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Internet Icons: Matt Gallagher and Tom Bellingham

Written by James Harding, Edited by Sasha Macmillen

WTF1’s two leaders: Tommy Bellingham and Matt Gallagher

The internet is a part of our daily lives. It’s given us Instagram, Tik Tok, Google; the list is infinite. However, near the forefront of these is YouTube - the second most ever visited website. It allows content creators to publish content for their audience: like information, interviews, and news. This new series of mine will aim to explore content creators and give stories from their eyes within the world of motorsport.

A YouTube channel, recently hitting 1 Million subscribers, named WTF1 (Who’s The Fastest 1) is presented by Formula 1 superfan Matt Gallagher, and was founded in 2010 by Tom Bellingham.

The humble beginnings of WTF1 began in 2010 on a sharing platform called ‘MySpace’ in Bellingham’s university bedroom. He began a channel giving his audience general F1 news and chat, lending the channel a small following.

In 2015, Gallagher was part of the ‘YouTuber Championship’. He competed against fellow successful Formula 1 YouTubers Aarav Amin and Benjamin Daly. The championship consisted of the YouTubers competing against each other in a series of races on the F1 2015 game. With WTF1’s name starting to ring across the web, it gave WTF1 more of a firm ground to boost their MySpace channel and get even more recognition.

WTF1 then started an official YouTube channel in 2017 with a welcome video, which now has over 165,000 views.

Since then, Gallagher and Bellingham have taken the digital F1 fans by storm. The WTF1 team has since interviewed Lewis Hamilton, played games with Daniel Ricciardo, and Kimi Raikkonen. With them even Driving Around Monaco with Nico Hulkenburg.

But the peak of their YouTube career must’ve been driving an official Renault Formula 1 car around Silverstone, with Gallagher saying it was “The best day of [his] life”.

It’s obvious that Gallagher and Bellingham have propelled a humble talk channel into a hugely recognised platform. With them now acquiring over 1 Million subscribers since its YouTube beginnings, WTF1 is able to acquire exclusive access to F1's behind the scenes; giving us an incredible insight into Formula 1.

WTF1 has now reached over 12 Million motorsport enthusiasts, 950,000+ Instagram followers, with a 3 Million social community across TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Furthermore, they’ve now made an F1 news page, fronted by Katy Fairman.

Matt Gallagher and Tom Bellingham have built a platform across all social networks from a university bedroom. These two F1 fans have turned a modest blogging channel into a fully established network. This comfortably makes them internet icons.

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