Formula 1 Social Analysis: The 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

After last year’s dramatic finish, grand reveals of new liveries, weeks of pre-season testing and a soap-operatic new season of “Drive To Survive”, Formula 1 fans were ready for the kickoff of the 2022 season at the Bahrain Grand Prix. A new season means new social content, and our Senior Data Analyst Geoffrey Blosat tracked the entire weekend for our Bahrain GP social media breakdown.

Off Track Social Standings

You don’t have to win on the track to win on social, but it certainly helps. Looking at follower growth and engagement, Haas F1 Team and Scuderia Ferrari were at the top of the social standings.

With an electric 1-2 finish, Ferrari threw their hat into the ring of what was expected to be another two-team competition between Red Bull and Mercedes, and gained over 227K followers in the process. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz’s big races also gave Ferrari the second highest engagement per 1K fans.

Unfortunately for Ferrari’s social standings, after a whirlwind couple weeks Kevin Magnussen and Haas pulled out a stunning P5 finish, and fans loved it. Whether Haas’ finish was more surprising than Red Bull earning zero points we’ll leave up to you, but regardless their social edged out the rest of the paddock in engagement per 1K fans. This metric takes into account follower count when evaluating a team’s social performance, so that we can assess their performance relatively. In this case, for every 1K Haas fans they had over 4x that in engagements during Bahrain. Haas also saw 15.57% follower growth in three days, inching them closer to the massive fan bases of other teams on social.

Following The Race On Twitter

Formula 1 fans love to gossip, and this weekend was no different, with Tweets flooding in to discuss all the drama on and off the track in Bahrain. Formula 1’s popularity continues to grow, as overall social activity was up big from the 2021 Bahrain GP. For example, impressions of earned content (posts mentioning F1, teams and drivers) around Formula 1 grew 66% to over 1.8 billion.

Even with a Ferrari 1-2 finish and Max Verstappen’s end-of-race retirement, Lewis Hamilton still reigned supreme on Twitter. Not only was he the most mentioned driver, but Mercedes-AMG Petronas was the most mentioned team.

But the underdog had their moment too. After plenty of off-track drama and years of struggle, Kevin Magnussen’s P5 finish for Haas seemed like somewhat of a miracle. Even before the result on Sunday, fans were happy show some love to Guenther Steiner and team with 219K+ engagements on a celebration Tweet from qualifying, the highest engaged Tweet of the weekend.

Brand Performance

Logos are everywhere in Formula 1, so we used our Logo AI to track them all and see which sponsor placements did best on social throughout the weekend.

Once again, it helps if your team wins. Two of Ferrari’s big partners, Shell and Santander Bank, earned the most value. Pictures of Leclerc and Sainz with Shell and Santander on their chest, team celebrations adorned in brand logos and race content featuring a well-branded car helped boost Shell and Santander’s brand value to $1.4M+ and $1.2M+, respectively.

Alpinestars, a motorsport outfitter whose logo is featured prominently on many race suits, also performed well thanks to plenty of driver-centric content. The last million-dollar brand was Petronas, a Mercedes title sponsor whose logo is all over their popular posts and pretty much anything featuring Lewis Hamilton.

New Season, New Demographics

The “Drive To Survive” effect is in full force, as this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix audience saw growth through expanding demographics. American and female audiences were up significantly from last year, 23% and 10% respectively. United States social users also edged out the United Kingdom, showing just how popular F1 has become stateside. Even though the Sunday morning time slot can be tough for U.S. fans, if they missed the race on TV, they can catch up on the conversation via social.

There’s still plenty of Formula 1 season to go, and a lot can change, in the F1 standings and on social. We’ll be tracking all the teams, brands and drivers throughout the rest of the year, so stay tuned.