The results of the F1 Global Survey commissioned by Motorsport Network in partnership with F1 and Nielsen Sports were released ahead of the United States Grand Prix after responses from more than 167,000 fans in 187 different countries.
Max Verstappen was named as F1’s most popular driver, being listed as favourite by 14.4% of fans, but McLaren driver Norris managed to finish second overall with 13.7% ahead of 2017 vote winner Lewis Hamilton.
Norris comfortably stood out as the favourite driver with fans 24 and under, and enjoyed unrivalled popularity from female fans as F1’s audience showed signs of becoming more diverse and younger.
“A win for me is obviously a win on-track, but having these little things off-track as well for the team and for myself, it's nice,” Norris said in reaction to the survey result.
“I obviously do these other things back home, like streaming on Twitch and so on, which I've not actually done that much of recently. But it's just to interact with the fans a little bit more. And I think that's cool.
“But also knowing I can have a bit of an influence on that younger generation of kids growing up and that age group, and even still with some of the older ones, then it's nice to know that they're supporting me.
“That’s a very cool thing to hear.”
Norris also helped McLaren win the vote as fans’ favourite team, with its on-track revival this year being reflected in a significant upswing in popularity as its vote share almost doubled from 15.8% in 2017 to 29.5% in 2021.
Norris and teammate Daniel Ricciardo - who finished fourth in the driver vote - helped McLaren rank #1 with 40% of fans in the 16-24 age group. McLaren also topped the vote in the UK, US, Australia, Canada and Brazil, as well as ranking first in Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Africa.
“I'm happy for the team, I guess I'm a small part of that,” Norris said.
“[It’s] just what we do as a team, the things we do for the fans as well and with our partners and so on. A lot of it is to be part of the fans as well. Formula 1 is not just, ‘can you do well on track?’
“There's a lot of other things, and one of them is entertaining the fans and allowing them to see the other side of you, not just as the racing driver, but as just the person who you are.
“So yes, it’s nice that we get our feedback. It's nice that we're doing a good job with that.”
Ricciardo called the survey result “encouraging” for McLaren, proving the value of its off-track events and activities to promote the team.
“We do a lot of activations away from the circuit, or away from the Sunday 3pm stuff,” Ricciardo said.
“We are putting in effort to engage and interact with the fans, and it's paying off. It's cool to give them some more access and I guess it's good to know that it's worth it.
“The team does put a lot of effort into that and I've always been pretty chilled around stuff like that.
“Maybe I like the camera, I don't know! And Lando as well is much the same, so I think the team is pretty happy with that.”