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Talking Point: FOTA's Roadmap

NEWS STORY
10/03/2009

With just over two weeks to go, everyone is looking forward to this year's World Championship season with great anticipation, just as they always do.

However, in light of the present financial climate, we want to use this Talking Point to look a little further down the road.

Last week, the Formula One Team' Association (FOTA) held a press conference at which it announced its proposals for Formula One's future, subsequently issuing its own masterplan for the sport, its roadmap.

FOTA looked at the technical aspects of the sport, as well as the sporting regulations and the commercial side of things. Much was also made of a 'Global Audience Survey' held in late 2008 in which (F1) devotees and marginal and/or low interest fans in 17 countries gave their views on the sport.

If only with a hint of irony, it should be pointed out that the sponsor of that survey, the Dutch bank ING, has itself now announced its intention to leave the sport at the end of this year.

While some of the proposals make sense and should be encouraged, others - such as Constructors' Championship points for the quickest pit stop - appear to be nothing more than gimmicks, and surely F1 already has enough of these.

The results of the 'Global Audience Survey' focussed on five key points: 'F1 isn't broken, so beware 'over-fixing' it', 'F1 needs to be more consumer-friendly', 'Major changes to qualifying format are not urgent', 'Revisions to the points-scoring system' and the 'Evolution of pit stops and refuelling'.

We would very much value your personal opinion on these and anything else contained in the FOTA roadmap you either agree or disagree with.

It is said that surveys can be engineered so that they give one the results one wants, while many will not have participated in the survey either because they were not aware of it or because they were wary of giving out information to companies more interested in having your e-mail address than your opinion.

Therefore, we want your opinion on the roadmap, where FOTA is getting it right and where it is getting it wrong. Is F1 broken? Does it need to be more consumer friendly? Are major changes to the qualifying format urgent or not?

Naturally, being an F1-focussed website, Pitpass readers are more likely to be part of the 25% the 'Global Audience Survey' describes as "predominantly male" and featuring a "cross section of ages". However, if the figure is to be believed, this 25% is the sport's core audience and if the core audience becomes disenfranchised the sport is in trouble. While the sport must win over "moderate" and "infrequent fans" it must retain - indeed, build on - its core audience.

To check out the FOTA roadmap and remind yourself of the proposals, click here.

We want to hear, indeed, we're pretty sure FOTA will want to hear, your thoughts on where the sport is at and where it should be heading.

Chris Balfe
Editor

To send your thoughts, click here

Note: Please include your full name - without a full valid name we will not publish your entry.

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