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Who’s the most talked about driver in F1?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Dec 2013   |  9:46 am GMT  |  76 comments

The rise of Twitter in recent years has allowed us to measure which drivers are the most talked about, at least on social media, thanks to some data sent to us by our friends at Buzz Radar.

The table below shows who were the most talked about drivers on the leading social media platform during 2013 and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso comes out clearly on top, with his score boosted by high levels of interaction as well as featuring heavily in most races. He was also at the centre of the storm with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo this year and as the two sides fall out of love and McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh circles (see photo below) Alonso is at the centre of lots of discussion.

Interestingly Mark Webber is second a combination of it being his final season in F1 and his direct and pithy comments – as well as frequent photos – on Twitter getting retweeted heavily.

World champion Sebastian Vettel only ranks as the third most talked about driver getting just under half the mentions of Alonso, as he is not driving any Twitter conversations.

South American drivers punch above their weight with Sergio Perez perhaps surprising many with 4th place, followed by Pastor Maldonado 6th and Felipe Massa 7th.

Nico Hulkenberg’s search for a top seat and many fans’ discussions about it boosted him to 9th – the most talked about European driver outside of the top teams. Interestingly he was in the bottom 25% until the second half of the season. Conversation around him rocketed after Korea and continued as fans lined up to discuss how he deserved a top drive.

There are a surprisingly low number of mentions for Hamilton 8th and Raikkonen 10th. Raikkonen is more understandable due to his non participation in social media but then again he does have a hige -and vocal – fanbase, as this site knows only too well!

It was a quiet year for Hamilton after several Twitter faux pas last season and probably some of that is down to the fact that he’s now settled at Mercedes and therefore his name hasn’t been mentioned in the “silly season”.

Also surprising was Button 12th considering he is quite active on twitter and Ricciardo 17th who will surely rise up the ranks next year (we might use that as a bench mark figure to see how much conversations grows when you land a top line seat).

All data supplied by Buzz Radar

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LOL Why’s Rosberg missed in the article? He’s fifth.

6 Wheeled Tyrrell

Last I checked, Mexico was not part of South America.




Alonso top does not surprise me, he is a twitter hound, it’s the best place for him to view air his usual excuses and political comments.


Considering Lewis can’t seperate social life and F1, Im fairly suprised to see him only in 8th.


Looks like Vettel is the most popular guy who is not involved in social media.

Alonso and Webber both have their own advertising campaign to get fans to support him.

I think F1 is really blessed for having such a great role model.


No surprise about Alonso on the first spot, he does a good job with twitter and I think he is the driver with more followers.


There are some german social networks which are limited to german language users. Also as soon as you leave the towns germany is like athird world land with internet access at the countryside.

When i look at the predictions for elections in germany the internet based ones fail because they have less input from countryside people.

Finland for its small size has a very good internet access for years and people are used to it.


Raikkonen was listed as number 33 on the most influential men in the world by askmen. In front of a football player and a world president. Not bad.


Hi James,

It would be interesting to see the numbers for mentions per driver in your comments database this year .


If Raikkonen had a twitter, I am guessing he would have 5 million plus followers. Easily the most talked about guy in f1.


Clearly in your blog don’t write many Alonso fans lol


Articles like this make me question why I keep visiting this site. Twitter? Really? All that tells you is who has the most fans. There is no greater team or brand world wide than Ferrari. Naturally Ferraris #1 driver will have the most followers and rightfully so because Alonso is a great driver and sports figure. I’m no statistician but I’m willing to bet Hamilton is the most talked about driver. Why? Because he is so polarizing. All websites know that if they write an article on Lewis Hamilton, fans will join in the discussion. Case in point, the 2013 driver analysis between Hamilton and Rosberg.


Looks like Alonso may be on the 2014 version of James’ book cover. Just look at the potential!

I’m shocked, shocked I said, that with the king of drama is in 8th. Behind Massa, Maldonado, Perez too!


No The king of drama is in his rightful “Twitter” place 1st!

When he and Lewis were “together” it was like an episode of general hospital

In 2014 it will be more like an episode of Southpark where FA will be Kenny : )


Raikkonen said himself in Hungary, “I don’t have a twitter” haha


James, I think there is something amiss in the figures you cite. They seem awfully low. I am working with a graduate student studying the role of Twitter in developing fan loyalty: we are working with the Ottawa Senators (an NHL team). Using a variety of tools, it is possible to see the conversations around the team, and the individual players and in a year, they are significantly higher than those for the drivers you mention. I would think that, as F1 is a global sport, the number of conversations would be considerably higher than the less-than 20m your data shows. Thanks!


Given given that Raikkonen doesn’t even have twitter account it’s not really going to give you a true picture is it.

Agree on the points made by Bertrada post. 11.

Further,when you see Finnish flags in the hands of people who probably don’t even know where Finland is it should tell you something. People like him and do talk about him with on social media or just word of mouth.


I dont think Seb has an account either…


Yep agree..It’s also worth remembering Germany has a population of 87million and Spain 47. Seb is a 4 times existing WC.Finland has a population of 5m. Forgetting home ground population and twitter,I bet you Kimi is more popular than every driver combined– not that he gives a sh..& that is precisely why we love him


Is this just english language twitter conversations or is it based on all twitter activity, german, spanish, french etc. included ? Vettel is pretty high on the list, considering he doesnt have his own twitter account.


Drivers thoughts during the above photo session…

Hamilton: Look at all these fools around me, they have no idea that success actually means visiting an orphanage, not scoring podiums !!!

Rosberg: I’m gonna imagine that I’m wearing a tie.

Massa: hmm… Sauber

Alonso: I’m not even gonna try looking towards my left, I’m gonna pretend that he doesn’t exist

Vettel: Yes … Yes … Thank you boys … Hope I’m not getting used to this seat … Let us take a moment to enjoy it… when we have it.

Webber: Now… I can relax my shoulders

Button: I donno what he is so happy about … He’s gonna be driving some stupid Porsche cars (no offense to Porsche racing)

Perez: Is there light at the end if the tunnel ?

Heiki: Call me Kimi

Romain (coz I have no idea how to spell his last name): I hope someone wakes me after the photo session

Hulk: I am the Hulk

Gutirez: I’m Hulk 2

Di Resta: Oops I bit my tongue… May be I should have done that for the second half of the season… And I’d have still had my seat

Sutil: Am I the 4th best German driver in the world ?

Maldo: For all that money … I’m definitely gonna have the first call at pit stops next year

Bottas: I hope I don’t put on more weight o’er the winter

Max: The woods are lovely, dark and deep, I have miles to go before I sleep. (Or .. “Twinkle twinkle little star” … I have no clue)

Bianchi: Rookie of the year hunn ..??

VdG: (can’t guess … Someone please give it a try)

Pic: $#!t … My pants are falling off…

Ricciardo: I can surely out perform Seb… In beard growing that is

JEV: I hope Kvyat doesn’t kick the cr@p out if me next season

Kimi (@ a bar in Helsinki): Kaada minulle toinen (meaning “pour me another one” in Finnish, i.e. according to google translate… Finnish fans please suggest that right phrase 😉


I would like to read your quote for what Button is saying to Webber in THIS version of that pic!!

And Grosjean, as well – he looks quite surly actually!!!



I know for a fact that Jenson was enquiring as to whether or not it was Mark that farted. The look on Mark’s face answers the question. That also explains Romain’s expression. Hope that clears it up for you J. Danek


haha. cheers both of you for the laughs.


Hi J.Danek,

I’ll have to re-quote Button after looking at the pic in your link. Now it seems more like …

Button: After all these years in Formula 1 … Now it looks like we could be team mates @ Porsche in 2015 afterall … Shall I send you my resume ?


Button : I’m more than happy to take your place as the oldest driver on the grid !!!


Please correct, Mexico is “North America” not “South América” Only two pilots belong to the southern part of the American continent, they are Massa (Brazil) and Maldonado (Venezuela) from Panamá to the north, the countries belongs to Central América, and Mexico, USA and Canadá constitute North América. It is also common to call Latin-America or Ibero-America the countries that speaks Spanisch and Portuguese.


I agree that it would be better for media to refer to men like Massa, Maldonado, Gutierrez and Perez as “Latin American” drivers, rather than breaking them down into North, Central and South Americans, or worse still, incorrectly identifying them as all coming from one continent… (ex. “South American drivers punch above their weight with **Sergio Perez** perhaps surprising many with 4th place, followed by Pastor Maldonado 6th and Felipe Massa 7th.” — when of course as you say Perez is not South American…grrrr.).

I disagree, however, that it’s in any way common in english-language media (or F1 forum discussions) to refer to Latin-Americans as Ibero-America, although it might be technically correct to do so



Those drivers are Americans, period. There’s no need for differentiation, even with the media insisting on putting all the “not-white-enough people from the Americas” in the same bag because, since there are no superior Anglo-Saxons from North America currently competing in F1, there’s no risk (God forbid) of them getting mixed up.


+1 😀


Maybe out of topic but elected Kimi Raikkonen on Top 49 Most Influential Men-2013 (position 33). Alongside of Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Christiano Renaldo (38).No more F1 drivers on the list.


And I’m glad Lewis has kept it quiet. Just keep working man… He even recognized himself in his BBC column what went wrong from him last year. At least he’s more valued at Mercedes now.

So excited for 2014!


Facebook + Twitter fans/followers by AutoRacing Drivers Fan List say that’s Lewis Hamilton the most talked about. At the moment on Twitter Alonso is N°1 followed by Lewis. on Facebook Lewis reigns supreme, followed by Vettel…


…. a forum with people talking about people who were talked about the most online….

I’m off to the real world 😉



Its surprising that even without the twitter account Vettel is right up there wonder if he had one what the result would be like?

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