Since the announcement of Kimi Raikkonen joining Sauber from the 2019 Formula 1 season, the social media for the Swiss team has seen a steep increase in followers.

Ferrari announced the decision of Raikkonen leaving the team on September 11 and at the same time the Finn revealed his intentions to join Sauber in a multi-year deal. This made immediate impact on the Swiss team’s social media following.

Looking at the data, Sauber had 632,729 followers on Twitter on September 10. However, it rose to 636,673 on the day of the announcement and has seen a steady growth ever since to be at 641,079 until September 22.

It is an increase of 8,350 followers in the space of 10 days which is significant since the similar increase in number previously took them nearly six months to achieve. Over at Facebook, it had 526,512 followers before the announcement.

Post the news, it jumped to 534,185 on the next day, while it increased to 538,213 until September 22 – which is an increase of 11,701 followers. Again, such increase previously took them more than six months to achieve.

The biggest growth was seen on Instagram, where Sauber had 358,599 followers three days before the announcement on September 8. However, it saw steep increase of more than 20,000 followers to be 379,938 on the day of the news.

Until September 22, it sits with 397,024, which is an increase of 38,425 followers. Such increase would have taken the team months to be achieved as well. Team principal Frederic Vasseur has already indicated of the outfit’s morale boost since the news.

The Frenchman highlighted how much crucial it is for a brand like Alfa Romeo and a team like Sauber, who has been in the business for so long, to have one of the three world champions in the team racing from 2019.

“I think for us coming from where we were last year [to the current year], it is a huge opportunity to have [Raikkonen] in our car – in the Alfa Romeo Sauber, one of the three world champions who will race next year,” said Vassuer.

“It’s a huge opportunity for the team, for the brand, for everybody. We know that we are quite a young team also and we need to have someone leading the team with a huge experience and I think Kimi will fulfill all the parts of this.

“For the team, we are building up every single department and I think he will be very supportive in the process. I think from aero to design office to track engineering, tyre management, I think everybody in the team is more than happy to have Kimi on board in the future.

“It’s a step forward for us for sure. This is on the technical side and on the more marketing and commercial side, for sure it’s a huge push and if you have a look at what we had last week in terms of social media, so it was probably the first time in our lives that we have so many connections. On both sides, I think it will be supportive for us,” he explained.

[Read: Ferrari on Raikkonen]