The FIA just revealed the results of the biggest survey ever, which aimed to discover more about the fans, their opinions and the popularity of drivers and teams. The research was conducted by Nielsen and Motorsport Network, and evaluated data from almost 170'000 fans from all over the world.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali was very pleased by the outcomes of the study, which highlighted the increment of female fans compared to previous studies, and the reduction of the viewers'age, with the average dropping to 32:
“We are hugely grateful for all the fans that have given their time to share their views in this huge survey. Their views are very valuable to us, and we are extremely pleased with what we have seen in the results," he said.
The most popular driver among the interviewees was Red Bull's Max Verstappen, closely followed by Lando Norris, who is preferred by females and fans under 24. However, number one driver among UK fans was reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, third globally and with an older fanbase.
“We are privileged as a sport to be truly international, racing in continents and countries around the world with a global fan base. We reach every corner of the globe through our events, tv broadcast and social media and media content," Domenicali added.
The top rated team, according to the report, was McLaren, sharing the podium with Red Bull and Ferrari, who lost two positions since the latest survey, and the most popular tracks were Monza, Spa, Silverstone, Monaco and Japan, which gained the most percentile points of appreciation.
"This is a blessing – to have such a platform – but it is also a responsibility. We must protect what we have, grow it, reach more fans, and ensure those blessings remain and get stronger."
“The results of the survey show we are doing the right things and we will continue to be focused on creating excitement and entertainment on and off the track which is what all our fans want. We are hugely excited about our future, and we know our fans are too.”
Domenicali was also pleased to see a positive reaction from the fans and the sponsors towards the new Sprint Race format, which debuted in Silverstone and will return for the third time this season at Interlagos, explaining that its popularity is higher among the newer fans:
"The number is very, very encouraging. We see, from what we see as a figure, the mixed feelings of more traditional fans [who are] less happy for the change, while the new fans are really happy to see things moving in a different way. So it's basically the thing that I see is correct to consider."
The CEO announced that these qualifying will stay a special event in the next season too, and that they won't be replacing the usual format, but can become standalone events, not linked to the race grid.
"We believe that we can create a very fixed number, that will be I think six in the near future, with this format, with changes that we are thinking [about] together with the teams in order to improve the quality of the offer."
He concluded denying the idea of a reverse grid sprint race, and bringing up the importance of the balance between every fan point of view, to ensure everyone is satisfied with the new route paved by the sport:
"I think that [the results are] encouraging, and the trend is confirmed by this kind of mix, the avid or traditional fans versus the new fans. That is why this is really the right place where we need to find the right compromise."