Using Twitter? Don’t follow these F1 fakes

2012 F1 season

Update: Some of the details below may have changed since this article was published. Refer to the F1 Twitter directory for an up-to-date list of official Twitter accounts for F1 drivers.


Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 2011

World champion Sebastian Vettel is not on Twitter

Twitter is a fantastic resource for getting real-time updates from people in F1 – including the drivers.

But not every driver is on there and some unscrupulous individuals have been quick to exploit that, setting up fake accounts to give false information to hundreds of thousands of people.

I often get asked on Twitter which accounts are fake and which ones are real. Make sure you’ve not been duped by scrubbing these fakes from your follow list and following some real F1 accounts instead.

Fake Sebastian Vettel Twitter accounts

I seem to get asked once a week if F1_Vettel or Sebas_Vettel are real accounts. Neither of them are, a fact which doesn’t seem to have stopped almost 100,000 Twitter users from following them.

Although it would be fantastic to see the reigning world champion on Twitter, sadly he does not seem to have an account so far.

Fake Kimi Raikkonen Twitter account

It would be marvellous to see returning F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen join in on Twitter.

Alas, he hasn’t, and the 66,000-plus people following the fake Kimi Raikkonen on Twitter may be disappointed to learn it’s not the ‘Iceman’ himself.

Lotus confirmed to F1 Fanatic Raikkonen does not have a presence on Twitter.

Fake Fernando Alonso Twitter account

NandoAlonso is a fake user pretending to be Fernando Alonso, who has accrued over 31,000 followers at the time of writing.

How do we know it’s not the real Alonso? Simple: Ferrari won’t let either of their drivers user Twitter.

Despite that being fairly common knowledge there seems to be no shortage of fakers pretending to be the twice-champion: this one had their Twitter account suspended but just a few days ago another one appeared.

Fake Michael Schumacher Twitter account

Despite claiming to be the “personal Twitter profile of Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team racer, seven-time world champion and a proud ambassador for UNESCO”, it’s pretty clear RealSchumacher is not the genuine article.

Michael Schumacher is another world champion with no official presence on Twitter.

Fake Nigel Mansell account

Mansell5 is not the official account of Nigel Mansell on Twitter, despite boasts that it is “the real deal, accept no imitations”, and racking up some 16,000 followers.

However you can follow the 1992 world champion for real on Twitter. He joined late last year at the urging of his sons and often invites questions after races. Follow the real Nigel Mansell on Twitter here.

Fake Paul di Resta account

The user who has nabbed the PauldiResta account name has posted a series messages pretending to be the Force India racer.

The real Paul di Resta is already active on Twitter and is worth following: find the real Paul di Resta here.

Exposing the fakes

At the time of writing all these accounts have been set up to disguise the fact that they are fake. When confronted with their illegitimate status, Twitter fakers often make hasty changes to their accounts declaring that they are “unofficial” or similar.

If these don’t come clean, hopefully Twitter will take action to weed out the impostors.

If you’ve spotted any other Twitter fakers with a substantial following, name them in the comments.

F1 Fanatic maintains a list of hundreds of official F1 Twitter accounts for you to follow, including drivers, teams, team members and more. Find the list here:

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86 comments on Using Twitter? Don’t follow these F1 fakes

  1. katederby (@katederby) said on 19th January 2012, 9:15

    Thanks Keith, good call.
    Another fake is @HornerChristian … probably the same person I reported to the RedBull F1 spy when he was @ChristianHorner … that account got removed.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th January 2012, 9:34

    But not every driver is on there and some unscrupulous individuals have been quick to exploit that, setting up fake accounts to give false information to hundreds of thousands of people.

    That said, there is a small community that openly acknowledges that it is fake (they have names like “FakeFernando”), and they absolutely should be followed, because they’re a parody of the Formula 1 grid. Like this one, from FakeJarnoTrulli:

    Making spaghetti bolognaise. Not stereotypical Italian, me.

  3. Girts (@girts) said on 19th January 2012, 9:42

    Thanks for the list, just unfollowed ‘Kimi Raikkonen’ – the only one who got me because some of the really real guys that I follow retweeted one of his tweets.

    Ferrari won’t let either of their drivers user Twitter.

    I wonder what is going to happen if some driver who actively uses Twitter now (for instance, Checo) replaces Massa in 2013.

  4. Anthony Currie said on 19th January 2012, 9:45

    I think you’re doing the right thing by pointing out the fakes that are pretending to be real, but it might also be useful to list the fakes that are openly fake as some of them are very funny! @MarkWibber, @charlie_whiting, @fakebernie, @Emperor_Jean, and @fakemaxmosley are all great. @LewisHamilton is a real account, it just looks like an illiterate 13 year old has hacked into the account sometimes!

  5. Hairs (@hairs) said on 19th January 2012, 9:48

    it’s probably better advice just not to take twitter seriously in the first place.

    In similar news, @mrsstephenfry isn’t actually married to Stephen Fry. *gasp*

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th January 2012, 9:50

      @Hairs

      it’s probably better advice just not to take twitter seriously in the first place.

      Not really, since it’s usually the first place you find breaking news these days. Case in point – Peugeot quitting the WEC yesterday.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 19th January 2012, 13:04

      @Hairs I know what you mean. I’m trying twitter profesionaly but even only following only 30 accounts amounts to so much gibberish, people tweeting links to things I’ve already seen and poor attempts at humor. I continue my test for 6 months and try to be open, but it’s hard.
      Now, I’m not à journalist, so I’d rather have à Nice full story than à 140 character corporate news flash.
      And I’ve said before: all important things Will be published online, or even in print…

      • The trick is finding the right 30 people to follow. With a few well-worded searches, the people who are worth reading only for specific content don’t need following.

        Twitter’s a useful tool for conversations and clarifications – some of the Autosport journalists (particularly @eddstraw) have been particularly helpful in that regard.

  6. Banburyhammer1 said on 19th January 2012, 10:10

    it’s pretty clear RealSchumacher is not the genuine article

    Is it wrong of me that I read that as Ralf Schumacher?

  7. Bernie_Ecclestone said on 19th January 2012, 10:27

    What kind of saddo masquerades as someone famous??? Now where’s that £14billion I left on the sideboard….

  8. Nixon (@nixon) said on 19th January 2012, 10:40

    Thank you Kieth.
    But, how did you know that they are fakes? ( I have no intentions of insulting you )

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th January 2012, 10:52

      @Nixon Various means – sometimes through direct confirmation from the teams or other people related to them. Or in some cases because the people they’re claiming to be already have Twitter accounts!

    • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 19th January 2012, 14:15

      I can’t believe 100,000 follow that Fake Vettel account.

      Normally accounts get verified when they are the real deal.

      I also imagine the real Sebastian wouldn’t go for such a naff background and the very first picture of himself that comes up on Google Images.

    • Occasionally there are also fakes that reveal themselves by being oddly fluent in a language one would not expect that particular driver to know, or have the location written in the profile as a place where the driver in question has never lived…

  9. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 19th January 2012, 10:42

    @fia

    I wonder whether this one is legit. Does anyone confirmed it?

  10. maxthecat said on 19th January 2012, 11:26

    Sadly Twitter has become a bit of a joke in recent years with the verifying of fake accounts and most of the ‘real’ celeb accounts run by PR and not the people themselves.

    Lets hope F1 continues to use it to connect with the fans.

  11. Fake Felipe Massa account which pretends to be the Brazilian driver:

    https://twitter.com/#!/felipemassa10

    “Twitter Oficial do Felipe Massa, os outros que existirem são fake!” – This means “Felipe Massa’s official Twitter, all the other existing profiles are fake!”

  12. I’ll admit that I was fooled by the fake Kimi — but, in my defense, Lotus Renault GP retweeted that account on November 29, back when they announced they had signed him!

  13. Richard (@dream28) said on 19th January 2012, 12:03

    Gosh, how many followers would I get using @absoluteascari?

  14. GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 19th January 2012, 13:15

    I still don’t get why people bother?

    I mean yeah 66000-odd followers is great but its not for you and why would you want to pretend to be someone else?

  15. GeorgeDaviesF1 (@georgedaviesf1) said on 19th January 2012, 13:26

    agree that fake accounts that acknowledge they are fake are funny, @TheFakeVettel is very amusing

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