F1 season comparison - Chinese Grand Prix

The Chinese Grand Prix meant an early start for Formula One fans on Sunday. Having retired from four of his last six races, a win for Daniel Ricciardo felt extra rewarding for the Australian driver.

Our comparative series over the 2018 season looks back at the social engagement during the 2017 season and how that compares to this season’s equivalent. Our Kantar Social TV Ratings show that the Chinese Grand Prix attracted more tweets this year during the broadcast window.

More people were active on twitter during the 2018 broadcast with 68,800 unique authors compared to 45,600 last year. Impressions also saw a huge increase jumping from 62 million last year to 103.5 million this Sunday. 

This year, despite the large increase in tweets sent during the broadcast, the demographics swayed even heavier towards males. 84.3% of tweets came from male accounts compared to 81.4% last year.  

The same countries appear in the top 5 but, apart from the United Kingdom and Brazil, the order is completely different. Although the Netherlands haven’t tweeted much less in 2018 compared to 2017, the increase in the other countries has left them bottom of the pile. Spain saw a huge increase in tweets during the broadcast of 2018 with over 20K compared to just under 12K last year.

Despite the huge spike in social activity this year, the numbers for the top 5 hashtags don’t change by much, especially those which appear in both years. Strangely, despite not winning either Chinese Grand Prixs, Vettel’s hashtag appears in the top 5 lists for both years. Perhaps this points to the strength of his social following. 

Red Bull Racing dominate the top 5 mentions for the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix, and considering the official tag is almost always in front by some distance, it is surprising to see Daniel Ricciardo get so close. In 2017, when Lewis Hamilton won the Grand Prix, he received nearly 9.5K mentions compared to F1’s 19.66K – less than half the mentions. However, this year Ricciardo received around 25% less mentions to an even larger F1 number, which is quite impressive. 

Just three races into the season and we are seeing a big improvement on social engagement around Formula One. A crash between Verstappen and Vettel, a surprise win for Daniel Ricciardo and a shoey (drinking from a shoe) provided plenty of talking points which fuelled strong social chatter around the Chinese Grand Prix. Stay tuned to our blog each race to find out if this trend continues. 

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