F1 Season comparison - Russian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton continued his recent Formula One domination by winning in Russia and extended his championship lead to 50 points. It wasn’t the most exciting race and Mercedes orders meant Valtteri Bottas allowed Hamilton to pass him and finish in 1st place. Max Verstappen also finished 5th even though he started 19th on the grid.

Using Kantar Social TV Ratings (KSTR) data, our comparative series looks back at the social engagement during the 2017 season and how that compares to this season’s equivalent.

Interestingly, the 2018 Russian Grand Prix saw an increase in the number of Unique Authors but saw a drop in total tweets. More people were tweeting about the race this year, but it seems the lower amount of people last year tweeted multiple times. The impressions have increased with the unique authors too, resulting in 90M this year compared to 74M last year.

Looking at the top 5 countries tweeting around the Russian Grand Prix, the lists are consistent over the two years. The order of the top 5 has changed slightly with Spain dropping significantly in numbers from 2017 to 2018, resulting in a transition from 2nd to 5th. Brazil are very engaged with this race, not decreasing in tweets as much as any of the other countries despite the drop in the total tweets generally.

With less tweets this year compared to 2017’s race, it is not surprising to see a lower usage of the hashtags. The official hashtags are still top but see a huge decrease in numbers compared to 2017, whilst Sebastien Vettel was the only driver to have a hashtag break into the top 5 this year, compared to 2 last year.

When it comes to twitter handles being mentioned, it is interesting to see an uplift in mentions, albeit very slight, for the official @f1 account when there was such a drop in hashtag usage. Drivers’ accounts are well represented in the top 5 for 2018, with 3 appearing compared to only 2 last year. Mercedes dominate the list with their team account being the second most mentioned, followed by their team members Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

After a pretty normal race in Russia and a victory for Hamilton, which was due to team strategy rather than driving excellence, there are now 50 points between himself and Vettel in the race for the championship. Hamilton is close to being just the 3rd F1 driver to claim 5 world championships, joining Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio.

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