from other forms of American racing, no, I don't think so.



#19 billm99uk

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:36

I've never quite understood this "drivers should meet the fans" complaint. Just how, logistically, do you expect 50,000+ race fans to meet 22 drivers over the course of a weekend? I've seen touring car paddock tours with a couple of thousand fans queuing to meet 30 drivers and it's been chaos. I'm all for a bit more access and transparency, but the rose-tinted nostalgia days of wandering the pit lane and meeting your heroes have long since disappeared, if they ever really existed for the ordinary fan. 

 

Yeah, I love Indycar but people don't realise it can be more 'friendly' precisely because it isn't so successful and there aren't nearly as many fans to deal with as F1. The only really big audience is for the 500 and that's been in decline for years. Not saying there's not plenty F1 could learn from US series (social media use particularly) but I'd take NASCAR more as the model. It's just far more successful.


Edited by billm99uk, 13 August 2014 - 12:36.


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#20 JHSingo

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:47

but I'd take NASCAR more as the model. It's just far more successful.

 

It might have been in the past now - but NASCAR is having exactly the same problem as F1 right, in fact, probably even worse. TV viewing figures/track side attendance has been dropping steadily recently. Whereas I believe viewing figures for IndyCar/F1, while still very small, have been holding up and slightly increasing.



#21 zepunishment

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:51

1) Current F1 cars don't look powerful to the average viewer, they look fragile and ugly.

 

2) TV viewing is restricted for the casual watcher with pay TV. In the UK, I can either pay something like 40 pounds a month for sky f1 or watch intermittant live coverage/highlights free on the BBC. Neither of those are really good strategies for engaging with fans.

 

3) Driver's aren't accessible and things like the paddock club are very elitist. Again not exactly a way to engage with potential fans.

 

4) Tickets are expensive

 

5) No social media presence

 

The list goes on...



#22 billm99uk

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 12:51

It might have been in the past now - but NASCAR is having exactly the same problem as F1 right, in fact, probably even worse. TV viewing figures/track side attendance has been dropping steadily recently. Whereas I believe viewing figures for IndyCar/F1, while still very small, have been holding up and slightly increasing.

 

True, but they could hardly get any worse. It's got a long way to climb to get back to pre-split levels of success, let alone make it's drivers household names like they were in the Andretti/Unser days.



#23 FBJim

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 13:19

No, because American motorsport is dying.



#24 discover23

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 13:24

Did you see what happened to Tony Stewart lately?

 


Yeah,, what about it?

#25 discover23

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 13:31

All f1 needs is internet streaming. The way people watch TV has changed and F1 doesn't offer that.

 


This, plus In-camera views from all drivers.. just like they do in NASCAR. If your favorite driver starts down the pack, it would be great if you can go online, switch to his on-board camera angle and see the start of the race from his perspective. I am surprised F1 does not have that by now.

#26 Kraken

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 13:49

I think most sports events in America are far better than anything that takes place in Europe/rest of the world. They're just better at putting events on. I mean, look at the build up to say, the Indianapolis 500. Never fails to give me chills.

I don't think Europeans think in the same way as the Americans do though. I love all forms of motorsport but the build up to the NASCAR and Indycar events bores the heck out of me and a lot of it (like the priests) makes me cringe. 

 

Personally if I'm travelling to see an event I want to see the main event for as long as possible. The rest of it is just fluff. Who goes to a concert to see the support act?



#27 Paco

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 13:58

Trackside fan engagement and access is a major major let down in f1. Pit day like Montreal had was awesome but in Saturday they should find a way for fans trackside to get way more access to he cars and even more the drivers...

TV coverage needs to be amped up as well on Saturday... At least here in North America. I'd like a behind the scenes of every team, teams talking about what's new and how they are trying to move up..

#28 Paco

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 13:59

But no need to copy the USA. Stupid artificial outcomes with weird yellows and fixed yellows and 2lap final shoot puts ... Snorefest

#29 Sennasational

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 14:04

1) Current F1 cars don't look powerful to the average viewer, they look fragile and ugly.

 

2) TV viewing is restricted for the casual watcher with pay TV. In the UK, I can either pay something like 40 pounds a month for sky f1 or watch intermittant live coverage/highlights free on the BBC. Neither of those are really good strategies for engaging with fans.

 

3) Driver's aren't accessible and things like the paddock club are very elitist. Again not exactly a way to engage with potential fans.

 

4) Tickets are expensive

 

5) No social media presence

 

The list goes on...

 

Does it?

 

I don't really care for the look of a racing car. They're designed around speed, not aesthetics. It is my opinion that the aesthetics of race cars don't matter to anyone who watches motorsport. If the cars were made more beautiful thousands more wouldn't suddenly decide to follow Formula 1 and to suggest that they would is ludicrous. Not to mention IndyCars look far more ugly to me, out of proportion and bulging in all the wrong places.

 

I agree with you on the viewing thing, it sucks but it happens. Football used to be free too, its success has not been hampered by being relocated behind a paywall. F1 just happened to move to that system at the wrong time, people are cutting back due to the economy, they're less likely to be comfortable spending a lot of money to follow something they were getting free just a couple of years ago.

 

I don't know what kind of fan interaction IndyCar has, because I don't watch it. I don't watch it because it isn't broadcast here, it's as simple as that. I'm a fan of motorsport, so if I can watch it then I will. I don't need the drivers to pretend to care that I'm watching, I don't need the drivers to be my friend - I just want to see them drive. You have to remember, back in the days when people got to see more of the paddock in person, that was the only way they'd get to see that. Now we have the internet, social media, better and more in depth TV coverage, everyone has a camera on their phone and the ability to make whatever image they take immediately available to almost anyone in the world. The simple concept of allowing 120,000 people meet the drivers and fill up the pitlane is completely unreasonable in the modern era. The health and safety control required alone would make it unfeasable in any reasonable time scale. I know at Silverstone at least there is a pitlane 'walk' early on the Thursday morning, I don't know what it entails because I have never been. I have never been because I don't care.

 

Ticket prices are too much, this is true.

 

If I'm not mistaken, all of the F1 teams use social media to interact with their own fans. Most, if not all, of the drivers also use it independently (although most is probably managed for them).

 

None of these 'innovations' are particularly 'American' though. American motorsport is a different breed entirely, and you'll find that many European motorsport fans are not interested in the likes of Nascar and vice versa. There are elements of the sports that could benefit from each other, but they are fundamentally different. In my opinion, as someone else pointed out, the American 'build up' is cringe worthy and hugely over the top. I'm not an idiot, I know deep down it's a sporting event, and while I might want to pretend to myself that it's the greatest most exciting thing in the universe for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, if anyone else tries to build it up as that, I can only assume that they think I'm a moron - because I'd have to be to actually believe them.

 

Whether it's sophistication or simply taste, I don't care to speculate. But no, I don't think F1 should be 'more American'. I think F1 has problems, serious problems, but none of them are down to the sport not being American enough. To suggest that any of the issues of F1 could be solved by copying a less popular racing series with similar issues with diminishing viewing figures and attendance makes no logical sense to me.


Edited by Sennasational, 13 August 2014 - 14:17.


#30 HoldenRT

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 14:51

They already have been LOL.. it's just that they went with KERS/DRS instead of push to pass, so that it could have an innovation element to it.  Lots of other little things.  Having ten cautions per race probably wouldn't be ideal but there are probably lots of other smaller ideas that could help.. like better online/internet coverage, or having better ways of increasing ticket sales and making more of an event out of it.  Getting closer to the fans is never a bad thing.  Someone mentioned wet racing, yes needs more actual use of full wet tyres.  Instead of red flag or SC until inters.



#31 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 14:52

I'm all for a bit more access and transparency, but the rose-tinted nostalgia days of wandering the pit lane and meeting your heroes have long since disappeared, if they ever really existed for the ordinary fan. 

 You only have to look at photos of GP paddocks in the 60s / early 70s......no pit garages then, mechanics working on their cars beside the transporters with speccies looking on. 



#32 Disgrace

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 15:07

...

 

5) No social media presence

 

I think one needs to be careful in differentiating between new media in general and social media. The latter is only superficial whereas the former represents a fundamental shift in the business model. In fact, I suspect it would take such a shift for the social media presence to be of any benefit - FOM do nothing to promote their own sport, and part of this is a total lockdown on archive footage. As it is, that work is delegated to the television stations.



#33 Nonesuch

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 15:33

Copy? No. Be inspired by? Why not, there's always something one can learn.

 

Of course F1 could be much less expensive if it was a spec-series. That's not exactly a shocking discovery.

 

Opening up the paddock could be nice for the people at the track, but I doubt it's going to do much to bring back the millions of people (see the thread on this specific issue) that have stopped watching on TV.

 

 

5) No social media presence

 

What are you talking about?

 

Almost without exception, F1 teams have pages on everything from YouTube to Facebook to the latest fad in 'social media', not to mention their normal websites for news and backgrounds.

 

Then there's the untold number of local and international fan clubs of drivers, of teams, heck even of specific tracks.

 

In addition, there's multiple news and discussion websites with forums as big - or bigger - than this one at Autosport.com in countries large and small.

 

What is missing? A pre-screened Q&A on an FOM-approved Twitter account?


Edited by Nonesuch, 13 August 2014 - 15:38.


#34 Zoony

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 16:06

Should F1 copy American racing?

 

No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No! 

 

Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!



#35 E.B.

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 16:08

There's no limit?

#36 Watkins74

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 16:10

About 23 people watch these Indycar races on TV with the exception of the Indy 500.

 

 

Sorry Juan.



#37 johnwilliamdavies

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 16:19

I subscribe to the Indycar Youtube channel, which is mildly interesting.

 

Today over breakfast I watched a video showing me what Ryan Briscoe thinks of the Milwaukee track. He said it was "a pile of sh*t". Actually, he didn't, he said the usual bland things all racing drivers seem to say. 



#38 HoldenRT

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 17:35

As I said in an earlier post, people have already been complaining that F1 is copying USA in terms of the "show" with DRS/KERS and the Pirelli "show tyres".  It's already been happening, it's just about trying to achieve the right balance.  I don't really care about what they do, because there is always good points or bad points to everything.  Just as long as what they do works, and the focus is on the sporting element and the drivers competiting against each other.  It doesn't need to be artificial but it doesn't need to be boring either.  You just want the fastest drivers to end up at the front, at the end of every race.. and watching them fight and battle to get there is the fun part.  It doesn't need fake SC'S.. F1 has never gone that far.  But they are closer to USA racing than they were 10 years ago.



#39 MikeV1987

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 17:58

Sure, why not? Indy is already more entertaining than F1, not to mention way more accessible to fans. 

 

Ticket prices alone for F1 are a joke compared to Indy, the difference in prices for paddock passes is the biggest joke of them all.


Edited by MikeV1987, 13 August 2014 - 18:09.


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#40 BRG

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 18:03

I think both sides could usefully learn from the other.  Both have strong elements and both have major weaknesses.



#41 Spillage

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 18:24

Thing is, F1 is too overprotected sport. The drivers are like cry babies. Slight rain, and it's either a delayed start or a safety car start. These guys are arguably the top talented drivers in the world and they can't even handle slight rain. 

 

Then, they get shielded from the fans, and hardly meet the fans. It's just so restrictive. The business model is weird. The super rich guys gets to tour using the Formula Paddock thing, some super expensive scheme. And most of the time, they have no idea about F1 at all. Then the real fans are just behind fences. Think about it. 

That isn't any different in Indycar.

 

But I do agree with JPM's point. F1 can definitely take a lead from the more interactive American racing series. F1 tickets are massively overpriced and the whole circus exists in a complete bubble - as that recent threat about the Silverstone wing suggested. Built at massive expense and completely out of reach of the fans.

 

It is such a shame because I think the F1 product itself is the best motor racing series in the world. Perhaps it doesn't match Indycar for wacky entertainment, but for quality I think it blows Indycar into the reeds. F1 gives much more of a sense of being serious business and basically of being the world's elite motor racing series. Unfortunately everyone involved knows it and acts like it. Fans embrace the talent in the sport, but the sport doesn't embrace them and that is where we can learn a great deal from American racing.



#42 Shambolic

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 18:50

IWho goes to a concert to see the support act?

 

 

I did. I went to Bon Jovi at Wembley specifically one year so I could see Thunder. Who then, it transpired, weren't playing that particular day. And it was the ear insulting, mind churning dross of Crown of Thorns instead.

 

 

I'm not sure F1 would benefit from an American approach. Part of me thinks some things are better if they keep their mystery and glamour. I prefer not to know what an acting legend, musical superstar, etc ate for breakfast, or how many sheets they needed for their morning wipe. I don't want my idols to be just like me, I want to aspire to be just like them. So maybe it's better if F1 drivers are kept at a bit of a distance. F1 could do its image and popularity a lot of good by working out how to make the sport itself accessible, rather than the personalities. That means things like not hiding it behind paywalls, not scouring all traces from Youtube, not having the main promoter find every outlet possible to denigrate it, not increasingly giving the air of a corrupt rich man's club with no morals.. The list goes on. Make fans feel privelidged to be at a race, not because they've had to pay a month's salary, but because they're getting to witness something special.

 

Note, I don't think life long hearing damage is necessary to make something special.



#43 RedRabbit

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 18:57

1) Current F1 cars don't look powerful to the average viewer, they look fragile and ugly.

 

2) TV viewing is restricted for the casual watcher with pay TV. In the UK, I can either pay something like 40 pounds a month for sky f1 or watch intermittant live coverage/highlights free on the BBC. Neither of those are really good strategies for engaging with fans.

 

3) Driver's aren't accessible and things like the paddock club are very elitist. Again not exactly a way to engage with potential fans.

 

4) Tickets are expensive

 

5) No social media presence

 

The list goes on...

 

Sorry, I keep reading this and keep thinking it's just plain wrong. So the UK finally has to pay for F1. So what? In South Africa we havent had free to air F1 for over a decade. I'm ok with that. Because I get not one single advert during all the live free practice sessions, qualifying and the race. Not even a break during sessions in Quali, it's all live. I also get build-up shows we never had before and the race and quali will repeat at a more convenient time if it's an early morning or late night event. So not all countries are better off with FTA and I don't believe for one second that viewership has been negatively affected apart from the manner in which they count them.

 

Secondly - no social media presence? This forum is social media. Every single team and driver has a Facebook and Twitter account which is updated religiously. Every team and driver has a website. Every track has a social media account or website of sorts. There are apps to download for desktop and mobile. There is an offical F1 website and probably Facebook account. When people say that F1 has no social media presence, exactly what, do they mean? Other than simply repeating something that somebody thinks they said on a website somewhere that has grown it's own life.



#44 Fastcake

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 19:01

It depends on what exactly F1 should be copying. I'm sure there are things from the States that F1 should adopt, but there may well be things that should stay there.



#45 RedRabbit

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 19:03

Copy? No. Be inspired by? Why not, there's always something one can learn.

 

Of course F1 could be much less expensive if it was a spec-series. That's not exactly a shocking discovery.

 

Opening up the paddock could be nice for the people at the track, but I doubt it's going to do much to bring back the millions of people (see the thread on this specific issue) that have stopped watching on TV.

 

 

What are you talking about?

 

Almost without exception, F1 teams have pages on everything from YouTube to Facebook to the latest fad in 'social media', not to mention their normal websites for news and backgrounds.

 

Then there's the untold number of local and international fan clubs of drivers, of teams, heck even of specific tracks.

 

In addition, there's multiple news and discussion websites with forums as big - or bigger - than this one at Autosport.com in countries large and small.

 

What is missing? A pre-screened Q&A on an FOM-approved Twitter account?

 

:clap:



#46 Disgrace

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 19:20

What are you talking about?

 

Almost without exception, F1 teams have pages on everything from YouTube to Facebook to the latest fad in 'social media', not to mention their normal websites for news and backgrounds.

 

Then there's the untold number of local and international fan clubs of drivers, of teams, heck even of specific tracks.

 

In addition, there's multiple news and discussion websites with forums as big - or bigger - than this one at Autosport.com in countries large and small.

 

What is missing? A pre-screened Q&A on an FOM-approved Twitter account?

 

That it's really about the participants was also my point of view. I still think it is, but not to such an extent that it crowds out the possibility of an official F1 presence.

 

Have a look at these popular organisations on Twitter: NBA, ATP, NFL, Premier League. Here's IndyCar as well for reference, though viewership is clearly much lower and it reflects in the number of followers. Notice the links to features and content such as highlights, videos and interviews. The feeds are filled with pictures. The delivery is also personable.

 

Now compare those to the dry, photo-free F1 feed, which is used (as per the description) as nothing but a placeholder for the official website. It seems to me as though the number of followers is disproportionate to the sport's popularity. There is also an FIA feed but that content will be dedicated to all FIA-sanctioned series.

 

The effective monopoly position of FOM means they need to do jack other than delegate promotion to TV and the circuits (what great value they get). Whether or not you believe social media is the correct tool, it certainly can demonstrate the reality that there's very limited interaction between the sport itself and the fans. The social disconnect is just another manifestation of F1's unwillingness to adopt new media as a whole.



#47 CARTurbo

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 20:31

I've never quite understood this "drivers should meet the fans" complaint. Just how, logistically, do you expect 50,000+ race fans to meet 22 drivers over the course of a weekend? I've seen touring car paddock tours with a couple of thousand fans queuing to meet 30 drivers and it's been chaos. I'm all for a bit more access and transparency, but the rose-tinted nostalgia days of wandering the pit lane and meeting your heroes have long since disappeared, if they ever really existed for the ordinary fan. 

Maybe in F1, but as a fan of Indycar who goes to multiple races a year, I can assure you that still exists there  :cat:

A paddock pass will run you $30-60 dollars, giving you access to the transporters, garages, team hospitality areas, and of course drivers don't have secret underground tunnels to get around, so its more than common to see them or team owners or mechanics walking around or swooping by on a scooter.



#48 SpartanChas

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 20:59

I liked the pit lane walk at Monza and Silverstone. They should do it at every race every year for a start. Maybe get a few of the drivers to go into the garages and see the fans. The only driver I saw either time was Sebastian Vettel, talking to Rocky in his garage, seemingly oblivious to the hundreds of people watching him.

 

Secondly, the after party at Silverstone. Been to it the last few years and I hope it carries on every year, and with more drivers next time. And less Eddie Jordan.

 

Also, CHEAPER TICKETS!



#49 redreni

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 21:00

This, plus In-camera views from all drivers.. just like they do in NASCAR. If your favorite driver starts down the pack, it would be great if you can go online, switch to his on-board camera angle and see the start of the race from his perspective. I am surprised F1 does not have that by now.

 

To address the popularity issue, FOM should put the world feed online for free, without geoblocking. Just one basic feed, with ad breaks. But then behind a paywall, they could put the good stuff - full coverage, ad-free, in both live streaming and on-demand video, live-timing and as-live timing on-demand, ability to go back and access any footage from any camera at any time during the race, so if you were interested in a particular incident, even one not picked up by the broadcasters, you could go back and view it from every conceivable angle, without having to wait for broadcasters to find, cut and show the footage you want to see, which they often fail to do. And it could include more detailed timing info showing every timing loop, not just the three sectors, as well as the GPS-based car tracker, the Meteo-France weather data as supplied to the teams, instant access to stewards' decisions as they're published, etc. And there could be cheaper, intermediate levels of coverage in between the basic, free world stream, and the full-on package that lets you access anything and everything.

 

That way everyone from the most casual to the most obsessive fan would be able to get the kind of coverage that's appropriate for them, the audience figures would have a good chance of recovering to what they were before F1 started hiding behind paywalls, and the pay-to-view option wouldn't seem like such a rip-off because, unlike Sky charging a fortune to access coverage which is scarcely any better than what was on free-to-air television before, this would be a case of charging for a level of coverage which hadn't hitherto been available, and is just far more comprehensive than anything that's possible on traditional media.

 

Having a free internet stream would mean taking a huge hit in TV rights income, because you'd be selling non-exclusive rights, but it would be monetised through advertising and through charging for more in-depth coverage, and it would aim to get overall viewer numbers up. Are there lessons to be learned from US motorsport and the way they do the coverage? Not as far as I can see. Everything seems to be geoblocked and full of hyper-intrusive advertising, to the point that the US feeds of TUSC races this season have been borderline unwatchable, by all accounts. Indycar has gone to channels nobody watches, and there are no legitimate internet streams that I know of, certainly not free ones. NASCAR's coverage follows a pretty old-school model and, though successful, it's in decline, rather like F1. I don't think there are ready-made solutions out there for F1 to copy. F1 ought to be innovating and breaking new ground. That's what it was doing when it was growing in popularity and gaining new fans.


Edited by redreni, 13 August 2014 - 21:59.


#50 OvDrone

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 21:03


Yeah,, what about it?

Sorry about that, mate. I was being a bastard and I threw some bait, in a vain attempt to seem funny.