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How the F1 paddock uses Twitter - Almost all the current F1 drivers make use of the social tool

Published by Carlos E. Del Valle

Now that both Ferrari drivers adopted Twitter, we have 21 out of 24 Formula One drivers present in the microblogging social network.

Only three drivers have not started their profiles, but they are quite important names. All of them are world champions: Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Räikkönen. I would say it’s quite unlikely that any one of them will ever become a tweeter.

Top three

Vettel said in an interview that he thinks there is too much internet and too many computers in the world. On the other hand, he has an iPhone, which would make things easier. But I don’t think it will happen.

Falling on deaf ears?
Falling on deaf ears?Credit: Mercedes AMG

Schumacher is one of the few drivers to have protected his private life very carefully, as a seven-time world champion. When he returned in 2010, a reporter asked in a press conference how the negotiations had been with his family, regarding his comeback to the sport. Michael forgot his usual politeness and answered bluntly that he had never talked about his personal life and that he wanted it to stay that way.

Räikkönen has always been quite aloof to everything and everyone, and was recently seen ignoring and running away from fans in the lobby of his hotel at the Malaysian GP. The interactions with press and fans have always seemed to be a burden to the Finn. Even his engineer said that Kimi does not like to talk much either before, during or after each race or practice. Kimi and Twitter? Forget it.

Twitter tools

For those who do use the social network, though, how do they access it and which gadgets are preferred throughout the paddock?

Twitter Scoreboard - Cell phones and devices
Vitaly PetroviPhone
Heikki KovalainenWindows Phone (but uses a Mac notebook - go figure)
Narain KarthikeyanBlackberry
Pedro de la RosaBlackberry
Timo GlockiPhone
Charles PicBlackberry
Bruno SennaBlackberry
Pastor MaldonadoiPhone (but uses the Twitter webpage a lot)
Daniel RicciardoiPhone
Jean-Éric VergneBlackberry
Nico HülkenbergBlackberry
Paul di RestaiPhone
Sergio PérezBlackberry
Kamui KobayashiiPhone
Romain GrosjeanHad a Blackberry but... has bought an Android!
Mark WebberiPhone
Nico RosbergiPhone
Jenson ButtonHard to unveil as his tweets only read "from Echofon"
Lewis HamiltonBlackberry (but uses the Twitter webpage a lot)
Fernando AlonsoiPhone
Felipe MassaBlackberry

In conclusion, both the iPhone and the Blackberry have nine users each, whilst Windows Phone has just one. Jenson Button could provide the deciding gadget but his Echofon tweets have obscured that from us.

Funnily enough, when I saw Felipe Massa was using Blackberry, I found it so amusing, like "hey Felipe, are you using the corporate phone that Ferrari lent you"? But to my surprise, the physical keyboard RIM phone is quite popular among Formula 1 drivers. That’s a good point for the Blackberry, which despite having its parent company in bad shape, could argue that it is having its own "decadence avec élégance."

Black flag

This should be shown to drivers who do not maintain their own Twitter accounts. The worst of those is Nico Rosberg, where the vast majority of tweets are posted by his "web team". Now come on...

Another driver who abuses this a bit is Vitaly Petrov. Even Bruno Senna sometimes tweets referring to himself in the third person, albeit not that often. It would be better to be rather terse and eventual, like Di Resta and Hülkenberg, than to delegate one’s own Twitter account.