The Hungarian Grand Prix occupies a special spot in my heart, for it was the first race I attended. It was here, exactly when the lights went out and the engines roared, that I told myself, “ok, this is very cool.” Seconds later, Valtteri Bottas’ accident forced several cards into retirement, and I realized this is way more than just cool. This year's Grand Prix had a similar start, not because of Bottas, but due to an early collision from his Alfa Romeo teammate Zhou Guanyu, resulting in the retirement of both Alpine cars. Despite this chaotic start, Max Verstappen's Red Bull sailed smoothly to his ninth victory of the season. Sharing the podium with him were McLaren's Lando Norris and teammate Sergio Perez.
Keeping up with the tradition I've maintained since the season opener in Bahrain, I turned to Google Trends after the race to uncover the most popular Formula 1-related search topics during the race.
On Sunday, July 23, at 15:04 UTC, I entered “formula 1” into Google Trends to identify the most popular worldwide queries from the previous hour. This timeframe covers the last 24 minutes of the race, right up until Verstappen’s victory, and the following 36 minutes. During this hour, the global Google search interest peaked at 15:46 UTC (Figure 1), 18 minutes after Max claimed another 1st place (broken) trophy.
During this hour, the top five Google queries (Figure 2) related to "Formula 1" primarily revolved around the popular Driver of the Day award—a fan-driven poll allowing enthusiasts to vote for the racer they believe outperformed the rest. Other search queries include the Italian phrase "arrivo Formula 1," likely shorthand for "ordine di arrivo" or "order of arrival," and "formula 1 puntos," the Spanish term for "Formula 1 points."
Additionally, I examined the related topics (Figure 3) that Google's algorithm deemed relevant to my initial search term. Three of these relate to different facets of the Red Bull brand. One pertained to the energy drink that fuels both the general public and Max, while another one presumably referred to the brand itself. The final one, indicated by the abbreviation “GmbH,” alludes to the company. The remaining two topics from the top five correspond to Lando Norris and Sergio Perez, who finished second and third, respectively.
I’ve been examining these Google Trends since the season’s first race. Doing so offers curious insights directly from fans worldwide and is a fun way to handle the post-race blues. This race’s top-searched query included the popular Driver of the Day award and searches for the race results in Italian and Spanish. With regard to the related topics, different aspects of the Red Bull brand dominated the list.