F1 Season comparison - United States Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen’s first win in over 5 years means Lewis Hamilton must wait before officially winning the 2018 Formula One World Championship. Hamilton needed to finish in a position which would give him 8 more points than Sebastian Vettel to be uncatchable, however they finished 3rd and 4th respectively, resulting in only a 3-point difference. With Hamilton being 70 points ahead and only 75 left on offer, it is almost certain he will win the championship in Mexico next week.

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.

Despite boasting more unique authors, the 2018 United States Grand Prix did not spark as many tweets as the 2017 version did. The total tweets however, are not extremely dissimilar when you compare them. A similar trend was also seen in the Russian Grand Prix this year, where more people tweeted in 2018 but resulted in lower total tweets than 2017.

The UK didn’t tweet as much during the 2018 race as they did in 2017. Lewis Hamilton won the race last year which would have contributed to the high number of tweets. Another country which saw a huge drop was the Netherlands, but last year Dutch racer Max Verstappen was dropped from the podium due to a time penalty. This decision was heavily criticised by Red Bull and sparked a high number of tweets from Max’s Dutch compatriots. Brazil enter the top 5 for tweets this year at the expense of Italy.

The most used hashtags have been very similar over the two years. There has been a slight decrease in the use of the official hashtags, but the drivers have actually seen an increase. Kimi Raikkonen’s hashtag was the 3rd most used during the broadcast this year, understandable after his first win in over 5 years!

Looking at the accounts that were mentioned during the race, it may be a surprise not to see Kimi Raikkonen’s handle here after his win. But that is because, like fellow Ferrari driver Vettel, he doesn’t have a Twitter account. Instead we see Scuderia Ferrari being the second most mentioned account, followed by Hamilton after he failed to finish high enough to secure the Championship. Max Verstappen appears in both lists for different reasons. In 2017 he finished 3rd but received a 5 second penalty which resulted in him losing a place on the podium and coming 4th and caused an angry backlash by his team and F1 legend Niki Lauda towards the decision. However, this year he had an excellent race and managed to hold off Hamilton and finish second after starting 18th on the grid.

The 2018 United States Grand Prix treated fans to a thrilling race and triggered social engagement similar to last year. Hamilton will now have to wait another week until Mexico City to try and be crowned the 2018 Championship winner, all he needs is a 7th place finish or better to do so.

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