OK..Isn't sad really what has become of this legendary discipline? i don't know where i have read it, but on top of plumetting TV ratings, FIA/Ecclestone have some damning internal numbers about fans deserting the sport in droves for the past few years..
Yes it's a huge shame. The only sport that can retain its numerical fanbase whilst moving to pay TV is football, in the UK anyway. I think that's the biggest reason for why fans have stopped watching, rather than the racing. Personally I am not a fan of the racing as it is right now but I don't think it's any more off-putting to the casual than it was in the early 2000s, or periods in every decade really. I don't think the front of the field necessarily saw loads of hard fought on track battles back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the competitive aspect was more gripping. Plus the greater unreliability made it less predictable. As opposed to now when everyone knows Hamilton is better than Rosberg. Hopefully Ferrari will close the gap and in wild fantasies Red Bull and Mclaren can be competitive again - the latter in 2017.