F1 Testing 2010 – Barcelona Day 4

So here we are then. The final day of testing. The last chance to develop and shake down the cars before the teams pack up all the gear and send it off to Bahrain.

Guys, the first Grand Prix of the season is less than two weeks away now! After what seems to have been a long and eventful off-season, it’s almost time for the action to begin. But first, let’s look at the final day’s action. Note that I will write a summary post of all the Barcelona action in the next couple of days, but this post will only focus on Day 4.

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F1 Testing 2010 – Barcelona Day 3

We move on to Day 3 of testing at Barcelona, a difficult day to judge as the weather conditions were changeable.  Nevertheless, I have still made the usual graphs for you.  Before we begin, why don’t you take a look at the action on Day 1 and Day 2, If you haven’t already?

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F1 Testing 2010 – Barcelona Day 1

Today, testing started in Barcelona – this is in fact the last week of testing before the season begins (can you believe this is just over two weeks away? :D ).

As this is a circuit that is on the Grand Prix Calendar, and because it is the final test, this tends to be taken more seriously by the F1 teams.  They tend to go for long runs and fastest laps, not just shakedown and reliability testing.  Therefore, we can finally do more than just speculate over the times as we can get an idea of how fast each car was.  It is still not definitive however, so I ask you all to take what you see here with a pinch of salt and make your own conclusions…

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Fantasy Racers 2010 Introduction

One of the fun things I like to do during the F1 season is to take part in an online game called Fantasy Racers, which is a sort of prediction game based on the form of F1 drivers throughout the season.  It’s great fun and very interesting, which is why I also like to analyse the scores after each race on my blog (if you would like to read these posts, please click here).

For 2010, there have been many changes to the rules of the game, along with changes to the 2010 points scoring rules.  This got me thinking – how would that have affected the scores in 2009 had these new rules been applied?

Danny (who runs the Fantasy Racers game) has kindly managed to run a simulation of what would have happened in 2009 had the 2010 points system been used.  He has forwarded me the results and I have graphed and compared them.

Here are the 2009 points in 2010 rules:

Points 2009in2010

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Update on the Points System Comparisons

As an addition to the posts I wrote on the different points systems used since 1950 and their fairness the other day, ManipeF1 has written an excellent post where he compares the greatest drivers of the sport using a normalised points scoring system here: A alternative view of points-scoring comparisons.

I think his post and the ones I have just done make excellent companions – his post is a very interesting way of looking at things!

Check out his blog too, it’s a good read!

This pic has nothing to do with the post, I just really like the look of the Lotus ;)

How Fair Have The F1 Points Systems Been?

In my previous post, we looked at various points systems used in the Formula 1 World Championship since 1950, along with some other possible systems that could be used. As promised, this is the second part of the post that aims to look at how ‘fair’ a points system is.

One of the reasons that the points system was changed was to give the new teams a chance of scoring points. Assuming 26 cars run this season (which is very much an assumption and not a certainty at this point!), the chances of any car being in a points scoring position is 10/26, or 1/26, which is about 38% (not taking into account any performance data of course). Under the 2003-2009 system, we had 8 points paying positions for a grid of 20 cars, which actually meant that at least 40% of the field could have finished in the points.

I am interested to see which systems were the fairest in terms of the most points paying positions in the field using this method, so I looked up some data on average field sizes and average number of cars that finished a race, with the help of Wikipedia, FORIX and Brian Lawrence from F1NGers who had the stats available and helped compile them for me.

A special thanks must go to Brian who already had the stats collated and actually did the analysis for me – along with spending a good part of his Sunday conversing with me via email giving me some great advice and pointers to help me calculate the Fairness index. What a Legend! ;)

Before we begin, here is a recap of the points systems used between 1950-2010:

Years 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th TOTAL
1950-1959* 8 6 4 3 2 24
1960 8 6 4 3 2 1 24
1961-1990** 9 6 4 3 2 1 25
1991-2002 10 6 4 3 2 1 26
2003-2009 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1 39
2010-? 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1 101

Note: *Point awarded for fastest lap, **Various different systems allowing dropped races were used (and will not be taken into account here).

So here are the graphs showing the fairness of a points system in any given year. Remember this is calculated by dividing the number of points scoring places by the number of entrants, qualifiers or finishers:

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Points Systems Comparison 1950-2010

Recently, the Sporting Working Group met in Paris and decided to vote through some proposals that would hopefully improve the racing this year. The most important of these was a radical change to the points system, which would drastically increase the amount of points for a win and award points down to tenth place, in order to help the new teams score some points this year.

The logic behind the system is that by increasing the amount of points scored for a win and by increasing the gap in the amount of points for each position, overtaking would be increased as drivers have more incentive to fight for a win.

But will it do this and what exactly is the gap between each position worth?

The first part of the question is speculative and my personal opinion is that it won’t – simply because the cars cannot overtake due to a heavy reliance on aero grip and a number of circuits being unsuitable for F1 cars (including some of the new ones). Increasing the incentive cannot and will not fix this…

However, the second part of the question is essentially a stats question and therefore one I can easily tackle in this post. Therefore what I will do is make a graph of each points system used in F1. I will then use these graphs to display each system separately and show in that particular points system how the points are scored in proportion to a win (100%)

But first, let us have a look at the different points systems used in F1 since the first season in 1950 (from Wikipedia):

Years 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th TOTAL
1950-1959* 8 6 4 3 2 24
1960 8 6 4 3 2 1 24
1961-1990** 9 6 4 3 2 1 25
1991-2002 10 6 4 3 2 1 26
2003-2009 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1 39
2010-? 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1 101

Note: *Point awarded for fastest lap, **Various different systems allowing dropped races were used (and will not be taken into account here).

Clearly a number of different systems have been used over the years, so it will be interesting to compare them to each other to see which systems reward drivers who go for wins and which systems reward consistency more. First, let’s have a look at the new system compared to the other systems in terms of amount of points scored:

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2009 Driver Rankings Summary

So after analysing finishing positions (Driver Classification), Qualifying Performance, Fastest Laps and Driver Consistency, it’s now time to put it all together and come up with some sort of ranking system.  Except that this will be just for fun and does not take into account the relative car performance, any changes in strategy, size of the paycheck or claim to be a definitive ranking system ;)

Of course, the data presented here pales in comparison with Christine’s Rankings, which “are the most in-depth and accurate global driver ranking system ever produced… probably” ;)

What I want to do here is work out who performed the best using all of the previous driver summary posts.  Therefore what I want to do is apply some kind of weighted scoring system, giving the categories with more importance a higher percentage of the overall score.

For me, the most important thing any driver can do is to finish as well as possible – therefore I have decided to give this the highest rating (50%).  The reasons for this should be quite clear – you cannot become a world champion without winning races and scoring points.  In a championship points system which rewards consistency, the lower the average finishing position the better.

The second most important category for me is qualifying performance, for two reasons.  The first reason is that it was difficult to overtake in F1 races in 2009, so starting in as high a position as possible gives a driver the best chance of finishing well, providing they can drive as well as they qualified and make the best use of their strategy.  I have allocated 30% of the score to this category.

This leads to the next most important category – driver consistency.  I have been blogging about driver consistency after each race this year and I am a strong believer of the idea that for a driver to succeed, they must be fast and consistent.  Therefore I decided to give this category a 15% weighting.

Which means that the last category is Fastest Lap classification – which doesn’t mean very much in terms of race performance and does not affect a driver’s race in any way.  However, a quick driver is usually a good driver, so I decided to allocate the last 5% to fastest lap performance.

A driver’s score could be calculated as follows:

S=0.5F+0.3Q+0.15C+0.05S

As the categories are each ranked first to last, the driver with the lowest overall score will be judged to have performed the best in 2009.  Remember, this is just for fun, so here are the results in a graph:

WEIGHTS_Gavin

But I thought that it seemed a little selfish to rate the drivers this way, and a few weeks ago decided to open up this idea to the members of Sidepodcast and asked people there how they would rate their drivers using these categories.  I received a number of different weightings, which I have included below. Continue reading