F1’s most popular drivers and teams of 2014 revealed

2014 F1 season review

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The loyalties of many F1 Fanatic readers are split between three drivers at the moment.

While Kimi Raikkonen retains the position of most popular F1 driver which he took over at the end of last year, two other world champions are almost as well-liked. Lewis Hamilton, who won his second title this year, has almost drawn level with Raikkonen and Jenson Button.

Behind them two up-and-coming drivers who enjoyed breakthrough seasons also attracted many new fans. Daniel Ricciardo is now among the top ten most popular drivers with Valtteri Bottas not far behind.

One of the most surprising developments in 2014 is how driver and team popularity has come to play a direct role in who appears on the grid. Kamui Kobayashi was so much support that when he lost his seat at Sauber in 2012 he raised millions of dollars, much of it contributed by fans, towards funding a seat at Caterham this year.

Similarly, when Caterham hit financial trouble at the end of the year they covered the costs of their participation in the season finale through a crowdfund of their own.

It’s looking increasingly unlikely the team will return in 2015, and the same goes for Marussia. Although these were among F1’s smallest and newest teams, it’s interesting to note they had amassed more supporters on F1 Fanatic than one of their more established rivals, Toro Rosso.

Here’s how many supporters each of the teams and drivers had on F1 Fanatic at the end of 2014.

Drivers’ supporters

[chartboot version= ‘3.0’ code= ‘4B7D’ border= ‘0’ width= ‘800’ height= ‘400’ attribution= ‘0’ jsondesc= ‘{“containerId”:”visualization4B7D”,”dataTable”:{“cols”:xxx00xxx{“id”:””,”label”:”Driver”,”pattern”:””,”type”:”string”,”p”:{}},{“id”:””,”label”:”Supporters”,”pattern”:””,”type”:”number”}xxx01xxx,”rows”:xxx00xxx{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Kimi Raikkonen”,”f”:null},{“v”:1670,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Jenson Button”,”f”:null},{“v”:1662,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Lewis Hamilton”,”f”:null},{“v”:1611,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Fernando Alonso”,”f”:null},{“v”:1198,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Sebastian Vettel”,”f”:null},{“v”:794,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Kamui Kobayashi”,”f”:null},{“v”:610,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Nico Rosberg”,”f”:null},{“v”:586,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Nico Hulkenberg”,”f”:null},{“v”:548,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Felipe Massa”,”f”:null},{“v”:501,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Daniel Ricciardo”,”f”:null},{“v”:449,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Sergio Perez”,”f”:null},{“v”:415,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Romain Grosjean”,”f”:null},{“v”:399,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Valtteri Bottas”,”f”:null},{“v”:335,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Jules Bianchi”,”f”:null},{“v”:217,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Kevin Magnussen”,”f”:null},{“v”:160,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Adrian Sutil”,”f”:null},{“v”:150,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Pastor Maldonado”,”f”:null},{“v”:111,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Jean-Eric Vergne”,”f”:null},{“v”:109,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Max Chilton”,”f”:null},{“v”:70,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Esteban Gutierrez”,”f”:null},{“v”:59,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Daniil Kvyat”,”f”:null},{“v”:47,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Marcus Ericsson”,”f”:null},{“v”:32,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Andre Lotterer”,”f”:null},{“v”:9,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Will Stevens”,”f”:null},{“v”:1,”f”:null}xxx01xxx}xxx01xxx,”p”:null},”options”:{“title”:”Driversxxx02xxx Supporters”,”isStacked”:false,”animation”:{“duration”:500},”booleanRole”:”certainty”,”hAxis”:{“useFormatFromData”:true,”viewWindow”:{“max”:null,”min”:null},”minValue”:null,”maxValue”:null},”vAxes”:xxx00xxx{“useFormatFromData”:true,”minValue”:null,”maxValue”:null,”viewWindow”:null,”viewWindowMode”:null},{“useFormatFromData”:true}xxx01xxx,”legend”:”bottom”,”fontName”:”Tahoma”,”series”:{“0”:{“color”:”#1155cc”}}},”state”:{},”view”:{},”isDefaultVisualization”:true,”chartType”:”BarChart”}’ ]

Teams’ supporters

[chartboot version= ‘3.0’ code= ‘9B06’ border= ‘0’ width= ‘800’ height= ‘400’ attribution= ‘0’ jsondesc= ‘{“containerId”:”visualization9B06″,”dataTable”:{“cols”:xxx00xxx{“id”:””,”label”:”Teams”,”pattern”:””,”type”:”string”,”p”:{}},{“id”:””,”label”:”Supporters”,”pattern”:””,”type”:”number”}xxx01xxx,”rows”:xxx00xxx{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”McLaren”,”f”:null},{“v”:1959,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Ferrari”,”f”:null},{“v”:1273,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Mercedes”,”f”:null},{“v”:1069,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Lotus”,”f”:null},{“v”:1040,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Red Bull”,”f”:null},{“v”:814,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Williams”,”f”:null},{“v”:810,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Sauber”,”f”:null},{“v”:544,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Force India”,”f”:null},{“v”:510,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Caterham”,”f”:null},{“v”:354,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Marussia”,”f”:null},{“v”:206,”f”:null}xxx01xxx},{“c”:xxx00xxx{“v”:”Toro Rosso”,”f”:null},{“v”:185,”f”:null}xxx01xxx}xxx01xxx,”p”:null},”options”:{“title”:”Teamsxxx02xxx Supporters”,”isStacked”:false,”animation”:{“duration”:500},”booleanRole”:”certainty”,”hAxis”:{“useFormatFromData”:true,”viewWindow”:{“max”:null,”min”:null},”minValue”:null,”maxValue”:null},”vAxes”:xxx00xxx{“useFormatFromData”:true,”minValue”:null,”maxValue”:null,”viewWindow”:null,”viewWindowMode”:null},{“useFormatFromData”:true}xxx01xxx,”legend”:”bottom”,”series”:{“0”:{“color”:”#38761d”}},”fontName”:”Tahoma”},”state”:{},”isDefaultVisualization”:true,”chartType”:”BarChart”}’ ]

NB. Data accurate as of 28th December 2014

Which drivers and teams do you support?

Here’s how to show who you’re supporting on F1 Fanatic. You can also add your support for new 2015 drivers Max Verstappen, Felipe Nasr and Carlos Sainz Jnr:

  • Log in with your F1 Fanatic account (sign up here if you don’t have one)
  • Select Edit My Profile from the top-right menu
  • Select F1 Teams and Drivers
  • Make your selections then click Save Changes

Where are F1 Fanatic readers from?

See the most recent breakdown of F1 Fanatic readers by region.

2014 F1 season review

Browse all 2014 F1 season review articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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59 comments on “F1’s most popular drivers and teams of 2014 revealed”

  1. Yes Kamui! Who doesn’t like KK?

    1. Liam McShane (@)
      29th December 2014, 14:19

      I don’t. I think he’s massively over-rated.

      1. I know he’s not really good driver, but he’s a very likeable guy

        1. Me neither. Didn’t think he was that interesting the last couple of years..

          1. That solves it, there are only 3 people in the entire world who don’t :)

        2. He’s not a good driver? Really?
          Do you know he’s a world Champion. One bad season doesn’t define the class of a driver.

          1. I think Kobayashi could have done as good a job as Vettel did in the Red Bull Rocketship but with a bit more edge of your seat entertainment.

      2. Kamui on Bridgestones aggressive, virile driving, daring overtakes

        Kamui on Pirellis completely neutered

        The Pirellis made dinosaurs of a lot of aggressive drivers. Webber went from 5 wins in the last year of Bridgestones to 3 wins in 3 years on Pirellis. Schumacher couldn’t be as all out aggressive as he was in his first career (albeit this was compounded by the Merc). Kobayashi got outshone by Sergio Pérez, especially in the tyre conservation department.

        1. I would say that owed more to the fact that Webber’s driving style did not work at all well with the type of driving style that was required to get the maximum out of the blown diffusers which were in use at that time.

          I would argue that there was an indication of those issues with the RB8 – at the beginning of the year, the blown diffuser on that car was not especially effective and Webber was much more competitive against Vettel. However, once Red Bull optimised the design of their blown diffuser, Webber soon fell back against Vettel and also fell back relative to the other drivers too, as he simply could not adapt his driving style to the changing balance of the car.

          To a certain extent, I think that perhaps there was also a psychological issue too – to be honest, I think that Webber never really quite mentally recovered from knowing that he blew his chance of a title in 2010.

          1. Webber was always a journeyman. Pre-Newey cars his average WDC finish was 10-11th, with Newey it was 4th.

            Vettel’s 2010 Abu Dhabi pole time was eclipsed by 1.1 seconds by Daniel Ricciardo in a young drivers session that followed the race. This year has reinforced that indicator that Vettel is not the driver that 4x WDC would suggest. In fact these disparate nuggets of information simply serve to prove that the Red Bull with blown diffuser was truly glued to the road.

          2. @frasier If you had checked the times, you would have also seen that Jerome D’Ambrosio in the Renault and Sam Bird in the Mercedes went faster, which points to vastly improved track conditions. The time is essentially meaningless.

            The figure is 1.3s, incidentally.

          3. @vettel1 I take your point about the track evolving, and it was indeed 1.3 seconds! However the much more relevant facts were the gaps to competitors. In quali Vettel beat Hamilton by a mere 0.05 second, whereas Ricciardo beat Paffett by 1.66 seconds, same cars. That’s a country mile better than the F1 teams pick of the other rookies.

            Sometimes you have to read between the lines, but on this occasion it stuck out like a sore thumb, Ricciardo has been quicker than Vettel for years. Sorry but Vettel is a quick driver but not the superstar that his stats in those RBR flying machines suggest.

            So it has come to pass that he has left the team in the hope he find a car advantage at Ferrari. Don’t fancy his chances personally.

        2. @kodongo Exactly! I hope Kamui finds a competitive seat in single-seater series next year.

      3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        30th December 2014, 18:42

        Why? He’s one of the greatest passers I’ve ever seen and I would rate him higher than two thirds of the f1 grid. IMO if DRS had never happened Kamui would be a top team driver now on account of his raw speed and overtaking talent

  2. I have the impression there’s huge lag with this rating system, compared with active polls. Surely Ricciardo and and Williams are higher in reality, for example? What happens if you only include recently-updated accounts @keithcollantine? Or exclude historical accounts perhaps, if that’s possible.

  3. Chilton supporter here. My check came in the mail just in time for the holidays.

    1. Max (@mChilton)
      29th December 2014, 15:59

      Nice try Don, but you actually have to register my support on your profile to be counted by Keith or to receive incentive funds from my dad.

      1. Oh my goodness…

        Comment of the day,
        Comment of the month,
        Comment of the year.

      2. Dear Max, just like Caterham, you only get my complete support after the remainder of the agreed sum is transferred. Fortunately for you, it came in the mail today, and I have you now on my profile. :-)

      3. This might be a silly question but are you the real Max Chilton?

  4. Interesting to see that Mclaren still got that much support, after the whole driver saga, and under performing the last couple of years.

    1. That´s a huge “wow” to me. Couldn´t imagine any team-popularity rating anywhere* (*outside UK) ever not having Ferrari in front. Makes me wonder how much of the international users of this site are British expats. Also the difference between Merc and Ferrari looks strange, as Merc really isn´t a F1-brand, but rather a temporary guest that doesn´t feel F1-ish. Also not sure, how many of the supporters are real devoted supporters to their team, or would rather swap teams with their drivers (not to mention time-periods that are longer than a generation of drivers stay in F1).

      1. I think that it is strange that you consider Mercedes to be a “temporary guest” given that they have been involved as an engine supplier since 1994. By that measure, Mercedes have been involved in F1 for far longer than many other outfits – certainly longer than Honda have ever been as engine suppliers and longer than the Ford-Cosworth DFV era.

        1. As you said, as an engine supplier, and I consider engine-supplying a more costly and elaborate form of sponsoring. The whole engagment is done for marketing reasons, not for driving in F1 as a self-purpose, and that makes it un-F1-ish as a team to me. Also, as a team it´s 4 years now, and it isn´t even a real Merc-team, but rather a forced adoption of what should be named Tyrell.

          1. It should definitely not be named Tyrell, and it probably shouldn’t even be named Tyrrell unless you have a strangely absolutist position on the transferability of teams based on their racing licence. When Ken Tyrrell sold up to Craig Pollock and BAT, the team that became BAR and then Honda, Brawn and Mercedes only inherited the entry; the factory and cars (and much of the staff) went to Arrows. Tyrrell was based in Surrey, not at Brackley – there’s a definite distinction between Tyrrell and BAR that there isn’t between, say, Toleman and Benetton.

  5. Im a supporter of good races. Drivers come and go, teams come and go. If Mickey Mouse was driving a Rightmove racing car id enjoy it, if he was exciting to watch. its not x factor and neither is it football.

    1. Well, aren’t you a good buy. Too bad you just missed the whole point of this article.

      1. So im not allowed to comment on an article in any other way than the way you think it should be commented on or indeed how Keith intended it to be !?!

        I prefer my convos a bit looser but fair enough

        good buy

        1. Did someone buy something?

  6. Globally, what do you guys think is the most popular driver and team in F1? My guess would be Ferrari as the most popular team, and either Hamilton or Alonso as the most popular driver.

    1. Kimi is massively popular in Asia, so I’m pretty sure he is also globally the most popular driver, just like he is on this site.

      1. All I know is that there is a direct link btwn Hamilton’s debut season and the spike in the viewership across the world after 2007. I guess He is the most popular on the grid, coz he transcends F1 but that’s different from wether he is the most liked. People who do not have the remotest interest in F1 would know who Lewis is and who Ferrari are and not much else.

      2. Yup, in Indonesia you fill easily find big posters of Kimi.. we love human not thin robot.

    2. Dunno @kingshark, but if we use Twitter followers as a metric (dubious I know but more probably meaningful than a personal wild guess) then Mercedes have just overtaken Ferrari (970k vs 950k) and Hamilton at 2.56m leads Aonso at 2.19m.

      @huhhii I sense Kimi has been losing support recently (he’s only ever made 52 tweets so we can’t judge on his 108k followers there). I think the profile data on this site contain a lot of old ratings, because I just don’t believe Ricciardo and Bottas are less popular than Vettel now.

      1. Kimi has benefited from driving for the two constructors that have by far the biggest followings. He was loved at McLaren and then won Ferrari’s last title.
        I think Hamilton’s high twitter following comes from a) embracing social media very early and b) being part of a superstar couple. He is definitely the biggest f1 star in the USA.

        I predict Vettel to make a massive rise at Ferrari, as it is likely he be an underdog for the first time since 2008 and if he performs to his potential then he’ll win over the Tifosi.

        1. Kimi and Lewis are cool, tho mysteriously in opposite ways. Seb…well for a 4x wdc he’s not as popular as one might expect is he? I’m sure as you say if he makes a success of Ferrari his stock will go up, but if they’ve made a pointy car for Kimi that might not be good for Seb. His apparent need for a nailed-down back end is odd since his first-lap and wet-weather pace suggest lots of physical talent, so more to learn about him hopefully.

      2. @lockup Raikkonen does not use Twitter. He’s said it endless times.

        1. Oh, well I used to be a fan but I must admit I haven’t been following him too closely recently.

    3. I found the statistics are weird, when Button and Alonso impressive they seemed did not get a lot of DOTW vote, for me Hamilton is the most popular driver on the grid followed by Raikkonen and Bottas or Ricciardo

    4. @lockup
      Hamilton isn’t so popular outside the UK and Australia.
      Fernando is hated in Brazil.
      Jenson is loved in Japan.
      Kimi is loved on the internet.
      Massa and Barrichello are memes in Brazil – people laught at their careers (ridiculous hey!)

      Who knows who the most popular driver is.

      1. Hamilton and Alonso have a lot a supporters in Brazil

      2. Kimi, just like all the Finnish drivers are REALLY popular in Japan, China and Asian region overall.

      3. @brunes great spoof of the ‘personal wild guess’ I was referring to :)

        I’m a bit surprised not to find a credible poll anywhere. But I reckon broadly we like them to be fast and have something special about them.

        What about Dan Ricciardo? I don’t believe the low F1F rating for him, but now I think about it, although I quite like him I don’t find myself listening very intently to what he says.

    5. Currently it would be Alonso or Hamilton, only if we all chose our favourites based on their driving ability or statistics.
      But Kimi, he is something different than all the others. Even with a sub-par performance in 2014, I still admire him the most.

  7. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    29th December 2014, 16:57

    I always find for me it changes race by race. There’s no driver I’ve ever been a hardcore fan of but some weekends I want certain drivers to do better. Does anyone else find this?

  8. Interesting that Hamilton and Jenson have closed their gap to Kimi considerably. I’m not sure about its feasibility but I would request @KeithCollantine to provide a table or chart of Year-on-Year change in percentage of fans supporting each driver and each team.

  9. Will be mighty interesting to see how Daniil Kvyat’s popularity might soar next year!

  10. I’m amazed how little support Kvyat has… I’d have thought that after his performance in Australia or qualifying in Russia he’d get a jump in support, but apparently not.

  11. I support Kimi and Sauber.

  12. So, Stevens and Lotterer removed, Kvyat is only slightly more popular than Ericsson? Wow.

  13. I just don’t get all this Raikkonen hype, I never have, actually.

    1. He is a rebel and never allows others to box him as “typical and predictable”, just like late James Hunt. The People like a rebel. Kimi is just that.

      1. sometimes he comes across as just rude and a bit slow.

        His i will do it my way attitude works when he is quick and beating his team mate…. when he was a mile off his team mate it makes him look very stupid. Alonso at least put the kimi should of won in 05 rubbish to bed this year! (despite winning title at 3rd from last race!)

  14. Does anyone on here support or did support Marussia? They were actually the best team on the grid by actually wanting to race and not just make money. Such a shame to see them go :(

  15. Will Stevens, you got no fans

    1. He looks like he belongs in that One direction boy band. I can see why no one here likes him.

  16. mclaren ahead of Ferrari in popularity poll? Hahahaa only possible on british biased sites. Absolutely ridiculous!

  17. Kimi is humanic, he loves ice cream, children, challenges his boss and I dont know why but girls love bad boy.

Comments are closed.