Formula One’s research into what fans wants to see from its on-track product has included wiring some fans up during live races to measure their excitement levels.
F1 is heading towards a complete overhaul of its sporting and technical regulations in 2021 and has been working to better understand what fans want to see. Chief technical officer Pat Symonds said F1 was tapping into fans’ emotional arousal levels during the 2019 season.
« We absolutely are focused on what’s good for the sport and what makes a good race, » Symonds said at the Autosport International roadshow. « You’d be amazed at the amount of analysis we’re doing on that.
« It’s even down to things like we have people who are wired up while they watch races, and we look at that galvanic skin response to see their emotions while they’re watching races. From that we’re starting to understand what are the things that are important.
« The human galvanic skin response refers to changes in the sweat gland activity that reflects the intensity of emotions — so judges properly how excited people are at a specific moment. »
Symonds said the opinion of races can be skewed by the drama of the final laps.
« It is actually a well-known psychological factor called peak effect. If the end of a race is good people judge the race as being good. If the middle of the race is good but the end of the race is a little bit predictable, they don’t judge it as highly. We are aware of that. »