Archive | September, 2011

2011, the stats that matter

30 Sep

With Sebastian Vettel almost certainly having won the championship we look at the statistics that show why he’s been so dominant:

Vettel:                                                                                      Record (driver must have won the championship that year)

Wins: 9 (from 14)                                                                           Schumacher 13 2004 (from 18)

Podiums: 13 (from 14)                                                                   Schumacher 17 2002 (from 17)

Poles: 11 (from 14)                                                                          Mansell 14 1992 (from 16)

% of races won: 64.2% (after 14 races)                                    85.7% Ascari 1952

points a race: 22 (from 14 races)                                              22.35 Schumacher 2002 (done on 2010 scoring system)

% podiums: 92.8% (after 14)                                                     100% Schumacher 2002

% poles 78.6% (after 14)                                                             87.5% Mansell 1992

retirements: 0                                                      0 Fangio 1954, P.Hill 1961, G.Hill 1962, Clark 1963 and Schumcher 2002

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Driver Ratings Singapore, Pt. 4 Toro Rosso, Virgin and Williams

29 Sep

Sebastian Buemi: 7/10 Sebastian has been a good competitor all year and it’s a shame he couldn’t pick up any points this weekend. Qualifying 14th isn’t bad for the ever improving Toro Rosso team and an average race took him up to 12th.

Jaime Alguersuari: 6/10 As usual Jaime was a little behind Seb in qualifying and up until the end he wasn’t doing badly sadly he had an accident on the 56th lap (out of 58) and didn’t finish.

Timo Glock: 5/10 A bit of a shame the race but qualifying was his usual 21st, he was driving well until he hit the barrier at turn 18 and had to navigate his way to a runoff area.

Jerome D’Ambrosio: 5/10 Did what was expected by beating the HRTs and being beat by the Lotuses in both qualifying and the race, apart from that he was nothing amazing.

Rubens Barrichello: 7/10 A good race for Williams and it appears that the upgrade was worth the wait even if it is a bit late. He qualified strong in 12th and it was a good performance to get 13th.

Pastor Maldonado: 8/10 He was really biged up in the BBC’s pre race program and he didn’t disappoint, qualifying 13th and then drove well to finish 11th, so close to getting a point.

Driver Ratings Singapore, Pt. 3 Red Bull, Renault and Sauber

28 Sep

Sebastian Vettel: 10/10 Fantastic, not just this weekend but all year and has all but won the championship only needing 1 point in the last 5 races (this is the man who hasn’t finished outside the top 4 all year).

Mark Webber: 8/10 Strong qualifying to start 2nd but a slow start brought him back and a good race helped him get on the podium.

Vitaly Petrov: 3/10 Got out qualified by his team mate and then finished behind Heikki Kovalainen in the race, all in all not a good weekend for the Russian.

Bruno Senna: 5/10 Out qualified his team mate for the second time in three races,  but still wasn’t amazing and the Renault is seriously off the pace if the best they can do is 15th.

Kamui Kobayashi: 6/10 It comes to something when not even Kamui can liven a race up and even though it’s a street circuit you’d expect him to do better than 14th having started 17th.

Sergio Perez: 6/10 Another points finish for the man who’s the front runner to replace Massa even if it wasn’t as good as Paul Di Resta’s race.

Driver Ratings Singapore, Pt. 2 Lotus, McLaren and Mercedes

27 Sep

Heikki Kovalainen: 8/10 A Team Lotus (soon to be beat a Caterham) beat a Group Lotus (soon to be Team Lotus (confused?)), is there anything more pleasing than that. Heikki had a solid race and was – as usual – the best of the ‘new’ teams.

Jarno Trulli: 7/10 A good weekend by Jarno and was set to take second place in the best of the rest race, Tony Fernandes says that the retirement was to be on the safe side so they wouldn’t have to take a 5 place grid penalty. Jarno summed up in one tweet, “Jarno’s missed the second turn, looks like his power steering is getting worse”.

Lewis Hamilton: 1/10 Lucky to be getting a 1 but having made mistake after mistake every weekend he’s going to have to learn to concentrate, most embarrassing thing is that the place where he hit Massa was the same as where he hit Webber last year.

Jenson Button: 8/10 A great drive to only finish 1.7 seconds behind Vettel, did well all race especially the start where he was up to 2nd and never lost it, just think, if he’d been the car behind Vettel at the safety car restart he could have been the victor as Vettel gained 6 seconds on the lap after the safety car restart.

Michael Schumcher: 6/10 Had a huge crash and was lucky not to hit his team mate when flying towards the barrier. A bit of a shame that he didn’t set a Q3 time but his race wasn’t much better.

Nico Rosberg: 6/10 Was saved being overtaken by Massa on the last lap by Vettel lapping them but he drove a race that deserved 6th and was unlucky to be beaten by Di Resta.

Driver Ratings, Singapore. Pt. 1 Ferrari, Force India and HRT

26 Sep

Fernando Alonso: 8/10 The king of singapore couldn’t work his magic to get onto the podium (the first Singapore GP in which he hasn’t), he looked competitive all the way up to qualifying but in Q3 just couldn’t get enough speed to qualify higher than 5th. Another one of his great starts saw him up to 3rd but he couldn’t keep it till the end and so finished 4th.

Felipe Massa: 8/10 Another race ruined by someone else as Felipe was running well having started 6th and at the start got to 4th before a rapidly chasing Lewis Hamilton hit the back of the car to puncture the tyre and forcing him to pit twice in two laps, despite this Massa launched a comeback and was very close to taking 8th when the race ended.

Adrian Sutil: 7/10 Another 4 points in the championship for Force India all but sews up the race between Force India and Sauber in the constructors championship. A good race but he couldn’t match his team mate, Paul Di Resta.

Paul Di Resta: 9/10 Went beyond the call of duty and finished higher than anyone expected, all because of  a super tyre strategy that saw him start on softs.

Vitantonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo: 1/10 Lapped by all the field need I say more.

Massa, 6 years Ferrari’s number 2.

25 Sep

Since the horrific crash in 2009 Felipe Massa has constantly been rumored to being replaced with other drivers with Sutil, Kubica and Perez being heavily linked to the seat. Pre 2009 though the second Ferrari seat was cemented as his and if it weren’t for the crash I believe we could still be seeing him challenge for victories and challenging Alonso on a regular occurrence. Lets look at the stats that matter first:

Points a race pre crash: 2.78

Points a race after crash (by pre 2010 points system): 2.75

Now although that looks very close if we exclude Massa’s years at Sauber where he picked up 27 points in 53 races (0.5 points a race) the results are different

Points a race pre crash just with Ferrari: 4.72

That result is much higher and almost double his post crash points a race and having not won a GP since the 2008 Brazilian GP where he took the drivers championship for 20 seconds it is looking more and more likely each year that there will have to be a replacement for him.

This year has been extremely pitiful for Massa no podiums and a season best of 5th which he’s achieved on 4 occasions, one reason for this is that whenever he’s looking fast something goes wrong, take Monaco where Hamilton ruined his race or the recent Monza where it was Webber or at Silverstone where he lost 4th at the penultimate corner to Hamilton or at Hungary where he spun off and drove the remainder with half a rear wing or Canada where he lost his front wing or Belgium where he had a puncture on his out lap or … you get the idea. This run of bad luck is pretty spectacular when you look through his whole season and see that of our so far 13 races more than 8 have been ruined by problems, and in some of those he was looking like he would get on the podium.

The Future:

Ferrari can’t stay patient with Massa for long but for next year he should be safe and if the bad luck disappears and the Ferrari is competitive he could prove that he deserves a place with the Scuderia but if he doesn’t then next year should be his last and he could be replaced with any number of drivers: Robert Kubica, who the Ferrari management will be keeping tabs on next season to see how he recovers from a major crash; Sergio Perez, who has potential piled on top of him and is set to be a big thing in the future but will probably need another season at Sauber before he can join Ferrari; or Jules Bianchi the young Ferrari reserve driver who should be able to break into F1 in the next couple of years and maybe even drivers like Jenson Button or Adrian Sutil who have been linked with the spot in the past.

If I was to make a guess I’d imagine the most likely of those is Perez as from what we’ve seen of him so far he’s looked like he could fill a Massa sized gap another reason this is likely is that Massa and Perez could swap and I think Sauber is one of the few teams who Massa would consider joining if he gets dropped.

But finally all this is doom and gloom for Massa, he’s had highs as well you know, being team mate to Schumacher and being able to keep up with him, coming so close to winning the 2008 season when he was still considered the no. 2 and for being such a good sport who’s a nice guy to talk to and willing to do things for the team few others would do, I mean, could you see either Hamilton or Button conceding a victory to their team mate, and maybe it’s that that makes his a driver who is admired by thousands.

3 winners and losers of qualifying, Singapore.

25 Sep

Winners:

Sebastian Vettel: He knew coming into the race that his best chances of winning the championship are by winning this race and therefore taking pole, and he’s done just that setting the fastest times in Q1, Q2 and Q3. His best Q2 time would still put him 6th in Q3.

Williams: Have struggled race after race and have always needed to improve and not it looks like they’ve done it qualifying 12th and 13th, which should give them a good chance of finishing the points. Last time they looked strong was at Monaco when Pastor Maldonado had 6th when Hamilton took him off.

Bruno Senna: Has out qualified his team mate 2/3 and has been unbelievably fast but Senna gets in the winners for pushing Petrov down into 18th and therefore out on Q1.

Losers

Lewis Hamilton: Not for a bad performance but for the puncturing of a set of tyres, this means he has one set of super softs less than the rest of the top 6 and so will have to have longer stints on the super softs and the softs, a strategy that will lose him time.

Vitaly Petrov: After a great start to the season – finishing 3rd at Australia – to go out in Q1 looking like he couldn’t be bothered to go out again is awful for the talented Russian.

Schumacher, Sutil and Di Resta: Ruined qualifying by not going out and setting a time in Q3 which is hated by many fans of the sport, so much so that there are campaigns to set up a rule for 2012 that says everyone who can has to set a time in Q3.