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F1 2022

Which F1 drivers have the most social media followers?

F1's current batch of drivers attract followers from around the world on social media. But which drivers are the most popular with online fans? And which drivers could use some social media training?

Hamilton Verstappen Mexico 2021
Analysis
To news overview © Mercedes

As F1's audience has grown in the past couple of years due to the Drive to Survive Netflix series, it's perhaps no surprise that the social media followings of all of the drivers have exploded.

At this time of year, with no racing over the winter break, the only content shared by the drivers online involves showing off their training programmes, holiday snaps, and maybe some sneaky photos taken in their team's factories!

With fans desperate to keep up to speed with their favourite drivers, the two drivers with the biggest online followings are also the two drivers who have formed F1's lead rivalry in recent years.

Which drivers have the largest following?

Lewis Hamilton is by far and away the most widely followed of the drivers, with just under 40 million followers across the main social media platforms.

Astonishingly, despite unfollowing everybody on Instagram, as he has maintained a complete radio silence since the events of the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton has gained almost a million followers on the photo-sharing platform in just over a month!

Verstappen a distant second

Verstappen is up next with 12-and-a-half million followers across the main social media platforms. But, unlike the Formula 1 points tables, the Dutch driver is nowhere near Hamilton's total follower count, being almost 30 million behind!

The biggest deficit is on Instagram, where Hamilton has almost 20 million more followers than Verstappen.

Verstappen's former Red Bull teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, is in third place. The current McLaren driver is followed by 10.4 million people across the main social media platforms.

Instagram is the most popular medium

Instagram is the clear leader when it comes to driver followings, with 19 of the 20 drivers enjoying large fandoms on the platform.

Twitter is in second place, while Facebook trails behind, with some of the younger drivers, such as Guanyu Zhou or Yuki Tsunoda, not even bothering to have an official Facebook page.

The only driver to have no official social media presence is Sebastian Vettel. The four-time World Champion made a conscious decision to avoid having any sort of public presence online, aside from his official website.

However, should the German ever change his mind, he could find a huge following waiting for him. This happened to Kimi Raikkonen a few years ago, with wife Minttu encouraging the reluctant Finn onto Instagram.

With a never-before-seen accessibility to Raikkonen's unique humour and home life, he racked up almost three million followers on Instagram prior to his retirement from F1.

The complete overview of the number of followers per driver, per social channel, can be found in the table below.

Followers per driver

# Driver Facebook Instagram Twitter Total
1 Hamilton 5.9M 26.8M 6.9M 39.6M
2 Verstappen 2.3M 7.8M 2.5M 12.6M
3 Ricciardo 1.6M 6.2M 2.6M 10.4M
4 Alonso 2M 3.9M 2.9M 8.8M
5 Leclerc 940K 5.9M 1.4M 8.2M
6 Perez 1.1M 3.3M 2.9M 7.3M
7 Norris 845K 4.8M 1.6M 7.3M
8 Sainz 602K 4M 1.3M 5.9M
9 Russell 554K 2.8M 1.1M 4.5M
10 Bottas 422K 2.9M 1.1M 4.4M
11 Gasly 534K 2.6M 917K 4.1M
12 Schumacher 798K 2.3M 653K 3.8M
13 Albon 330K 1.3M 453K 2.1M
14 Ocon - 1.2M 529K 1.7M
15 Tsunoda - 820K 275K 1.1M
16 Stroll 98K 675K 308K 1.1M
17 Latifi 79K 421K 247K 747K
18 Mazepin - 551K 69K 620K
19 Zhou - 170K 50K 220K
N/A Vettel No social media

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: How real is the threat that Hamilton will leave F1?

F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour weigh up the possibility that Lewis Hamilton might leave F1 behind, as well as analysing what might be uncovered during the FIA investigation into the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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