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"I'm back!" declares Hamilton

NEWS STORY
06/02/2022

Lewis Hamilton returns to social media to declare "I've been gone. Now I'm back!"

The tweet, posted on Saturday evening is basically the first contact the seven-time world champion has had with the outside world since Abu Dhabi, other than a brief message following his Knighthood ceremony in December and a post on Instagram earlier this week showing off his new haircut.

The six word tweet will no doubt send the world of F1 social media into overdrive, and among the first to react was Mercedes, which merely re-tweeted the Briton's post along with a folded hands (praying) emoji.

Curiously, in the days leading up to tonight's post from Hamilton, the German team has posted numerous 'teasers' relating to the man, which one cannot help but feel gives the whole thing a PR-driven 'orchestrated' look.

The return to social media comes just under two weeks before Mercedes unveils its 2022 contender, the car with which Hamilton will now seemingly resume battle with Max Verstappen.

The Briton's radio silence in the weeks that followed Abu Dhabi, combined with soundbites from Toto Wolff have allowed some sections of the media to run riot, particularly the British tabloids that have served up ever more ludicrous headlines as clickbait.

Standing in the Grand Canyon, the Briton having spent Christmas at his Colorado home, Hamilton is sporting a broad grin, seemingly dispelling some of the more ridiculous rumours of recent weeks.

Though we await his next move, Hamilton's reappearance, not to mention his declaration that 'he's back', suggests that we can now dismiss thoughts of him walking away from the sport - whatever the result of the FIA's inquiry into the Abu Dhabi affair might be - and focus on what really matters, the seven-time world champion seeking payback as he targets his eighth crown.

The declaration that 'he's back!', also appears to put to bed any thought of the 'will he, won't he' saga continuing at the launch of the new Mercedes and into the opening 'test' at Barcelona later this month.

Picture Credit: Hamilton/Twitter

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 09/02/2022 0:32

"@Spindoctor...'gratuitously rude'...sorry pal but you've overstepped the mark with some of your comments. i'm fine with your opposite view, no problem but at least pay others the same respect for voicing their opinions. Have a nice day. "

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2. Posted by Beans, 08/02/2022 16:21

"I am pretty sure those Instagram numbers would be based
upon a "sponsored" post and not just any regular or random post. "

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3. Posted by kenji, 08/02/2022 10:28

"@ Editor....Just how is the value of the posts arrived at?"

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4. Posted by ZJAY, 07/02/2022 23:24

"Past years have clearly shown it is not a good idea to piss off Hamilton nor Mercedes, they always came back ferociously stronger. And they are both pisssssed with what happened. I am neither a fan of Hamilton nor Mercedes, however, I most fear a total Hamilton/Mercedes domination in 2022. Exactly what most people, including myself don't want to see. The total silence from Hamilton/Wolf don't bode well for 2022. They are in overdrive preparing. That is what I would do in their shoe, and they have the past record to show they can do it."

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5. Posted by Editor, 07/02/2022 22:05

"@ ChickenFarmerF1

From my earlier post:

However, he has around 23 million followers on Instagram, where he can earn between $48,550 and $80,916 per post.

From my subsequent post:

Hamilton can still earn the most from his Instagram getting an estimated $48,550 - $80,916 per post.

and

Hamilton
Followers - 23 million
Average Likes - 777,696
Engagement Rate - 2.18%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $48,550 - $80,916"

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6. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 07/02/2022 21:57

"@Editor - is that what the driver or team get paid by Instagram, or what Instagram earns off those postings?"

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7. Posted by Editor, 07/02/2022 18:39

"@ @R1Racing71

The figures were not "estimated", certainly not by us... nor were they plucked from thin air.

They were actually supplied by a PR company back in October – and before anyone suggests otherwise, the company was not working on behalf of any particular driver or team.

In order to avoid any confusion, here is the full release:

With the release of Formula One's biggest ever fan survey we have found out more about fans feelings towards the sport, drivers and teams than we ever have before. The surge of new fans due to factors such as the Netflix series Drive To Survive and those that have found the drivers through Twitch many of the rankings have changed dramatically.

With this new information Grange the motoring specialists have looked into each driver and team's Instagram to see if their popularity on social media matches up with what the survey have revealed. The Instagram data includes follower numbers, engagement rates and estimated earnings per post.

Key Findings:

• Verstappen may be winning in the championship and has come out as the favourite driver in the fan vote but it is actually Hamilton who is winning on Instagram with 23 million followers compared to Max's 6 million.

• Lando Norris was second favourite driver in the fan vote, but he has the highest Instagram engagement rate of any driver at 13.28 per cent.

• McLaren has jumped to the top as people's favourite team and is also the most followed team with 8 million followers on Instagram.

• Out of the top three teams according to the survey results Ferrari has the biggest engagement rate at 1.28 per cent.

• Hamilton can still earn the most from his Instagram getting an estimated $48,550 - $80,916 per post.

Instagram Data

Verstappen
Followers - 6 million
Average Likes - 467,159
Engagement Rate - 7.76%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $12,038 - $20,064

Norris
Followers - 4 million
Average Likes - 508,139
Engagement Rate - 13.28%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $8,447 - $14,070

Hamilton
Followers - 23 million
Average Likes - 777,696
Engagement Rate - 2.18%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $48,550 - $80,916s

Ricciardo
Followers - 5 million
Average Likes - 447,488
Engagement Rate - 8.57%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $10,402 - $17,336

Russell
Followers - 2 million
Average Likes - 380,664
Engagement Rate - 17.92%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $4,335.25 - $7,225.75

Leclerc
Followers - 5 million
Average Likes - 571,330
Engagement Rate - 10.82%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $10,517 - $17,529

Gasly
Followers - 2 million
Average Likes - 307,608
Engagement Rate - 14.07%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $4,355.25 - $7,258.75


Sainz
Followers - 3 million
Average Likes - 311,595
Engagement Rate - 9.58%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $6,483 - $10,805


Perez
Followers - 2 million
Average Likes - 222,429
Engagement Rate - 9.16%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $4,845.75 - $8,076.25


Tsunoda
Followers - 594,348
Average Likes - 44,317
Engagement Rate - 7.47%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $1,777.5 - $2,962.5

Giovinnazzi
Followers - 689,281
Average Likes - 46,914
Engagement Rate - 6.82%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $2,060.25 - $3,433.75

Bottas
Followers - 2 million
Average Likes - 103,059
Engagement Rate - 4.39%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $4,674.75 - $7,791.25

Raikkonen
Followers - 2 million
Average Likes - 254,334
Engagement Rate - 10.25%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $4,944.75 - $8,241.25

Schumacher
Followers - 2 million
Average Likes - 108,779
Engagement Rate - 5.56%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $3,895.5 - $6,492.5

Mazepin
Followers - 394,242
Average Likes - 31,387
Engagement Rate - 8.02%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $1,181.25 - $1,968.75


Latifi
Followers - 270,899
Average Likes - 26,482
Engagement Rate - 9.80%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $813.75 - 1,356.25


Stroll
Followers - 594,316
Average Likes - 32,064
Engagement Rate - 5.41%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $1,776 - $2,960

Vettel
Followers - n/a
Average Likes - n/a
Engagement Rate - n/a
Estimated Earnings Per Post - n/a

Ocon
Followers - 1 million
Average Likes - 92,984
Engagement Rate - 8.54%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $2,172.75 - $3,621.25

Alonso
Followers - 3 million
Average Likes - 78,926
Engagement Rate - 2.28%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $6,913.5 - $11,522.5


Teams

McLaren
Followers - 8 million
Average Likes - 152,623
Engagement Rate - 1.02%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $16,121 - $26,869

Red Bull
Followers - 7 million
Average Likes - 103,745
Engagement Rate - 1.61%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $13,359 - $22,265

Ferrari
Followers - 7 million
Average Likes - 89,717
Engagement Rate - 1.30%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $13,359 - $22.265

Mercedes
Followers - 8 million
Average Likes - 101,655
Engagement Rate - 1.35%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $14,949 - $24,915

Alpine
Followers - 2 million
Average Likes - 15,609
Engagement Rate - 0.74%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $4,198.5 - $6,997.5

Aston Martin
Followers - 2 million
Average Likes - 42,309
Engagement Rate - 2.20%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $3,819 - $6,365

Haas
Followers - 2 million
Average Likes - 18,193
Engagement Rate - 1.19%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $3,048 - $5,080

Williams
Followers - 1 million
Average Likes - 36,127
Engagement Rate - 2.11%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $3,414.75 - $5,692.25

Alpha Tauri
Followers - 2 million
Average Likes - 22,643
Engagement Rate - 1.23%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $3,670.5 - $6,117.5

Alfa Romeo
Followers - 1 million
Average Likes - 68,189
Engagement Rate - 4.77%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $2.853.75 - $4,765.25

Rumoured New Drivers

Alex Albon
Followers - 1.1m
Average Likes - 124,709
Engagement Rate - 10.94%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $2,272.5 - $3,787.5


Nyck De Vries
Followers - 203,986
Average Likes - 33,087
Engagement Rate - 16.25%
Estimated Earnings Per Post - $616.5 - $1,027.5"

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8. Posted by @R1Racing71, 07/02/2022 16:30

"".......he can earn between $48,550 and $80,916 per post"
That is a very very serious chunk of change for nothing more than fresh air! His silence has clearly began to hurt his pockets, or more likely that of his social media manager. (I presume they still got paid for their services????"

I, like many others over a certain age realise that the whole Social Media engagement is nothing more than a money spinning PR exercise to those in the spotlight and I have absolutely no reason to dispute the figures our editor has estimated. I would however like to understand how they were calculated.
@editor - are you able to elaborate? "

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9. Posted by Spindoctor, 07/02/2022 15:51

"Like @Hobgoblin I have mainly been ignoring @kneji's posts on the subject of L. Hamilton. His most recent however seems even more obsessional and even less rational than usual. He attacks Hamilton's "minority views" & criticises his participation in F1 as "playing to his ego".

Taking the 1st of those first I'm curious as to which aspects of Hamilton's publicly expressed views are those of a "minority". it's my experience that outside of some unpleasant extremist racist & religious groups the notion of equality of opportunity & fairness for all is pretty broadly shared. Indeed, a poll of Drivers, Teams, Fans & Sponsors would undoubtedly show overall agreement with Lewis.
As a Black Man who experienced discrimination & racism in his youth, LH is most concerned with improving opportunities for BAME people, of whom, by the way, there is a sizeable majority in the World.
He expressed a dislike of the Human Rights records of some countries visited by F1. I also recall that @kenji called him out doubting he'd do so at one stage....

On the subject of F1 being a "platform that plays to his [Hamilton's] ego" I'm not sure how to p**** this observation. I know nothing of Hamilton's ego, but it wouldn't be surprising if, like all great Sportspeople & performers, he gains great satisfaction from his participation - if that's what is meant, then I agree.

I try to avoid being gratuitously rude, but I've rarely read a more idiotic and bilious sentence than this: "As i said before, after a couple of races he'd be forgotten by many F1 followers, and we'd enter a new era with new champs in the making...." Hamilton's name will deservedly live with those of all the truly great drivers & some of today's young hopeful drivers will rise to prominence- that's how it works.
Not sure what we are supposed to understand by wandering off in a search for the "black dog". I assume @kenji will claim he's referring to Churchill's description of depression, but it seems a strange & very stilted reference in this context.

Irrespective of who we support or loathe, Champions & Teams rise & fall over time. "..They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.”

On a positive note I'm really looking forward to 2022 to see what ingenious wheezes the designers & aerodynamicists have come up with and in the hope that the new Formula brings some more varied battles & podiums.
"

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10. Posted by Hobgoblin, 07/02/2022 13:17

"@Kenji - I have bitten my tongue many times reading your posts here, not every time, but a quite a few.
I get it that you would like to see a greater level of competition - I think nearly all of us would. And I get it that you don't like Sir Lewis.
But,
To consistently call his views (which are essentially 'let's try and all be nice to each other') 'minority' and 'BS' is a bit too far."

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11. Posted by kenji, 07/02/2022 11:34

"i think that there are quite a number of disparate views being aired here. i'm not too sure what the population of Australia has to do with anything other than to put the number of Hamilton fans into perspective. WHO are these fans...are they F1 first and Hamilton second or vice versa. If Hamilton was not on the grid does F1 lose 30M eyeballs. I have consistently said that Hamilton will not leave..for obvious reasons...mainly financial as well as Fi being a platform that plays to his ego and minority viewpoints. For all anyone knows there could be 30m people out there who would like to see him go. Did all the Rosberg followers depart the F1 scene when he chose to leave.
Max...IOW might prove a step too far for the Brit cricket team. As i said before, after a couple of races he'd be forgotten by many F1 followers and we'd enter a new era with new champs in the making. Surely you'd enjoy that or would you just wander off in a search for the black dog, disappointed that your favourite was no longer there. Does Tom Brady do BLM and the Rainbow/Alphabet people too.

Apologies for missing punctuation...shift key has called it a day.

"

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12. Posted by Max Noble, 07/02/2022 8:23

"@Editor - Dang! Those are serious “following” figures. Adds some weight to the arguement that Sir Lewis is of some interest to a significant “minority”.

@Kenji - Australian Cricket Team to UK Cricket Team: “Hey guys! We’ve won a pile of Ashes recently. We think people might be bored. So how about you play the Isle of Wight Second Eleven for the next Ashes, so you’ll have a chance?” …you simply need the current champion in any sport to still be on the start line. I do not see too many people going “Thank the Lord Tom Brady has retired he was making NFL boring…”

One more extreme example just because I can; Chris Martin: “I wish the Beatles had disbanded after their first album, because it was like, you know, too much of a good thing. We didn’t need it.”

@MossMan - Agree; avoiding most media is a good plan. Selective goodness is what’s called for. Also agree! Not sure why Lapps got all that -ve stuff for a simple comment. It could *appear* as a sulk, even (as I think) it was not. It was the simple maturity to know when to walk away and let the miasma clear…"

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13. Posted by MossMan, 07/02/2022 8:08

"@Max Noble - the whole "will he, will he not" saga must have completely passed me by... I was vaguely aware some people tried to cook up a little speculation, but I paid it no attention as Hamilton obviously never quit.

I guess that puts me in the same camp as Kenji, Defiant and Lapps... Not sure why Lapps got all the downvotes since a short sulk seems to sum it up nicely."

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14. Posted by Editor, 07/02/2022 7:49

"According to official figures, the population of - let's take Australia as an example - is around 25.7 million people

Lewis Hamilton currently has around 7 million followers on Twitter.

However, he has around 23 million followers on Instagram, where he can earn between $48,550 and $80,916 per post.

While some might feel weary of having him and his exploits shoved down their throats by an obsessed media and are keen to turn the page and move forward, the sport's bosses, promoters, broadcasters and sponsors will take one look at those figures and decide that perhaps its worth enduring the whole 'enchilada' for another year... and ass for those diehard acolytes.

If nothing else, think of it as entertainment."

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15. Posted by kenji, 07/02/2022 7:30

"@ Max...'Hamilton is 100% what the sport needs'. I beg to differ. The sport/business does not need Hamilton. There are many other drivers on the grid that would be able to provide all the talent combined with first class racing needed to maintain the excitement. After 7+ years of having this driver and his exploits shoved down our throat by an obsessed media it's time to turn the page and move forward instead of having to endure the whole 'enchilada' for another year Apart from the diehard Hamilton acolytes I would suggest that him not being on the grid would be more popular than you believe. Criss crossing multi sites over a great deal of time and assessing fan attitudes throws up some interesting outlooks. The fact remains though...he'll be there, as was always going to be the case, so I'll just have to suck it up and get on with life. "

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