Kimi Raikkonen now most popular driver on F1 Fanatic

2013 F1 season review

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Monza, 2013Kimi Raikkonen has overtaken Jenson Button as the most popular driver among F1 Fanatic readers.

Here’s who F1 Fanatic readers were supporting at the end of 2013.


Another driver whose popularity has grown among F1 Fanatic readers recently is hNico Hulkenberg, who now features inside the top ten.

Mark Webber has announced his departure from F1 having been the fifth-most popular driver on the site, with more supporters than team mate Sebastian Vettel.

Here’s the data in full:


The last time we looked at the data Lotus were poised to overtake Ferrari as the most popular team. The gap has widened since then, suggesting Raikkonen’s impending switch of teams is already having an effect.

However despite a poor 2013 campaign McLaren remain comfortably the most popular team.

Which drivers and teams do you support?

Here’s how to show who you’re supporting on F1 Fanatic:

  • Log in with your F1 Fanatic account (sign up here if you don’t have one)
  • Select Edit My Profile from the top-right menu
  • Select F1 Teams and Drivers
  • Make your selections then click Save Changes

Where are F1 Fanatic readers from?

See the most recent breakdown of F1 Fanatic readers by region.

2013 F1 season review

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100 comments on Kimi Raikkonen now most popular driver on F1 Fanatic

  1. Sauber (@mumito) said on 26th December 2013, 15:46

    I know all british guys will jump to kill me. But what do you see in Jenson? He was just lucky to drive that Brawn.
    In other words, It’s been a good thing he screwed up with Williams, then Benetton, BAR and Honda.

    • James (@speedking84) said on 26th December 2013, 15:52

      I’m British and I don’t see anything in Jenson, definitely the slowest world champion on the grid, I agree he’s a good driver but that’s all he is, Jenson doesn’t have the edge or work ethic to be considered one of the greats of the sport.

    • Jenson was second best in 2004 and has shown he can drive through the years, but his first three seasons were very poor, as were the Honda’s in 2007 and 2008. It’s not as if he lucked into a championship, considering his wins with McLaren and how he did compared to Hamilton.

      He is a nice guy, too. I’m not British, but there is no need to cry preference based on nationality. Besides, it’s not as if he won every Driver of the Weekend poll.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 26th December 2013, 18:41

      @mumito I am not British and not a JB fan but your post is factually incorrect. JB had a most impressive rookie campaign with Williams. Can’t fault him much during his long stint at BAR/Brawn either. He had a bad couple of seasons with Renault, especially 2001 but that’s all

      The only reason I’m not a fan is that I don’t like his boring and overly-sensitive driving style. But his results are actually great overall, even if not on the level of Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso. But this is a popularity contest not who’s best driver contest.

      • The 2001 Benetton was a bit rubbish, but he didn’t finish in front of Fisichella a single time. Statistics show he did in Japan, Fisichella actually retired, but was classified.

        Funnily enough, people were writing off Jenson in 2001/2002 because of a lavish lifestyle and not enough dedication, which seems to be Hamilton’s burden these days.

        • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 26th December 2013, 21:13

          @npf1 Yeah that’s what I said, JB had a miserable time at Renault(Benetton) in 2001 most of all. That Benetton also wasn’t only slow but completely anti-Button style, mainly because it had that radical 111-degree engine, which was supposed to lower the center of gravity and improve everything. In reality all it achieved was inability to heat up its tires, particularly the fronts resulting in the worst trait of a car for Button-chronic understeer. And for food measure it was chronically unreliable too(I remember that all but one of Benetton’s many technical retirements in 2001 were engine failures!)

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 26th December 2013, 21:15

            good measure, not “food measure” :)

          • I remember they were one of the last teams to have parts of the engine cover cut out as seen in this picture, ironically JB retiring with engine failure.

            I also remember people were hard on Renault in 2001, that being their comeback year with much promise and all. Funny how they did carry on with that extreme angle until 2003.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 27th December 2013, 1:12

            @npf1 I liked the clean and lean look of that car a lot! my 3rd favorite car of 2001 behind only the Jag and the Prost. Pity they were all duds

            That engine story reminds of recent things with the same team: the forward exhausts and the double DRS. Wasted a lot of time on decisions that led nowhere.

  2. James Jensons work ethic was always higher than Hammy the gangsta rapper .We were told by engineers at the MTC that on a visit there in 2012

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th December 2013, 17:28

    I’ll be honest: I don’t understand the appeal of Raikkonen. I never have. He has always struck me as a closed book; unapproachable and difficult to get him to open up. I imagine that if I saw him down at a pub, there would not be much in the way of conversation, probably because we would only talk about racing.

    When I am in my classroom, I try to position myself in my students’ minds as someone who can exist outside the school. I don’t just go to school, then go home, and do it all over again the next day. And I would like to think of the drivers in the same way: that if I happened to meet one of them, then I could strike up a friendship with them despite the fact that they are a racing driver, not because of it.

    But I don’t see that in Raikkonen.

    • While I’m a big fan of Raikkonen on-track, I don’t care much for his Iceman persona. Sometimes he’ll give a glimpse of the real Kimi, but I think he puts on the character of closed book at the track for some reason. He’s friends with some proper mental people (The Dudesons) and likes to party, so I can’t imagine him actually being like that.

      Mika Hakkinen’s post=race interviews were utterly boring, as was his PR work, but there’s footage of him talking to Dutch commentator Olav Mol from 1994 and 1995 and he’s talkative and even cracks a joke from time to time. He’s returned to that post-F1. I think both Mika and Kimi have taught themselves to be different towards the media.

    • I completely agree @prisoner-monkeys: I don’t think he has a very endearing personality (or indeed a personality at all) unless it appears you give him copious amounts of alcohol.

      Neither do I imagine I’d like Hamilton particularly – I don’t admire his seemingly forced gangsta image and nor do I care much for heart-on-sleeve characters.

      Alonso to me just always looks strangely smug. He has a definite look of sheer content with himself persistently, and his samurai persona is something I’m not a fan of either.

      Jenson I think I would get along with; a bit of a whinger at times over the team radio but nor do I blame him for that in such a high-stress environment. He seems a genuinely nice bloke.

      Then to the last remaining world champion, Sebastian Vettel. He is a funny German, which is a rarity. He likes Monty Python, one of my favourite shows. He is usually very honest, something I admire greatly in a man. And he doesn’t follow trends, something I also like to see – a bit of variety.

      I genuinely admire him more for the fact he comes across as a great character rather than his also imperious racing ability.

    • if you met raikonnen he’d probably ignore you… or hit you! and thats exactly the reason why we all think he is the coolest! he does whatever he wants!!!!! he says whatever he wants and to hell with everything else!
      besides, i dont think many of the drivers would become friends with fans (if, its just PR)

    • I’ll be honest: I don’t understand the appeal of Raikkonen. I never have. He has always struck me as a closed book; unapproachable and difficult to get him to open up.

      I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Raikkonen seems to be the kind of person who comes out of his shell in certain environments, whilst being very quiet in others. If Raikkonen isn’t fully comfortable in the F1 paddock, then that’s just how he is, it doesn’t mean that he is unfriendly.

    • Maybe in 20 years we will have another James Hunt movie and its all about Kimi inside-out, the mysterious attitude to be revealed. Just like why Lauda stopping by his own will in the 1976 final race, thats emphatic.

    • socksolid (@socksolid) said on 27th December 2013, 3:49

      I think it is just plain hilarious if people are looking at F1 drivers in interviews and use that info to decide whether the person is likable, fun or good company. Just hilarious. It is so hilarious because it is so gullible approach. You don’t learn to know a person when he is parroting sponsor messages in front of half a billion people in tv.

      Many people seem to assign all kinds of crazy adjectives on F1 drivers simply based on how they appear in adverts or meaningless interviews. And most of the time that is not even driver persona talking there. It is just his pr persona giving his opinions about things based on what the team or the sponsors want him to say.

      I’m sure if any of you got to actually spend some time with these drivers you would say he was not at all like I thought he was. F1 is a show. F1 drivers in front of cameras are actors. Their opinions are not actually their opinions because they have strict guidelines what they can say.

      Kimi doesn’t seem to like doing interviews. He doesn’t hide it. He is not interested getting mixed up in the politics. So he ignores it. He wants to drive the car. And he is very good at it. People take all this and you have the image of super fast racing driver who is ice cold persona. In reality he is not any more ice cold than kovalainen or button. The fact is he could be the whingiest and most spoilt little kid outside F1 ever known to man. But when cameras are rolling the only image we see is what image kimi and his team and sponsors want to show. And it is the same for everybody else.

      There are also cultural differences. Italian people are generally expected to voice their opinions loud and clear while in finnish culture you are expected to say your piece and people are expected to listen. In japanese culture you only speak if asked to. In american culture silence in conversation is thought to be rude while in finnish discussion it is normal part of discussion. When people stand talking to each other in certain cultures people stand closer to each other than in others. In other cultures there is more touching. Anything that differs from your own culture is seen differently. Maybe in negative way. Not to mention when the F1 drivers are meeting people from other cultures we can see them being outside of their comfort zone in real time tv.

  4. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 26th December 2013, 18:57

    Paul di Resta – 7th! Each to their own I suppose. But 7th!?

  5. HoHum (@hohum) said on 26th December 2013, 22:05

    Well as 1 of the Webber fans I am yet to decide on a new favourite. For some people Kimi is rude, to me he is just not an obsequious attention grabber, I admire that. Alonso has some history of demanding status and behaving badly when it hasn’t been totally his, but I am warming to him. Lewis is a great driver but seems unsure of his place in the world. And so it goes, it’s not the man in the fight……it’s the fight in the man that will ultimately decide my next favourite driver. Always assuming that F1 itself will remain a favourite of mine, which is somewhat doubtful at the moment.

    • Sam (@) said on 1st January 2014, 15:39

      @hohum Kinda got the same problem. I’ve always been a Williams/Webber fan. Bottas now is my favourite on the grid together with HĂĽlkenberg. Of the big-biys I think I like Kimi and/or Alonso the best. F1 still keeps me intereseted though, no lack of commitment there.

  6. schooner (@schooner) said on 27th December 2013, 2:49

    I’ve never been much of a fan of Kimi’s public persona, and I’m a bit surprised to see him at the top of this popularity survey. That said, I do like to watch the guy drive an F1 machine. I admire his skills, and he is surely one of the top drivers in the sport today. I’m really hoping that his pairing with Alonso will provide us with some much needed fireworks. Ferrari isn’t exactly famous for allowing that sort of thing, and it would be way fun to see their intra-team battle for top dog at the red car company become a big story next year. Kimi has his work cut out for him.

  7. Sergio Perez (@sergio-perez) said on 27th December 2013, 8:00

    Call me crazy but I expect Pastor Maldonado to go up in many people’s list next year, if the Lotus proves to be competitive. The man is not charismatic, but he feels like one of the few drivers on the field “on a mission” to prove something. Vettel is the absolute king right now in terms of a complete package, closely followed by Alonso- However, Alonso feels like he lost his competitive edge. Kimi loves racing, but not to be champion. The others on the field are either playboys or kids having fun. We are missing someone with that will to be Champion like Vettel. The closest one for me is… Pastor Maldonado. Would love to see Da Costa get a chance, another one with a “dream” and committed to it, but also looking forward to Alex Lynn- Remember this name. I interviewed him, very intelligent fellow, confident, and very talented. Lets see if he has the will to be champion. The talent is there. Has the Jenson charm when talking, but that extra “fire” and confidence of a youngster looking to “conquer the world”.

    • Pastor won’t win people back very easy, even if he beats Grosjean and the Lotus is a good car. He might be on a mission, but that also turns him blind to the details and makes him lack some empathy. Lauda, Senna, Schumacher and Vettel are relentless, but know what friends to keep and that’s something Maldonado will have to learn. The way he talked about Williams would probably lead to getting fired from Ferrari or McLaren. He needs to learn that mission also has non-racing elements.

      Alonso didn’t have the amazing season he had in 2012, but come race day he still got the best out of his car. He might not have been on the podium as much in the final races, but people are quick to forget he scored 3 consecutive 2nd places when Vettel won the first of his 3 races in a row. It could be Alonso peaked in 2012, but personally I felt Schumacher peaked in 2002, dropped off a little in 2003 but managed an amazing 2004 and nearly won the title in 2006, where he made a ton of un-Schumacher-like errors. Alonso probably has a few years left in him.

      Raikkonen only shows up to win, so I wouldn’t say he doesn’t love to be champion. Kimi Raikkonen the character seems to be impeding the driver from maximizing his performance, though.

      The sweeping generalization the rest are playboys or kids having fun; take it easy, scrooge. Never rule out Hamilton and not every driver will have a Hamilton/Vettel-like winning curve. Hulkenberg is taking his time, Grosjean is talented, Button is no slouch and Bianchi is an interesting prospect.

      Personally, I can’t wait to see what happens with Rafaello Marciello. The guy is quick, no doubt, but I wonder how soon Ferrari will let him in F1 and if he can keep up his winning ways before then.

  8. smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 27th December 2013, 17:31

    I am really staggered that Kimi has so much support, personally i accept he is really fast, not top three but amongst the best of the rest, but boy he is arrogant moody and damn well rude to lots of people just trying to do their job…no thanks.

    • mybloodyvalentine said on 29th December 2013, 15:15

      best of the rest? he has top driving skill, to me even more talented than vettel. and he is not slower than alonso. vettel is the fastest today, but being fast and being talented are two different things. you may loose some speed as you age, but you can’t loose natural talent. raikkonen was in order talent, speed and race craft in his first career. in his second career he is race craft, talent and speed in order.

  9. Nathan (@il-ferrarista) said on 27th December 2013, 17:33

    So guys, how would you describe Alonsos personality? And what’s really his sort of ‘samurai personality’?

    • Spanish. Guarded and intoverted in public but conscious that he must watch what people think of him. This can lead to him coming across very friendly sometimes but also to many expressions of the exact opposite at other times.

      Maybe he is most honest when he is frustrated or happy. I don’t think arrogance is the right word to describe him but you could definitely say that he floats on a cushion of self-confidence. That is a useful strategy to stay focused if you ever doubt yourself.

      He likes to be liked. He is afraid of having his words twisted. He employs certain facades to keep control of the discourse.

      I think if he could relax he would come across a lot more naturally. Maybe something to watch out for as he gets older.

  10. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 28th December 2013, 0:10

    Is Jenson Button second? This is very strange…

  11. Geo (@geo) said on 28th December 2013, 8:37

    Like the best writers know, and successful bachelors:
    Mystery keeps an audeince and captivated.

    Kimi doesn’t say much, but this feeds imaginations. In the modern F1 circus with endless chains of interviewing journalists, often those who talk too much are considered boring. It is the things that Kimi doesn’t say that let’s people’s imaginations pontificate and postulate what they think that the Iceman is really up to on and off the track.
    This fact plus how he is different from most other drivers, who seek success by doing all the right things, makes him a unique characther that is seen as more honest and breath of fresh, smoky, air.

  12. mybloodyvalentine said on 29th December 2013, 15:31

    who cares what one says, how he behaves and so on…personally I judge drivers for skills, talent and speed and I’m not interested in their pr work, public profile, social life. I just watch races and even don’t care how they look like. I can’t stand drivers who keep on whining or thing like “do we need to change tyres?” “do we need to change strategy?” since a driver should know what to do and drivers in the past didn’t receive help from team radios.
    I’m impressed that a driver’s popularity is decided because of his attitude outside the track.
    That’s another reason why surveys regarding “best driver” are totally sensible. do we consider their talent or their popularity? Do we consider ho much did they win or how much did they show on track?
    I read some month ago a survey which rated alonso as the best driver of all time…every time I think about it, I simply laugh because people confuse popularity and media appeal with talent.

  13. Pink Peril (@pink-peril) said on 30th December 2013, 8:47

    I must admit, I used to loathe Kimi. I thought he was totally lacking in personality and what little of it there was, was rude and arrogant. Then one day I just got it. Its an act he puts on, the whole ‘iceman’ persona. But its a persona of his choosing rather than a PR stunt, and that’s what is so honest about it and what appeals to so many people. Plus, on the rare occasions he lets us see the ‘real Kimi’, it is just such a treat.

  14. Sam (@) said on 1st January 2014, 16:01

    Di Resta out of F1 and I have yet to meet a person who really finds that a shame. Hope he does well in Indy or DTM once more. Maybe he finds a personality there and somehow learns he can be of fault too.

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