Monaco – Qualifying Analysis

You may be wondering why I am writing my Monaco Grand Prix posts so late?  Well, I didn’t get to see qualifying because I attended a wedding on the weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix.  Also, I am still busy finishing off moving house, so I haven’t had the time to blog like I normally would have.

So if you want a recap of the action, check out AUTOSPORT or VivaF1.

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Barcelona Qualifying Analysis

OK, I’ll admit it.  I didn’t see qualifying today.  It’s not that I’m bored with F1 or anything, it’s because a couple of weeks ago I moved cities, so I have been consumed with moving house.  It has been a long process that took a lot of effort, but it has gone very well.

The upshot of this is that I decided to spend the day tidying up (and entertaining family who came for dinner) with the view to watching it later.  When I saw that it was dry and the usual suspects were on top, I felt satisfied that a summary before today’s race would be sufficient…

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Shanghai Qualifying Analysis

So qualifying is over for the Chinese Grand Prix.  Not spectacularly exciting, but there was a bit of a mad dash at the end of Q3 for pole.  Red Bull took a one-two again, with Vettel taking the honours this time.  After the clarification about ride height systems and the negative comments directed at Red Bull, they would have found that result rather sweet.  We will see how their race pace is affected tomorrow though…

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Sepang – Qualifying Analysis

Note – this post was written the week after the Grand Prix due to the author being on holiday.  For posterity the post was written so that the data may be used in future Analyses…

After a rain-shortened race last year, a lot of questions were asked whether it was a good idea to hold the race at a similar time of day just to appease European audiences.  The session times were moved back an hour this year, but qualifying was still affected by rain.

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Melbourne – Qualifying Analysis

So we move to the second Grand Prix in Australia.  After the let down that was the season opener in Bahrain, many have looked to this Grand Prix to see if the lack of action was due to the circuit or the rules.  I don’t think we’ll see a definitive answer this weekend, but the talk in the paddock seems to have been dominated by the issue…

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Bahrain Qualifying Analysis – First GP of 2010!

The action finally begins!  After all the drama, talk and hype of the off-season, we finally got to see the cars turn a wheel in anger today … and while we saw some things we expected, by golly we got some surprises too!

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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:


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:


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

2009 in Review – Qualifying Performance

This post is the next post in the series reviewing the 2009 F1 Season from the Drivers’ perspective.  The first post was on Driver Classification and can be found here.  This time, we shall look at qualifying performance.

Average Qualifying Position

As per last time, I have made an average of each driver’s qualifying positions for the races in 2009 that they took part in.  The field has been split into two parts for ease of reading.  Here are the graphs, which if you click on them a larger version will open in a new window:



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2009 In Review – Fuel Usage Data

Quite a while ago I analysed the fuel consumption in the races over the season so far to see whether the fuel consumption figures quoted by the F1 Yearbook were correct.  At the time, I found that the F1 Yearbook figures were overestimating the stint lengths by about one lap on average.

So, now it’s time to revisit these figures.  This post forms the first of a series of posts reviewing the 2009 season with the other posts on teams and drivers – hopefully I will find the time to write them all before the 2010 season begins ;)

As a bit of background on the calculations, please click this link.  If you trust my numbers however, read on! :D

To eliminate erroneous data, all stints shorter than expected by more than three laps were removed because when I looked at the data, this seemed to be where most of the stops happened.  Anything more than three laps short was deemed to be a strategic stop or a repair stop and was removed from the data.  In addition, any race that was wet or had a safety car before the first pit stop was not considered as wet races lower fuel consumption and safety cars usually force drivers to pit early.

However, even with a clean dataset, when we align the predicted stints with the actual ones from the races, there seems to be a difference, as shown by the graph below:

2009 Fuel Use Race KG

This graph shows the average figure calculated from all the data collected vs. the F1 yearbook data.

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Qualifying Analysis – Abu Dhabi

So the first qualifying session at the brand new and quite spectacular Abu Dhabi circuit.  The drivers coped very well with all the changes and it was an entertaining session.  The main feature of the track seems to be how spectacular it looks – they are trying to be the ‘Arabian Monaco’.  With that in mind, I can’t resist adding a few pics :D

Vettel riding off into the sunset ( Vettel the Night Rider ( Hurry up Webber, we’re burning daylight ( Kubica racing past the hotel that changes colours, just like he will do in 2010 (

Thankfully there were no crashes or bad incidents and most drivers seemed to have enjoyed the track.  Hamilton took pole by seven tenths and looked very happy about it – which means he must have a decent fuel load and the Red Bulls are running light.

Fisichella was well off the pace, qualifying last, while Alonso never made it out of Q1 and Raikkonen out of Q2.  Kovalainen had awful luck with gearbox problems in Q2, so will probably have to take a penalty.  He thought he had a good car today too (#sorryAmy).

The Brawns were also off the pace, again the issue being heat generation in the tyres.  Shame really, as people were promising Button would do really well here with no pressure.  Still time though… Continue reading