Max Verstappen is the reigning F1 champion, but his Red Bull team hasn’t won since 2014. McLaren has become one of Formula 1’s most popular teams despite not winning a race in three years. The 2019 season promises to be an exciting battle for supremacy between these two giants, and it might take some surprises along the way to find out who comes out on top.
Max Verstappen is F1’s fan favourite, McLaren most popular team. The “mclaren 2021 f1” was in the top spot in the Formula 1 Team Rankings for the first time in its history.
In the sport’s latest worldwide poll, released ahead of the U.S. Grand Prix on Thursday, world championship leader Max Verstappen defeated title challenger Lewis Hamilton as the fan favorite.
167,000 fans, on average 32 years old and from 187 countries, voted for Red Bull’s Verstappen to be the most popular driver, with McLaren emerging as the favorite team.
The most popular circuits were Monza, Spa-Francorchamps, Silverstone, and Monaco.
The poll was commissioned by Formula One and Motorsport Network and performed by Nielsen Sports, which claimed it was the biggest single-sport poll they had ever undertaken.
With six races left, Verstappen is six points ahead of Mercedes’ seven-time world champion Hamilton, and the 24-year-old Dutchman was especially popular among the 25-34 age group and across all regions.
Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton were nominated as fan favorites, but Max Verstappen came out on top. Getty Images/Mark Thompson
Lando Norris, a 21-year-old McLaren driver who has yet to win a race, finished second overall but voted first among female fans.
Hamilton of Mercedes finished third overall, but first in the United Kingdom and among the over-45s.
“His and fellow multiple world champion Fernando Alonso’s appeal is more divided than most,” according to the poll.
Stefano Domenicali, the CEO of Formula One, expressed astonishment to reporters, however the outcome may be explained by the younger population.
“Certainly, it’s an indication that we won’t have a driver shortage in the future,” he continued.
Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren was fourth and second most popular among female fans, while Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin was fifth and a four-time world champion.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Alpine’s twice world champion Alonso were next.
Female participation in the poll increased to 18.3 percent from 10 percent in 2017, indicating higher interest and involvement than previously.
Three-quarters of those who replied said they were from a nation where a grand prix was held.
90 percent of fans consider Formula One to be “the pinnacle of racing,” and 55 percent believe the sport is in better shape than it was five years ago, compared to just 25% five years ago.
According to the study, McLaren has “undergone a revival.”
They were first in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa, but they were second in Asia-Pacific to Red Bull.
McLaren’s one-two at Monza in September, the month of the study, did not distort the findings, according to Nielsen Sport’s Nigel Geach.
Ferrari, the sport’s oldest and most prestigious team, had won every prior poll since 2006, but their 32 percent support fell to 18 percent in 2017.
Mercedes, the seven-time drivers’ and constructors’ champions, fell from 16.2 percent to 11.9 percent, putting them in fourth place.
The majority of fans played motorsport-specific video games and half of the fans watched Formula One on paid television. 64 percent of people aged 16 to 34 played video games regularly.
“It’s apparent that we’re reaching new fans,” Domenicali added, “those who are also coming to the sport with a different viewpoint.”
According to the study, 55% of Formula One fans also want the sport to be a global leader in the development of 100 percent renewable energy.
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