Your favourite drivers and teams at the start of the 2012 F1 season

2012 F1 season preview

Jenson Button, McLaren, Barcelona, 2012

Jenson Button and McLaren are your favourites at the start of 2012

With the new season almost upon us it’s time to take a fresh look at who F1 Fanatics are supporting in 2012.

We last tallied your support in November last year. Since then F1 Fanatic has amassed over 5,000 active registered users.


  • Jenson Button remains the most popular driver with almost twice as many supporters as when we last looked at these figures in November last year.
  • The three most popular drivers are all British – perhaps unsurprising as 35% of site visits come from the UK. Our second-largest group of users – the 10% from the USA – don’t have a corresponding American driver to cheers on.
  • Michael Schumacher has moved up two places to fourth, while Kamui Kobayashi has slipped three places in the list.
  • He may have two world championships to his name but Sebastian Vettel ranks only ninth in your affections.
  • Kimi Raikkonen wasn’t on the list last year, but now he’s been added he’s instantly received support from almost 200 F1 Fanatics.
  • Rookies Jean-Eric Vergne and Charles Pic are yet to gain much in the way of support.
Jenson Button
Lewis Hamilton
Paul di Resta
Michael Schumacher
Mark Webber
Kamui Kobayashi
Fernando Alonso
Robert Kubica
Sebastian Vettel
Heikki Kovalainen
Nico Rosberg
Kimi Raikkonen
Bruno Senna
Sergio Perez
Felipe Massa
Daniel Ricciardo
Timo Glock
Vitaly Petrov
Nico Hulkenberg
Pedro de la Rosa
Pastor Maldonado
Jean-Eric Vergne
Narain Karthikeyan
Romain Grosjean
Charles Pic

Here’s which of the current drivers have moved up and down since we last looked at who you’re supporting:

Rank Change Supporters Change
Jenson Button 1 = 638 +304
Lewis Hamilton 2 = 463 +225
Paul di Resta 3 = 332 +134
Michael Schumacher 4 +2 327 +160
Mark Webber 5 = 323 +148
Kamui Kobayashi 6 -3 320 +122
Fernando Alonso 7 +1 296 +154
Robert Kubica 8 -1 279 +118
Sebastian Vettel 9 = 256 +136
Heikki Kovalainen 10 -1 236 +116
Nico Rosberg 11 = 206 +90
Kimi Raikkonen 12 New 198 New
Bruno Senna 13 -1 196 +83
Sergio Perez 14 -1 132 +50
Felipe Massa 15 -1 131 +58
Daniel Ricciardo 16 +2 113 +62
Timo Glock 17 +3 76 +41
Vitaly Petrov 18 +1 73 +30
Nico Hulkenberg 19 New 68 New
Pedro de la Rosa 20 +6 27 +17
Pastor Maldonado 21 +3 26 +12
Jean-Eric Vergne 22 New 24 New
Narain Karthikeyan 23 +5 23 +15
Romain Grosjean 24 New 20 New
Charles Pic 25 New 8 New


  • McLaren remain far and away the most popular team with almost twice as many supporters as any other.
  • Support is split pretty evenly among the rest of the teams, though Toro Rosso have surprisingly few fans – perhaps a reaction against their cut-throat driver hiring practices?
Red Bull
Force India
Toro Rosso

When you started watching F1

This final graph shows when F1 Fanatics first started following F1.

Unsurprisingly, most have discovered F1 in the last 20 years but there’s a considerable dip in the early 2000s.

Year 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Number of F1 Fanatics who started watching in this year 9 0 0 3 2 1 6 2 4 3 6 4 4 3 7 11 13 11 9 6 21 10 14 5 12 19 32 19 24 20 48 17 26 20 47 76 58 34 64 63 138 114 82 73 92 73 140 87 125 104 136 55 59 59 67 79 74 147 90 102 78 47 0

Show your support

Want to make sure your driver and team preferences are reflected in these charts? Here’s how to do it:

1. Log in with your F1 Fanatic account. If you’ve not got one, sign up for one here.
2. Go to My Account > Profile > Edit and select F1 teams and drivers.
3. Make your choices and click Save Changes.

Who are you supporting in 2012 – and why? Have your say in the comments.

2012 F1 season preview

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Image ?? Jamey Price/F1 Fanatic

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117 comments on Your favourite drivers and teams at the start of the 2012 F1 season

  1. sumedh said on 24th February 2012, 13:19

    I can understand why Jenson is so well-liked. He is very smart, very warm towards the media and fans and drives pretty well.

    Can’t understand what Lewis and Di Resta are doing so high up. Both talk a lot to the press, mostly immature stuff. One’s driving is seriously bad right now, the other is just starting.

    Webber and Perez, these are two drivers I would like to see up there with Jenson. Again, likable characters, smart as well. I hope people have seen the FIA review where Checo pulls a prank on his team during the Japenese Grand Prix

  2. GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 24th February 2012, 13:23

    I must say I like Lewis more than Jenson because I identify with him more especially his recent troubles.

    But Jenson has come on leaps and bounds and the more exposure he gets the more friendly he seems.

    Paul di Resta is a good driver but just seems so dull. Nice enough but so dull.

  3. Hamilton (@hamiltonjp) said on 24th February 2012, 13:25

    Unfortunately, F1 nowadays is full of pay drivers. We’re still waiting for some talented young drivers like Felipe Nasr to create a new impact on the main series of motorsports.
    I hope Nasr could join McLaren soon.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 24th February 2012, 13:37

      @hamiltonjp We have 6 world champions on the grid this year. You don’t get much more exciting than that!

      It seems that half your talent as a rookie is being able to drum up sponsorship.

    • @Hamilton
      Who do you classify as a pay driver? I don’t see that many.

      Petrov, well maybe, but he has a podium finish. He can’t be all bad.

      Maldonardo is GP2 champion. Should be enough to get a seat on merit alone. He brings money as well, but I can’t see him totally unqualified to get a seat.

      Senna, despite the fact that I like him, he is probably mostly in F1 for $$$$$ and has yet to prove that he deserves it, if he can.

      And then there is Karthikeyan who is a pay driver..

      But I don’t think it is nearly as bad as it could be.

      I will argue that the first two drivers listed above deserves a seat in F1 of some sort, not great and money surely meant something in their search for a seat, but M. Schumacher paid to get into F1 for the first time as well, so you have to start somewhere.

      A pay driver isn’t a new phenomena and in the past we have seen pay drivers so bad that even the worst of the current drivers would seem like Ayrton Senna in comparison.

      • Hamilton (@hamiltonjp) said on 24th February 2012, 20:33

        There are many “species” of pay drivers in F1. Senna is a pay driver, certainly. Maldonado, for sure, is a GP2 champion, but he remains on F1 only because of his $$$ background from Venezuela oil company. In some point, Williams was loooking for Kimi due to atract more sponsors. Petrov is a pay driver.

        I know that in some aspects everybody has to pay to enter in F1, but remaining there only because you have money isn’t a good thing for the series.

        And yes, i think having six champions on the track is really exciting.

  4. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 24th February 2012, 14:56

    I was never really a fan of Vettel after he ran into the back of Webber in the rain in Fuji and Turkey. I appreciate his ability and liked him on Top Gear, but he’s not in my top 5 drivers. Even though Webber & Button are 2 of my favourite drivers (the others being Ricciardo and Kubica), I don’t support Red Bull or McLaren as teams.
    I support Lotus and Mercedes, basically because I see them as underdogs in the battle for the constructors title, and I want to see a 5-way battle for the constructors world championship.
    Seeing Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus within 30 points of each other by the end of the year would be amazing,
    I think it’d be fitting for a season with 6 world champions, not to mention Webber and Rosberg.

  5. Lewis and Vettel.

  6. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 24th February 2012, 18:48

    I really hope Lewis wins this year. If not him then Vettel or Kimi.

  7. 72defender (@72defender) said on 24th February 2012, 19:30

    Switching gears here, drivers aside, I feel Mercedes will take the Constructors Title followed by McLaren, RedBull, Force India, Lotus, Ferrari, Sauber, Toro Roso, Williams, Caterham, Marussia and HRT.

  8. McFillin (@kcampos12) said on 24th February 2012, 22:37

    As always i am supporting my favorite team Williams and my favorite out of the 2 drivers, Bruno Senna.

  9. James (@goodyear92) said on 25th February 2012, 17:27

    My driver has to be Lewis. I just love the way he drives always on the edge and always extracting the maximum out of the car. Korea last year is one of my all-time favourite qualifying laps. Sure some of the things he says are abit out of line, I happen to love that outspoken nature though, and I can understand why it might put people off, but I watch for the driving. I could have guessed Button would be number 1, but I’m not a fan. Brundle said it himself, when you watch Jenson’s fast laps, it’s hard to tell them apart from his outlaps. I know it’s just his driving style and it gets him results, but it’s just underwhelming to watch.

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