Attendance Slide....

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
Del Monti has spoken about the attendance slide that is going on in F1 this season.

He has spoken after even Monza has seen a drop in attendance by the fabled Tifosi!

His plan is for a "brain storm" :rolleyes: between F1 related people and anyone else with a two-penny!

Montazemalo: "At the end of the year we'll have a work day with the media, organisers and sponsors in order to make this extraordinary sport more interesting."

Autosport article: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/78666

Apart from this "oft-used company speak" pseudo answer to a problem, he has reiterated his desire to have three cars per team. Schumacher by any means possible?

Obviously he's right that spectator numbers are down, but is there any easy answer to alleviating the problem? It's not just a formula one problem, surely. Football and other sports / entertainment are experiencing problems. Wouldn't be related to the financial crisis/downturn now, would it?

Is this Montazemalo's real aim to up F1 attendance, or is the ulterior motive just to get Shumi back in a Ferrari?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Well di Montezemolo has mentioned several times now about 3 car teams.
It's not going to happen though as it will require the unanimous agreement of all teams and Sir Frank Williams is dead against it.

He said if Ferrari and McLaren each have 3 cars then the first 3 rows of the grid will be taken up by them which will mean the other teams have even less chance of scoring points.

Besides which, with 13 teams and 3 cars doesn't that make 39 cars?

As we've discussed several times on here, poor attendance is mainly down to 1 reason - the cost of the tickets.
Until and when CVC pay off their huge debts and the cost of hosting a GP comes down significantly, ticket prices are going to remain high and therefore attendance will suffer.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
As Bro and many of us have been saying for ages now, the cost of tickets is the biggest factor in the falling attendances.

McZ as a fellow Bristol City fan you will know as much as I the how the cost of attending a game has gone up over the years. I went to my first city game in 1991 and paid less than 5 quid. I attended my first Brit GP in 1992 and paid 45 quid for a race day ticket. Today we are looking at nearly 30 quid for a City ticket and over 120 quid for a GP ticket.

The fact remains, you go to a GP for the atmosphere and what atmosphere do you get? Well the only way you can see what's going on in the race is to watch the nearest big screen while listening to a portable radio of the track commentry (and of course you can purchase a little radio at the circuit for a huge mark up). Your chances of seeing a driver close up are about the same as seeing Lord Lucan ride through the pitlane on a tandom with Elvis. All the merchandise is sold at a fixed cost from "merchandise villages" and it's all a rip off anyway, 45 pounds for a polo shirt anyone? So what do actually get for your money? Naff all.

The trouble is that formula one can never go back to the days when it was just a sport followed by a few petrol heads and filled with teams building chasis in small garages in the UK (with the exception of a few (Ferrari?) of course) and all using the cosworth DFV. It's now a global sport that has to appeal to a global market. It's never going to turn back into our sport if you get what I mean.
 
I would love to go to a race but with the insane price f tickets it is just easier to sit at home. I know F1 is the pinnacle of racing and all that but it is not worth the money; and this does not include the cost of transport, accommodation, food, drinks, the kangaroo radio thing and any souvenirs you may want. I cannot imagine what a burden it is if you wanted to take a family. By comparison, the BTCC Brands even in October is £23, comparative bargain.

3 cars is a nice idea but putting Schumacher in a car is a temporary sticking plaster. He is 39 now, he has to retire for good one day when the sport will be back in the same spot. Maybe if the third car could not score constructors points and it had some sort of training rules (eg, the 3rd car must be driven by a driver under 23 years old) to give young drivers a way in but otherwise it is redundant. Though maybe a 3rd car will be needed; if Renault and Toyota and some of the new teams fall though then we could have a grid of only 18 cars.

To get people at the track then they need to be willing to try different things, but principle is making the racing better and giving better access to drivers and teams. For example (off the top of my head) why not try having the weekend on only 2 days with qually and the race on the same day (making a ticket better value, but still lower cost) or giving free access to Friday Practice.
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
I used to love going to the 'tyre testing' days at Silverstone. Often a company I worked with did corporate do's where you got to listen to their spiel for an hour then you had the rest of the day free, sometimes a pit visit (Renault) or a talk (Mike Gascoyne). The general public were allowed too and it was cheap (fiver I believe about 10 years ago). I actually miss these days more than attending the race itself because you got the noise, but also close up access to drivers and you could go anywhere round the circuit. I talked to Mika Hakkinen several times on these days! Schumi was usually around too.
 

Amdathlonuk

Somewhat related.........
Contributor
cider_and_toast said:
Your chances of seeing a driver close up are about the same as seeing Lord Lucan ride through the pitlane on a tandom with Elvis.

I've seen that a Brands Hatch once....... :D
 
Having never been to an F1 race I will more than likely make the trip when the US grand prix comes back even with the high ticket prices but long term I could see it only being a once in a couple years type of thing with the ticket prices you guys have mentioned. It would be hard to justify when I was just able to get a weekend pass + paddock pass for the Mid-Ohio Indy Car and ALMS race which also had Indy lights, Atlantic open wheelers, and 2 classes of Speed Challenge cars for only 75 bucks. Compared to 100+ for an F1 race that seems like a bit more bang for my buck. Attendance for the return of the US GP and Canadian GP will most likely start big due to not having a race now but quickly dwindle in subsequent years if ticket prices are not lowered...
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
McZiderRed said:
Is this Montazemalo's real aim to up F1 attendance, or is the ulterior motive just to get Shumi back in a Ferrari?

I reckon he wants three cars to run Alonso, Raikkonen and Massa; he's got a contractural thing going on!

There's only two reasons why attendence is down:

  • High ticket prices
  • Grand Prix where no-one gives a rat's ass
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
attendance is down?

depends on what you call attendance. i understand the world wide TV audience for F1 is basically still the same if not getting bigger.

basically we seem to be in a transition period. people no longer go to the circuit but watch the race at home on their tv. visiting the actual race is for the diehards and the rich. like with lots of other sports. the only way to drop prices for actual visiting a race, is for F1 to be dropped as a tv sport. then the prices CVC asks per race no longer make sense. cos don't forget, it might look like an F1 race but in fact its an international media spectacle with a massive world wide TV audience.

everything in F1 is geared up to this international level, driver's salary, team budgets so why not the price at the gate? so how can you compare prices for an F1 race in 1991 to the price of visiting an international media spectacle in 2009? a better comparison might be comparing the ticket price for the Oscars in 1991 to the the ticket price of the same thing last year. some people are there for a massive price and then you have a huge TV audience. for the oscars its accepted, then why not for F1?

its like spa. i can see the local wallon government paying for a local F1 race. but i cannot see them paying for this international media monster. we all accept places like spa and silverstone cannot deal with, say, the european song festival. but we do expect them to cope with an F1 race.

maybe we just don't really appreciate what F1 really is.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
bogaTYR said:
attendance is down?

depends on what you call attendance. i understand the world wide TV audience for F1 is basically still the same if not getting bigger.

basically we seem to be in a transition period. people no longer go to the circuit but watch the race at home on their tv. visiting the actual race is for the diehards and the rich. like with lots of other sports. the only way to drop prices for actual visiting a race, is for F1 to be dropped as a tv sport. then the prices CVC asks per race no longer make sense. cos don't forget, it might look like an F1 race but in fact its an international media spectacle with a massive world wide TV audience.

everything in F1 is geared up to this international level, driver's salary, team budgets so why not the price at the gate? so how can you compare prices for an F1 race in 1991 to the price of visiting an international media spectacle in 2009? a better comparison might be comparing the ticket price for the Oscars in 1991 to the the ticket price of the same thing last year. some people are there for a massive price and then you have a huge TV audience. for the oscars its accepted, then why not for F1?

its like spa. i can see the local wallon government paying for a local F1 race. but i cannot see them paying for this international media monster. we all accept places like spa and silverstone cannot deal with, say, the european song festival. but we do expect them to cope with an F1 race.

maybe we just don't really appreciate what F1 really is.

There's the thing. What do you tune into the BBC of a Sunday afternoon to see? Do you tune in to see (a) a political argument, (b) an international media event or (c) an F1 race? If you want (a) you should watch Question Time. If you want (b) you should watch Eurovision. (c) is the most important thing because without (c) the TV audience will be zero!

I don't accept Spa or Silverstone couldn't cope with Eurovision. All you need is a theatre/hall and some cameras. The places could actually cope with the things, just they don't have the stadia to hold them. For example, Birmingham the city could cope with the Champions' League Final, but Villa Park isn't big enough!
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
thats the whole point TBY.

birmingham has 1 million inhabitants or so, spa has 10000. stavelot, where the spa circuit lies, has about 7000 inhabitants. on a good day that is.

there is simply no way anything as small as spa or stavelot can even consider a major event like eurovision, but we still expect it to have an F1 race. its not a matter of you accepting that or not, it simply cannot be done. why should a city with 10 000 inhabitants have a hall for anything as big as eurovision?

i am almost totally sure to the TV audience it makes no difference where the race is being held anyway, although local races will always be big with a local TV audience. i would not be surprised if we get virtual races soon.

last race i was happily under a palm tree in some iffy country, watching the race on a huge screen. together with loads of local fuzziewuzzies. anyway, the merriment was massive, especially when there was action on the track, repeated over and over and over again. if you did not pay attention it was like there was a non stop overtaking. i am 100% sure very few of the locals knew it was one re run after another.

really, it has so little to do with motor racing. it's entertainment, an afternoon at the races on TV. an international media event, watching famous people walking up and down the paddock and then a race.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
bogaTYR said:
i am almost totally sure to the TV audience it makes no difference where the race is being held anyway, although local races will always be big with a local TV audience. i would not be surprised if we get virtual races soon.

To the TV audience it matters if the race is in Valencia, and what time the start is. If the TV market is in Europe then a whole range of 6:00am starts is not going to cut it, and if the races don't start at 6:00am there are huge logistical concerns!
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
At the end of the day the reason places like Spa are holding F1 races is because they have a tradition of doing so. Way back when a venue wanted to hold a race it set up a circuit and then paid some teams to come and race at the circuit. How much each team was paid depended on how much prestige they carried, hence Ferrari could demand more in start fees than BRP for example.

Some tracks were lucky enough to be awarded championship status but there were plenty of races run to F1 regulations around the world so there were plenty of opportunities to see your hero's in action.

As time went on there was more governance of the sport but there were still plenty of circuits who were prepared to pay the teams to come and race.

Then one day an opportunistic buisness man realised that without the teams there could be no racing and if the teams worked together they could control the sport and not the organisors or the race tracks.

After a while this same chap realised he didn't even need to own a team to do the same thing and so he sold his team and started to run everything himself. But now, he took all the money from the tracks and he paid each team to come. Here's the weeze, he could now demand even more money from the circuits but go on paying the teams the same level of money because only he could organise the show.

As time went on he became richer and richer and so the only way the circuits could make any money is to raise ticket prises which in turn lowered attendances.

And that's without including CVC and that whole nightmare into the story.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Contrary to my earlier post, Williams have now changed their stance on 3 car teams.

Williams director of engineering Patrick Head says his team would support Ferrari's push for three-car teams in Formula 1 - but only if the additional entry was reserved for rookie drivers.
[...]
Head suggested that Ferrari's potential driver dilemma was probably the motivation for its three-car team pleas.

"I know Ferrari are very keen on it, they find themselves with rather a lot of drivers at the moment, so they're pushing for it," said Head.

"We wouldn't be against it as long as the third car had somebody who could be genuinely called a young driver, because Formula 1 needs to bring in new people.

"The point has been raised by Ferrari, and we went back to Ferrari to say that we wouldn't necessarily be against it, but it would need drivers who hadn't been in Formula 1 before.

"If somebody was running Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher - for instance - I'm not sure that would be ideal."
That's quite a rapid change considering what Sir Frank was saying just a few weeks ago.

Source: Head: Third cars should be for rookies
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
That's quite a rapid change considering what Sir Frank was saying just a few weeks ago.

That may have something to do with Williams being welcomed back into the FOTA family. I believe it's what you call "towing the party line"

:snigger:
 
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