Free TV coverage tops poll as we ask what F1 fans want most

Our poll reveals that racing fans want to be able to watch F1 races on free-to-air TV, as new ownership heralds the next era of F1

Mercedes F1 car 2016

The recent removal of Bernie Ecclestone as chief executive of Formula One heralds the end of a nearly 40-year reign for the Suffolk-born businessman, who had been at the head of the sport since 1978. With fans of F1 becoming ever more vocal about their dislike of recent rule changes and broadcasting agreements, what does the future hold for F1 motor racing?

Advertisement - Article continues below

We decided to find out what F1 fans actually wanted from the next era of racing, so we ran a poll to find out – withe interesting results. Almost 50% of respondents to our Auto Express poll want to see the whole F1 season on free-to-air TV.

F1 2016 - top 10 best driving games

Currently F1 racing in the UK is split 50/50 between Channel 4 – which is free to watch – and Sky Sports F1, which requires a monthly subscription. Those Sky Sports F1 races are then broadcast as ‘highlights’ programmes on free-to-air channels. Critics say this current structure encourages activities such as illegal streaming of some races.

Bernie Ecclestone

This is a far cry from the glory days of the sport, when every race was broadcast free on the BBC and drew in huge viewing figures.

One way of making F1 more accessible to those without a Sky Sports subscription could be with online coverage – but only 3% of respondents in our poll thought this was the way forward.

McLaren F1 vs McLaren P1

17% of respondents wanted to see more overtaking in F1, a change which could be brought about with alterations to the rules. Current reliance on downforce rather than mechanical grip means overtaking manoeuvres are very difficult to pull-off effectively. While this doubtless improves safety, the fans' enjoyment suffers.

13% of poll respondents wanted to see fairer funding for teams, something which could change under new owners Liberty Media and may lead to more competitive racing. New CEO Chase Carey says Liberty is looking into the prize-money structure, which lots of fans believe is too much in favour of leading teams such as Ferrari. However, no changes have yet been confirmed.

What changes would you make to the next season of F1 racing? Let us know in the comments below...


Most Popular

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus
Family hatchbacks

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus

The Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon are all long established hatchbacks - we find out which is best among the latest crop
11 Jul 2020
New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review

We get our first taste of 242bhp Skoda Octavia vRS with Skoda tech development boss Christian Strube in the driver’s seat
10 Jul 2020
New Peugeot 3008 could morph into a coupe-SUV in 2022
Peugeot 3008

New Peugeot 3008 could morph into a coupe-SUV in 2022

Peugeot’s next-generation 3008 looks set to receive a radical redesign in two years’ time, evolving into a style-focussed coupe-SUV
13 Jul 2020