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Grand Prix 2024 demographics


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#1 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 20:49

I'm sure you are wondering, with a topic title, why I've posted this in TNF, but at a largely dull contractors meeting ahead of the Grand Prix in July, Silverstone revealed a very striking figure.

 

Just 5% of the total visitors to the Grand Prix are over 60. 

 

Drive to Survive has completely changed the focus; with the vast majority of visitors 21-35, female visitors up 41% year on year.

 

Certainly the entertainment package they've put together, with concerts, comedy clubs, family zones etc. etc is geared for the under 40's and families - but that's understandable. That's their largest demographic customer-wise, plus new fans are the future and the lifeblood to keep it going.

 

But I was shocked that the amount was so low. Even given rising prices, a shift away from what fans were traditionally able to do, Verstappen dominating virtually every race..., I felt there would be more there. Sure, people can watch cheaper and better racing but even so...

 

45-54 year olds didn't fare much better - 12%,

 

I wonder if this is just a Silverstone/British thing, or if people have noticed the actual race-going of contemporary events is now a younger audience? 



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#2 ensign14

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 22:51

I wonder if the older ones are going to Goodwood or the Silverstone Historic instead...for starters they're way cheaper...



#3 JackburtonF1

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 23:19

Fascinating…..

 

I wonder if the demographics which they gave possibly reveal what proportion of spectators travelled to Silverstone by bus?

One would assume it would be quite a small proportion, but it would be interesting, particularly for the Mods, to know…….. :)


Edited by JackburtonF1, 26 May 2024 - 21:45.


#4 john aston

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 05:58

I went to Silverstone for GP practice and qualifying in 2022 . It was my first live F1 for some years and the changes were striking - 

 

- the average age had noticeably fallen, with lots of teenagers , the younger ones as likely to be with  mum as with dad  

 

- there was a huge increase in the number of women and girls

 

- although there was support (claps , waves ,team T shirts) for all the top drivers and teams , by far the biggest  star was Lando Norris . A teen wearing team merch would almost certainly be a McLaren supporter 

 

- the atmosphere was very friendly, much more so than in the days of drunk Mansell supporters effing and blinding 

 

- talking to people ,it was clear that most were very recent converts, few had been to a race meeting before(and if they had it was BTCC ) and even fewer really knew how to watch . It was obvious some were struggling even to tell one driver from another without the help of tv , or audible commentary. Big screens were often badly placed , and likely as not showed  some C list celebrity mugging for the camera in a pit garage . 

 

- the spectacle was breathtaking . Don't fall for the   grumpy old man routine of moaning about how things aren't what they used to be. They're not and they never were but  the sight of Verstappen and Norris especially,  entering Copse at 180mph was spine tingling. 

 

A younger , more diverse crowd is welcome . I don't want to be surrounded by people like me .   


Edited by john aston, 23 May 2024 - 06:00.


#5 djr900

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 08:14

With Silverstone ticket prices , you won't be getting many pensioners buying a ticket !

( Is there an OAP discount ?
Somehow I doubt it )

I am under 60, but over 50 and have no wish to see F1 at Silverstone because I think it's poor value for money, but when I was younger and a lot more carefree with money I probably would have thought differently.

#6 opplock

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 08:52

 

 

A younger , more diverse crowd is welcome . I don't want to be surrounded by people like me .   

 

I agree. If the average age of any group reaches 65+ it will probably cease to exist in around 10 years. Rather worryingly the average age of attendees at the last Brands Hatch marshals training day I attended in 2022 was 62.... 



#7 68targa

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 08:55

Netflix has obviously attracted a much younger generation to the sport and also gaming, sim racing and social media plays a part in this.  Of course older generations are not going to sustain the sport (business model) and younger fans possibly have more disposable income even when we are constantly reminded there is a "cost of living crisis" . It will be interesting to see if many of these new converts will stay with the sport or drift away to some other activity of the moment.  I think a good majority will stay with it for several years which has to be a good thing.

 

I attended in 2021 and generally enjoyed myself. The one turn-off for me was the constant loud music that it was felt necessary to broadcast.



#8 Wirra

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 08:55

I went to the Australian Grand Prix this year - my first in 28 years. It will be another 28 years before I'd even consider going again.

 

You are just so alienated from the cars and the racing.

 

I lashed out and purchased tickets in a suite to avoid being either drenched or burnt to a crisp. I thought the slowest corner on the circuit would provide the longest duration of viewing the cars and possibly some overtaking. Unfortunately GP cars, single file, at 100 km/h are less than interesting. Everything is viewed through steel safety mesh and I needed binoculars to read details on the big screen. I couldn't hear the commentary either. Every 10 minutes I went into the dining area to watch the TV screen (and I wasn't alone) to get an update. 

 

For most attending it seems to be a case of 'being there'. It was a frantic crowd push from one activity to another. The weekend attendance was close to 425,000 I believe.

 

Although Crofty and Ted irritate me no end, I enjoy the technical and tactical input of the other commentators. The TV coverage is excellent for my particular interest, monitoring the time intervals, tyre life, etc. etc.

 

Perhaps the Österreichring, for example, might offer an individual better viewing options, or was it just the fact I was 40 years younger last time I was there.

Being there.

20240324_113950.jpg

Watching on TV
25-sunday-melbourne-2024.jpg


Edited by Wirra, 23 May 2024 - 09:07.


#9 10kDA

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 12:34

Most people on a fixed income become very aware of where their money is going, especially so when costs for familiar, traditionally-attended events keep rising. People who have been race fans for decades can and do reach a point of "Am I getting enough out of my interest as my attention would warrant?" As Life changes, often the answer becomes "No" after a long time of saying "Yes".



#10 10kDA

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 12:40

I went to the Australian Grand Prix this year - my first in 28 years. It will be another 28 years before I'd even consider going again.

 

You are just so alienated from the cars and the racing.

 

This is the factor that leaves me cold toward most events held at tracks that host major series. The in-person experience has become remarkably diluted, to a degree I did not believe possible. Yes, viewing races "in olden times" really was better.



#11 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 13:08

I've not been to the BGP this century but I rarely missed Silverstone for the GP or International Trophy from being a three year old when cars raced in national colours.    I go to a race meeting to see racing not listen to rap music or non motoring entertainment.   At what point did we stop having a full programme of support races, which often had some of the GP drivers taking part.  

 

As an aside why is Lando so much more popular that George Russell who is always well presented and articulate?



#12 Allen Brown

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 14:59

I have an anecdote.  For my daughters, now both in their 20s, Dad's hobby was not exactly cool.  Then something odd happened.  As I was helping youngest move house earlier this year, her flat mate engaged me in conversation.  Just being polite, I assumed, as I am usually invisible to 22-year-old women.  She was interested that my daughter had said that I wrote about 1970s F1 history.  Yes, I said, cautiously, expecting a trap.  She then talked very knowledgably about Hunt and Lauda and how interested she was in F1 history.  I was flabbergasted.  When I asked how she had developed this interest, it was Drive to Survive.  

 

And she may not be alone.  I notice that Masters has just announced new "Merch", specifically "Drop #2".  So either their social media person has completely failed to check the demographics, or they too are seeing new young fans.

 

Maybe there is hope for us, after all.



#13 john aston

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 15:50

I've not been to the BGP this century but I rarely missed Silverstone for the GP or International Trophy from being a three year old when cars raced in national colours.    I go to a race meeting to see racing not listen to rap music or non motoring entertainment.   At what point did we stop having a full programme of support races, which often had some of the GP drivers taking part.  

 

As an aside why is Lando so much more popular that George Russell who is always well presented and articulate?

Because he isn't remotely macho and looks and sounds about twelve(helluva driver though )  . Same reason as der kidz love Harry Styles but I'd guess, not Tyson Fury . . 



#14 FlyingSaucer

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 15:52

 

As an aside why is Lando so much more popular that George Russell who is always well presented and articulate?

 

Because he is more the "face" of the current driver generation than Russell. Well, at least in my country (Brazil) and with people around my age (25s), you will almost always hear (currently, 2024) Lando Norris' name as the public's second favorite, behind Verstappen. They see Lando as someone more similar to them - which I don't know how to determine whether if it's smt real or not, because today everything is about how you act and look like in the mediatic environment. So, it's more about the "face" and results, than the personality itself.

 

P.S. I know discussing current affairs isn't really part of this section of the forum, but it's always good to have an answer to a question!



#15 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 16:32

I think this demographic change is surely VERY encouraging.  If it sustains 'our' sport in whatever form it might evolve into it promises a long and healthy future...at least until the commercialists ph--- it up, or the politicians finally ban such goings on.

 

Now - about the potential for reviving the Mille Miglia as a thousand-mile point-to-point open road race....    :smoking:

 

DCN



#16 Sterzo

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 16:33

I wonder what the demographics of Grand Prix attendance have been over the years, and whether they are any different now from in the seventies. When Liberty (spits to one side) took over from Ecclestone (spits to both sides), there was concern about an allegedly ageing TV audience*, with reducing numbers of young viewers.

 

Haven't been able to find any analysis of actual race attendance, but then historically organisers haven't known how many people were present anyway. When Brands had the British GP in alternate years, the ticket office stuffed cash into a black plastic sack with no accounting whatever. They may have been able to work out how many tickets had gone, but hearing from the husband of one of the ticket booth occupants, I doubt it. Attendance was, I believe, estimated from aerial photographs.

 

*https://www.forbes.c...sh=19f2ba7c6d5c



#17 marksixman

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 17:02

When Brands had the British GP in alternate years, the ticket office stuffed cash into a black plastic sack with no accounting whatever. They may have been able to work out how many tickets had gone, but hearing from the husband of one of the ticket booth occupants, I doubt it. Attendance was, I believe, estimated from aerial photographs.

 

*https://www.forbes.c...sh=19f2ba7c6d5c

A scandalous allegation !!

 

But I love it, and can believe it !!

 

RIP John & Angela. 



#18 E1pix

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 17:16

I think this demographic change is surely VERY encouraging.  If it sustains 'our' sport in whatever form it might evolve into it promises a long and healthy future...at least until the commercialists ph--- it up, or the politicians finally ban such goings on.
 
Now - about the potential for reviving the Mille Miglia as a thousand-mile point-to-point open road race....    :smoking:
 
DCN

I agree with this but with a caveat: that any renewed popularity trickles down to “lesser” classes that include Club and karting.

By far, the best actual racing I’ve ever witnessed is *any* National championship in karting.

So far as F1, and I never thought it possible, I’ve lost all interest. By contrast, and though I wax nostalgic for their Old Days just like F1, Indycar has perhaps never been stronger.

#19 Sterzo

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 20:04

A scandalous allegation !!

 

But I love it, and can believe it !!

 

RIP John & Angela. 

And when they did count the cash, it wouldn't have matched a multiple of the tickets sold, because John Webb pulled out a random bundle of notes and asked said friend's wife to buy everyone ice creams as it was a hot day.
 



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#20 Wirra

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Posted 23 May 2024 - 22:56

I think this demographic change is surely VERY encouraging.  If it sustains 'our' sport in whatever form it might evolve into it promises a long and healthy future...at least until the commercialists ph--- it up, or the politicians finally ban such goings on.

 

Now - about the potential for reviving the Mille Miglia as a thousand-mile point-to-point open road race....    :smoking:

 

DCN

 

I'm not so confident about the sustainability. I think it is a fad, and interest will wane as fast as it has risen. 
 



#21 bsc

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 08:01

I'm not so confident about the sustainability. I think it is a fad, and interest will wane as fast as it has risen. 
 

I disagree. Ultimately, some people's interest will fade over time; However, some people will be develop a life long interest and, fundamentally, this is a good thing.



#22 68targa

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 08:53

; However, some people will be develop a life long interest and, fundamentally, this is a good thing.

And has this not always been so.  I attended my first live race as an excited nipper and have never stopped watching.



#23 john aston

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 09:35

And we shouldn't look at the sport's broad church only through F1's narrow prism. I see lots of youngsters watching, gophering and competing in drag racing and autograss.Plenty of young folk in the VSCC paddock too. As I will see for myself at Harewood and Cadwell soon.