Formula 1 has returned after a three-week hiatus. Following the dramatic and eventful Australian Grand Prix, this year’s fourth round took place in the streets of Baku, Azerbaijan—one of my favorite races on the calendar and one I hope to visit next year. It was an unexpectedly calm weekend in which our twenty street fighters dashed through the long straight and conquered those scary 90-degree corners at speeds a normal human wouldn’t do it. Ultimately, Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez emerged victorious, winning both the Grand Prix (as he did last year) and the preceding Sprint Race. With the race now long gone, I’m turning to Google Trends—a tool that analyzes the popularity of search terms and related queries— to discover the most popular search topics related to Formula 1 people were searching for during the race and where these searches originated from.
At 12:53 UTC on Sunday, April 30, 2023, I searched for “formula 1” on Google Trends to discover the most popular worldwide queries from the past hour. This timeframe covers the last 39 minutes of the race, which started at 11:00 UTC, Pérez finish at 12:32:24 UTC, and the subsequent 21 minutes.
Search interest peaked at 12:41 UTC (Figure 1), nine minutes after the race concluded. This peak is a culmination of searches that surged in the final minutes of the race, as evidenced by the increasing interest leading up to the race’s end.
Similar to what I’ve found in previous analyses, the top five related queries include searches for the Driver of the Day award (Figure 2). This is an award voted for by fans, and it’s accessible only during the final laps of the race, which explains why Google Trends considered the term a “breakout” at the time I used the tool; in today’s race, race winner Sergio Pérez also won this award. Other related queries include searches for the driver’s positions and, presumably, explanations of the points system.
As for where the searches originated, Pérez’s home country, Mexico, tops the list (Figure 3). Following it is Spain, home of Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who finished 4th and 5th respectively. Then there’s Azerbaijan, the host country, and Uruguay, which has also shown a high interest in past races, but I can’t pinpoint it to a specific reason other than Uruguayans love Formula 1. Let me know if you have any ideas.
Examining Google Trends offers fascinating insights directly from fans worldwide and is a delightful way to address the post-race blues. This brief analysis revealed viewers were particularly keen on either voting for the Driver of the Day or learning about the award. Unlike previous analyses, this one lacks a standout moment due to the race's uneventful nature; however, this is merely my opinion. Regardless, I enjoyed watching the race and still hope to experience it in person in the near future.