Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2014

Why Ferrari’s ‘fans poll’ findings can’t be trusted

CommentPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

According to Ferrari, 83% of fans are unhappy with the new Formula One rules.

Ferrari say fans “dismiss it mainly because of the drivers being forced to lift off to save fuel” and also because “the fans don’t like the noise from the new engines and are confused by rules that are too complicated”.

Ferrari have drawn these conclusions from a poll which they have run on their website for the past few weeks. However the data is untrustworthy, the procedure used to collect it is flawed, and the conclusions Ferrari have drawn from it are highly spurious.

The poll asked the question “Do you like this new Formula 1?” and presented respondents with the options “Yes” and “No”.

Nowhere in the poll did Ferrari ask about the impact of the fuel rules, the noise of the engines or the complexity of the new formula. The poll results give Ferrari no justification for asserting that fuel conservation, noise or complexity are why those who responded are criticising the sport.

The poll options also did not ask how strongly fans hold their views. Professional polling organisations use five- or seven-point scales to gauge how deeply people care about particular subjects.

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F1 Fanatic often adopts a similar approach. To take engine noise as an example, here’s the outcome if you invite F1 fans to indicate the strength of their views on this aspect of Formula One in 2014:

The mechanism of Ferrari’s poll is also suspect. It seems no steps were taken to guard against one person voting multiple times – a common problem with online polls, and the reason why F1 Fanatic requires user registration for participation in votes.

Ferrari themselves noted a large swing towards the ‘no’ vote after the Malaysian Grand Prix. They believe it was because fans were turned off by the race, but it might just as easily have been the work of one motivated person with the technical aptitude to clear the very low hurdle to manipulating the poll. Simply visiting the page using different browsers was enough to make your opinion count more than once.

We should also consider the make-up of the audience of Ferrari’s website. Is this a group of fans who predominantly watch Formula One out of their passion for the sport, or out of their devotion to Ferrari?

There’s nothing wrong with having a favourite team or driver. But a poll question as crude as “Do you like this new Formula One?” hardly invites respondents to make a distinction between liking a result and liking a race.

It would not be too much of a stretch to suggest the responses mainly came from Ferrari fans whose enjoyment of a race is largely determined by how well the two red cars performed. Had Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen won the first two races instead of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, we would have seen a very different result.

None of this is to say that there may not be legitimate concerns over the quality of the first two races of the season, nor that some fans haven’t expressed concerns over some of the same issues Ferrari have raised.

But Ferrari’s poll tells us next to nothing of use in this discussion. Responses to that question cannot distinguish between whether F1 fans are objecting to the noise, fuel saving, double points or Lewis Hamilton’s haircut.

It comes as no surprise Ferrari have published the results while Luca di Montezemolo is lobbying Bernie Ecclestone to make urgent changes to the sport four days after Ferrari finished behind their Mercedes and Renault-powered rivals in Malaysia. Seen in that context, this is a cynical attempt by Ferrari to hijack the debate over the state of Formula One and make a false claim to act as the voice of F1 fans in an attempt to bring in rules changes which will be favourable to them.

F1 Fanatic’s Rate the Race polls, which use a scale from one to ten, give a clearer indication of what fans thought of the last two races compared to those in the previous six seasons. Out of the last 114 races, the first two of this season ranked 58th and 85th.

Earlier today Alonso pointed out that not all sports produce thrilling events at every fixture. As argued earlier, after such wide-ranging changes those running F1 need to exercise patience to begin with and avoid making rash, knee-jerk changes to the sport.

We should pay attention to Ferrari’s two-times world champion driver, not its manipulative and unrepresentative ‘poll findings’.


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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

205 comments on “Why Ferrari’s ‘fans poll’ findings can’t be trusted”

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  1. Its at times like these that I really appreciate the scientific rigor that goes into the stats on F1Fanatic. If I question how a particular number was derived, there is always a clear explanation. This is one reason why I remain loyal to this blog and click on lots of ads.

    Thanks Keith, your doing the F1-God’s work…

    1. I don’t think you need to apply rigorous scientific formulas to figure out that the majority of the fans are unhappy with the current state of f1.

      “Dismiss it mainly because of the drivers being forced to lift off to save fuel” and also because “the fans don’t like the noise from the new engines”

      That pretty much covers my concerns.

      1. So, if I told you ‘studies’ show that the ‘majority’ of ‘F1 fans’ are ‘definitely’ going to follow WEC ‘more intensively’ than F1 ‘this season’ and give you absolutely no definitions or data, you’d believe me?

        I hope you’re not intending on publishing any research soon..

        1. In such situations, common sense prevails. So, no. I wouldn’t believe you.
          I’m not impressed by this formula either. Mainly due to the lack of sounds and lack of all out speed. I take comfort in knowing that there are a large number of fans who share my views.

          1. @rojov123 Is your comment about the WEC or F1?

          2. Are you confusing speed with lap times? Top speed is UP this season. Check out the speed trap figures.

  2. @keithcollantine You could make identical poll in your website to prove that Ferrari are manipulating or that they are right. Moreover, make it every month. Because question “Do you like new F1” comprises the whole new package of rules – you can like that new cars are harder to drive, but hate the sound and say that it’s too slow and so on. So it’s not a bad poll and making it on your website would be much fairer than in Ferrari one.

    1. To make such a poll give any usefull information you would then however have to add scales for several aspects where fans could rate those (on a scale of 1-5 for example)

    2. I wouldn’t say Ferrari are manipulating the results. Given, the options we’re limited, and probably mostly filled out by Ferrari fans and “haters”, so clearly not the whole of the F1 Community, but I wouldn’t say the results were manipulated.

      1. I wouldn’t say Ferrari are manipulating the results.

        Nor would I. They presented the results, although they then added their own conclusions for the reasons without any data to justify it.

        They did, IMHO, manipulate the survey. They presented it only on their site, so the majority are fans of the red cars. They gave only a Yes/No to a very open question. In general, such a survey would not be accepted by statisticians as it is incredibly biased.

        TBH, there have been a lot of debates on here about the accuracy of the polls for F1F. We always need to remember that we are not a cross-section of the F1 fanbase. People who come here are, more often than not, the hard-core fans. People on here are more likely to go to the races than the average F1 “viewer”. We are more likely to research new rules, understand the technical aspects and such. So even the F1F Abu Double poll has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    3. In his wildest dreams @keithcollatine to get 50k votes for an online survey! To even begin to compare with that done by Ferrari. Talk about rent a crowd!

      1. In his wildest dreams @keithcollantine to get 50k votes for an online survey

        Of course Ferrari’s website has a larger audience than F1 Fanatic. But first of all you don’t know those 50,000 votes represent 50,000 people – I pointed out in the article how easy it was to vote multiple times on Ferrari’s poll and I’ve already seen one other person in the comment thread admit to doing that.

        Before it was mandatory to have an account in order to vote on F1 Fanatic, about four years ago, I recall we peaked at 6,000 votes in one poll. Since then the site has obviously grown so if I were to run a poll the way Ferrari did I reckon we’d definitely get into five figures.

        But I wouldn’t do it, for the reasons explained above – chiefly it would be significantly easier for one person to unduly influence the outcome.

        1. Amazing.

          @keithcollantine – how are your “polls” any more scientifically-valid, rigorous, secure, neutral and/or unbiased, and how is your politicking and canvassing readers to harangue teams and/or otherwise complain about what you don’t like about F1 any less objectionable (or humiliating) than what you criticize Ferrari for??

          In short, why should anyone attribute any more authority to the opinions you present below, for example, than those expressed by Ferrari and their supporters?

          Don’t want double points? Tell the teams that matter

          Do F1′s new engines have the right sound?

          F1 should not act in haste over engine noise


          Are you really that oblivious to what’s perhaps the most entertaining instance in F1 fandom ever of a pot calling the kettle black?!

          1. @joepa I’m not sure if you have actually read the article because it perfectly explains why F1 Fanatic polls are much more accurate: 1) It is harder for one person to vote many times 2) The questions are much more specific 3) The visitors of the site are fans of different teams

            As for Keith’s opinions, it’s a completely different matter. If Ferrari said “We don’t like the new engines and we are against fuel limits because…”, then there would be nothing wrong about that but they’re claiming that fans say so even though nothing proves it.

          2. You’ve clearly not read the article before writing this! All of your points (and more) are answered in it.

            I suggest you stick to the Sky Sports website. At least you can then vote people down as well as making nonsensical comments!

          3. It can’t be denied that the polls on F1Fanatic are much better than any other poll created by a F1 team, because in that case only the fans of that particular team will participate in the poll.
            I’d choose a poll with 1,000 regular F1 fans than a bunch of 35,000 fans of one team any time because the 1,000 poll on F1Fanatic is much more representative to what the casual viewer thinks.

          4. I addressed all of that in the article (and have said more in subsequent comments).

        2. Keith – you’re a little over the top. “One person can unduly influence the result” really!!!
          Think its time to have reality check and then do a basic stats course to understand how silly you sound.

          1. Actually, I’m in IT and is extremely easy to run a program that votes 100000 times on that poll. That would not have been possible if you are required to login before you vote and if one user was limited to one vote.

          2. Look who is calling Keith silly :-)

          3. If you’re running a scrip it’s just as easy to do it with login credentials.
            You’ve obviously never heard or used Automated testing or Application Performance tools such as Load Runner from HP.
            And you’re claim to fame is that in IT – oh dear oh dear! Glad you’re not in my IT team.

          4. I’d say that running a script with login credentials at least would need you to create said credentials, something which most sites guard against; even if that wouldn’t stop it, such a large influx of new logins leading to skewing of a poll seems like something easy to detect and correct for.

            I am really getting tired of the whining about how the races are one sided, two races in. LdM wasn’t this active even last year while Vettel was winning 9 in a row (then still expecting their engine to allow them to walk this season perhaps?); Ecclestone was just crowing how marvellous it was. At least Vettel realised he should enjoy it as it happened, and just get the most out of it.

            Drop double points, improve the mic. settings for TV, and see how teams adapt to the season. I think I have seem worse seasons so far.

        3. @keithcollantine regardless of the technique that is used, and whether or not it is possible for one person to vote multiple times, doing a poll at the Ferrari website is hardly objective. While I realize the fan base of Ferrari represents a large part of the total, it is just the Ferrari fan base in the end. Would the results have been the same if Ferrari was leading the WDC/WCC? Or if Luca wasn’t bashing the new Formula? Of course it would be all speculation, but somewhere I doubt it. And it being a yes/no question it doesn’t leave for much room for an opinion in between either. And as your rightly state in your article, there’s certainly no way you can base a conclusion on these results!

          1. @JohnDoe, I don’t think you know much IT here honestly.

            Automatically voting when login credentials are required is not as easy you think. Those load runners do not do that (I write some myself). The reason is simple. To create an account on secure sites you need to have a valid email address and you must enter some capture text to create that account. Then you need to click a link in that email account to validate your credentials before you are allowed to post on the poll. Every vote you make would then require you to create a new account for logging in before when logging in is required voting would be limited to once per account . So nope, not easy when a logged in account is required.

        4. “Simply visiting the page using different browsers was enough to make your opinion count more than once.”

          For privacy reasons, I routinely use a browser extension that spoofs the browser fingerprint. Every time I click a link, the server on the other end sees a different browser. This helps prevent the likes of Google tracking by browser fingerprint, which is often unique to one in millions of visitors.

          I’m also aware of a piece of software which simulates repeated mouse clicks. You just tell it where to click and a time delay before clicking again, and wander off for a few hours. It can handle looping a series of clicks in different places just as easily.

          Bottom line: it’s ridiculously easy to not only manipulate an unregistered poll, but to completely hijack it.

          Is the Ferrari poll still open, by the way? I rather like the new F1 :-)

    4. I think @keithcollantine poll is not that much better either. Asking if the new F1 sound is good or bad doesn’t give much insight on the subject. For example, my wife would say her car engine sounds good and I agree with her, but I don’t necessarily think it’s a great sound in general. However, the car is not a super-car and it wasn’t meant to wreck havoc with it’s sound. When I watch Top Gear reviews of supercars, the sound is an intrinsic component of it and manufacturers spend a whole deal of resources to come up with a great sound. Now, people might disagree whether or not they like a particular sound, but in general the sound is appropriate for the type of car. And there I think is the big issue I see in F1, yes, the sound might be good if you watch live, but on TV the lack of a powerful sound that roars or screams makes watching a very dull experience. The sound is one very important element that helps relate speed and power of car, without that it almost looks like I’m watching amateur league practice sessions. I was in Barcelona last year at first corner, and when those cars took off , watching them attack the corner and the hearing the sound, was wild and thrilling.
      So now I’m watching carand driver stroll around watching for tires wear, coast to corners to save fuel, not able to drive to the limit because of fuel flow limits and on top of that they sound like…actually they don’t sound much, and that’s the big issue here.

      1. But the volume of sound on TV is something that the right placement and use of microphones, and volume in mixing with the commentary would be able to fix @sam-sam, isn’t it?

        No that doesn’t change their melody, the fact these engines aren’t just a dull amount of loudness (as the V8s which really are only interesting for me on track because it is just so loud, but felt uninteresting on TV ever after), but all sound different, and vary depending on where on track they are, and how they are used.

  3. I believe that team/driver devotion has gone too far in F1. If ur fav driver loses a race, then Pirelli is bad. If he wins, then tyres are best!

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      4th April 2014, 10:28

      My favorite driver won the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix, and has a 100% strike rate for pole position this year, and I thought the tires were rubbish at Sepang.

      At almost every other circuit they’ll be better because not many circuits on the F1 calendar are as notorious as Malaysia for killing tires.

      So no, that logic isn’t always applicable.

  4. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain)
    3rd April 2014, 18:24

    But Ferrari’s poll tells us next to nothing of use in this discussion. Responses to that question cannot distinguish between whether F1 fans are objecting to the noise, fuel saving, double points or Lewis Hamilton’s haircut.

    Put me down as a fan objecting to Lewis Hamilton’s new haircut when I say I don’t like this new Formula 1.

    1. LOL!!! Thanks for the laugh. Always nice on a long day.

    2. That was brilliant from Keith ^^

      1. Agreed :D

    3. On top of that, he might look at Nico his teamcap and at his own. #Swag

  5. Do I like the new F1:
    YES. A change back to the engine makers skill and technology making a difference after years of “equalised” engines featuring technology decades old, cars not glued to the track by downforce requiring old fashioned driving skills.

    NO. DRS, double points, but mostly lousy tyres that deter car on car racing, all these artificial gimmicks trying to model F1 on reality* TV

    * Nothing is less real than reality TV.

    1. I totally agree with you.

  6. Indeed, this poll was a total joke. The same apply to the choice of the name F14T: one could vote ‘up to five times’, I laughed a lot (still did it though :) ). I wouldn’t even compare Ferrari’s polls to F1fanatic’s ones, and I’m sure almost everyone here think the same. Quality and accuracy versus demagogy and politics. The goals are indeed not the same.

    1. @spoutnik: Personally I loved that they chose the name FIAT;-) I’m still chuckling when I see it.

    2. It’s a bit silly to vote 5 times but it’s not cheating. If was clear from the beginning that anybody could vote 5 times (and it shows id was identified). Thinking a (little) bit about it I came to the conclusion that people were offered a possibility to spilt their votes… The idea was not THAT stupid and I liked it as a matter of fact. Don’t you? Whatever there is nothing really wrong in the worst case divide the results by 5 if you like :-)

    3. Maybe that is how Ferrari decided to judge “how strongly fans hold their views”. Vote once for only a little, 5 times for very strongly ;)

  7. You’re spot on, Keith. I’m actually quite offended that Ferrari claim to speak for all F1 fans with such a poll and to then claim to know why those fans who voted ‘No’ did so and I’m glad that you’ve publicly called them out on it.

    1. I’m a Ferrari fan (I have stickers and cars everywhere) and I’m offended they dare speak to me with such a weak poll.

      Hopefully Ferrari doesn’t decide to run polls about US presidents.

    2. I’m actually quite offended that Ferrari claim to speak for all F1 fans with such a poll

      I think that’s a bit of an extreme reaction; I’d like to think Ferrari conducted this poll with good intentions.

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        4th April 2014, 3:15

        ferrari never has good intentions!

      2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
        4th April 2014, 8:20

        @slr I’d like to think so too. I certainly think that Ferrari asking their fans to voice their opinion on how they feel about the current state of F1 is a perfectly decent and positive thing, but then as Keith highlights here, to present the results of their own poll in such a disingenuous way is not a responsible way to use the ‘voice of the fans’ at all in my opinion. It’s that which bothers me.

    3. @magnificent-geoffrey, I guess Ferrari claiming to speak for every fan isn’t so special I guess, they believe they are F1 after all, and always will do this :)

  8. @keithcollantine

    Here’s a good follow-up poll.

    Is Ferrari playing the sore loser again?
    1 – Yes
    2 – Yep
    3 – Yuh-huh
    4 – No Opinion

    1. Should be
      1 – Yes
      2 – Yep
      3 – Yuh-huh
      4 – All of the above

      1. Ferrari has just learned from Putins poll in Crimea, also when it comes to drawing the conclusions, or probably the order of things is the opposite:-)

    2. 5 – It is all Red Bull their fault.

  9. neuralfraud
    3rd April 2014, 18:36

    To get perhaps the most representative scoring in surveys which always tend to be bimodal I recommend the use of a modifier.

    This article sheds more light on the details.

    Rubrics and the bimodality of ratings

  10. I wonder, do Ferrari take this same scientific approach to designing their F1 cars? If so, then maybe that’s why LDM is meeting with Bernie about the state of F1. He wants FOM and FIA to address the issues of “power unit noise” and fan dissatisfaction surveys in a manner that best suits Ferrari.

    1. LOL

      “Do we need a front wing?” – YES – NO
      – YES… Okay. There. We have one now. Done.

      1. Italians, whatcha gonna do. Spaghetti time eh?

  11. Wow Keith! never took you for an ostrich hiding your head in the sand and thinking that the current F1 show is beyond reproach and in need of some serious attention.
    Seriously disappointed!!!!!

    1. He’s shown his distain for many of the new implementations in recent years (DRS, double points…), so i don’t know where you’re getting this line from.

      This article is more about interpretation of statistics; particularly given Ferrari’s frequently political stance and LDM’s love of polemics.

      Unless of course your reply was being sarcastic, which im tempted to believe due to its inaccuracies.

      1. And your point is what?

        1. – Keith writes an article about how Ferrari’s poll about fans disliking Formula 1 can not be trusted.

          -You criticise him because you see this explanation of why the results shouldn’t be taken into consideration as Keith “hiding [his] head in the sand” about all the issues in F1 seems to be suffering. When you want him to continue highlighting the problems?

          Is that where we are atm? I’m asking because you used “beyond reproach” which means good, and “in need of some serious attention”, which means bad – and criticised him for both.

          1. Exactly – the point of this poll was to produce a result that would conveniently back up Ferrari’s position (an old sketch from ‘Yes Prime Minister’ comes to mind on that point http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZZJXw4MTA ).

            The fact that such a poll should conveniently be timed just before a meeting between Luca and Bernie, comes after a period of time when Luca has been openly lobbying for increases in the fuel allowance amid suggestions of poorer fuel economy than Mercedes and after two poor races for Ferrari suggests ulterior motives for the polls.

          2. I’ll ask again – what’s your point?

            If in your “learned” opinion F1 in 2014 is super exciting; doesn’t need some urgent discussion and associated refinement; then that’s your opinion. Not my place or right to criticise your genuine honest opinion.

            I’ll give you an english lesson for free.
            Beyond reproach means “not to be criticised”. (It doesn’t mean good as you indicated above)
            In need of serious attention – “means it should be reviewed” or “looked at again” (It doesn’t mean bad as you indicated above).

          3. But how does that relate to an article about Ferrari doing a poll badly? Keith never said that F1 is trouble free, just that this poll was pitiful.

          4. @matt90, I think this guy is using the ‘Ferrari-concluding-device©’ which takes someone from observing ‘criticism at a poll criticizing F1’ to ‘the person who posted this must be a blind follower of F1, so I can dismiss his opinion!’.

          5. @matt90 – seems like you’re in need of an english lesson as well.

            The heading implies that the Ferrari fans polls were not expected or anticipated. (Expected and anticipated being synonyms for trusted)
            The Ferrari fans surveys states – Fans unhappy with the new Formula1.
            Is it your learned opinion given that the result should have been the exact opposite “Fans happy with the new Formula1” had they used a professional polling organisation using five or seven point scales?

          6. Erm… Expected and anticipated are not synonyms for trusted.

          7. Cut down on the condescension, especially when you either don’t know what a synonym is or what the definition of ‘trusted’ is. Once again, nothing about the article suggests that Keith is ‘burying his head in the sand’ or thinks that F1 is above reproach- also, see the many articles on this site which reproach F1.

          8. lol, is this still raging on? good grief.

            anyway @atta (or @ta), about the “beyond reproach” segment of this misunderstood mess – both our definitions are correct, ive seen both uses cited a number of times, often on the same site. it can mean “so good as to preclude criticism”, and “THINKING YOUR/ITS so good to preclude criticism”. But i’ve always used the former, and technically it still fit your sentence; and thus started the confusion.

            The “serious attention” phrasing in itself is neutral i agree, but within the context of your message it very much reads as negative. Indeed, you use similar calls for review and change in a negative context about 7 lines above the part where you told me it wasn’t negative…

            Yet it still doesn’t explain why you can’t see that Keith slates modern F1 on a monthly weekly basis nowadays; and that he was merely pointing out an example of bad statistical collation.

            And where did i state my own views on F1 2014? I was merely responding to your apparent confusion and trying to clarify what you meant.

            And why do you seem so very angry?

          9. If in your “learned” opinion F1 in 2014 is super exciting

            This poll is not an accurate representation and the poll doesn’t allow for the conclusions that Ferrari has taken.

            Ferrari have done this on purpose to curry make believe support for their own political agenda.

            This however, (and this is important), doesn’t mean that Ferrari are necessarily wrong. They might be right. The point however is that from the poll Ferrari took it’s impossible to know anything other than that votes were cast. This is because the poll was taken in an unscientific way.

            Ferrari is wrong to claim that people don’t like the fuel limits ->BASED ON THIS<- poll.

        2. Basically, he’s saying that a poll on the Ferrari website is per se biased because F1 fans that support other teams do not participate.

          A similar poll on the Mercedes website would have given very different results.

    2. hamilton has the best car, what did you expect? Of course he thinks this new F1 is the best ever.

    3. thinking that the current F1 show is beyond reproach

      F1 demeans itself with double points gimmick
      After 50 races, DRS is killing my passion for F1

      Not so much.

      1. Hit him with your logic! XD

        It’s a pity Ferrari did this. Because they probably could have gotten some data you could rely on if they did it properly. I think that given that they didn’t, maybe they think it wouldn’t give them the result they wanted?

        1. @keithcollantine So you’re passion for F1 in 2014 has been reignited then?

          1. No . He is simply saying don’t use fake polls to your benefit and change rules which is Ferrari are going for . Fake polls by themselves are an atrocity . Using them to your advantage is another level .

          2. *which is what

  12. There are lies, damned lies and statistics

  13. It’s Ferrari so it’s alright.

    I mean, if RBR asks for reliable fuel flow sensors after it’s confirmed that most teams have issues with them, we get 50+ comments about how annoying, political and obnoxious Horner is.

    But if Ferrari actually helds meetings with Ecclestone and Todt to discuss the rules based on a fraudulent poll, it’s perfectly fine.

    Not that it’s not understandable, Ferrari after all is by a wide margin the most popular team, so them getting beaten by an energy drink company for 5 years must certainly hurt and created a cloud of hate.

    1. I think that every single top team is political. They will do anything to get an advantage, there are plenty of examples.
      What I really don’t like about Ferrari’s poll is that they are trying to lobby for changes while claiming that they are doing the fans a favour.

      1. I agree that every team is political (ofc they are, they have to be).

        But I’m not bothered by Ferrari’s lack of honesty. I’m more than aware that teams aren’t my friends, they don’t owe me honesty nor anything similar.

        I mean, do we seriously expect them to tell the truth?

    2. I’m 100% sure you were not following F1 from 2000-2006. Whenever any team wins a lot, everything they do becomes malignant.

      1. I was talking about the general reaction in this blog’s comment sections (which you could have recognized in the “50+ comments” part), so whatever happened between 2000-2006 (or if I was following F1 or not then, which, btw., I was) irrelevant to my point.

        Next time you’re “100% sure” of something you have no way of knowing, sace to yourself please, or simply ask.

        1. “Sace to yourself” haha, autocorrect.

          It’s meant to say “save it to yourself”

        2. Usually the onus on the one doing the communicating. But I digress.

          Simply put, your assertion that most commenters are ok with Ferrari doing this is incorrect.

  14. I wonder what the result of a Mercedes Fan Survey would be at the moment?

    1. Lewis Hamilton should try dread-locks.

  15. Tom (@newdecade)
    3rd April 2014, 19:07

    I’m not sure why this poll is being singled out for your attention, Keith. Is Ferrari attempting to influence the written terms of the sport with these numbers? Why does this particular poll matter, compared to the ‘who was the driver of the race?’ polls that exist on every news site? So far as I can tell this poll represents little more than a promotional exercise for Ferrari fans, and to be honest makes no pretense otherwise. I’m quite confused.

    Which leads me to… Without justification for why you’ve launched this critique, I have to be skeptical and ask what exactly you are trying to achieve. The summary of this piece is not just that the Ferrari poll is poor (which it obviously is), but also the numerous mentions of why F1fanatic polls are better. The lack of discussion of the results of the poll is also telling, it is almost entirely devoted to critiquing the polling mechanism.

    I’m not trying to play devils advocate here, but as I skeptic I feel we have to scrutinise this kind of analysis just as rigorously as the analysis itself was. Since F1Fanatic is a commercial enterprise, these are more serious questions that need to be asked.

    1. The lack of discussion of the results of the poll is also telling, it is almost entirely devoted to critiquing the polling mechanism.

      It isn’t telling. If there is a serious flaw with the poll, then the results are worthless and neither should nor even can be analysed/discussed.

      1. Tom (@newdecade)
        3rd April 2014, 19:54

        Well to an extent yes I agree. The fact there is only one result at all is indication enough that the poll is a fluff piece and tells us nothing about what fans really think. But that comes back to the real question I am asking – why was such an analysis carried out on what is clearly such an invalid poll?

        1. Because Keith felt like it?

          That’s what blogs are for: person X thinks thing A is B. Person X writes a blog to express why A is B. Additional people post their opinion as comments.

          Welcome to the internet, it has only been this way for the past 14 years.

        2. To vent about how annoying Ferrari were being in this instance. Which seems fair as it matches up to the way that their horse whisperer blog speaks frequent nonsense under the guise of being on behalf of fans. Also the fact that the poll is an insult to F1 fans (and people of common sense in general) and is being used for lobbying purposes in spite of its ridiculousness. Therefore I think it deserves a thorough deconstruction.

        3. @newdecade, because Ferarri are making claims that things they don’t like caused the NO vote, and things they do like caused the yes vote. Keith has to comment on a poll purporting to have totally different results to the polls conducted on F1f, and rather than see it as a difference of opinion between Ferrari fans and other fans he has pointed out the deficiencies in the method of the poll.

        4. @newdecade

          I am going to copy/paste what Keith wrote.

          It comes as no surprise Ferrari have published the results while Luca di Montezemolo is lobbying Bernie Ecclestone to make urgent changes to the sport four days after Ferrari finished behind their Mercedes and Renault-powered rivals in Malaysia. Seen in that context, this is a cynical attempt by Ferrari to hijack the debate over the state of Formula One and make a false claim to act as the voice of F1 fans in an attempt to bring in rules changes which will be favourable to them.

    2. Bingo. Could not possibly have said that better myself.

    3. @newdecade: If the poll is poor workmanship, the results are invalid and we don’t need to discuss them at all. Data obtained with faulty means should be disregarded, unless You have to make a decision based on something and the faulty dataset is the only data You can obtain. Then You can try to impose various filters on the data set to increase the quality or exclude the worst errors. In this case Keith can make a poll of much higher quality, which we can then use time to discuss.

      1. Tom (@newdecade)
        3rd April 2014, 20:02

        Again you are missing my point, as with @matt90. No-one here thinks the Ferrari poll is valid. What I want to know is:

        – Why, compared to all throwaway polls on F1 related sites, is this one being singled out in so much detail?
        – Why is there such extensive promotion of the F1fanatic polls?

        1. – Why, compared to all throwaway polls on F1 related sites, is this one being singled out in so much detail?

          Because of the huge political influence Ferrari can wield within F1.

          – Why is there such extensive promotion of the F1fanatic polls?

          Your definition of ‘extensive’ needs updating.

        2. Why is there such extensive promotion of the F1fanatic polls?

          Because they’re readily available, and cover the required ground in exactly the way Keith believes they should. It makes sense to look at the situation using more representative polls, so why on Earth use any other than his own?

        3. In answer to your last question Tom, because this is the F1 fanatic site, not all the other F1 sites with “throwaway polls”.

    4. Tom (@newdecade)
      3rd April 2014, 20:08

      @keithcollantine – your input in this discussion would be much appreciated.

    5. @newdecade Nothing wrong with pointing out the flawed methodology in a poll. I don’t see anything in this article that isn’t a legitimate criticism of the way this poll has been conducted.

      I don’t think F1 Fanatic’s polling methodology is perfect either – for one thing, there is no way of knowing whether the people who respond to these polls are representative of F1 fans in general, although they are often presented as if they are, within the site’s editorial content.

      There has been a lot of content, and doubtless will be much more to come, on the subject of the poll, namely whether the new rules are good for F1. This article is about something different, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

      1. And we really arent. There’s plenty of people who care enough to watch races on sundays (unless its something crazy, like 3am), but not nearly enough to follow blogs, let alone a specifically english one.

    6. @newdecade Ferrari, one of the most influential teams in F1, are currently trying to change the direction of the sport and are trying to use invalid poll results as one of their arguments.

      Do you really believe that it is less important than F1 Fanatic’s stance on Ferrari’s poll and possible self-promotion (if one sees it like that)?

  16. I actually thought the Ferrari poll was just a joke.

  17. Well written, Keith. It’s like asking if you like Mitt Romney and assuming that you’re a communist if you don’t.

    It’s a shame that one of the greatest teams in the history of F1 are using such cheap methods. It’s bad if teams don’t listen to fans but pretending to care about fans’ opinion and using their worries as a tool to push their own agendas is unforgivable.

    1. @girts: Ferraris core business is F1 and development and production of exclusive, expensive cars, not making polls. If they should stand out serious, they would have paid an internationally renowned polling institute for making a proper poll and then referred to the results when arguing.

    2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
      4th April 2014, 8:23


      It’s like asking if you like Mitt Romney and assuming that you’re a communist if you don’t.

      It’s funny, because that’s what actually happens. ;)

      1. Funny isn’t the word I’d pick :C

  18. It’s both well known and scientifically proved that lambasting Ferrari greatly helps the circulation of blood and keeps the limbs supple. So, nothing new here. Except, wait a minute:

    We should pay attention to Ferrari’s two-times world champion driver

    So it seem that this blog has changed from the CFFBAOTW (compulsory Ferrari- and Fernando-Bashing Article Of The Week) to just CFBAOTW.

    1. Can you post examples of articles bashing Alonso? Or any other driver, for that matter?

    2. And also examples of articles of Ferrari bashing and their relative frequency with other team bashing articles?

    3. What a ludicrous accusation.

  19. Hi everyone!
    FYI I am a registered user on the Ferrari website and the first thing I did was to test if I could vote twice (to check the reliability of the vote) and I couldn’t. “You Had Already Voted For This Poll.” was the message I got.
    I have no objection to what can be considered as a “vague question” such as “Do you like this new Formula 1?” It’s a simple and easy to understand question, and I have a very simple answer: NO.
    On can ask a very simple question without having to get into details… that doesn’t make the answer invalid in any shape or form.
    Of course this is a simple statement I am making… I am not jumping into any conclusion just stating a couple of facts:
    – I am happy with the question.
    – I couldn’t vote twice.
    I understand, and agree with some of the other points you are making…
    Thanks for your excellent job Keith!

    1. On can ask a very simple question without having to get into details… that doesn’t make the answer invalid in any shape or form.

      This is entirely true, however, the simpler the question and the more limited the response options are, the less you are able to extract conclusions from the results.

      If you were to ask everyone on this website ‘would you like some ice cream’ and give ‘yes’ and ‘no’ as options, you’re not going to know about the people who are saying yes ‘because I haven’t had ice cream in ages’ or no ‘because it’s 3AM, why are you offering me ice cream?’.

      The reason internet marketing revolves around those endless forms is because the more information you have, the better conclusions you can make. This is why you should be on your toes when you read 300 people were asked something and the results are presented as ‘the feelings of the vast majority of the country’. Or when poll options are ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and the results suddenly manage to find reasons why people voted like they did without asking them.

      It’s not about the validity of the poll, but of the results.

      1. So what? In my opinion only people who don’t like this “NO” are going to argue about it :-)
        I understand what you are saying and I agree with you on it, but -to put in bluntly- the point is I don’t like the 2014 F1 and this has nothing to do with the F14T performing poorly or not. Do you really need more information to understand a 40+ years fan is NOT happy?
        On top of that FOM changed the Live Timing and I HATE IT!
        BTW I’ll go for an ice-cream, but don’t ask me why… give me one! That will do the trick :-)

        1. @ago: Keith just states that the conclusions Ferrari jump to is invalid, due to the total lack of details in the questions. By inviting to answer No, with the agenda of misusing a general No verdict to conclude that “the fans”, like in i.e., those who pay the whole show, don’t like specifics chosen by Ferrari after the poll, of course Keith or anyone has reason beyond doubt to disqualify the poll, just like most of the world disqualified the referendum in the Crimea.

          1. Palle I didn’t wrote what I wrote to challenge anybody, I cautiously ended my statement with : “Of course this is a simple statement I am making… I am not jumping into any conclusion just stating a couple of facts“.

          2. Ferrari say fans “dismiss it mainly because of the drivers being forced to lift off to save fuel” and also because “the fans don’t like the noise from the new engines and are confused by rules that are too complicated”.

            Given that the fans are being offered a yes/no answer, how can Ferrari draw these conclusions?

            Are you confused because the rules are too complicated? Ferrari said you are. They said you are, because they say their poll told them so.

            But they didn’t ask you that. That’s why the conclusions are not correct.

    2. @npf1, not arguing with you, just curious,; Did you try logging out and then logging back in before trying to vote again?

      Otherwise , sure a lot of people are unhappy with the new F1 and they may well have been unhappy with F1 for several years like me, but no-one should interpret my unhappiness as having anything to do with the sound of the new engines.

      1. OOPS, sorry Nick, response was to “Ago”

      2. Yep Ho I did just that too… and I even tried from another PC on another day… So if somebody say he can then I would like to see screenshots with timestamps….
        Agree with you on the rest…. yes it is an abuse to conclude fans are not happy with the noise, but this has nothing to do with the fairness of the voting process, nor with the validity of the questions asked.

    3. You didn’t need to be registered to enter the poll and you could easily vote more than once simply by using multiple browsers, as mentioned in the article.

      1. My mistake then… As I am registered I only tried that way, it’s quite surprising to hear that registered users are more controlled than the others. Well in that case it’s very disappointing. Was it already the case with the “Vote for the name” poll?

        1. I think they used a different system for that but I’m not sure.

          1. If it was just changing browsers you might be able to do the same effect by just deleting the cookies…. Alot of sites with less serious polls use them to stop people voting twice.

          2. The Ferrari name poll was a multiple choice question. No registration needed. As a matter of interest, I too went to the Ferrari site to vote in the recent poll, but when I saw the simple question without any qualification i didn’t bother. When considering the results of any petition one must always be mindful of the original question that was asked. To me, the Ferrari “poll” was a simple device to exert pressure on the FIA (for whatever advantage they thought they might gain) and was presented in a very immature and unprofessional manner. Petitions without voter proof are worthless anyway.

      2. @keithcollantine, why don’t you admit that your motivation for creating this article is producing click-bait (plus denigrating the work output of Ferrari fans, cynically attempting to undermine the validity of their expressions of opinion via the vote in question, and all the while promoting your equally unscientific polls – feeding back into primary motivation: click-bait)?

        1. @joepa A comment piece about a subject as dry as an opinion poll hardly qualifies as ‘clickbait’. If my only motivation was getting a larger audience (and F1 Fanatic’s is pretty large already) then I’d be running galleries of ‘pit babes’ and five articles on Kimi Raikkonen every day.

          When F1’s most famous team sends out press releases saying fans are unhappy with recent changes in the sport, that is obviously going to get a lot of attention. Unfortunately many people will take Ferrari’s claim at face value. My motivation in writing this is to show why they shouldn’t.

          1. @keithcollantine – What is your opinion as to the current health and spectacle of F1?

          2. I’d be running galleries of ‘pit babes’ and five articles on Kimi Raikkonen every day.

            I’m in! :D

    4. Was this survey on the “Home>Survey” section? Because you can vote several times, as I already done with the Australian GP survey:
      1st image: I voted once, both with Chrome and Firefox browsers.
      2nd image: I refreshed the page on Firefox browser and tried to vote again. You can’t do it just by refreshing.
      3rd image: I deleted the Firefox history and I voted AGAIN.

      So, the survey is completely flawed.

  20. My issue is with the singling out of Ferrari. Many polls have been made but this one is highlighted. The question was simple yes or no, not technical or subjective just a simple yes or no. It is difficult for people who have watched the sport for decades to believe this is the best format and formula for F1. The teams are already discussing the format 2 races into a new season and that would only happen if they thought something was amiss. F1 had a glamour, danger, skill and out and out b**ls, all which have sadly gone. Fuel, PU and tyre management are what F1 anoraks do on a pc sim, not what they want to watch on a race day. Is it too much to ask for just to let drivers and teams race?

    1. It could very well be because Ferrari is an actual F1 team (not winning races at the moment, mind you) that is jumping to these conclusions based on a poll that wouldn’t qualify as research at any point in time.

      Not to mention, Ferrari being one of the teams that agreed to this format.

      1. Ferrari, Williams and McLaren have not won anything for a few years but they are still there. I waited 21 years for my team to win and stuck it out because they did. Red Bull have not won for 2 races and the boss threatens to leave, where is the sporting integrity there. There will always be teams associated with racing and we all know who they are. They also have history and heritage as their basis not sugary caffeine drinks. Mercedes had their first 1-2 in nearly 60 years, do you really think RBR will be about within the same time scale? F1 needs to listen to the people who matter and that most importantly is the fans, teams and promoters. Not many of them are happy just now.

    2. @rampante

      My issue is with the singling out of Ferrari. Many polls have been made but this one is highlighted.

      I’m not aware of any other team conducting a similar poll and putting out press releases which interpret its results in such a spurious way, conveniently timed to coincide with their lobbying of the sport’s commercial rights holder.

    3. The teams are already discussing the format 2 races into a new season and that would only happen if they thought something was amiss.

      The teams are already discussing the format 2 races into a new season and that would only happen if they thought they could gain something.

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