Sunday, 20 January 2013

Which Formula 1 Driver Is The Most Popular In His Home Country?

How popular are formula 1 drivers in their own countries based on number of Google searches?

In my previous post, The 2012 Formula 1 Google Champion, I compiled a list of the formula 1 drivers who took part in the 2012 formula 1 championship ranked in order of who gets the most searches on Google.  You can check out the results here:

The 2012 Formula 1 Google Champion!

To quickly recap, the figures were based on the average number of worldwide searches per month on Google for each driver.  To investigate things further I decided to also look up the number of Google searches that each driver gets in their home country and see what effect that had on the rankings.  However, countries like Finland obviously have a smaller population than the likes of Germany, Spain and the UK, so the figures wouldn’t really mean much if I simply left things like that.

To ensure a level playing field, I therefore then adjusted the figures to produce the number of annual Google searches per 1,000 of the population in each driver’s home country.

Here are the results:

1 Fernando Alonso 51.65
2 Kimi Raikkonen 40.98
3 Lewis Hamilton 21.43
4 Pastor Maldonado 17.23
5 Michael Schumacher 10.82
6 Mark Webber 9.96
7 Heikki Kovalainen 9.96
8 Jenson Button 9.64
9 Sebastian Vettel 8.84
10 Jerome D'ambrosio 4.93
11 Romain Grosjean 4.09
12 Pedro De La Rosa 3.11
13 Bruno Senna 2.08
14 Sergio Perez 1.60
15 Daniel Ricciardo 1.60
16 Felipe Massa 1.39
17 Paul Di Resta 1.29
18 Vitali Petrov 1.25
19 Charles Pic 1.22
20 Nico Rosberg 1.18
21 Jean-Eric Vergne 0.81
22= Nico Hulkenberg 0.42
22= Timo Glock 0.42
24 Kamui Kobayashi 0.15
25 Narain Karthikeyan 0.07

As you’d expect Fernando Alonso is massively popular in Spain, and it’s also apparent that formula 1 remains ever popular in Finland with Kimi Raikkonen coming in second and Heikki Kovalainen ranking as high as 7th.  Quite impressive when you consider that Heikki drove for Caterham last year.

Pastor Maldonado’s popularity in Venezuela has also clearly taken off judging by his impressive 4th place in the rankings, which will no doubt please Bernie Ecclestone as he aims to increase the worldwide reach and appeal of formula 1.

One point of note was the fact that despite Sebastian Vettel being the current formula 1 world champion, he is just edged out by Michael Schumacher when it comes to the number of Google searches made in Germany.  I think it’s safe to say that Michael’s popularity will live on well beyond his retirement.

Finally, one other point to bear in mind when considering these figures is that in the UK, for example, most of us have internet access readily available from our PCs, laptops, mobile phones, etc, but this isn’t always the case in other parts of the world, so this will also play a factor in the figures for some drivers.

To round things off, just as a matter of curiosity here are the original rankings by ‘monthly searches in home country’ prior to adjustment for population size:

1 Fernando Alonso 201,000
2 Lewis Hamilton 110,000
3 Michael Schumacher 74,000
4 Sebastian Vettel 60,500
5 Jenson Button 49,500
6 Pastor Maldonado 40,500
7 Bruno Senna 33,100
8= Romain Grosjean 22,200
8= Felipe Massa 22,200
10= Kimi Raikkonen 18,100
10= Mark Webber 18,100
12= Sergio Perez 14,800
12= Vitali Petrov 14,800
14 Pedro De La Rosa 12,100
15 Nico Rosberg 8,100
16= Paul Di Resta 6,600
16= Charles Pic 6,600
16= Narain Karthikeyan 6,600
19= Heikki Kovalainen 4,400
19= Jerome D'ambrosio 4,400
19= Jean-Eric Vergne 4,400
22= Daniel Ricciardo 2,900
22= Nico Hulkenberg 2,900
22= Timo Glock 2,900
25 Kamui Kobayashi 1,600

So as you can see Fernando Alonso would come out top however you work it out.  And impressively, Kimi Raikkonen still makes the top ten despite Finland having a population of only 5.3 million as of 2009.

Just as a reminder, you can check out the results based on worldwide Google searches here:
The 2012 Formula 1 Google Champion!

And if you're still after more formula 1 related statistics then check out the following links:
The 2012 Formula 1 Constructors' Google Champion
What Are The Most Popular Worldwide Sports Based On Google Searches?

Follow F1 Tips on twitter:

1)  Figures based on 2009 population estimates.
2)  Google provide figures for searches in the UK so I have therefore likewise calculated the figures for Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Paul Di Resta based on UK searches.  The figures may have varied slightly if it had been possible to differentiate between searches made in England and Scotland.
3)  As previously mentioned, these figures relate to Google searches made in English and therefore won’t include searches for Vitali Petrov and Kamui Kobayshi made in Russian and Japanese kanji.
4)  The above figures were correct on 31/12/12 but may have varied slightly since then.

If you fancy a flutter on the 2013 formula 1 season then SkyBet are currently offering a completely free £10 bet for any new customer who signs up for a new SkyBet account.  Check out the link below:

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