May 22 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone gave the F1 drivers his support as they launched a global fan survey in Monaco.
The F1 supremo was photographed with the drivers outside his motor home as they advertised the online survey, asking fans what they think of the sport.
“The people, the fans, must be asked what they think,” Grand Prix Drivers’ Association chairman Alex Wurz told Austrian television ORF.
It is a period of intense introspection in general for F1, with the drivers reportedly most concerned that fans are also being turned off by cars that are being rivalled for pace in fabled Monaco by the support series GP2.
“We want to see the fastest cars, even if there is less overtaking,” Wurz insisted.
Also launched this week by a specialist British publishing house was another F1 fan survey, and within 24 hours there had already been 25,000 responses.
As for the drivers’ survey, “The drivers are the essential part of the show so for them to be involved and get engaged is a good thing,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
A week ago, the Strategy Group met at Ecclestone’s Biggin Hill airport facility, declaring afterwards that a raft of decisions about the future – including the return of refuelling – had been agreed.
But Red Bull chief Christian Horner said in Monaco: “I wouldn’t say that we nailed down a whole load of decisions, but (there was) certainly a lot of discussion about the relevant topics at this point in time.”
Wolff agreed that the meeting had been “good”.
“I must have been at a different meeting,” Force India’s surly chief Bob Fernley said on Thursday.
“After 18 months I think we failed totally to agree on any form of cost control.”
Amid calls for Ecclestone to be re-installed as the F1 ‘dictator’, Horner agreed that the effectiveness of the Strategy Group should now be questioned.
“I think Bernie and Jean (Todt) need to get together and say ‘This is what we want the product to be, this is how it needs to be governed’ and then give us the entry form and see if we want to enter or not,” he declared.