Valencia was least popular race of 2008

The new Valencia circuit produced the least popular race of 2008

The new Valencia circuit produced the least popular race of 2008

I’ve compiled the results from the 18 ‘rate the race’ polls of 2008 and crunched the numbers to find what were the most popular and least popular races of the year.

Unsurprisingly Brazil came out on top as the fans’ favourite, with the European Grand Prix at the new Valencia Circuit voted worst race. Here’s the list in full.

2008 F1 race popularity

2008 F1 race popularity (click to enlarge)

2008 F1 race popularity (click to enlarge)

Brazil comes out easily on top with Monaco, Britain and Italy all getting similar scores. All four of the most popular races were affected by rain.

Here are the races ranked by popularity with the race winner for each.

Brazil 8.756 (Felipe Massa)
Monaco 8.177 (Lewis Hamilton)
Britain 8.164 (Lewis Hamilton)
Italy 8.153 (Sebastian Vettel)
Canada 7.809 (Robert Kubica)
Belgium 7.736 (Felipe Massa*)
Australia 7.609 (Lewis Hamilton)
Germany 7.180 (Lewis Hamilton)
Turkey 6.816 (Felipe Massa)
Japan 6.660 (Fernando Alonso)
Singapore 6.302 (Fernando Alonso)
Hungary 6.202 (Heikki Kovalainen)
Malaysia 5.738 (Kimi Raikkonen)
France 5.548 (Felipe Massa)
Bahrain 5.364 (Felipe Massa)
Spain 5.085 (Kimi Raikkonen)
China 4.446 (Lewis Hamilton)
Europe 3.977 (Felipe Massa)

*At the point at which most of the votes were cast it was not yet known that Lewis Hamilton was going to be stripped of his win.

2008 F1 race popularity – adjusted

Some races seemed to have oddly large numbers of people voting the lowest rating of ‘terrible’. They didn’t seem to be consistent to a particular driver or a particular type of race. If we filter out the ‘terrible’ votes it changes the average ratings as follows:

2008 F1 race popularity (adjusted) (click to enlarge)

2008 F1 race popularity (adjusted) (click to enlarge)

Belgium and Singapore do much better. I remember Belgium picked up a lot of ‘terrible’ votes after the news of Hamilton’s penalty was announced. As for Singapore, perhaps a lot of Ferrari fans were angered by the double whammy of the Massa pit lane debacle and Raikkonen’s late crash.

Do you think this ranking reflects what were the best and worst races of the year?

If you want to have a play with the raw data you can download it from MediaFire:

See more results of F1 Fanatic polls: F1 Fanatic polls archive

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28 comments on Valencia was least popular race of 2008

  1. graham228221 said on 24th November 2008, 15:44

    the valencia race was kinda boring, but i still think it’s quite an interesting track. some of the high speed sections are amazing to watch.

    maybe the 2009 rules might make it more watchable next year, or maybe it might even rain (as it threatened to do during qualifying this year), but high-speed corners + close barriers + alonso making it through the first lap should = excitement! right?

  2. Keith; could you tell us the average rating for 2007 races? 2008 seems to be around 6.7 mark.

  3. Lot of rain in those popular races…

  4. valencia was dull and v.boring. just a huge procession. hopefully 09 regs will make it a bit more exciting!
    Belgium most exciting race for me! (if dont think about the stewards overshadowing the result)

  5. I think it’s interesting to note that the most popular races were all held at traditional, “old time” tracks. It’s too bad we’re losing Silverstone . .

  6. Christian said on 24th November 2008, 17:42

    You’re right, they’ve been held at the more traditional tracks, but incidentally it’s been raining at all these races this year. i think that had a lot more influence on the vote. I’d say that none of the races at the top has been rated very good last year (except brasil)

  7. Patrickl said on 24th November 2008, 18:50

    Maybe people started voting Singapore as terrible when they realised it was only the safety car that provided any excitement? Just as the Ferrari bosses were complaining after the race (showing their good grace in defeat)

  8. Wesley said on 24th November 2008, 19:08

    @ Jay
    I noticed that too…..and now Bernie is going to take the racing to places that aren’t steeped in racing culture,and away from the crowds who want to see it most.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th November 2008, 19:15

    I still don’t think Valencia is necessarily a bad circuit. It is very fast and I think it has the potential to become the new Montreal. If only the surrounding area were more interesting to look at, but I understand even that distinctive old warehouse building they had the pits in this year will be gone by 2009. Pity. Another problem they had this year was the dust off-line, which might have been exacerbated by them finishing construction work on it so late.

    Sumedh – There weren’t any in the eights last year – Europe was the highest with 7.9.

  10. ajokay said on 24th November 2008, 19:39

    Sumedh – There weren’t any in the eights last year – Europe was the highest with 7.9.

    That’s quite ironic.

    It’s been a fairly good year this time out. Not the best I’ve seen, but definately up there.

  11. Christian said on 24th November 2008, 19:55

    All the new circuits have no soul. When you compare Singapore, China, Malaysia, Bahrain and Valencia with the tracks at the top of the table there is no comparison.

    I remember thinking half way through Brazil that the undulating track was so much more exciting than China before it.

  12. Lady Snowcat said on 24th November 2008, 20:02

    Valencia is a great city and the idea of a race down by the harbour was good…

    Where did it go so wrong?….

    Too tight and too dirty off line….

    Overtaking depended on errors by one of the drivers and, unlike GP2, that just didn’t happen….

    And it didn’t have to Singaporean glamour factor unless you had access to the pits and paddock… that was a different story….

  13. Oliver said on 24th November 2008, 20:43

    Valencia was like a drive through an abandoned warehouse complex and totally lacking in atmosphere. The track was actually quite wide for a road circuit. Unfortunately it turned out to be very dirty off line hence leaving the drivers with a very narrow racing line to contend with.

    In my opinion it was a total waste of money, even the cars looked out of place there. Too late to advice that they tear it down and move elsewhere.

  14. I agree, Valencia was very boring. Its great having Melbourne as the 1st race of the season. I would prefer Brazil to be the final race though. Its a great track

  15. Christian, it is ironic that China is starting to develop bumps as the fact that it is on marshland is beginning to show. Maybe in a couple of decades it will be as exciting as Brazil is now, or is that too much to hope for?

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