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F1 reveals initial results of research into its fans

NEWS STORY
30/09/2017

Earlier today at the Sepang International Circuit, details were made public of new research carried out by Formula 1, in partnership with Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute, into F1 fans.

In a bid to identify and understand fans and their needs, 14,000 in 7 key markets were surveyed as Formula One's new owners seek to take the sport forward.

"Over the past number of months we have surveyed more than 14,000 people in seven different countries, the UK, US, Germany, Italy, Brazil, China and Russia," said Matt Roberts, Head of Data and Research at Formula 1, "in a bid to understand just how much sports fans are invested in our sport and the results make for fascinating reading, with two thirds of sports fans identifying as being interested in Formula 1.

"We have discovered that great opportunities exist to grow the popularity of Formula 1 in a wide variety of markets and across a wide cross-section of sport fans," he continued. "We will now expand this research even further and the findings will inform how we develop Formula 1 going forward, by putting fans first and seeking to deliver the world's most exciting motor racing action."

According to the research, "two thirds of fans surveyed identify as F1 fans", which "equates to a possible total of some 556m fans across the seven markets being engaged with Formula 1 across a variety of levels".

9% class themselves as fans who 'never/rarely miss a race'.

27% consider themselves regular viewers who try to stay up to date with developments within the sport.

15% says they are "occasionally interested in the sport and likely to seek out results and news"

12% said they had a basic interest and were aware of Formula 1.

(Presumably the remaining 37% can’t be doing with B.S. surveys like this – Ed)

"Formula 1 is an incredibly rich sport, mixing many elements, including technology, human interest, heroism and glamour into a really exciting package," said Roberts.

"However, different elements appeal to different people and while some are entranced by the technology others focus on the human story of the driver rivalries or the glamour of the location, the personalities and the celebrities.

"What this survey confirms to us is that no two fans are the same. Everyone interacts with the sport in different ways and it's our job to deliver a sport that appeals to the particular interest of all of our fans."

A further break down of the results revealed that 20% are seen branded 'Excitables', "a group that has a younger age profile, is attracted to a range of different sports, is a regular attendee of sporting events and is keen on purchasing merchandising".

Then there are the 'Purists'," explained Roberts. "This group is very engaged but they would be more into the technicalities of the sport. Curiously, they may actually be less likely to go to a race, feeling that watching the event on television delivers a more immersive experience for their area of interest."

'Sociables', are "younger, more digitally active and likely to become more interested when the sport generates a significant talking point", while 'Habituals' is a "group that continues to watch, though they feel that the sport has lost appeal in recent times and often look back to past eras of the sport as being more in tune with their needs."

To further groups were recognised; 'Peripherals' and 'Incidentals' for whom engagement with the sport is low.

In terms of the top two tiers of engagement the survey revealed that a significant proportion of those who might be classed as such hail from the US and Chinese markets, signalling that both are regions with potential for growth.

The survey also gave an indication of the elements of the sport that most attract fans, with 55 per cent saying that it was the racing that appealed, 48 per cent saying speed was the attracting element and 34 per cent pointing to the drivers being the most appealing aspect of the sport.

One in four fans pointed to noise as a contributing factor in the sport's appeal.

In terms of greater engagement, a third of F1 fans want to better understand the technology behind the cars, while half want to know more about the drivers, believing they are the stars of the show.

In conclusion, response to the survey revealed that if people can be brought closer to the sport they are likely to become invested in it. "However, few have attended the races themselves. So the challenge is how to bring the experience to them," the report concludes.

The research is set to continue with Australia due to become an eighth territory surveyed.

In addition, Formula 1 is conducting spectator research at eight Grands Prix this year in a bid to include opinion from as many fans as possible.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Sepang, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spindoctor, 02/10/2017 12:00

"Were these the same people that thought Trump would lose, and May get an overwhelming majority?"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Jigsaw, 02/10/2017 1:10

"Being a fan that watches on TV I am more interested on the competitive aspect rather than the technology of the sport. I would rather all teams had a chance to win at any given track. One team dominating the racing just induces boredom. To be at the races and have a venue other than having a boring race to watch I could possibly watch a movie, go to a good restaurant at the track or visit the stores. Having people cheering for their favorite racer is what I believe that any racing venue entails. I like watching dirt motocross and street moto racing better because its more competitive and different riders win, or have a chance of winning. F1 doesn't have that. Two or three teams in front and the winner wins by 30 seconds or more does not make it interesting. The same cars winning year after year is so boring. Drivers are really not a factor!! "

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3. Posted by Uffen, 30/09/2017 21:33

"It would be interesting to dive more deeply into the lure of "the technology." Does this mean that regardless of the specific technology that those folks are, or would be, interested in it? Just the current technology? The power unit specifically? Is it the (however false and meagre) "road relevency" appeal? Will their interest wane come the simpler 2021 power unit?

It is odd to be a motor racing fan and NOT care about the technology to some degree, so what exactly are those surveyed saying when they ticked the "yes' box when asked, "Are you interested in the technology?"

Those that value the human element are not likely to latch on to one driver and then lose interest in the sport when that driver retires. I believe that, despite having a favourite driver, most fans enjoy the human element as it changes and evolves. I, for example, have an all-time favourite driver, but also a favourite in any particular season.

Does the same process apply to technology?

Does the same "

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