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2006 changes a big hit with fans 27 Sep 2006

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 248 F1 makes a pitstop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, United States Grand Prix, Race, Indianapolis, USA, 2 July 2006

Motorsport enthusiasts have voiced overwhelming support for revisions made to this season’s Formula One qualifying and tyre regulations, according to the latest FIA/AMD poll, which drew responses from 91,000 people in 180 countries.

The previous single-lap qualifying format was replaced for the start of 2006 by a three-part knockout session, with multiple cars on track throughout the hour. Almost three-quarters of respondents said this was an improvement, with over half saying they spend more time watching qualifying as a result.

Tyre changes during Grands Prix were absent last year, with drivers limited to just one set of rubber for qualifying and the race. Their return for 2006 has obviously been widely welcomed by fans, with two-thirds believing it has made for more interesting racing.

The survey also reaffirmed the view that Formula One racing is an important showcase for technology. Over nine out of 10 respondents agreed, though most also felt the technology should not be used to decrease emphasis on driver skill. Increased overtaking remained the element of the sport that most fans (86 percent) would like to see improved.