The 2022 Formula 1 World Championship is starting this Sunday, March 20, 2022, and as fans of the sport, we wanted to take a look at who are the most followed Formula 1 drivers on social media, including all the twenty drivers that will be racing in this year’s championship.
And what a championship this promises to be! We have four world champions that are about to take off in the 2022 season: Lewis Hamilton with 7 championships, Sebastian Vettel with 4, Fernando Alonso with 2, and Max Verstappen with one.
But before they start competing with each other in races, let’s see how their social media presence looks and who takes the lead here. Who is the most popular F1 driver on social media, who is present on the most social media channels, and who is the driver stubborn enough not to have any social media accounts at all?
We’ll take a look at all this and more in our article today, with a short briefing for each driver.
Most Followed Formula 1 Drivers on Social Media
|1||Lewis Hamilton||27.1M||5.9M||7.1M||—||102K + 84K||40.28M|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||4.2M||606K||1.4M||1.4M||227K||7.83M|
1. Lewis Hamilton
Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, knighted in 2021, is the most followed formula 1 driver on social media. He is a detached leader not only in Formula 1 but in the number of social media followers as well, with 40.28 million, compared to the next in line (Verstappen), who only has 12.9 million. Hamilton is also the only formula 1 driver on the list with two YouTube channels, the main one and a vlogging one. He is a British racing driver (if you couldn’t already tell by the being knighted part), and he shares a joint record with Michael Schumacher, having won seven World Drivers’ Championship titles. However, he blew all other records out of the water, with 103 wins, 103 pole positions, and 182 podium finishes, surpassing Schumacher, who had held all these records at the time of his retirement in 2012. He also won titles in four consecutive years (2017 – 2020). In 2021, Hamilton almost won again, but due to some exceptional circumstances and controversial decisions taken by race control, Verstappen took the lead. But Hamilton has the chance to take back his title in this year’s upcoming championship, with fans sitting at the edge of their seats.
2. Max Verstappen
Verstappen, by his full name of Max Emilian Verstappen, is the second most followed formula 1 driver on social media, with 12.9 million, and the Formula 1 “champion en titre”, having won the 2021 Formula One World Championship and dethroned Lewis Hamilton, who had obtained four consecutive titles. However, compared to Hamilton, Verstappen has much fewer followers, 12.9 million vs. Hamilton’s 40.28 million. Max Verstappen is Belgian-Dutch, but he competes for the Netherlands because, as he stated, he feels much more Dutch even though he was raised in Belgium, but lived right at the border with the Netherlands, and spent more time around his Dutch father and Dutch people in general. Max is the youngest driver to have competed in Formula 1, at 17 and a half, before getting his legal driver’s license. He is also the youngest driver and the first Dutch driver to have won a Formula One Grand Prix.
3. Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Joseph Ricciardo is an Italian-Australian racing driver competing for Australia since 2011. Ricciardo has changed quite a few teams in his racing career, first competing for HRT, then switching to Toro Rosso, and then being promoted to Red Bull, where he had quite a few victories. In 2019 and 2020 he raced for Renault, and in 2021 he switched again to McLaren, for which he will be competing in the 2022 championship. He has a total of 8 Grand Prix victories in Formula One. And I’m sure you remember him being on the podium because when he wins, Ricciardo has a very peculiar podium tradition: he takes off one of his shoes, fills it with champagne, and then drinks from it. I believe that’s about equal amounts of disgusting and funny.
4. Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso Díaz is a Spanish race driver with 32 wins, 98 podiums, and 22 pole positions. He is currently competing for Alpine, but he has also raced for Renault, Ferrari, McLaren, Minardi, and Toyota. He won the World Drivers’ Championship, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the FIA World Endurance Championship twice. When he won his first two championships in 2005 and 2006, Alonso was the youngest race winner and two-time champion, as well as the youngest pole-sitter at the time. He is also the only Spanish race driver to have won either and both the World Championship and/or Grand Prix.
5. Charles Leclerc
Leclerc, by his full impressive name of Charles Marc Hervé Perceval Leclerc, is a Monégasque racing driver with 2 wins, 13 podiums, and 9 pole positions. He has won the GP3 Series championship in 2016 and the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2017. He has started racing quite recently, in 2018, for Sauber, and is currently racing for Scuderia Ferrari. Leclerc currently has 8.58 million social media followers, with the majority of them being on Instagram (6.1 million).
6. Lando Norris
Lando Norris is a 22-year-old British-Belgian racing driver currently competing for England with McLaren. He won the MSA Formula championship in 2015, the Toyota Racing Series, Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, and Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup in 2016, and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in 2017. Lando comes in close to Leclerc in terms of social media followers, with 8.57 million followers compared to Leclerc’s 8.58 million. Lando is also one of the only three drivers on this list with a TikTok account and has the highest number of subscribers on YouTube (currently at 783K).
7. Carlos Sainz Jr.
Carlos Sainz Vázquez de Castro is a Spanish racing driver competing in Formula One for Scuderia Ferrari. He is the son of double World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz and the nephew of rally driver Antonio Sainz. In 2014 he won the championship with DAMS. Carlos finished third at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2019, second at Monza in 2020, second at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2021, and third at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Russian Grand Prix, and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of the same year. Carlos is only at no. 7 when it comes to the total of social media followers on all networks, but he has by far the largest following on TikTok, at 1.4 million.
8. Sergio Pérez
Sergio Michel Pérez Mendoza, nicknamed “Checo”, is a Mexican racing driver who races in Formula One for Red Bull Racing. With two Grand Prix wins under his belt (the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020 and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2021), and more Formula One accomplishments at a young age, Pérez was referred to as “The Mexican Wunderkind”. People love Checo because he’s a bit of an underdog who finally made it to the top. People feel he spent a long time performing at a high level in midfield cars and got podiums with cars that did not deserve it, so it’s nice to see him working for a top team right now, with a top car in which he can truly showcase his talent.
9. George Russell
George William Russell is a British racing driver currently competing in Formula One for Mercedes. Russell only has one podium in Formula 1, with the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, but at only 24 he has the most victories, pole positions, laps led, and podiums won in Formula 2. He is one of the young hopes of the future and Formula 1 fans are very interested to see what he’ll do at this year’s championship.
10. Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Viktor Bottas is a Finnish racing driver with 10 race wins and 67 podiums. He is currently competing in Formula One with the Alfa Romeo team, where he replaced his compatriot Kimi Räikkönen. Having fine-tuned his skills on the icy roads of Finland, Valtteri Bottas was made to be a race driver, and the calm and diligent Finnish mentality is helping him keep his cool in a sport where it’s quite easy to lose your temper, and where you can quickly become panicked and be prone to making rash decisions.
11. Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly is a French racing driver, currently competing in Formula 1 for Scuderia AlphaTauri. He won the GP2 Series championship in 2016 and had his first Formula One victory at the Italian Grand Prix in 2020.
12. Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher is, as you probably already know if you’re a Formula 1 fan, the son of seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher. He races under the German flag for Haas, is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, and is a reserve driver for Scuderia Ferrari. Mick won the FIA F3 European Championship in 2018 and the Formula 2 Championship in 2020. There are plenty of racing drivers whose fathers were also Formula One racers, but carrying the famous Schumacher name definitely holds some extra weight. However, it’s not his father’s name that brought him to where he is, but his talent, and I believe formula 1 fans are happy and excited to see him carrying on the legacy. And even though he’s understandably a bit still in his father’s shadow, he leads in terms of social media followers, with 3.82 million vs. his father’s 2.87, who is right behind him on our list of most popular Formula 1 drivers on social media.
13. Michael Schumacher
I believe Michael Schumacher needs no introduction, as he is a legend in the sports world. And even though he hasn’t competed since 2012, he is still one of the most popular formula one drivers on social media, currently at no. 13. At the time of his retirement from the sport in 2012, Schumacher held the records for the most wins (91), pole positions (68), and podium finishes (155), which have since been broken by Hamilton, but he maintains a few records still, among which the one for the most fastest laps (77). In addition to his legendary Formula 1 performances, Schumacher was best known for an innovative fitness regimen and for enjoying pushing his car to the very limit for long periods during races, which kept people at the edge of their seats. Sadly, during a skiing accident in December 2013, he suffered a severe brain injury that had him in a medically induced coma until June 2014. He then went through rehabilitation at the Lausanne University Hospital and was finally relocated at home in September 2014 to be treated privately. Not much is known about his current situation, as his wife Corinna hasn’t allowed much information to slip to the press. All we know is that he is well taken care of and he keeps fighting for the road to recovery.
14. Kimi Räikkönen
Kimi-Matias Räikkönen, nicknamed “The Iceman”, is a Finnish racing driver that again, needs no introduction. With 21 Grand Prix wins, 103 podiums, 18 pole positions, and 46 fastest laps, Kimi is one of the five drivers to have taken over 100 podiums, and the only driver to win in the V10, V8, and the V6 turbo hybrid engine eras. Räikkönen was listed as the 26th highest-paid celebrity and fifth highest-paid sportsman by Forbes magazine in their “Celebrity 100” list in 2008. Räikkönen retired from the sport at the end of 2021, but he still made it on the list of most followed formula one drivers on social media, and Formula 1 fans should be grateful he’s on social media at all. Why? Because Kimi is known to have a reserved personality and was for the longest time reluctant to have any presence on social media, but his wife finally convinced him to make an Instagram account. In fact, he’s the only celebrity on our list with just an Instagram account, and no other social media, but he still manages to be one of the most popular drivers, with 2.7 million followers.
15. Alexander Albon
Alexander Albon Ansusinha is a Thai-British Formula One driver competing under the Thai flag for Williams. He finished third in the 2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship and seventh in the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. With DAMS, he won four races and finished third in the championship. He had his first Grand Prix podium win at the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix, which was also the first for a Thai driver. His seat was taken by Sergio Pérez after two seasons in Formula One for Red Bull, but in this year’s 2022 Formula One Championship, he will be driving for Williams.
16. Esteban Ocon
Esteban José Jean-Pierre Ocon-Khelfane is a French racing driver competing for Alpine in Formula One. He won the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix. Ocon only has Instagram and Twitter, with most of his following on Instagram.
17. Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Jan Magnussen is a Danish racing driver competing in Formula One for Haas F1 Team, for which he has been driving since 2017. There was s small gap after the end of the 2020 season, but in 2022 he’s back with Haas.
18. Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda is a Japanese racing driver racing for Scuderia AlphaTauri. He won the F4 Japanese championship in 2018 and finished third in the 2020 Formula 2 Championship. In Formula One, he started competing in 2021. Just like Ocon, Tsunoda only has Instagram and Twitter accounts.
19. Lance Stroll
Lance Strulovitch, better known as Lance Stroll, is a Canadian-Belgian racing driver competing under the Canadian flag for Aston Martin. He won the Italian F4 championship in 2014, the Toyota Racing Series championship in 2015, and the FIA European Formula 3 championship in 2016. He came in third at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2017, becoming the youngest driver to finish on the podium during their first formula 1 race.
20. Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Daniel Latifi is a Canadian-Iranian racing driver competing under the Canadian flag. He debuted in Formula 1 in 2020 and was second in the Formula 2 Championship in 2019.
21. Nikita Mazepin
Nikita Dmitryevich Mazepin is a Russian racing driver who was supposed to be racing for Haas F1 Team in 2022, but his contract was abruptly terminated due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As he felt betrayed by this decision, Mazepin has plans to open a foundation that will help sportsmen who are no longer allowed to compete due to political reasons.
22. Guanyu Zhou
Guanyu Zhou is a Chinese racing driver competing for Alfa Romeo in the 2022 Formula One World Championship. He finished third in the FIA Formula 2 Championship for UNI-Virtuosi Racing in 2021.
How about you? Which of these drivers are you following on social media? And will you be tuning in to the 2022 Formula One season? Don’t forget to share this article with other Formula 1 fans in your circle 🙂
See also: Who has the most followers on Instagram?