Social media in 2013 plays a huge part in our lives thanks to the rise of websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users consume more information than ever before, and that includes Formula 1 fans. Whilst Formula One Management do not do as much as they should, the personalities involved in the sport more than make up for it. But as always with these things, it depends who you follow – whether you follow those that only regurgitate the ‘PR happy’ lines, or those that go across all aspects of Formula 1 from the fun aspects to the sport to taking viewers behind the scenes and give people the insight they are looking for.
Here, I pick out five accounts that are worth following this season. I’ve picked out one account from each of these categories: Driver, Team, Website, Journalist and Team Member.
For me, in the Drivers category there is one account on the must follow list: Fernando Alonso. On the backdrop of Ferrari’s worst start to a Formula 1 campaign in a long time, Alonso joined Twitter in March 2012. Just over a year later and Alonso has amassed 1.57 million followers, becoming the most followed Formula 1 driver on the site – ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, despite not having tweeted for as long. The good thing about Alonso’s account is that he tweets in both English and Spanish, and also tweets outside of the race weekend, giving fans an insight into his daily life. Just this week, Alonso began preparing a Q&A with his fans, showing the engagement between him and his followers. The Formula 1 drivers that do tweet tend to tweet regularly, only Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen are without a Twitter account.
Over on the Teams side of things, and Lotus are the easy winners here, thanks to their behind the scenes access and regular features on their Twitter page to insight debate. A slight annoyance of mine was their regular use of #ImSexyAndIKnowIt, which was frequent throughout testing – although it probably won’t be long before #ImWinningAndIKnowIt is used. On the opposite end of the spectrum, and Toro Rosso‘s Twitter activity is fairly lousy – their Twitter page just being used to pull links straight from their Facebook page.
Things before a bit more sparce moving onto the personnel, as you would expect not many personnel have time to tweet during the race weekend, and the major team personnel members would probably not tweet anything revealing on their Twitter! One member who breaks the mould though is veteran Williams team manager Dickie Stanford. Stanford began tweeting at the start of the season, posting images in the build-up to the new season and during race weekends. If you are into that kind of thing, Stanford is a must follow for great access. It’s good to see that you can get a good balance between great access and not revealing anything too confidential – the best of both worlds.
Moving onto websites, and a clear winner here is F1 Fanatic.co.uk. Partially thanks to not being behind a pay-wall unlike some other F1 websites, the website has grown considerably in the past eight years and offers a variety of pieces such as historical articles. I am probably a bit biased here having written an article for the site last month, but even so, in my opinion it is an emerging F1 site and will only continue to grow.
Finally, in terms of journalists, BBC’s Andrew Benson is a good follow for reliable F1 news scoops as well as opinion pieces. Who are your five to follow in 2013? Have your say in the comments below.