2014 model-based driver rankings

Fantastic metrics, brilliant analysis, fine detail. Overall, a great read!

f1metrics

2014 was a year completely dominated by the Mercedes team, with the barest sniff of the title for Ricciardo. But who would have won the title if all cars had been equal? Were the Mercedes drivers the year’s best performers, or would other drivers have looked even better behind the wheel of a Mercedes? That’s a question you could debate for hours. Alternatively, we can pose the question to a mathematical model, such as the one I previously used to estimate all-time driver rankings.

In a nutshell, my model ignores races for each driver where they had non-driver failures (e.g., mechanical DNFs), then uses points per race in each of the remaining races as a performance metric for each season. While this is not a perfect metric (e.g., it doesn’t assign blame for crashes), it does capture one of the most important aspects of driver performance, and it can…

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Who deserves the 2nd seat at Force India? [Vote]

That second seat. Yes. Its become a mystical place and everybody wants to know WHO? The Silverstone squad is probably enjoying the anxiety and drumming among fans and the paddock as to who’s it going to be.

Here’s a poll to give us an idea who the fans think is the most deserving. Vote your choice by clicking on the driver’s name.

Any reasoning for your choice or if you have another driver that you think is more deserving, please leave a comment. I’ll add the most popular 6th driver (if any) to the final tally.

Update: 

Poll now closed. Thanks for voting!

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1

Kamui Kobayashi

As evident from the graphic, most votes went to Kamui Kobayashi

We hope he makes a strong return in 2014 as his 2013 hopes have, admittedly, been wrapped up.

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2

Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen was voted as the second most deserving.

Another driver whose 2013 hopes are almost none.

F1 can be really cruel!

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Poll: 2nd seat at Force India must go to

poll image

* Multiple votes will neither be registered nor counted.

The 2013 driver situation at Force India

Force India is the only remaining desirable team with one of the race seats still unfilled. That seat was being hotly pursued by a number of out-of-drive candidates as well as some looking to make a return into the sport. Sebastian Buemi, Jamie Alguersuari and Adrian Sutil are three drivers that were left out of the grid in 2012.

Of the three, Buemi was said to be a serious possibility, while team head Vijay Mallya mentioned in an earlier interview that he would keenly consider Sutil for the seat. But, according to a recent report by Switzerland’s Blick newspaper, the 24-year-old has been informed he is out of the running. He’s now looking to cement his deal with Red Bull Racing with an extension to his official reserve driver role. According to the veteran correspondent Roger Benoit, “Buemi will not comment at this time. First he needs to safeguard his future.. 

Buemi’s former team-mate, Jaime Alguersuari, who was dumped by Toro Rosso along with him at the end of 2011, was also in the running but is now being tipped to move to BMW’s DTM team. He spent 2012 as a Radio 5 Live F1 commentator & analyst. Its a bit odd as Alguersuari had been rather certain of a race seat for 2013 and suggested that a deal might already be in place. But this is Formula 1, after all, where seasons could go full cycle in a day!

That leaves only two drivers, Sutil and the team’s reserve driver (and Ferrari protégé) Jules Bianchi, in the running for the seat.

Sutil would look to make a comeback into the team he spent five years in and knows rather well. This could give him the upper hand in the current duel. The fact that he’s, more often than not, been blisteringly quick on the track and that he had a great 2011 season (only to be marred by a harsh conviction & subsequent boot from his job) could only help him further.

Bianchi’s chances are supposedly being bolstered by Ferrari who are thought to be in talks with Force India for an engine deal 2014 onwards when the new turbo formula kicks in. But there are people who believe he hasn’t impressed the team as much in the reserve role as his predecessor, Hulkenberg.

It might seem like a bit of a luxury problem for Force India, but, its a very key decision for their 2013 campaign as losing someone of the calibre of Hulkenberg to closest rivals Sauber has left almost everybody in the team rather disappointed.

I would expect a decision to be announced within the next week or two, hopefully well before the Silverstone outfit’s 2013 car launch on the 1st of February. Whoever it turns out to be, would need all the time available to gel with the team and prepare well for the winter testing in Jerez (unofficial dates are 5th-8th Feb) & then Barcelona which is barely 50 days away (19th-22nd Feb, 28th Feb-3rd Mar) .

2012 F1 World Championship Round 1 | Australia | Qualifying Excerpts from Saturday at Melbourne


Amongst all sorts of speculation about who’s faster and who’s a dog by one and all, the 2012 season finally got off to a start at Albert Park in Melbourne for the 2012 Australian GP. In the three practice sessions earlier, there had been signs of McLaren and Mercedes GP being at the head of the pack while Ferrari looked mediocre. Red Bull were close to the front but not at the front and most of us thought they were most likely sand-bagging.

Q1

By the first part of Qualifying (Q1), it was becoming evident that calling bets would not be easy this time. There were all sorts of surprises being thrown left and right. Kimi’s ouster in Q3 being the most attention grabbing of all. A poorly timed final stint left him out of action after the end of Q1 and the best he could manage was P18 (will move to 17th now after Sergio’s gearbox change 5-place grid penalty). Massa made it through to Q2 by the skin of his teeth and it was not what the scarlet fans had in mind for the weekend.

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With great power comes great responsibility..

Formula 1 is a high-risk, high-stake business. The people involved in the various aspects of it are experts in their area of work and that’s the reason they are the chosen ones.

But, as any religious follower of the sport might know, time and again, a number of those experts have been called in to question of their intentions, biases, unfair dealings and unlawful activities. The same logic applies to the journalists of the game too.

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