The Power of F1 Fans – Do We Have Any?

 

A recurring theme throughout my blog since I started has been the ever growing frustration felt by fans. Key decisions taken by the sports hierarchy this year have had far reaching ramifications in the world, calling into question the motives behind some of the decision making processes.

Bahrain, engine regulation changes and the UK TV rights deal have all been a source of frustration for fans worldwide. Although the right decision was eventually taken in regard to the Bahrain Grand Prix, I very much doubt the concerns of the average fan would have been taken into consideration when Bernie, the FIA and WMSC decided not to reinstate the race.

Online social media was awash with petitions, groups and campaigns to try to force the cancellation of the race. If you were to add up all the members of all the groups and the people that signed the many petitions, I’m sure  the overall number would be very impressive indeed. We are now going through a similar situation in the wake of the news that from next year, Sky Sports will be the only place that UK fans can see all the races for the next 6 years.

Again you have the vast array of options of which to sign or join to show your displeasure. The difference with this situation that is quite unique with a global sport is that we can lobby the government and bring the subject to parliament via an online petition.

On this issue at least, we do have a place where we can try to be heard for a change. For this to be debated in parliament, we need a minimum of 100,000 signatures. So far over 10,000 people have signed in the past three days and support is gathering pace.

Will it make any difference? Can we change what has already been signed? No, of course not but in this instance we ALL can show our frustrations and anger in one place and show we do have a voice!

In the future to avoid all this ‘headless chicken’ forming of groups and petitions we need our own F1 Fans Association to make sure any protest or debate is handled in one place. If such an idea could attract just 5% of the global TV audience, that would be 1.5 million members. A figure that could be reached if supported by the likes of Peter Winsor, James Allen, Adam Cooper and Joe Saward?

Maybe I’m kidding myself a little thinking that we can make a difference but you never know!

If you have any ideas on how we can achieve this please use the comment box below or send me a message via the contact page.

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10 thoughts on “The Power of F1 Fans – Do We Have Any?

  1. Steve Pilfold (@Whereinsussex)

    If anyone can do a u-turn, it is Bernie! But I agree – very unlikely!

    What annoys me is people like Martin Whitmarsh who, one minute are saying it should be FTA and the next minute being all pleased Bernie might have earnt him an extra fifty quid for the staff Christmas party.

    The fans always get forgotten. Sadly, I’m too much of a fan to resist paying the extra £8 a month next year, so the whole thing will end up being a win for “them” and a “lose” for me.

    Reply
  2. Joanne Hersom (@jj8271_F1)

    I think an F1 Fans Association is a very good idea, not sure how you would go about it though?? A few disperate groups is never as powerful as one big one and even if we don’t end up getting anywhere with the petitions etc a show of strength in numbers is still a very powerful tool and can make people or organisations still sit up and listen. Apart from the petition which is going greats gubs at the moment, I feel the most powerful message we can to Bernie, the BBC, Sky and F1 as a whole is to boycott the F1 races being shown on Sky Sports in our thousands, if not millions. Personally it will kill me to miss a live race, which has never happened in the 20 odd years I have been watching Formula 1, but I feel this is a stand that I and the rest of us should make, short term pain for hopefully long term gain?? Anyone else agree or get any other ideas…… And by the way @Whereinsussex with what service will it only cost £8 a month to have Sky Sports? I’m with Virgin and to have just one of the SP channles will cost £14.50 extra a month and to have all 4 is £22.50 a month and apparently if you’re with Sky, from next year you won’t be able to have the individual SP channels only the whole collection, so costing even more than people are already thinking, and also the races will not be offered on pay-per-view so the only way to see them all live will be to pay for the whole SP channel collection, so unless we all wish to be shafted from all sides we have to take a stand………

    Reply
  3. Dave Ash

    Hi All,

    I believe that there is an organisation already, but I don’t know how active it might be over issues like this as I am not currently a member, but hey, if I thought that becoming a member would help over issues like this I would join and pay my subs in a heartbeat.

    The organisation in question can be found at http://www.f1sa.com (Formula 1 Supporters Organisation), and their news page is excellent, although to be honest it doesn’t seem to have covered this issue in much detail.

    Just thought I would add my tuppence to the debate.

    Cheers

    Reply
  4. Stuart Weir

    Hi, i suppose I’m the average fan, I’ve only been to three British GP’s & I watch every race live, including the early starters. I can’t begin to tell you how sad I was the weekend of the Hungarian GP. The sadness then turned to anger, anger at the BBC, Bernie, Sky & FOTA. the money that is wasted by the BBC could run a small country !! Bernie is in Bernie world constantly, he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in the real world ! Even if I could afford to pay Murdoch (which I can’t) a load of money to have Sky Sports, out of principal I won’t !!
    As for FOTA, they, like Bernie, live in there own little world. Martin Whitmarsh spins the old line about how it’s all about the fans & the show but it’s amazing how when Bernie puts another £1m in each teams pot, they soon tow Bernie’s line !!
    It’s all about money, there is nothing, we the fans can do to change what will happen from next year. We will have to either put up or shut up & Bernie knows that.
    So from next year I’ll be one of millions who’ll be watching 10 races live & then the rest at “prime time”. It doesn’t matter if I’ve always watched the races live, even the boring ones like this years Valencia, I’ll be the one missing out.
    Money is what the world spins on, if you have it, you can afford it, if you don’t, tough !!
    We can all moan & vent our frustrations like we are here, we can even sign as many online petitions as possible, it doesn’t matter !! The deal is done.
    Unfortunately I think this is the slow death of F1, all because of one mans greed.

    Reply
  5. peteuplink

    I for one have absolutely no intentions of paying Rupert Murdoch for the right to watch F1 on TV. 2011 is looking like my last full season as an F1 fan (followed the sport since 1986), I will give the BBC’s live races and highlights shows a chance, but if they don’t deliver, I’ll stick to BTCC and MotoGP.. Of course if someone like Channel 4 (or 5) could get the DTM shown, then I’d be more than happy to watch that as well.

    Ecclestone and co. can wistle as far as I’m concerend!

    Reply
  6. Sir JGP

    I like the idea of anF1 Fans Association, I think it would be a great idea and to be honest a voice no matter how small may keep those in F1 a little closer to understanding what the fans like and want, because at the moment it appears that no one in F1 has a clue what the fans want to see in F1 or really care what they want.
    I have been sending the F1 sponsors email and letter informing them that I am boycotting their products until this deal is overturned, the sponsors can put a lot of pressue on the teams and Bernie, without the sponsors the amount of money in F1 would drop drastically.

    Happy to help in any way I can.

    Sir JGP

    Reply
  7. Andy

    Great idea having a F1 fans association. I had the same thought myself when we nearly lost the british gp. To make it work though it would have to be run by the fans for the fans. We would also have to be involved in all FOM and FIA meetings, and we would need proper legal representation. We would need someone to spearhead our efforts and not be bought off by Bernie.

    Reply
  8. Bootneck

    Unfortunately I fear that F1 fan base is to huge and therefore too fragmented to have any real power, or say in this matter. Alas I think this was a given once Murdoch got a sniff of how good a thing F1 is.
    If anyone can mobilise the troops any make a difference I’d be the first to back them but sadly I can’t see it.

    Reply

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