It's understood that AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), the leading global provider of innovative microprocessor solutions for computing, communications and consumer electronics markets, which has been involved, along with the FIA, and publishing giant Haymarket, in two highly publicised fan-surveys, in an attempt to discover what fans - the customers - really want from the sport, is seeking new partners in the F1 community for further surveys. Although both previous surveys attracted in excess of 90,000 responses, AMD is understood to be disappointed that the survey did not accurately reflect the sport's true fan base, in terms of sex, age and geographic location.
The fact that 63% of those that responded were from Europe does not, according to AMD, accurately reflect the sport's known global viewing statistics, nor does the fact that only 10% of the fans that participated were female.
AMD is concerned that it was mainly diehards that responded to the poll, whereas the sport is hoping to appeal to the (greater) general audience.
What is of interest however, is that despite the fact that F1 fans are seemingly never happy with the (current) state of the sport - witness the countless diatribes on web forums and message boards, only 91,000 participated in the most recent survey.
We say only 91,000 because according to the latest F1 global broadcast report the sport has 580 million unique viewers, which means that only 0.016% of those unique viewers participated.
To be classed as a unique viewer, the broadcast report states that a viewer has to watch F1 for a minimum of 15 non-consecutive minutes during the season. Obviously these are not the people who will take the time to plough through a survey - only the 91,000 die-hard fans are the ones who will do that. Consequently, one can say that the survey is nowhere near representative of the global fanbase of F1 but instead covers some of its core fanbase.
Interestingly, earlier this year, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) ran another of its 'Big Garden Birdwatch' surveys, whereby members of the public take time to monitor birdlife in their gardens, local parks and countryside, and report their findings backs to the ROSPB's website. In addition to going online to fill in the survey, participants have to monitor the birdlife for one hour over a designated weekend in January.
This year more than 470,000 people, including the Pitpass editor's wife, participated in the survey, which puts the F1 survey in the shade, especially when one considers that the RSPB's survey was limited to the UK.
As we said, perhaps F1 needs more tits… and sparrows, and finches, and collared doves.