Actually, whilst I am still off on a rant: they need to stop suggesting this Sprint is the result of kids having shorter attention span these days. There is, perhaps, an element of that and it’s been accelerated by other sports being accessible online etc, but overall it’s bollocks to think kids can’t be interested in something more than 20 minutes long.
The main reason that kids aren’t watching your sport is because since the 2000’s you’ve been doing everything you can to price people out of your content. Live races are now almost locked entirely behind an ever-increasing paywall in a lot of countries, including the one country that is home to 80% of the grid’s teams. You only need to see how cricket has plummeted into total irrelevance despite being one of our national sports to see how much damage this can do.
Tickets to even practice days are ridiculously high, and if they are anything like Silverstone you’ll then turn up to find you aren’t allowed to sit in at least 50% of the grandstands unless you have a full weekend ticket.
The product sure as hell isn’t perfect and the racing could stand to improve, but F1 is an amazing thing, both in terms of spectacle and what goes into making it work. Why not strengthen interest in young people by funding educational initiatives, inviting school kids to come to your teams’ factories and generally making them want to watch the sport and be involved in it when they are older?
Basically, do something. Anything. But don’t go offering what is basically the sporting version of a Fun-Sized Mars Bar and then say ‘hey kids - this is for you because we thought you’d like it more’ when they’re going to be painfully aware that it’s an exactly identical thing to a bigger Mars bar, just less fulfilling.
Oh, and one last thing: if you say changes are because kids and new young fans’ attention spans are shorter, you’ll just make existing fans feel more bitter that their favourite sport is being taken away because of other people. It increases gatekeeping. Younger or newer fans trying to engage online will end up walking away because they’re being used as the excuse for a sport having to change because it got greedy and as a result are not being made to feel welcome.
Pisses me right off. One of my favourite things I’ve seen in this thread is @SeanR’s kid’s level of love for F1. That was me when I was that age. It was countless other people at that age. With some of the steps above, it’ll continue to be plenty of kids into the future. Sprint races, though? That’s not going to be a reason why.