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. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 19th January 2012, 13:42

    Why do Ferrari ban their drivers from being on Twitter anyway? what difference does it make for them?

  2. sato113 (@sato113) said on 19th January 2012, 14:40

    the only one i follow is the fake charlie whiting account. it’s very witty.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th January 2012, 15:46

      I unfollowed him when he started publicly flirting with a female F1 journalist. It would have been alright if he didn’t make it so the tweets appeared in the timelines of those who weren’t even following said journalist, but the fact he made it so visible irked me and I gave up on him!

  3. fyujj said on 19th January 2012, 15:58

    Keith, lighten up a bit.
    Some like Kimi’s or speciallly diResta’s are really pretending to be the real one (and that’s quite funny IMO) but it’s easy to find out who’s who these days.
    @NandoAlonso, for instance is admittedly fake (it’s even in Portuguese).

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 19th January 2012, 16:27

      it’s easy to find out who’s who these days.

      Not easy enough, apparently, because I am constantly being asked who is and isn’t fake. And as you can see from some of the earlier comments, there were some people mistakenly following these accounts because they believed they were real.

      In the case of the examples above, none of them are the people they claim to be and all of them were hiding that fact when I wrote the article.

      Several of them had written posts that were obviously designed to be mistaken for real updates from the people they claim to be. And none of them appeared to be comic or parody accounts.

      As I already said in a reply to an earlier comment, I’m aware there are many accounts of the ‘fake-so-and-so’ variety. I’m not objecting to people who make it clear they are fake and run spoof accounts. The accounts described in the article are all people who intended to mislead.

      And, as I also said in the article, when confronted with the fact that they are fake they often change what’s written in the account to give the appearance that they always admitted they were fake.

  4. SoLiDG said on 19th January 2012, 20:27

    A good way to see if an account is real, is check if they post selfmade pics.
    Drivers uploading pics from their cell is a good way to spot the real ones.

  5. Although it’s a fake, I love the tweets that come from @charlie_whiting, some brilliant F1 humour!

  6. Lilla My said on 20th January 2012, 0:41

    Hello Keith,

    I was wondering whether@keithcollantine is your private account or is it just somebody who happens to be called just like you (or is pretenading to have your name)? :)

  7. Tom (@newdecade) said on 20th January 2012, 12:04

    The Nico Rosberg helmet-search PR account was just plain surreal. Sadly it seems to have been removed now…

  8. Autopulated (@autopulated) said on 20th January 2012, 16:56

    I’m convinced that @KeithCollantine is a fake ;)

  9. I think the self confessed fake twitter accounts are funny and it’s always good to have light hearted humor in the twittersphere.

    What I don’t understand is why some people have clearly put alot of effort into setting up and maintaining fake twitter accounts for various famous people.

    It’s quite sad really and the people who do it have mental issues in my view. Very strange and pathetic indeed that they need people to think they are famous, or they ‘get off’ on fooling people.

  10. Mark H said on 15th March 2012, 3:12

    Can anyone confirm the legitimacy of the @Mic_Schumacher account which popped up a few weeks ago? Thanks

  11. Sam B (@sb360) said on 11th April 2012, 9:54

    Are Ferrari still not allowing drivers on Twitter. Because @alo_oficial is followed by a lot of F1 pundits and drivers and has the verified tick.

    • Lilla My said on 11th April 2012, 9:58

      Ferrari have changed their attitude towards Twitter. All their drivers have TT accounts now and they are very active ;). @alo_oficial is the real Fernando Alonso and @Felipe1Massa is real Massa :). Fisichella is also there but he’s not as active as Alonso, Massa or @InsideFerrari

  12. top dog said on 10th June 2012, 10:25

    Fake mansell was me. 27k followers at one point.

  13. Another fake Kimi account is @K_RaikkonenF1.

  14. Maybe someone should tell Lotus F1 Team and Sahara Force India that they are following the fake Fernando Alonso… lol.

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