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AUTOSPORT F1 fans - an ageing demographic?


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Poll: F1 fans (269 member(s) have cast votes)

How old are you?

  1. 17 or younger (2 votes [0.74%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.74%

  2. 18-24 (4 votes [1.49%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.49%

  3. 25-34 (69 votes [25.65%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.65%

  4. 35-44 (88 votes [32.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.71%

  5. 45-54 (44 votes [16.36%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.36%

  6. 55-64 (38 votes [14.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.13%

  7. 65-74 (21 votes [7.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.81%

  8. 75 or older (3 votes [1.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.12%

When did you start watching/following F1

  1. Before 1980 (60 votes [22.30%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.30%

  2. 1981-1990 (61 votes [22.68%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.68%

  3. 1991-2000 (114 votes [42.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 42.38%

  4. 2001-2010 (29 votes [10.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.78%

  5. 2011-2020 (5 votes [1.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.86%

Where are you based?

  1. Africa (3 votes [1.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.12%

  2. Asia (7 votes [2.60%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.60%

  3. The Caribbean (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. Central America (1 votes [0.37%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.37%

  5. North America (38 votes [14.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.13%

  6. South America (6 votes [2.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.23%

  7. Oceania (18 votes [6.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.69%

  8. Europe (196 votes [72.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 72.86%

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#1 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 17:31

Interested to see how long everyone has been watching F1 and what age they are... I certainly think F1 will suffer from an ageing fan base in the coming years, although I’m sure Bernie intentionally aimed for that during his tenure as he saw that as being where the money comes from.

Also would be interesting to see where F1 is picking up fans from (if it is) in terms of location. Are there any places where f1 has better accessibility and does that equal more fans/viewers. Does having Free-to-air coverage and a local race help or are they not linked?

I started watching back in 1996, in the UK. I’d seen it on the telly in the background and it had never grabbed me, but in 1996 I started watching it quite regularly. And then by 1998 I was absolutely hooked and was spending my pocket money on F1Racing mag and recording all the races on VHS. Followed it more passionately as a kid than what I do as an adult... although the access these days would have been amazing to have back then - but the other distractions/choice may have kept me away from it too!

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#2 Beri

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 17:38

Age 36
First full season 1991
European

Been watching F1 on Eurosport in the very beginning and on other free to air tv channels later on when the Netherlands got their own F1 broadcast programme.
Later on it went from free to air to a channel behind a form of pay wall. Paid since the beginning and will always continue to do so.
I will not pay for F1TV or any other app. Don't think it really adds something to my experience. Also there is enough free stuff available that is interestingly enough to recap the race afterwards.

#3 maximilian

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 18:09

I am definitely aging.  But very, VERY well.  :lol:



#4 MKSixer

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 18:26

Age 56

United States of America

 

I started watching when I was 9 or 10 when the US, Italian, German, and British Grands Prix, along with Monaco were regularly broadcast.  I had to read the accounts by Rob Walker and Innes Ireland in Road and Track a month later...it was torture to know the results without seeing the races.  It improved after I discovered AutoWeek which was only a week later.  

 

Gilles Villeneuve was killed the day I finished finals for High School and I will never forget that day.  A decade + later when Senna was killed, I finished the season but didn't watch for 2 years.  I was so heartbroken.  I picked it back up in 95 and haven't looked back.  My fav drivers over the decades have been: Hunt, Lauda (after his return), Villeneuve, Tambay, Lafitte, Piquet, Senna, Damon Hill, Ferrari MSC for a couple of years, Mika H, Kubica, Heidfeld, Leclerc, Ricciardo, Perez, and Sir Lewis.

 

I've seen it transition from amateurish to hardcore corporate and see the future of the sport as bright considering the times in which we live.  I've been hearing about the demise of F1 since I started and yet, here we are.  And for those considering relevance as the clarion cry for the future of F1, remember that we still have horse races because of the beauty and art of the sport.  Formula One is the same.



#5 Fivestripes

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 18:30

Age 66. Attended my first GP Silverstone 1967. Sat in Stowe Grandstand then and celebrated 50 years later at the same corner in 2017.



#6 Garndell

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 18:58

Age: 37

1st Season: 1988

Location: Europe (UK)

 

Watched my first race in 87 but actively chose to watch from 88 onwards.  Attended my first race at the 1990 British GP courtesy of my Grandad who died later that year.



#7 LucaP

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 19:04

How can you avoid us aging?

Edited by LucaP, 16 January 2021 - 19:05.


#8 sladealonso

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 20:42

Age 20
First season: probably around 2005 time was when I was watching every race (my dad was always a motorsport fan)
Location: Europe

#9 NixxxoN

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 20:46

Let's say It's not a sport for kids... because its somewhat advanced, technical, with strategies and all that. Stuff that sometimes is not easy to understand.

But who cares.

A sport isn't better or worse depending if the main audience is younger or older.

 

I'm 37 btw, and following F1 since the mid 90s


Edited by NixxxoN, 16 January 2021 - 20:47.


#10 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 20:53

Age 56

United States of America

 

I started watching when I was 9 or 10 when the US, Italian, German, and British Grands Prix, along with Monaco were regularly broadcast.  I had to read the accounts by Rob Walker and Innes Ireland in Road and Track a month later...it was torture to know the results without seeing the races.  It improved after I discovered AutoWeek which was only a week later.  

 

Gilles Villeneuve was killed the day I finished finals for High School and I will never forget that day.  A decade + later when Senna was killed, I finished the season but didn't watch for 2 years.  I was so heartbroken.  I picked it back up in 95 and haven't looked back.  My fav drivers over the decades have been: Hunt, Lauda (after his return), Villeneuve, Tambay, Lafitte, Piquet, Senna, Damon Hill, Ferrari MSC for a couple of years, Mika H, Kubica, Heidfeld, Leclerc, Ricciardo, Perez, and Sir Lewis.

 

I've seen it transition from amateurish to hardcore corporate and see the future of the sport as bright considering the times in which we live.  I've been hearing about the demise of F1 since I started and yet, here we are.  And for those considering relevance as the clarion cry for the future of F1, remember that we still have horse races because of the beauty and art of the sport.  Formula One is the same.

 

57

Dane living in the US

Being following since 1973, followed hardcore since sometime towards end of 1970ies.

 

Rest I can not voice better myself, we differ a little on favorite drivers - Underlying theme that is who I am as well.


Edited by KWSN - DSM, 16 January 2021 - 20:54.


#11 messy

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 20:59

35, first season 1998, British. Although I’d watched the odd race and sort of followed it in previous years, that was the first year my passion really started. I’d followed the BTCC and WRC for a couple of years before that because I was more interested in cars that resembled ‘real’ cars.

Edited by messy, 16 January 2021 - 21:00.


#12 Anderis

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 21:07

Let's say It's not a sport for kids... because its somewhat advanced, technical, with strategies and all that. Stuff that sometimes is not easy to understand.

That's why I became a fan as a kid! :p

 

I bet this forum definetely has an ageing demographic as young people tend to gravitate much more towards social media than towards traditional Internet forums. It happens with forums on all sorts of topics, not just F1.

 

When I began writing on Internet forums some 15 years ago, most people seemed to be around my age or a few years older. Here I am 15 years later and it's still true. It seems these forums were born with one generation and are unfortunately set to die with the very same generation. A one generation thing, it seems.



#13 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 21:12

That's why I became a fan as a kid! :p

I bet this forum definetely has an ageing demographic as young people tend to gravitate much more towards social media than towards traditional Internet forums. It happens with forums on all sorts of topics, not just F1.

When I began writing on Internet forums some 15 years ago, most people seemed to be around my age or a few years older. Here I am 15 years later and it's still true. It seems these forums were born with one generation and are unfortunately set to die with the very same generation. A one generation thing, it seems.


Indeed. A notch behind magazines, which have already began their period of consolidation and dying off. Eventually forums will be the same... but there’s a lot of interaction via the likes of Twitter, where the teams interact directly with the fans posts. That age group will never end up on the like of this forum, but I guess the age range in the results of this poll reflects ‘forum’ age users rather than the age range of f1 fans overall.

I still think this is the best medium for proper discussion of any subject matter though.

#14 MKSixer

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 21:18

57

Dane living in the US

Being following since 1973, followed hardcore since sometime towards end of 1970ies.

 

Rest I can not voice better myself, we differ a little on favorite drivers - Underlying theme that is who I am as well.

 

Thanks.

 

I, as well as my close friends, have passed the bug onto our kids, which is important.  

 

I'll say one more thing. The fellowship of race fans, is nothing more than remarkable. I've taken my brother, who has a right-side deficit from a stroke, to grands prix and to driving events and the welcoming and hospitality towards him from fellow fans brings tears to my eyes, at times.  While we may, mostly good-naturedly, prop up our fav teams and drivers...there are no more compassionate people I've found in sports than racing fans.



#15 Anderis

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 21:21

Age 20
First season: probably around 2005 time was when I was watching every race (my dad was always a motorsport fan)
Location: Europe

Wow, you were already watching as a 5 years old? :eek:

 

I can't imagine myself watching with understanding anything else than cartoons at that age, even though I was quite a smart kid (at around age 6 I was beating adults in chess, those who weren't very good at chess at least :p ) . I couldn't be bothered with watching any kind of sports on TV until I was around 10.



#16 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 21:28

That's why I became a fan as a kid! :p

 

I bet this forum definetely has an ageing demographic as young people tend to gravitate much more towards social media than towards traditional Internet forums. It happens with forums on all sorts of topics, not just F1.

 

When I began writing on Internet forums some 15 years ago, most people seemed to be around my age or a few years older. Here I am 15 years later and it's still true. It seems these forums were born with one generation and are unfortunately set to die with the very same generation. A one generation thing, it seems.

 

[put on old geezer hat]

Twitter can not be used seriously for anything.

[take of old geezer hat]



#17 MKSixer

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 21:29

That's why I became a fan as a kid! :p

 

I bet this forum definetely has an ageing demographic as young people tend to gravitate much more towards social media than towards traditional Internet forums. It happens with forums on all sorts of topics, not just F1.

 

When I began writing on Internet forums some 15 years ago, most people seemed to be around my age or a few years older. Here I am 15 years later and it's still true. It seems these forums were born with one generation and are unfortunately set to die with the very same generation. A one generation thing, it seems.

 

Same here.  

 

And we, as current fans, have to make certain that it doesn't die in one generation by encouraging younger people, boys and girls, to get the bug.  My daughter is a, "car guy". When she was in HS, all of the car questions went to her from boys and girls.  When I'm out in one of my personal cars which get a fair amount of attention, I ALWAYS answer questions from kids because the same was done for me when I was young.  If they want pictures in the i8 with the doors up, I always oblige. 

 

I will never forget my first ride in a Porsche which was given to me by the salesman at a dealership to myself and my best friend as a 15 year old kid who had only earned his drivers license a month before.  Both myself and my buddy have been faithful car enthusiasts and racing fans since then.  It has to be taught through exposure.  

 

Great post.



#18 NixxxoN

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 21:31

That's why I became a fan as a kid! :p

 

I bet this forum definetely has an ageing demographic as young people tend to gravitate much more towards social media than towards traditional Internet forums. It happens with forums on all sorts of topics, not just F1.

 

When I began writing on Internet forums some 15 years ago, most people seemed to be around my age or a few years older. Here I am 15 years later and it's still true. It seems these forums were born with one generation and are unfortunately set to die with the very same generation. A one generation thing, it seems.

Well you can become a fan as a kid but I doubt you will understand much what's going on overall, other than the basics (its a race and the winner is the one who finishes first and all) :)



#19 FTB

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 21:31

Does Istanbul count as Europe?  :lol:

Anyways:

Started watching in 2005 from what I remember

Istanbul/Turkey

Will be 20 in a short time.


Edited by FTB, 16 January 2021 - 21:32.


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#20 Anderis

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 21:44

Does Istanbul count as Europe?  :lol:

It depends on what part of Istanbul. :p

 

Well you can become a fan as a kid but I doubt you will understand much what's going on overall, other than the basics (its a race and the winner is the one who finishes first and all) :)

TBH, my statement might have been misleading, I was 15 when I started watching regularly.



#21 Alan Lewis

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 21:48

Age 56, been a follower of motorsport in general for about half a century of that, a Mercian living in the half of Northumbria that used to be Bernicia.

Formula 1 back then was not readily available on UK television. Most races were not broadcast and those that were tended to be highlights programs - which is where Autosport came into my life every week.

As we near the end of the first quarter of the twenty first century, I find myself in a somewhat similar position. I don't pay for TV (other than the licence fee!) and so, whilst I haven't missed a race in decades, I watch the highlights on Channel 4 and that's not likely to change.

Formula 1 has a claim to be the premier form of single-seater road course competition, but that's as far as it goes. It demonstrably has never been about "the best twenty drivers in the world" (or twenty-six!); maybe the best half-dozen or so at some times.

I'm not going to stop watching, but World Rally and MotoGP also do free-to-air highlights, I very much enjoy the whole ethos of Formula E, ITV4's live "whole meeting" BTCC coverage is a thing of beauty,... There's plenty out there that's no more or less important to me than "Effwun".

Anderis' post above is spot on about how the way different generations see internet access has changed over time and I'm sure the same applies to TV content as well.

#22 NixxxoN

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 21:49

It depends on what part of Istanbul. :p

 

TBH, my statement might have been misleading, I was 15 when I started watching regularly.

Ok what I meant by kids was like, 10 or younger



#23 PlatenGlass

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 22:32

I'm really old at 42 and got into F1 quite seriously at the age of 5 in 1983 - went to my first race that year as well. In repsonse to some other posts, I would say that it wasn't long at all before my understanding of F1 was as high as that of most adults, including my dad.

Edit - from the UK.

Edited by PlatenGlass, 16 January 2021 - 23:38.


#24 Paco

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 23:32

Great Thread.

 

Didn't expect it to be soooooo 2 sided.  No wonder Honda bowing out.  All this time, so little traction in spreading the F1 viewership.   Hope this shows F1 again, how ridiculous it is to run all these races out outside of the core viewers points.

 

90% still Europe and NorthAmerica.

 

I get that is also influenced by Autosport bias.  Perhaps other forums/sites would skew it a bit different but wow.



#25 Widefoot2

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 00:02

I'm really old at 42...

Ha!  Try adding two more decades and let me know how you feel (if I'm still around, that is...).

 

Got interested in cars at around five, started paying attention to F1 around ten (had been more into drag racing before that). Mostly into Formula and sports car racing ever since, but will follow some NASCAR/Indy (I'm American), as well as the occasional motorcycle stuff.

 

For me a lot of the attraction is the technology side, but also a fan of the drivers with supreme car handling skills (the Prost's, Alonso's, and similar), but will admit to being more than a little peeved about the Hybrid error, sorry, era.  Impressive tech, badly implemented due to constraints and inherent cost.  I'd have rather stayed with improving efficiency of more conventional engines.



#26 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 00:18

Great Thread.

Didn't expect it to be soooooo 2 sided. No wonder Honda bowing out. All this time, so little traction in spreading the F1 viewership. Hope this shows F1 again, how ridiculous it is to run all these races out outside of the core viewers points.

90% still Europe and NorthAmerica.

I get that is also influenced by Autosport bias. Perhaps other forums/sites would skew it a bit different but wow.

If I was Japanese and posted this on a Japanese equivalent to autosport, I’d doubt there would be many ‘European’ answers....

The ages however would likely be the same... I started using f1 forums 20 years ago (when itv had one) but I do doubt if new young fans are even aware we’re here... they won’t use forums, and possibly have never bought a copy of autosport... especially when printed news, especially weekly and monthly prints, are out of date when you receive it compared to websites and social media.

Edited by FirstnameLastname, 17 January 2021 - 00:20.


#27 Coral

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 00:21

I'm almost 56, from the UK.

 

I first started watching F1 in 1973...my parents were fans of Jackie Stewart and always had the races on, and I became interested. I also followed the Hunt/Lauda title fight in 1976. I lost interest a bit in my teens as I became interested in other things, also drivers such as Peterson and Villeneuve getting killed kind of put me off. I came back to F1 in the 1980s when Mansell and Senna started challenging for titles, and with a few exceptions I have hardly missed a live race since. In the early days I even used to "watch" some of the races on Ceefax. Ahhh, happy days. :)



#28 noikeee

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 01:00

We get this thread over and over again and people are always shocked we're old. The answer is, yes in part F1 audience is old, but also the kids are at Reddit and social media, not some ancient message board from the old Internet.

#29 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 01:17

The answer is, yes in part F1 audience is old, but also the kids are at Reddit and social media, not some ancient message board from the old Internet.

Be thankful for that. It's a shitshow out there, a proper cesspool.

#30 noikeee

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 01:20

Well, I don't mind it there. :lol:

#31 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 01:22

Really!? Whatever floats your boat Noikeee lol

#32 HeadFirst

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 01:58

How can you avoid us aging?

 

Clean living and Ibuprofen. Lots of Ibuprofen.



#33 pdac

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 02:02

I'm surprised the average age of us all is that young.



#34 charly0418

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 02:19

Damn I feel like a kid here lol

I’m 32, first season following was 2009

#35 JordanIreland

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 03:28

Adelaide 1994 was my first race, with 1995 being my first full season and have been following ever since.

The Jordan formula One team improved year on year from 94-99 so it was exciting times. It went downhill from 2000 onwards.

Started following Williams since 2006, who really hasn’t recovered since their BMW days.

While a lot has happened in F1 since 1994, the more things change the more they stay the same. Overall Ive enjoyed 95+% of the races.

#36 PoliFanAthic

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 07:47

I guess the fact that we're discussing stuff on a forum says a lot about our ages  :drunk:

 

But yeah, I'm 33 for another week, have been watching since the mid 90s, though I only recall stuff beginning with the MSC/Ferrari era.



#37 Marklar

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 08:00

Wow, you were already watching as a 5 years old? :eek:

I can't imagine myself watching with understanding anything else than cartoons at that age, even though I was quite a smart kid (at around age 6 I was beating adults in chess, those who weren't very good at chess at least :p ) . I couldn't be bothered with watching any kind of sports on TV until I was around 10.

I was already watching as a almost 4 years old, but then again my family is/was motorsport fanatic

#38 Beri

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 08:18

I was already watching as a almost 4 years old, but then again my family is/was motorsport fanatic

Same here. Just my first full season was 1991 at the age of 7 during a time where it was difficult to find out at which time the race would start if it wasn't held in Europe. TV guides, news papers, Teletext and asking uncles helped a lot. Because you wouldn't believe how many times the TV guides
and the papers were wrong about the times.

Edited by Beri, 17 January 2021 - 08:20.


#39 PlatenGlass

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 08:22

We get this thread over and over again and people are always shocked we're old. The answer is, yes in part F1 audience is old, but also the kids are at Reddit and social media, not some ancient message board from the old Internet.

I always think that Reddit with its threaded discussions looks really old-fashioned and dated. Very 90s.

Also what is "social media" anyway? What makes e.g. Twitter social media and not this forum?

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#40 taz

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 08:39

Age 35

First full season 1997

European (Belgium)



#41 BertoC

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 08:52

Im 37, from Europe and my first proper season was 1993.

Dont be fooled by this forum, theres a huge young community in places like Reddit full of kids and from non-traditional places. Even though the quality of discussion there leaves a lot to be desired, in all honestly its very refreshing and heartwarming seeing so many new fans not yet spoiled by the grumpiness and cynicism of old age :D

Edited by BertoC, 17 January 2021 - 08:53.


#42 balage06

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 09:16

I'm 30, from Europe and I don't remember the first season I watched, but it was definitely between 1995-2000.


Edited by balage06, 17 January 2021 - 09:17.


#43 EvilPhil II

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 09:31

Ok, those charts are coming out an interesting shape. 

 

Question though, is the demographic of ATLAS F1 and Autosport or F1?



#44 ExFlagMan

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 09:37

I'm surprised the average age of us all is that young.

 

Probably more a factor of the age group that uses the forum rather than those who are interested in F1.

 

Previous poster beat me to it - thats probably an age related factor   ;)


Edited by ExFlagMan, 17 January 2021 - 09:38.


#45 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 09:37

Ok, those charts are coming out an interesting shape.

Question though, is the demographic of ATLAS F1 and Autosport or F1?


I think it would be Autosport who would be more concerned rather than F1. Their products/offering is in the process of dying off isn’t it. The magazine and then the forum eventually.

#46 noriaki

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 09:44

Be thankful for that. It's a shitshow out there, a proper cesspool.


Hey man cut them some slack. It doesnt mean they are a cesspool if they aren't willing to discuss JV's career over and over again. It just means the kids haven't seen it :p

Edited by noriaki, 17 January 2021 - 09:44.


#47 smitten

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 13:14

Ok, those charts are coming out an interesting shape. 
 
Question though, is the demographic of ATLAS F1 and Autosport or F1?


Just look at the sponsorship the teams receive - mainly b2b. RB stand alone in this, and even then I'm not sure which demographics buy their sugar water. Who is going to buy a Mercedes/Mclaren/Aston Martin/Alpine road cars? Not often teenagers.

Kids are interested in F1 now just as in the past, but the post-cigarette model seems to appeal to the pockets of Male, 35-54.

#48 geoffd

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 13:46

I'm 66, from the UK (which still counts as Europe, I think).  I started watching F1 on TV in about 1966, and the first race I saw was the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in 1968.  Some of my grandchildren have fun "driving" in computer games, and get excited when they see a Lamborghini, so there's hope for the younger generation yet!



#49 William Hunt

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 13:53

been following it since I was 6 years old, which is early '80, I fall in the category '35-44 but will be in the 45+ category in a year



#50 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 17 January 2021 - 14:10

I do not think anyone young or old follow F1 for the sponsors, sponsorship or because they want to buy a high end car - They follow it because then want to watch racing, to watch cars going 300 km/h while battling it out.

 

As a kid in the 1970ies I had zero idea of the commercial side of F1, and no interest either, I think I am still partially in that boat, I do not care what they peddle, I could care less if Petronas and Total switched team, I follow the racing, the WDC mean all, the WCC basically nothing.

 

In the 1970ies there were a range of 'card games' I am not sure what to call them... Picture of a car, listing

 

HP

Top Speed

Engine Configuration

Something

Something else

 

Pretty sure 5 parameters. Then we would for example play

 

Engine configuration, and then one holding the Ferrari V12 would beat all the DFV's and get those cards. 

 

F1 is a billion dollar business, it is however at it's heart a racing series and there is zero to the concept and idea of road relevancy being needed or relevant, we just want to watch racing, I have been doing that since August 1973, I complain now, as I complained to various extents and reasons since August 1973, but I ain't leaving.

 

And there are plenty of fans from age 4 and up.