21 May 2015
F1 Monaco Grand Prix: GPDA survey might not change anything, admits Button
Jenson Button has acknowledged that the impending GPDA fan survey might not have the power to alter F1 in any way, but says he is looking forward to seeing the results.
Jenson Button has admitted that the fan survey issued by the Grand Prix Drivers' Association may not be powerful to effect change in the way F1 goes about its business.
The drivers' group has decided to conduct its own research into what race fans think of the current state of the sport, and should be announcing the initiative on the first day of practice at the Monaco Grand Prix. Button is expected to join fellow directors Alex Wurz and Sebastian Vettel to herald what the GPDA believes will be 'the most extensive, in-depth survey of fan opinion ever undertaken by any sport in the world', hoping that the results will have enough impact to shape the way that F1 is run in future, particularly in light of recent Strategy Group announcements that were met with mixed reviews earlier this week.
However, Button, while hopeful that the survey will give fans a voice, was quick to concede that, at first, the plan is just to see what sort of response it engenders.
“I think our aim is just to put them in place and to see how it goes,” he told journalists, “I think that it's very interesting to see which direction the supporters of this sport - and the fans of this sport - feel that the sport should go in.
“It doesn't mean that it's going to change anything, it's just... It's interesting for us as drivers, but I think, as us collectively in F1, to get a better understanding. And I don't think it's been done for a while, so I just think it's necessary to do and hopefully we'll get some positive results.
“I think it's massively important because we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the fans. This is a sport that needs fans, we have millions of fans around the world and it's always interesting to have their opinion. To see where they think the sport it, where they think the sport can go. Obviously, we all have our own ideas, which is great, and I think the sport is in a good place right now – but there's always room for improvement – as there is in any sport, especially a sport that's always changing like F1 in terms of technology and what have you. So, I think it's really important, it's going to be interesting to see how it goes.”
Asked whether the drivers had been consulted by members of the Strategy Group before their suggestions were aired publicly, Button said he expected to have some dialogue before anything was finalised.
“Not yet, but I'm sure we will be consulted,” he claimed, “I think that we've got a lot to give, we've got a lot of opinions about how to make the sport better for us. Obviously, for us as individuals, that's always going to be the case but, for everyone else, I think there's a lot that can be done. With the experience that we have of driving different cars and putting ourselves in different situations, we can help out and just give an opinion, so I'm sure that will be the case but it's not the case yet, no.”
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