Hi. I've been following F1 since 1980 (thanks to Alan Jones - I'm Australian), but only became a serious fan in the early 2000's when I moved to Melbourne for 10 years, and started going to the Melbourne GP every year.
I've been a subscriber to Autosport for longer than I can remember.
I really love the circus of F1, though the ineptitude of the powers that being is a constant source of frustration and amazement. No other multi-billion dollar (or pound) business would be run in such a haphazard manner!
Whatever anyone says about the state of F1, every season brings amazing races, along with some dull ones - that's just the nature of racing.
I support Dan Ricciardo, naturally, and while I think Vettel, Alonso and Button are as good as anyone, and Hamilton is just a pure racer, I'd really like to see Nico Rosberg win a maiden title. With young drivers like Sainz and Verstappen coming through, the future of the sport is secure. The problem is, it is no longer treated as a sport, but as an entertainment package.
To me, the assumptions that falling numbers are the result of boring racing seems wrong, unless there is compelling data to support it. If there is, no-one has ever mentioned it! I was furious last year when Bernie sold the broadcast rights in Australia to Foxtel cable, meaning that, apart for the Australian GP, I have to now pay $50 a month just to watch quali and the races. FOM's lack of support for web-based services is soooo frustrating. I also follow NFL, and if FOM wants to see how to promote a sport and make it an entertainment package that encourages fans, it needs to look no farther than the NFL. I pay about $200 (Australian) per year for Game Pass, which lets me watch EVERY game live or immediately after, either the full broadcast game, or an edited version that takes about 30 minutes. That includes pre-season and post-season, including the Superbowl. Plus, I can watch past seasons as well.
As for attendance at GPs, the main factors are, in my opinion, the cost and the lack of things to do once there. The Australian GP does this well, and I understand Austin does, too. I've been to the British GP a couple of times, and while Silverstone is a great place, the off-track entertainment is a bit thin by comparison. But full credit to the BRDC for addressing the issues.
In short, the problems are not on the track, but in the appalling way F1 is managed. And if the problems are on the track, leave the damn technical regs alone for a few years to compress the field. Look at 2012!
Enough ranting. I'm happy to finally be an active participant in the forums.
Edited by jpetrie, 23 March 2016 - 00:09.