Driver Consistencies – Great Britain

So it’s time to find out who was the most consistent in Great Britain and if anyone would have finished higher if they weren’t compromised by strategy or pit errors.  This has been calculated in the same way as previously done for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Firstly, let’s look at the mean and Standard Deviation for all drivers for all laps completed.

Great Britain Average Lap Times, All Laps:

gbr09_race_laps_av

Most of the drivers are ranked similarly to their respective race classifications with a few swapovers.  Massa, Button, Barrichello and Rosberg are all within four hundredths of a second of each other, so the reason for the mix-up may be a few hot laps here or there.  It is certainly unusual to see all the drivers with such close averages and standard deviations!  Fisichella was seventh, which was a good showing for him and the Force India team.  Had Fisichella not been hampered by the red flag and they got out of Q1 they could have been on for points in this race.

Not surprisingly, the two retirees (Kovalainen and Bourdais) had much slower laptimes and larger standard deviations.  Sorry Amy!

However, if we look at this again, taking out the laps where pit stops were made, we get an average of all the racing laps for each driver.  By the way, I removed the pitstop/outlaps with the help of Ollie’s excellent post on BlogF1.  Cheers Ollie!

Great Britain Average Lap Times, Racing Laps:

gbr09_race_laps_av_nopit

Now we see the drivers ranked closer to their race rankings.  Barrichello jumps ahead of Massa, indicating his pitstop/outlaps were worse than him.  Alonso jumps ahead of Piquet on laptimes, indicating that as Piquet lapped around the same pace, he got the better of the strategy calls as he was on a one-stopper and Alonso was on two stops.

There are a lot of ‘clusters’ in the times, indicating that the drivers were lapping at the same pace for quite a while.  One reason for this could be that the drivers were complaining that it was too difficult to overtake and therefore, cars were stuck behind others forcing all the drivers in the train to lap at the same pace…

Kovalainen and Bourdais managed times that weren’t much better than where they retired (sorry Amy), and Hamilton had another miserable day, being 2.5 seconds slower than Button.  An ironic reversal of fortunes from last year and a real indicator that with such bad pace in that McLaren on an aero circuit with high-speed corners that the car needs a lot of wind tunnel time.

Finally, the gap between the front and the back of the field is just over 2.6 seconds, which means that at Silverstone there was approximately a 3.2% performance differential across the whole field.  The higher differential here over Turkey (2.5%) indicates that there is a higher dependence on a good aero package for this circuit.

Fantasy Racers – Britain

Here are the scores from the Fantasy Racers Game for the British GP.  For some background info, please refer to my post after the Turkish GP.

Driver Scores for the British GP:

gbr09_FR_race_points

Sebastian Vettel romped away with the Race today – and it shows in his scores.  he won the race, got pole and fastest lap and so scored 90 points more than his team mate in second place.  Unlucky for your team if you picked Bourdais or Kovalainen (sorry Amy ;) ) as these were the only retirees today (indeed, it was because of a collision between them!)

2009 Fantasy Racers Driver’s Championship:

gbr09_FR_champ_points

Button still holds onto his lead here with Barrichello in second place – with Vettel fast catching up.  Funny how it imitates the real championship – art imitating life here?

Average Points Per Race:

gbr09_FR_av_points

Similar comment to the championship here – and not much change from the previous race, except Vettel gets ahead of Webber and Rosberg ahead of Glock.  Kubica is still near the back and Kovalainen is in last place (sorry Amy!)

Points Per Million:

gbr09_FR_PPM

(Note: Driver values are constantly changing due to previous success and amount of team picks – but the values for each driver are ‘set’ at the Friday deadline for driver changes to a team. Therefore the average of these values were taken in this calculation.)

Suddenly Rosberg has leapfrogged into second place with his strong finish in the GP and Rubens has dropped to fourth.  Vettel is also now a lot better value for money but other than that, the order has not changed much.  Rather than tell you who is last , I should just apologise to Amy again…

My Team:

I have moved to 48th in the Sidepodcast League and 3rd in the Pitlane Fanatic League – a change of +2 and 0 places respectively.  My team lies 281st overall.  Here’s how my drivers did…


Adrian Sutil
Force India F1 Team
4.40m – 63 points


Jenson Button
Brawn GP
13.60m – 120 points


Robert Kubica
BMW Sauber F1 Team
5.00m – 67 points


Rubens Barrichello
Brawn GP
11.20m – 150 points


Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull Racing
13.00m – 250 points


Timo Glock
Panasonic Toyota Racing
7.00m – 90 points

I think it’s time to say goodbye to Sutil and Kubica… but who shall I replace them with?

It appears that they scored no worse than one driver of the equivalent value of them both.  I shall have to think about that one and get back to you…

Is That Fuel Weight in Pounds or Kilos?

Another dramatic Qualifying session for the British Grand Prix.  It seems these days that the qualifying ends up being better than the race.

Today was no different.  Although the story of the season is about BrawnGP and in particular Jenson Button, the fairytale magic didn’t happen today, with Jenson Button only managing sixth place and possible frustrations within the team.  Barrichello qualified third and must fancy his chances tomorrow.  I guess every fairytale has a bit in the middle where the hero seems to have no chance of winning – but it doesn’t feel right to me personally that Jenson should dominate the season and not fare too well at his home GP.

We shall see, but it will take some mighty driving from Button and a master stroke from Brawn to get him to the front tomorrow I reckon.  The Red Bulls looked mighty today at a circuit with lots of fast sweeping corners – the type of circuit they should be strong at.  Vettel took pole with Webber third – who claims he was blocked by Raikkonen on a slow down lap.

Let us have a look at the top 10 guys from Q3 and their times:

gbr09_q3_times

Vettel by far was the master class today with a lap time almost half a second quicker than Barrichello and his team mate Webber.  Button was nearly half a second slower than Barrichello and almost a whole second slower than pole position – the first time this season he has qualified outside of the top 5, in fact.  Further back, the field is quite evenly spread, but we find Raikkonen and Alonso over a second slower than the pole sitter’s lap time and a quarter of a second slower than their nearest rival (Glock).

Now let’s look at the fuel weights.  According to figures from the F1 Yearbook (kindly supplied by Alianora ;) ), a lap of Silverstone costs around 2.47 kilograms or 0.035 seconds per lap.  Taking this into account, we can now analyse the fuel weights of the cars to see how long the drivers plan to run before making a pit stop and how much the fuel impacted their lap time.

Firstly, the fuel weights:

gbr09_qual_fuel_weights

As we can see here, almost every position is out of order now. The most surprising thing is that Button was fuelled exactly the same as Barrichello and that he was so much off the pace – but then he was having serious issues with the car all weekend.  Raikkonen and Alonso are also in trouble as they didn’t put good times in and they were fuelled light.  Indeed, there are some interesting strategies at play here which may be gambling on rain or a safety car.  It’s also a shame that Nakajima’s performance is undermined by his light fuel load too.

It should be noted that tomorrow’s GP will be 60 laps and therefore we can assume that on the strength of these fuel loads, the top 4 will be two stopping, the next three could either run a two or three stop strategy and the last three will be three stopping.

Taking the fuel effect into account, here are the corrected lap times:

gbr09_q3_adjusted_times

Vettel is still miles ahead of the opposition and almost three quarters of a second ahead of his team mate, who slightly pips Barrichello into second place.  Rosberg and Nakajima swap back to their normal order within the team, with Raikkonen and Alonso sadly miles off the pace :(

But the biggest surprise has to be Button – with him being almost half a second slower than Barrichello he is having major problems with his car… I think all you Button fans need to have all of your fingers crossed that tomorrow brings better conditions so that he can get more heat into his tyres (as Ross Brawn alluded to after qualifying).  If Jenson does somehow win it, it will surely be the best win of his career.

My thoughts for the race are that I think if it stays dry, Vettel will win it, but if it rains then Button will have a very good chance.  Either way, we may actually be in for a proper race tomorrow, something we have been yearning for a while this season!

EDIT:  Kind thanks to Brian Lawrence who pointed out that I had made an error with Barrichello’s fuel load – turns out I had copied the number wrong from the FIA PDF file (GRRR to them for making me type out all the weights by hand – the document would not let me copy them)!  I have made corrections to the fuel weights and fuel corrected times graphs and small corrections to the text as a result.  Sorry guys, I’ll try harder not to let that happen again!

Brian also pointed out that the Fuel Usages in kilos per lap, taken from the F1 Yearbook may be incorrect as they are based on 2008 figures when the engines were allowed to rev to higher limits.  In fact, the actual fuel usage for the first stint were closer to 2.6 or 2.7 kilos.  I’m going to look into this – there may be a blog post worth writing about on the subject!