It is sometimes amazing to hear how sporting organisations squander money to have confirmed something that is so obvious its not funny.
This time it is the hierarchy at Formula One who have commissioned a survey into why television audiences fell from 500million to 450million in 2013. Global Media Report told Formula One Management – who hold the commercial rights for F1 and produce the images used by broadcasters – that viewers did not enjoy seeing German Red Bull team driver Sebastian Vettell winning 13 of the 19 races and clinching his fourth successive world title. Was that a surprising deduction?
F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone believed that this had some impact, especially when Vettell won nine consecutive races in the second half of the season, but felt the fact that there was one race less on the calendar had the biggest impact on those figures.
With thinking like that is it any wonder that they commissioned a survey. Ask anyone with a slight interest in the sport and they will tell you the reason it has lost its appeal is that it is no longer about the skill of the driver but more about the technology in the car.
Millions are spent each year by manufacturers to lift the manufacturers title, but the sport has always been more about the drivers and their skills, the risks that they take than the cars themselves. The shift in emphasis in the last ten years has definitely seen the sport lose its appeal and a straw poll in any bar or amongst any sports fans will confirm that. It surely did not take the hiring of a consultancy group to tell them that?