15th July 2021Posted by: admin


– Most powerful Formula 1 teams revealed by DataPOWA –

Ahead of the British Grand Prix this weekend, DataPOWA takes a deep dive into the rankings of the most powerful team and driver brands on the grid, as ranked by the POWA Index, the data-driven, real-time sports sponsorship valuation engine.

The POWA index is able to instantly analyse data from a wide range of data sources, from social media followers and interactions through to fan sentiment and game/event attendance. The combination of these inputs helps us arrive at a single ‘POWA’ score for each team or player, to help compare their commercial strength versus competitors.


Key points [Teams]:

  • The combination of an excellent start to the new season and an exciting driver change has allowed Red Bull Racing to firmly establish itself at the front of the grid for F1 brands, with Mercedes and McLaren rounding out the top 3 – although some distance behind (similar to a number of Red Bull lead driver Max Verstappen’s 2021 performances).
  • Buzz around Williams Racing’s acquisition by Dorilton Capital in August 2020, and a series of over-achievements by British driver George Russell (+ a potential move to Mercedes) have helped the legendary racing team to retain its position as one of the sport’s stronger brands, despite poor on-track performances.
  • The sport as a whole can be considered to be in an extremely healthy spot, with a yearly average tracking well above other popular competitions such as the MLB, UFC and the Olympics.
  • UK-only data continues to reaffirm just how popular F1 is with British racing fans, with Red Bull, Mercedes and McLaren all ranking in the top 10 for UK sports teams, above the likes of Wimbledon (Tennis), the FA Cup and the England Men’s National Cricket Team.

Key points [Drivers]

  • Since the beginning of 2021, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have dominated both on the track and off it, leading Google searches since the beginning of the year – however unlike the most common podium in F1 history, Valteri Bottas does not round out the top 3, with former world champion Fernando Alonso coming in 3rd following his return to the sport.
  • In terms of online following, Hamilton and Verstappen are split by popular Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, who takes the 2nd spot. Alonso again performs well here, with the Spaniard just 400,000 combined followers behind 3rd placed Verstappen.
  • Ricciardo’s McLaren teammate Lando Norris also ranks exceptionally well, with Norris’s highly successful YouTube and channels helping the young Brit appeal to a new generation of racing fans. His YouTube channel only trails the McLaren team channel by ~65,000 subscribers, despite an irregular upload schedule and generally focusing his content through his eSports organisation Quadrant.
  • ‘1st Drivers’ almost always rank higher than their teammates across platforms – probably unsurprisingly, since the team usually designates the spot for the superior of their two racers. The only exception here might be McLaren, depending on which of Norris or Ricciardo you’d define as D1/D2 (Ricciardo’s 5.0M Instagram followers alone are almost equal to Norris’s combined Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers).

Other points:

It’s interesting to see Haas propping up the rest of the table. Despite a poor last couple of years, the team has enjoyed some success since coming into the sport in 2015, and while F1 continues to compete with NASCAR for the US market, all signs point to US viewership trending in the right direction, suggesting there is a fanbase in the US that Haas could take better advantage of, especially as the only American manufacturer on the grid.

Perhaps unfortunately for Haas, searches for Nikita Mazepin pushed ahead of those for teammate (and son of former 7x world champion Michael) Mick Schumacher. Following controversy in late 2020, and a number of incidents on track, it’s not necessarily a surprise but something the team would rather have avoided.

A couple of former world champions (and once teammates at Ferrari) Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen do not hold an official presence on certain platforms. Vettel currently doesn’t hold a personal profile on any social media platform, with Räikkönen only maintaining a modest Instagram profile (with an impressive 2.4M followers). Despite this, they continue to be mentioned regularly online, with Vettel the 4th most searched driver online since the new year.

Sport and team global rankings have remained generally stable throughout the last 12 months, however Ferrari have seen a noticeable global dip in recent months, possibly due to on-track performance. However, general sentiment towards the team has remained positive, and they’ve continued to show media power in the Italian market, ranking above the likes of the NBA and Real Madrid.

The power of the Tifosi has helped maintain the sport’s media strength within Italy as well, with F1 ranking impressively ahead of the UEFA Champions League, after a poor showing by Serie A teams saw no Italian presence into the Quarter Finals of the competition.

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