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F1 sprint gathers limited fan interest

F1 sprint gathers limited fan interest

F1 sprint gathers limited fan interest

F1 sprint gathers limited fan interest
Sam Hall & Ewan Gale

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is 'encouraged' by the interest in sprint events from fans despite a low percentage of positive feedback in the F1 global fan survey.

The collaborative survey between F1, Motorsport Network and Nielsen Sports - the first of its kind since 2017, showed only 6.7 per cent of participants agreed the "introduction of sprint race has improved the show".

This is seemingly in contrast to the "positive feedback" boasted by F1's hierarchy in the wake of the two test events at Silverstone and Monza this year but Domenicali was resolute, suggesting the results proved the sport's strategy to be correct.

“I think that the number is very, very encouraging," he said.

"You need to consider that we see, for what we receive as a figure, the mixed feeling of having more traditional fans less happy for the change while the new fans are really happy to see things moving in a different way.

“So it is basically, the thing that I see is that it is correct to consider.

“That is why, as it was stated on the survey, we are not even thinking to go with all the grands prix in a different format.

“We believe that we can create a very fixed number that I think will be six in the next future with this format. With these changes, we are thinking together with the teams in order to improve the quality of the offer."

Reverse grids haven't given "great appetite" - Domenicali

The topic of reverse grids reemerged in Italy after a largely processional sprint at Monza, yet the survey showed that 68% of fans disagreed with a format that would see the fastest in qualifying start at the back of the grid.

Domenicali commented: "As you can see, and this is something that is current with what we don’t want to do, is the reverse grid in this research has clearly not given a great appetite. But on that, we know that is not part of the discussion we are having.

“So I think it is 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.”

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