Which F1 driver and team have the highest social media followings?

As Formula 1 continues to grow, so do the social media followings of the drivers involved. But who has the biggest follower count on the grid?

While some choose not to get involved (we're looking at you Sebastian Vettel), the world of F1 has embraced social media with almost every driver having at least one account.

Considering the platforms have evolved from a novel way to connect with your fans to a place to secure lucrative brand deals, it makes sense, and F1 drivers have seen their numbers rise in parallel to the sport's boost in popularity.

With that in mind, here's how the drivers and teams rank:

Lewis Hamilton

Instagram: 29.2m Facebook: 6m Twitter: 7.6m

Combined Total: 42.8m

As the biggest name in the sport for the past decade, it is unsurprising to see Lewis Hamilton top the list but perhaps what is surprising is the sheer number of followers he has.

You could combine more than half of the grid and they would still have fewer total followers than the seven-time World Champion.

Whilst being the most successful driver of all-time is bound to help your following, Hamilton's activities away from the track will also bring him plenty of attention.

The 37-year-old takes an interest in fashion, music and environmental issues and posts about them frequently.

What is perhaps most refreshing is that Hamilton appears to do all of his social media on his own rather than with a team, which is increasingly rare for a professional sportsperson.

Max Verstappen

Instagram: 9m Facebook: 2.5m Twitter: 2.9m

Combined Total: 14.4m

Next on the list is the reigning World Champion Max Verstappen. Although still 28.4m followers behind Hamilton, the Dutchman's popularity is on the rise.

Following his maiden Championship win in December 2021, he gained more than half a million Instagram followers in the space of a week.

The 24-year-old is known to be a very private man when it comes to his life away from F1 but he will occasionally share images or videos of him working out on the balcony of his Monaco home. Besides that, Verstappen's output tends to be solely focused on the track.

Daniel Ricciardo

Instagram: 7.2m Facebook: 1.6m Twitter: 2.9m

Combined Total: 11.7m

As the most charismatic driver on the grid, Ricciardo's podium finish in this leaderboard is no surprise.

Ever since he became the star of Netflix's Drive to Survive, the Australian has been one of the global faces of the sport, particularly in America.

Like Hamilton, Ricciardo is more than happy to share his life away from the track and has posted images of him wrestling with ex-UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre, his appearance on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah and his hike through Glacier National Park in Montana.

He is also the most active driver on LinkedIn where he fulfils the role of 'Chief of Optimism' at Australian telecommunications company Optus.

Charles Leclerc

Instagram: 8.2m Facebook: 1.1m Twitter: 2m

Combined Total: 11.3m

In terms of social media, Charles Leclerc is a driver on the rise and this is expected to continue as he establishes himself as a title contender.

Since March, he has gained two million Instagram followers and if it were based solely on that platform, he would pip Ricciardo to that third-place spot.

Like Verstappen, his posts are predominantly of him at the track but he will on occasion share aspects from his private life such as a tribute to his late friend Anthoine Hubert and an image of him and his friends by the pool.

Fernando Alonso

Instagram: 4.5m Facebook: 2m Twitter: 3.1m

Combined Total: 9.6m

It is a drop of two places for Fernando Alonso this year having ranked second in last year's standings, but it is still a healthy rise with two million new users getting on board with the architect of 'El Plan'.

Alonso has one of the strongest followings on Twitter, with only Hamilton boasting more, but the Spaniard's output tends to be a mixture of brand deals and what appears to be posts made by his media team.

He is a bit more personable on Instagram though, including wishing his girlfriend Andrea Schlager a happy birthday. Bless him.

Sergio Perez

Instagram: 4.5m Facebook: 1.2m Twitter: 3.3m

Combined Total: 9m

As the only South American racer on the grid, Sergio Perez's already-high numbers really began to soar once he made the switch to Red Bull.

On Instagram in December 2020 he had just over a million followers but that has more than quadrupled since, owing to not just his place in a more popular team but also his improved performances on track including a win around the historic Monaco circuit.

Speaking of, the Mexican gained more than 125,000 followers in the week following his win in Monte Carlo.

Lando Norris

Instagram: 5.6m Facebook: 935,000 Twitter: 2m

Combined Total: 8.5m

While F1 fanatics would have been well aware of Lando Norris before the Covid pandemic, it was the lockdown that really made the young Brit a popular name to more than just those within the sport.

He began streaming on Twitch and quickly amassed a following which now stands at 1.3 million. From there, he began to show his amiable personality which saw a boost on his social media platforms.

By far one of the most popular drivers on Instagram (he has more followers than the two drivers ahead of him on this list), he likes to show his funny side including a recent post of him and Max Verstappen with the caption "27 races wins between us after today!"

He also has his own gaming and lifestyle brand called Quadrant which has its own social media platforms and Twitch channel.

Carlos Sainz

Instagram: 5.4m Facebook: 764,000 Twitter: 1.7m

Combined Total: 7.9m

Gaining 100,000 Instagram followers in a single week may have given the Smooth Operator a hint of what joining Ferrari was going to be like.

Since the announcement was made of his move to Ferrari in May 2020, he has gone from 1.3m Instagram followers to 5.4m.

He joined the team as one half of the most entertaining driver pairings on the grid alongside Norris at McLaren and has managed to keep some of that humour whilst also being the ambassador of Ferrari that is demanded of him.

His output is primarily from the track or paddock but he will post snippets of his private life such as him suited and booted for a wedding in June.

George Russell

Instagram: 3.6m Facebook: 665,000 Twitter: 1.5m

Combined Total: 5.8m

If shirtless pictures of Formula 1 drivers are your thing, then you've come to the right place.

George Russell's dedication to posting shots of him either without a shirt or with one just barely on him is admirable and is a trend that friend and fellow racer Alex Albon can not help but tease him on.

Underneath a recent post of Russell enjoying the unusually warm British summertime by playing croquet with his shirt unbuttoned, Albon commented "There's shirtless and then there's wearing a shirt shirtless. I don't know if I'm impressed or disappointed."

The Mercedes driver is also the subject of a growing trend known as "George Russell is the type of guy…" in which fans label mundane tasks that Russell is likely to do… and he even got in on the joke himself.

Valtteri Bottas

Instagram: 3.3m Facebook: 636,000 Twitter: 1.4m

Combined Total: 5.8m

Speaking of mild nudity from Formula 1 drivers, we move neatly on to Valtteri Bottas. The Alfa Romeo man has really been showing off his fun side now that he is not inside the pressure cooker that is Mercedes.

He's been driving with a smile and has become a good follow if biking is your thing. But this all pales into significance (pale being the operative word) when it comes to Bottas' social media output.

His most infamous posting came back in May when he was taking some time out after the Miami Grand Prix. He chose to travel to the picturesque town of Aspen in Colorado and shared a picture of himself skinny-dipping in a stream.

Bottas' behind has become the most famous of all the drivers on the grid after it made a cameo in Drive to Survive and not only did the Finn give fans another look, he then had it made into an art print and raised £42k for charity.

Pierre Gasly

Instagram: 3.3m Facebook: 543,000 Twitter: 1.4m

Combined Total: 4.9m

If you are lucky enough to be followed by the AlphaTauri driver then you have pretty much a guaranteed like on every single one of your posts.

Such is the ferocity of Gasly's liking on Instagram, it became a meme within the F1 world that was even passed onto the driver himself.

To that end, it is no surprise to see him most popular on Instagram with more followers than the other two platforms combined.

His posts are a mixture of on-track shots, brand shoots and personal life snaps such as his holidays or his dinner with Michael Jordan before the Miami Grand Prix.

Mick Schumacher

Instagram: 4.8m Facebook: 962,000 Twitter: 864,600

Combined Total: 4.8m

Being the son of an F1 legend has no doubt boosted Mick Schumacher's social media follows but it is still impressive to be nearing five million Instagram followers.

His social media numbers have been on a steady climb since his arrival into F1 having gathered almost 150k Instagram follows during the week of his announcement.

As tends to be the case, he gains most followers when his name is in the headlines - such as his crash in Monaco and his recent run of improved form.

Schumacher will be hoping it is the latter more than the former in the future.

Alex Albon

Instagram: 1.6m Facebook: 361,000 Twitter: 618,300

Combined Total: 2.6m

Is there an F1 driver who smiles more than Alex Albon? Certainly not judging by his social media channels.

His output is a mix of on-track, promo events and pictures of him and his girlfriend which suggests it is him rather than an external team behind it.

Additionally, if Russell has topless photos and Bottas has risque swimming dips then Albon has his pets.

Before the British Grand Prix, he shared a picture of his race helmet which had all 10 of the pets he owned on top of the pink lid.

Esteban Ocon

Instagram: 1.5m Facebook: N/A Twitter: 688,400 Combined Total: 2.2m

The lowest on the list in terms of race winners and as you can imagine, his social media exploded following that shock win in Hungary in 2021.

After the victory, he broke the one million mark on Instagram and is halfway to doubling that.

However, perhaps suggesting the reason why he is so low on the list is the fact he rarely posts. Following his win in Hungary it took 268 days before his next post (a video of the Alpine car on track with the caption "neeeeooowww.") and he has not posted since then.

He has much more when it comes to Twitter though and regualry posts short clips of him before or after races.

Kevin Magnussen

Instagram: 881,000 Facebook: 204,000 Twitter: 795,300

Combined Total: 1.9m

Life was pretty quiet for Kevin Magnussen until March 2022 when he received a call he was probably expecting would never come.

He was brought back into F1 and the story, as well as his P5 finish in his comeback race in Bahrain, suddenly had a lot of people looking his way.

His social media followers reflect that as he gained 216k more followers in March of this year, just under a third of what he was on previously.

While there has been somewhat of a drop off since then in terms of new followers, that will likely pick back up should the Haas start impressing once more following the upgrade package being fitted to the Dane's car in Hungary.

Yuki Tsunoda

Instagram: 1.1m Facebook: N/A Twitter: 382,000

Combined Total: 1.5m

The last of the drivers to have one million followers on a platform is Yuki Tsunoda.

It has been a steady climb for the Japanese driver who, like others, enjoyed a new team bounce in terms of his numbers when it was announced he would be entering the sport.

He crossed the million mark shortly before the Miami Grand Prix.

Lance Stroll

Instagram: 780,000 Facebook: 98,000 Twitter: 362,200

Combined Total: 1.2m

Lance Stroll has seemingly little interest in social media and his numbers reflect that.

He has not posted on Twitter since March and while he is more active on Instagram, the tone and content suggest the posts are being written by his team rather than himself.

It is interesting to note that these posts almost always have the comments turned off as well.

Nicholas Latifi

Instagram: 558,000 Facebook: N/A Twitter: 326.5k Combined Total: 884.5k

If there is one thing you will learn by following Nicholas Latifi on social media, it is that the man absolutely loves Nutella.

This was shown again in a recent Instagram post in which he had been given six personalised jars of the sweet spread which read "go Nicky" on the label.

It is on Instagram in which he is most popular with more than half a million followers, while on Twitter he has just over 325k. He is not on Facebook for some reason.

Zhou Guanyu

Instagram: 586k Facebook: N/A Twitter: 254k

Combined Total: 840k

The newest member on the F1 grid is last in terms of drivers with accounts.

There are some logical explanations behind it. For example, as the first Chinese driver in F1, he has a huge following back home but Facebook is banned there so Zhou and his team perhaps does not see the benefit in starting one, whilst his popularity in Europe remains relatively low.

On Instagram, he is fairly popular with more than half a million followers but that is likely to grow the longer he sticks around in the sport and if he can continue to impress in the Alfa Romeo.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

Instagram: N/A Facebook: N/A Twitter: N/A

Combined Total: N/A

And away from it all comes Sebastian Vettel.

The four-time World Champion is one of the most recognisable and successful drivers on the grid so if he were on social media, he would likely feature high up on the leaderboard - but it is not an avenue that interests him.

He has previously spoken of his dislike of social media and how he feels it does not portray real life but he has also told of his desire to stay off his phone as much as possible.

"I don't know, I feel really lonely," he told WTF1. "I'm the only one left out. Not by choice, I mean for sure left out by choice. I just never started it, and I'm also happy I don't have the apps."

"I'm busy enough with the phone, like trying to not use the phone too much," he continued. "Because I also find that, when somebody else shows me his phone, then it's really interesting. You keep going up, going up, there's more and more. So yeah, I'm quite defensive about this.

"You can see why people are, I don't wanna say addicted in a bad way. But (you can see) why people are spending so much time on it."

A wise choice Seb.

How do the F1 teams stack up?

It is not just the drivers who have their own media channels as every team on the grid is present on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - and it is a clean sweep in the drivers and constructors' standings as Mercedes pip Red Bull by 1.6m followers.

Here's how they line up:

Mercedes

Instagram: 9.8m Facebook: 11.6m Twitter: 4.2m

Combined Total: 25.6m

Red Bull

Instagram: 8.7m Facebook: 11m Twitter: 4m

Combined Total: 24m

Ferrari

Instagram: 9.6m Facebook: 4.8m Twitter: 4m

Combined Total: 18m

McLaren

Instagram: 9.8m Facebook: 4m Twitter: 3.3m

Combined Total: 17.1m

Alpine

Instagram: 2.6m Facebook: 2.1m Twitter: 1.9m

Combined Total: 6.6m

Aston Martin

Instagram: 2.6m Facebook: 2.1m Twitter: 1.9m

Combined Total: 5.4m

AlphaTauri

Instagram: 2.4m Facebook: 1.3m Twitter: 1.4m

Combined Total: 5m

Williams

Instagram: 2.2m Facebook: 987.4k Twitter: 1.6m

Combined Total: 4.8m

Haas

Instagram: 2.4m Facebook: 527k Twitter: 1.2m

Combined Total: 4.1m

Alfa Romeo

Instagram: 2m Facebook: 697.9k Twitter: 1.3m

Combined Total: 4m

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