Elon Musk has had an eventful few days; his SpaceX rocket project ended in desperate need of a pitstop whilst, like Formula One, his ownership of Twitter has accelerated at pace with twists, turns, bumps in the road and, ultimately, a few car crashes along the way. Recent days have seen one of the latter with Twitter removing the famous blue tick for ‘authentication’. Well, like most people, Formula One drivers and teams have reacted – and it’s been pretty amusing.
How did F1 react to Twitter changes?
Ferrari keep is short and simple
Why start anywhere else than with the most successful team in the history of F1? They broke the news their verification had disappeared with the simplistic message of “When you’re no longer verified” alongside a crying smile emoji and an image that captured their star driver Charles Leclerc with a look of astonishment on his face.
Fans wasted no time in taking advantage of the lack of verification on the account though. They bombarded the account admin with demands of ‘proof’ they were indeed the real Ferrari. Admin duly responded with a host of replies featuring behind the scenes footage ranging from interview footage through to Carlos Sainz and Leclerc playing swingball.
Mercedes remains unverified
Mercedes have a huge 4.6m followers on Twitter but their approach to Musk’s controversial change was somewhat more subdued than others as they simply tweeted “Still the real Mercedes-AMG F1 account” alongside a green tick.
Most comments that followed were from fans poking fun. These messages ranged from highlighting the fact other teams had seen gold ticks awarded and jesting that they’d have to find the extra few dollars a month to buy the blue tick. One message of unity arrived from a fellow Formula One team though with Williams posting “Unverified gang” alongside a handshake emoji.
Williams begs for it back
We’ve already touched on some of the Williams activity with their offer of companionship to Mercedes but that isn’t where things started for the team. Their first tweet around the Twitter authentication fallout was a picture of their driver Alex Albon pointing to a photoshopped gold tick that was three times the size of his head. The wording to accompany that tweet was a sweet request of “can we have it back please”.
What followed was a host of tweet replies confirming they are indeed the real Williams F1 team before a quick change of tact saw them “focus on the racing ahead” with a link to an Albon interview. As of now, Twitter have yet to give team Williams what they crave though – that verified tick.
Alpine come from behind
Alpine found themselves in a similar situation to Williams initially too. They used a dejected looking Esteban Ocon image with the phrase "that feeling when you've lost your Twitter tick" and a broken heart emoji. That initial pain, which mirrored Williams', proved to only be a temporary thing though.
Unlike Williams, the Twitter Gods looked kindly on Alpine and approved them for a gold verified tick within around 20 minutes. That saw the team admin post a celebratory gif of their driving team alongside the words "and...it's back". That re-verification soon silenced those in the comments either mocking Alpine for being irrelevant or playfully demanding proof of them being the real deal.
Alpine fans enjoyed the gold tick appearing but Williams didn't. They posted a polite message with a sad "Lucky you" tweet.
It wasn't only the Alpine team that enjoyed a verification reprieve. Ocon himself took to Twitter to bid farewell to his blue tick with a kiss blowing gif and a clearly positioned goodbye message. Despite having no intention to pay for Twitter blue, his affiliation to Alpine saw him welcome back his verification. He announced this news to his 837k followers with a family friendly take on the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas "here we go again" gif.
Alfa Romeo ignore news but Guanyu unimpressed
Whilst most online sports teams in Canada took to social media to jibe with their followers and the Twitter hierarchy, Alfa Romeo took a different stance. They are still currently unverified but have not offered anything to suggest they’ve even realised - which they obviously have; they just don’t care to make a fuss. The same cannot be said for their driver Zhou Guanyu, who banked his first points of the season earlier this month. Guanyu posted a “Nahhh”’message alongside the hashtag bluecheckmark before immediately adding a comment featuring a somewhat tongue in cheek clapping gif. His 400k followers were fully on board with his take - as are, seemingly, the vast majority of the sports celebrity world!
The kings of the road
Last but not least we have Red Bull and McLaren, who alongside Ferrari, are two of the biggest names in F1. Well, whilst the famed Red Ferrari got dumped by the Twitter cull the same cannot be said for the former two. Red Bull and McLaren shared a pair of fist bump emojis with both being awarded the gold tick without the need of a request. It saw many fans refer to them as the ‘kings’.
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