FOTA survey surprise: Ferrari, Schumacher most popular

Some of the information gathered during the LG Electronics / F1 Racing magazine fan survey from earlier this year is slowly coming out, and — surprise! — Ferrari is the most popular Formula 1 team.

Yes, we needed a survey to figure that out.

Ferrari is touting the results at its website and also laying claim to one of its former drivers who is F1’s best known pilot: Michael Schumacher.

The Scuderia Ferrari is the most popular Formula 1 team in the world. As if a look at the grandstands at the GPs wasn’t enough – the flags with the Prancing Horse are outnumbering the others everywhere – now it’s officially confirmed by a FOTA survey in collaboration with LG Electronics and F1 Racing magazine.

We can all let Grace tell us if the numbers are worthwhile.

84,456 people in 174 countries were surveyed and 30.1% named the Scuderia from Maranello as their preferred team. This is more than the second (McLaren, 19.1%) and the third popular teams (Mercedes, 10.1%) together.

What I love is that Ferrari is quick to claim Michael Schumacher, who was a pretty overwhelming favorite among fans. [Some other outlets are describing the Schumacher results as “best known” rather than “most popular.”]

The same is true for the popularity of the drivers: here the most popular driver is Michael Schumacher (19,5%), who gained most of his success while driving for the Scuderia. Behind him there are the drivers, who are actually racing for Ferrari or who did so until last year: Fernando Alonso is second (9,7%), followed by Kimi Raikkonen (7,2%) and Felipe Massa (6,1%). There are more interesting facts to find in the survey, which might be helpful for Formula 1’s future. The new points system awarding more points to the winner is popular with the fans: 45% think this is a good idea, only 14% don’t like the new system.

Anyone surprise that Ferrari would be willing to mention Raikkonen?

A couple of interesting results. The “classic races” aren’t quite as popular as you’d think just reading F1B.

Meanwhile the fans want the classic races on the calendar (51% of those surveyed), especially Monaco, Monza and Silverstone, which are the most popular races. But the fans would also like some more spectacle on TV (65% want the races in HD) and want to watch the races live on the Internet (53%).

Ferrari concludes with a paragraph that feels like the team considered posting another “Horse Whisperer” blog post. There’s definitely a few pokes here.

And then there is a result that should make those responsible think: 38% said that the KERS had a positive impact on the races in Formula 1 last year and 43% would like to see it again (with 26% against). That the kinetic energy recovery system wasn’t compulsory in 2009 is negative for 22% while 41% say that it showed how the sport can set positive signs in terms of energy savings and is able to introduce innovation. That’s why 66,8% say that Formula 1 has to stay the pinnacle of motorsport technology.

I’d really like to meet the 33% of F1 fans who don’t think the sport should stay at the pinnacle of technology.

Any of these numbers strike people as particularly surprising?

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