Vettel is in the pits

Despite his worldwide appeal, Sebastian Vettel doesn't rank on social media

It’s often hard to believe that Sebastian Vettel is still only 31. He’s been driving in Formula One for over 10 years, after his debut Grand Prix in the USA in 2007. He’s one of the most recognisable drivers in the world and has 4 World Championship titles to his name. He has the opportunity to go and become the greatest driver of all time.

Yet, when we calculated the social followings of all the drivers for the 2018 season, Vettel came last. He is technically still in the pits.

Seb doesn’t do social. Not at all. He has a website, he has sponsors, and he has offline fans following his every move. But in terms of social, he’s a hermit. And that places him last in our rankings. It also doesn’t help his team, Scuderia Ferrari, as they don’t get the benefits of his score added into theirs by our ranking algorithm. But then maybe it’s a Ferrari thing – Kimi Raikkonen also doesn’t spread himself far and wide and only uses Twitter as a social medium.

It does help, however, all the other drivers. It means that Lewis Hamilton is now the clear winner, with a social following more than double of his closest rival, Fernando Alonso. And it also means that Lance Stroll avoids the wooden spoon with a paltry 42.3K fans across the three main social networks. Other positions are to be expected – both the Red Bull drivers do well for fans, as does Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg, but maybe they have people following to see their (often) spectacular crashes.

But it does mean there is a certain lopsidedness to the table. Perhaps Seb planned it. Instead of competing with Lewis directly, he wanted to do something different. Or maybe, he just doesn’t need social media.