F1 at a loss for ‘Strategy’

We’ve been discussing the Formula 1 fan survey recently and today’s news from the Manor/Marussia camp is speaking directly to the very questions we’ve raised about…the questions.

Team boss Graeme Lowdon has spoken to AUTOSPORT about the F1 Strategy group suggesting that they have no strategy at all. In fact, he says they’ve done very little to focus direction for the sport.

They all agreed that driver helmets shouldn’t change throughout the season but so far there has been little from the group beyond speculation that the series is considering things like fat tires, higher revs in the turbo engines and possibly customer cars. That’s not enough says Lowdon:


“Will a customer car be cheaper for someone to buy? Well, yes, obviously,” he said.

“Is it a good or a bad thing? You can only really judge that by assessing whether the sport will grow. It’s the same with the franchise idea.

“It’s all about asking the right questions, and at the moment I’m not sure the right questions are being asked.

“With customer cars, or something else like that, it is inherently going to mean some sort of two-tier formula.

“Is that what the fans want? Somebody prove that is the case, or evaluate the strategy and say ‘this is the best strategy for Formula 1’.

“In my view there is an awful lot of effort being made in trying to answer questions, but maybe the questions are wrong.

“One of the worst things you can do is pose the wrong question and get everybody busy trying to solve the wrong problem.”


Key here is that Graeme brings up the most prescient of concepts which is, are F1 surveys and the Strategy Group asking the right questions? We’ve taken the survey and our very own Grace (who designs survey for the American government) weighed in on the matter and found it wanting. Although in fairness to them, it was most likely a marketing research group that created the Grand Prix Driver’s Association (GPDA) version.

Lowdon makes a point in that F1 may not be asking the right questions and we’ve made the point that it may also not be asking the right people. Time will tell but until a concerted effort is made to really create a scientific survey to ask teh right questions, F1 will continue to find that pragmatic outcomes are the result of its decisions and so far, they have some hit-and-miss success with pragmatism. In my book, prudence trumps pragmatism.


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Paul KieferJr

So, what are the right questions, who are the right people, and who has the right to play God by asking those questions?


The “who” should be Jean Todt, and he has the right because he is the president of the FIA. The question should be where the F is he?

Michael in Seattle

Well, right about now, Monsieur Todt is hunkering down, praying that the EU doesn’t come looking for him ala Attorney General Lynch or the Swiss authorities. He and the Bern-meister are probably a tad spooked right about now . . . GOOD!!


I got about 20-30% thru the questionnaire and hit a question with no answer I could agree with or answer the question truly, and it would not let me leave it blank–so I bailed out,

Alianora La Canta

If the F1 surveys actually worked it would be a good start. I ended up excluded from the GPDA one because it always claimed that the servers were overloaded!