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News for nerds

Max Verstappen will be named the most popular Formula One driver in the world on Thursday.

The 24-year-old, who leads Hamilton by six points going into Sunday’s American Grand Prix, will be unveiled as the public’s favourite as part of the official Global F1 Fan Survey.

Sportsmail understands Hamilton is unexpectedly third on the list, not only behind Verstappen but also Lando Norris, 21.

Max Verstappen was named as the most popular F1 driver in the world over Lewis Hamilton

An insider said: ‘It is quite surprising given Lewis’s seven titles and the fact Verstappen has never won a title and Norris has not even won a race.’

Despite the survey’s results, Hamilton’s online popularity — a stonking 23.1million Instagram followers alone — dwarfs all his rivals.

The survey commissioned by Formula One, and conducted in conjunction with Nielsen Sports and Motorsport Network, gauges fans’ views on every aspect of the sport.

F1 bosses are calling it the largest sports survey ever conducted.