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New F1 survey: Who are Formula 1's most popular drivers and teams?

A survey carried out amongst Formula 1 fans worldwide has revealed the most popular driver, as well as a surprise team winning hearts.

The results of a global survey amongst Formula 1 fans has revealed the sport's most popular drivers and teams, following extensive polling by Formula 1 and analysis by Nielsen Sports. The results show that Max Verstappen, who currently leads the 2021 World Drivers' Championship, is now F1's most popular driver. He is particularly popular in the age category of 25- to 34-year-olds. McLaren's Lando Norris is the second most popular, and is also the most popular driver overall amongst female fans. Lewis Hamilton may have the widest global reach and be the sports biggest household name, but only comes in as the third most popular driver. Indicative of his seniority in F1, Hamilton is the highest-ranked driver amongst fans aged 35 years or older. He also beats Norris and George Russell to top spot in the United Kingdom. Daniel Ricciardo is the fourth most popular driver, and trails only teammate Norris in winning the female fan vote. Unsurprisingly, he is also the highest-ranked driver amongst Australian fans. Perhaps showcasing the sport's ever-shifting demographic is the fact that Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes are not the firm fan favourites when it comes to teams. Instead, it's the resurgent McLaren that take spot, ahead of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes, in that order. In terms of popular races, it's no surprise that the long-established classic races are the fan favourites. Italy's Monza, Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps, Britain's Silverstone and Monaco are listed as the four most anticipated races of the season. The survey also shows that audiences are on the rise with youth markets in the United States (50 percent increase), India (55 percent increase), China (58 percent increase) and Mexico (45 percent increase), with this audience determined by indicating that they have been watching the sport for five years or less. Meanwhile, 58 percent of fans surveyed indicated that the balance of sport versus entertainment is now at the right level. This is up from 37 percent in a similar survey carried out in 2017. Interestingly, the most widely used social media platform amongst fans is Twitter, with Instagram's popularity and useage also exploding. The survey attracted a younger audience than in 2017, with an average participant age of 32-years-old (down by four years). Female audience participation almost doubled, from 10 percent to 18.3 percent, while student age participation increased from 18 percent to 26 percent.

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