Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Sepang International Circuit, 2015

Team mate stats: Who’s ahead halfway through 2015?

2015 F1 season

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Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Half of the season is behind us and the driver market for 2016 is beginning to fall into shape.

As always the first benchmark for any drievr seeking a promotion for next season is how well they are performing compared to the only other driver who has the same equipment as them.

Who’s stolen a march on their team mates so far this season? Who is out-performing the driver in the other car but not getting the breaks when it comes to reliability? And what about that all-important fight over the championship at Mercedes?

Four key pieces of data have been used below to compare how each pair of team mates performed during 2014: who qualified ahead (ignoring penalties and sessions where either driver did not set a time), who finished the race ahead (ignoring non-classifications), how many racing laps each spent ahead of the other, and who scored the most championship points.

Toro Rosso: Max Verstappen vs Carlos Sainz Jnr

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Carlos Sainz Jnr, Toro Rosso, Hungaroring, 2015Toro Rosso’s “horrible” unreliability – to borrow a word from their team principal – is partially masking what a good job Carlos Sainz Jnr has done this year against his much-hyped young team mate. While taking nothing away from Max Verstappen, the fact of the matter is Sainz has been non-classified on four occasions this year due to technical problems, twice as often as the team’s other driver, and has lost several points finishes as a result.

The most recent example was last Sunday, when Sainz’s car expired again while Verstappen took advantage of the carnage in front of him to take fourth place.

Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo vs Daniil Kvyat

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Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Sepang International Circuit, 2015Last year Daniel Ricciardo caused a sensation by beating four-times world champion team mate Sebastian Vettel in his first year as a Red Bull driver. Now new team mate Daniil Kvyat is showing signs of doing to Ricciardo what he did to Vettel – make the most of another disappointing Red Bull-Renault.

Ricciardo hasn’t had the rub of the green at times: in Hungary he was plainly the quicker of the two but an unfortunate tangle with Nico Rosberg while disputing second place dropped him behind Kvyat at the flag.

Williams: Felipe Massa vs Valtteri Bottas

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Felipe Massa, Williams, Silverstone, 2015The Silverstone race thrust the battle between the two Williams drivers centre stage as the pair unexpectedly found themselves battling for the lead of the race. Valtteri Bottas was unimpressed at initially being told to hold station behind Felipe Massa, which he believed cost him a chance to overtake his team mate.

However the margin of superiority Bottas enjoyed at Williams was clearer last year. Massa has hit back, particularly in qualifying, although Bottas was compromised by a back problem. While Massa seized an advantage on the Saturday scoreline, so far Bottas has only narrowly out-performed him in the races. The potential future Ferrari driver would surely prefer to have a more emphatic margin of superiority over the ex-Maranello man.

McLaren: Fernando Alonso vs Jenson Button

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Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Shanghai International Circuit, 2015Don’t let the race result scoreline fool you: McLaren have only got both cars classified on two occasions this year so this is far from the disaster for Jenson Button it may seem like at first glance.

In fact the Honda-powered MP4-30’s performance has been so variable and its dependability so poor that drawing comparisons between the two world champions driving it is a bit of a fruitless exercise. Swapping drivers for next year must be low down on this team’s list of priorities, though that hasn’t dissuaded the rumour-mongers from linking Button to moves to the new Haas F1 team, the World Endurance Championship, and even the Top Gear studio.

Force India: Nico Hulkenberg vs Sergio Perez

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Last year Nico Hulkenberg had a clear edge on Sergio Perez at Force India, and in their second season as team mates the gap has widened. The Le Mans 24 Hours winner has been especially impressive in qualifying, where Perez still seems to have difficulties with tyre warm-up.

Manor: Will Stevens vs Roberto Merhi

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Roberto Merhi has been at a disadvantage compared to Will Stevens because of the difference in weight between the two. But in recent races the gap between the pair has shrunk and Merhi has increasingly been found ahead.

Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel vs Kimi Raikkonen

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Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2015While it’s true that Kimi Raikkonen has borne the brunt of Ferrari’s technical problems – never more clearly than at the last weekend in Hungary – that is not the only reason why Vettel has out-scored him by more than two to one so far this year. Qualifying remains a significant weakness for Raikkonen while Vettel appears rejuvenated following his dispiriting 2014 campaign.

Lewis Hamilton aside, Raikkonen could not have gone up against two tougher drivers in the past two seasons. Nonetheless he has clearly been found wanting, and it’s small wonder some of the other drivers who are performing better compared to their team mates are being linked with his seat.

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton vs Nico Rosberg

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg first teamed up 15 years ago when the pair were karting. Hamilton has consistently come out on top over a season, but Rosberg’s superiority in qualifying last year – which won him the inaugural FIA Pole Position Trophy – came as a surprise.

Hamilton, usually renowned as a qualifying specialist, has restored the Saturday scoreline to something more like what we would expect – much to Rosberg’s dismay. The number six driver will need to take pole position in all of the remaining races to keep Hamilton from winning the trophy this year.

But although Hamilton has almost always enjoyed the advantage of starting first, he has slipped up once or twice on race day. Even so the points difference between the pair flatters Rosberg somewhat, and is partly so close because even when he fails to beat Hamilton the worst he can expect is to finish second.

Lotus: Romain Grosjean vs Pastor Maldonado

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Red Bull Ring, 2015Pastor Maldonado has out-scored Romain Grosjean on penalties seven to three, but is lagging behind where it counts. Lotus is another team which has suffered some reliability problems, but the qualifying scoreline shows Grosjean has been decisively quicker than his team mate over a single lap.

This is all the more discouraging for Maldonado considering the fact that Grosjean is the only one of the pair who has to give up his car to Jolyon Palmer during first practice on most race weekends. The PDVSA backing Maldonado brings to Lotus is increasingly looking like the main reason he’s there.

Sauber: Marcus Ericsson vs Felipe Nasr

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Felipe Nasr, Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 2015With almost a full year of F1 under his belt Marcus Ericsson should be showing Felipe Nasr the way, even if the latter had the benefit of a handful of Williams test appearances last year. But it’s Nast who’s impressed most so far and given the team their best result of the season to date: fifth in Australia.

Both drivers have already been retained for 2016. In Ericsson’s case, it’s hard to avoid drawing the conclusion that Sauber need money at least as much as they need talent at the moment.

Over to you

Which drivers have impressed you most compared to their team mates so far this year? And how do you think the battles will unfold over the rest of the season?

Have your say in the comments. You can also find the same data for previous seasons here:

2015 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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Posted on Categories 2015 F1 season, F1 Statistics

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  • 141 comments on “Team mate stats: Who’s ahead halfway through 2015?”

    1. Anyone else feel Sainz is getting the short end of the stick in terms of strategy at Toro Rosso. Maybe they have some sort of agreement that we’re not aware of but I found it bizarre that Max got the first pits stop call in Hungary when they were both very close to each other on track.

      Obviously Max is doing extremely well considering his experience but I can’t help but feel Red Bull have already made their mind up about who is getting the eventual promotion.

      1. Paul de Vries
        31st July 2015, 12:44

        They pitted Max first because he had a quicker pace then Sainz, if you read the transcript of the GP you can read Toro Rosso gave Sainz the opportunity to overtake Massa and to stay ahead of Max. However he was unable to overtake, so they pitted Max first so that his pace wouldn’t be compromised and McLaren stayed behind them. The right team decision IMO.

        Also I don’t feel the same, both rookies get the same, and in the first part of the season Sainz had the upper hand. Max had some terrible luck with the car, with as highlight his Chinese ‘DNF’.

      2. Everybody seems to forget Max had his share of bad luck which cost him valuable points, Malaysia, China and even Monaco where Carlos basically inherited the points.
        Carlos is doing a very solid but unspectacular job while Max seems to be the more exciting prospect with more extreme highs and lows.
        One of the more interesting driver pairings and battles.

      3. In the case of Hungary, Verstappen radioed in that he was being held up a lot – something the team probably expected seeing he was somewhat out of position. Bringing a driver in to avoid the traffic is the logical step to make, and I don’t think it had anything to do with giving him a preferable strategy to Sainz.

        1. I think it was planned like that before the race. Max made it to q3. And started the race on used tires.

          1. Well he shouldn’t have dropped behind Sainz at the start.

      4. @davef1 Red Bull is indeed famous for promoting drivers with potential even if they are not the quickest yet. I do not think it was the case in Hungary though. Verstappen was faster than Sainz, who was holding the Dutchman up so the team took a pragmatic decision, which resulted in a lot of points.

      5. To me Sainz jr is this year’s ROY.

        He’s outqualifying and outracing Verstappen (in terms of finishing position, not points) and hasn’t crashed in someone back or spun out like he did in monaco and silverstone respectively.

        Sainz was running just behind Verstappen last weekend in 5th before suffering another retirement and that was after he was undercut by Verstappen (weirdly, because Sainz was in front) and had to recover from unlapping himself under the SC. Without those two things, he might have finished in fornt of Verstappen.

        1. Also, by not driving erratically Sainz finished in the points in Monaco after starting from the pitlane…just saying

          1. ___________________________________________________________
            He’s outqualifying and outracing Verstappen (in terms of finishing position, not points) and hasn’t crashed in someone back or spun out like he did in monaco and silverstone respectively.
            The statistics says something different and I would not be surprised if Verstappen pulls away in the second half.

            Average Starting Position (Including starting grid penalties!)
            Max Verstappen 10.8
            Carlos Sainz Jnr 11.3

            Position change on lap one
            Max Verstappen 0
            Carlos Sainz Jnr +0.4

            Laps Spend ahead
            Max Verstappen 62.77%
            Carlos Sainz Jnr 37.23%

        2. To the Max !
          31st July 2015, 14:08

          How can someone be better as his teammate when he hasn’t had a better race pace in any of his races except one fluke drive in Bahrain? Even Rosberg has done relative better in races to his teammate as Sainz as done, are you also going to say Rosberg is the better as Hamilton?

          Sainz got a lucky escape at the Monaco tunnel exit with only clipping Ericsson and made a spin at the Chinese GP to balance things out.

          If it wasn’t for Verstappen having a wastegate problem in qualifying Silverstone, the qualifying score now probably already would be a tie.

        3. It’s like Vincent very adequately said – Verstappen’s highs have been higher and his lows have been lower. He’s shown flashes of tremendous speed, but he has also made two rookie errors. Mind you, without that botched pit stop in Monaco he would have been comfortably ahead of Sainz and would have had a very good race result. But ifs and woulds…

          His qualifying in Malaysia, and in fact his results in general, bely the fact that he is only in his second season of car racing. While Sainz has had a slight edge in qualifying, I don’t agree Sainz is “outracing” Verstappen. They’re not that far apart – which, again given he doesn’t exactly have a lot of races in cars under his belt as compared to his team mate, is very impressive.

          In my view Verstappen has, up until now, confirmed that he’s THE one to watch out of the rookies. Whether that makes him rookie of the year is up for debate, for me it is, but if I would give one rookie a contract for multiple years to drive in my (hypothetical) team, it would be Verstappen no doubt.

        4. Sainz spun in the first or second lap of the GP of China.

        5. I also think about the puncture a gave to Bottas. A racing incident for sure, but still, he seem to like the back of the other cars.

          1. To the Max !
            31st July 2015, 21:27

            Didn’t Botas do that to himself ?

            Even Botas himself declared afterwards it was his fault. Botas took the outside line in the corner and decided all of sudden to take the inside line without checking if there was another car there.

        6. Just a silly fact: Sainz is the driver who has been overtaken the most of all drivers. How is that for Rookie of the year?

          1. He’s also the 4th driver to overtake most cars. But that’s not as sensational (!) as what you said I guess.

      6. ColdFly F1 (@)
        31st July 2015, 14:44

        Anyone else feel Sainz is getting the short end of the stick in terms of strategy at Toro Rosso.

        I don’t! And certainly not based on Hungary! @davef1
        Verstappen was called in first when Sainz was ahead; Sainz was called in first when Verstappen was ahead. Both sticks seem to have the same length.
        Verstappen overtook Sainz during the first stop NOT due to a normal undercut, but because Sainz had a slow stop (no idea why – but for sure some will now argue that the team did it on purpose). And Sianz could not do an undercut the 2nd time because he was already 8sec behind by then.

        1. To the Max !
          31st July 2015, 14:55

          With Sainz his pit stop Hungary, the team had to wait for Alonso to pass by or else it would have been an unsafe release. Alonso made his pit stop at the same time behind Sainz, but McLaren did a really fast pit stop.

          The plan of the team was to get both drivers safely ahead of Massa who got a 5 second penalty, but Sainz got unlucky with Alonso his fast pit stop and had to wait for several seconds because of that.

      7. I feel that too and by the way RBR treating Kvyat it look like they ready to get Max in 2016.
        But Jos Verstappen doesn’t entertain that idea: “It is at this stage of his career is important to gain as much experience as possible and at Toro Rosso he gets the chance to develop in the shadows.”

        1. I don’t know how they could justify that. Kvyat’s been pretty much on par with Ricciardo, even though he is new to the team and this is his second year in Formula 1. He didn’t race in Australia where Ricciardo get a substantial amount of points, and made a couple of rookie mistakes lately like the start in Austria and Hungary, along with spin in Silverstone. Otherwise, he might have been ahead of his teammate. He shows really good potential. And he’s much younger. At least doesn’t lose as many positions as his teammate at the starts despite his meager experience.

        2. @ruliemaulana The Silly Season is silly.

          VES in RBR? Errr…….I guess I’ve seen sillier predictions come true, but still.

          1. If they bring him to RBR for 2018, they might break the “youngest” records Vettel holds. Probably not the “youngest consecutive quadruple world champion” lol, but you know, the rest…

            1. Consecutive triple champion……winner of a race for an Italian team…….Youngest guy to ever have his teammate use #2 for 3 consecutive seasons…….

      8. Verstappen was called in earlier because he was on older tires.

    2. More than this i’d have to say that
      Considering Mercedes have 2 drivers in the title hunt and Ferrari only really have Vettel in the hunt.
      ^^Could be the down fall of Mercedes
      While ferrari might use team orders to benefit Vettel’s title hunt, Mercedes cannot do that.
      So i’d have to say Vettel is in a good position to challenge the Mercedes drivers for the title.
      We will get a real indication of Vettel’s true pace at the Italy-Singapore-Japan trio of races where he has had such a good record at in the past!!
      so watch out for Vettel!!

      1. “drivers for the title.
        We will get a real indication of Vettel’s true pace at the Italy-Singapore-Japan trio of races where he has had such a good record at in the past!!”….

        What has been doing all this time, holding back?

        He had a good record there in a Redbull, the Ferrari has not feared so well there in a very long time.

        Given how reliable the Mercedes has been so far this season, do you honestly see Seb winning 6 races with Lewis behind him?

        Btw….. Mercedes has yet to use any of their tokens, they’re only on their 2nd power unit compared to Ferrari’s 3, so I think it’s still advantage Mercedes and their drivers.

        1. It will be interesting to see how he fares at Italy-Singapore-Japan trio since like you said they don’t really suit Ferrari, but definitely suit at least 2 other teams better. If he can finish on podium at any of those, that’s good for him I say!

      2. Mercedes cannot do that.

        Well that’s not really true, they can and they will if they thought that Ferrari had a chance at the driver championship. Mercedes have already said they will make tough decisions during races if they need to. As it stand at the moment though, they can continue to let their drivers race but i’d be under no illusions if the drivers championship was to be Hamilton leading with Vet in 2nd and ROS 20 points behind in the closing races then Mercedes would be doing everything they needed to do in order to ensure their driver won the championship, even if that meant sacrificing one of their drivers, whoever that may be.

        Unless Mercedes start to have some real bad unreliability problems or if they cant fix their poor starts soon they don’t really have to worry to much about Ferrari or VET, Mercedes is still a quicker car, even when it looked like on the surface Ferrari had the pace last weekend, they didn’t really, they had the pace over ROS but were still slower than HAM.

        However, If Ferrari continue to improve at the rate they did in the off season then 2016 could be more hopeful for them & Vettel, all depending of course who is going to team up with him.

        1. “they can continue to let their drivers race”

          I’d hardly call it racing when they have the same strategist.

          1. +1 It would make a HUGE difference if they had their own strategists.

      3. @sameercader I think Mercedes will be all to quick to get Rosberg out of the way if they feel even the slightest of danger for the title, they felt the need to do so in Hungary last year for a race win so surely for the title too.

        1. They will absolutely not hesitate.

          1. I do not understand why anyone would think they care less about the drivers championship, only inasmuch as it might affect the Constructor points. All teams want the Constructors points – the drivers points have become incidental since the mid fifties.. They pay drivers the huge amounts to a) bring value to the brand and b) to bring points for the manufacturers..

      4. I’m sure they will ask Rosberg to move over.
        But Vettel still needs to finish at least in between Mercedes drivers often to have a shot at title.
        His car is nowhere near though. Very much impossible.

      5. Italy-Singapore-Japan

        As much as I like Vettel, this is probably due to RB outdeveloping the other teams during the summer.

        1. Imo, more than the overdeveloping, they generally suited Red Bull better anyway. But, I don’t think it was all Red Bull. Looking at the races so far, he fared similarly and expected in tracks and in wet conditions with Ferrari as he did with Red Bull. Half of those Asian tracks he excelled at are out of calendar. But I guess we’ll see how much of it was down to him in Italy-Singapore-Japan. Only problem might be that they are really really not that good tracks for Ferrari. Italy and Japan, Williams will be faster, same in Singapore with Red Bull. I think he did an admirable job in Monaco and Silverstone against Red Bull, and in Austria against Williams. It will only get harder though. If he can get any podium at all, job well done!

      6. Many a people thought Vettel’s first lap performances were the direct result of RBR technology. We’ll have to agree to disagree now.

    3. Great graphs and stats @keithcollantine . Really puts the inter team battles into perspective.

      Interesting to see how close it is between Massa & Bottas ,and Ricciardo & Kvyat this season. Also puts in to perspective how Romain has been owning Pastor despite having given up his FP1 seat on many a occassion.

      1. @todfod, Also Hulkenberg vs Perez. Although it’s not really reflected in the points .. Hulks stats are impressive.

    4. Hulk’s graphs always look the same, give the man a top drive already.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        31st July 2015, 13:48

        hear hear

      2. Had Hulkenberg not been German, I think a Ferrari seat would have been more likely next year (as redicoulas as it may sound)

        1. The thing is, we know that Ferrari have approached Hulkenberg in the past – Hulkenberg himself stated that he was in talks with Ferrari up until the Hungarian GP in 2013, when they started talking to Kimi instead.

          All in all, there does seem to be an odd and persistent mismatch between the wider public perception of Hulkenberg, which is generally very positive, and the reception amongst the team bosses, which appears to be somewhat cooler.
          Ferrari appear to have had access to at least some data from Sauber about Hulkenberg’s performance, so we can assume that there was at least some level of subjectiveness in their analysis; similarly, it seems that, when he tried to approach McLaren recently, they rejected his offers and made comments suggesting that they thought that he didn’t live up to his reputation.

          1. I get the same impression. Why is that I don’t know. There is something we don’t know/realize I guess? Or not…. who knows.

          2. I don’t think it’s the teams being subjective as they have access to reams of data out of the public domain. If anything, it’s the fan’s perspective that is subjective but anyhow, it’s an enduring mystery which may one day be solved!

          3. I think top teams looking for a top driver do not see Hulkenberg as the solution because of his weight.
            For example if you are Mclaren and are thinking who is gonna be the next Hamilton and Alonso in your team and Hulkenberg is put on your table you start thinking that even if the guy is a top talent and drives as good as those drivers he will still be heavier and therefore losing a tenth or two in comparison.
            Therefore he may fit to replace Jenson but not Hamilton or Alonso.

      3. He has one top drive with Porsche, the series is called WEC… and I think that is why Ferrari overlooks him.

      4. Compare it to Bottas’ stats and it’s clear who Ferrari should hire next year.

    5. I hope that Renault are going to buy Lotus and get along without PDVSA’s money as Maldonado’s collisions and penalties stopped being funny a long time ago. This might be a good opportunity for Hulkenberg.

      I also hope that McLaren keeps both drivers for 2016 as I would love to see a proper battle between them.

      Last but not least, I hope that Vettel gets a new team mate next year.

      1. Dear Girts @girts
        I respect your opinion on Vettel getting a new teammate
        But in my opinion i think that Kimi deserves to stay with Ferrari for at least 1 more year.

        But if Seb does get a new team mate, I do really hope that it will be Daniel Ricciardo because he is the only driver of all the names linked to the seat that will have a slightest chance of betaing Vettel.

        But i do hope that VALTTERI BOTTAS is NOT chosen as Vettel’s teammate because he is simply USELESS!!!

        1. If Bottas is useless, then you need a new adjective to describe the majority of Kimi’s performances since the start of 2014.

        2. Bottas is not much better than Raikkonen probably. But, Hulkenberg would be a very good choice for that seat. Don’t know which German would come out on top. Actually all 3 Germans are very close imo. Rosberg is more than likely psychologically defeated and doesn’t realize how close he’s actually to Hamilton.

          1. Perhaps the deciding factor is money. Raikkonen is expensive. If he came at Bottas’s salary level, it would be a no brainer to keep Kimi. What else does Kimi bring? Nostalgia and a strong fan base certainly, but is that enough to justify his seat when a “younger” charger might do better at a fraction of the cost?
            I know what the fans would say, but a hard headed business man would probably reach a quite different solution..

            1. Bottas needs payment to be released from his contract. I’m not sure if he’s really cheaper either. It’s debatable whether Bottas would be doing a fraction better than Raikkonen though.

            2. From what you hear from team engineers, Kimi’s quite good at developing a car which is pretty crucial for Ferrari right now. Also, he doesn’t seem to create conflicts within the team with inter-team politics. I don’t know if that’s enough to cover for his lackluster performance on track though.

    6. @keithcollantine

      the fact of the matter is Sainz has been non-classified on four occasions this year due to technical problems, twice as often as the team’s other driver

      Why use non-classifications? This means that China is not counted as a retirement due to technical problems for Verstappen, which it actually was. And it also means that Sainz gets a nod for finishing ahead of Verstappen in the finished ahead statistic, which isn’t really fair for Verstappens outstanding race there.

      I’ve been particularly impressed with Verstappen. He is vastly less experienced in car racing than Sainz, but I think he has far more potential and, a few rookie errors aside, I think the potential has shined through on a number of occasions.

      1. The Laps spent ahead vs. Finished ahead is particularly skewed in their case.

        1. @mattds, @meander So is their points graph, 12 point for his finish in Hungary make up all the difference.

    7. Do these people actually do their research? Both Max and Carlos have 4 DNF’s to their name. In fact, Max didn’t finish 5 races, but in China he completed enough of the race distance in order to be classified. But sure, Max did fall into some luck, last race. But then again, halfway in Australia his engine blew while running in 6th.

      But certainly the data on that comparison is quite incorrect. Didn’t even bother with the rest after that.

      1. Both Max and Carlos have 4 DNF’s to their name. In fact, Max didn’t finish 5 races, but in China he completed enough of the race distance in order to be classified.

        As paragraph four makes clear, the data is based on classified results. If you prefer to use a different definition, that’s fine, but it doesn’t make any of the above “incorrect”.

        1. Yeah lets stick to the statics….What really counts in the end are championship points.
          Max 22 Carlos 9. :-)

        2. Walter van den Houten
          5th August 2015, 16:13

          “the fact of the matter is Sainz has been non-classified on four occasions this year due to technical problems, twice as often as the team’s other driver,”

          Keith, since when is 4 vs 4 twice as often?

          1. I don’t know how to make this clearer than I already have. Verstappen has had four non-classifications this year, two due to driver error (Monaco and Britain) and two due to car failure (Australia and China).

    8. Excellent article.

      I had thought that the fight between Hamilton & Rosberg was closer because of the closeness of the points. Monaco really distorted the picture there – because Hamilton owned most of the race, until he threw it away!

      Ricciardo and Kvyat are also fascinating… Ricciardo is just so exciting to watch, making overtaking moves stick where they would normally not (e.g on Raikkonen at Monaco, and loads of people at Hungary). Kvyat is less spectacular, but certainly gets the job done.

      1. I remember people at first getting excited over Hamilton’s overtakes. Then getting fed up because of his “I’m faster, move over” attitude. Then he started getting penalties.

      2. Ricciardo is just so exciting to watch, making overtaking moves stick where they would normally not (e.g on Raikkonen at Monaco ..)

        Yeah, normally that WOULD be a penalty. He’s been getting away with some reckless moves for awhile now. If it’s Hamiltons race he ruins next time I suspect people will stop approving of his kamikaze style.

      3. Yeah, he made 2 Lotus drivers and 2 McLaren drivers crash into each others in Silverstone. His starts are nothing less than horrible. It would be better for him and everyone if he started all the races from the end of the grid lol.
        Maybe we’ll see a new Dan in Spa. One can only hope.

        1. I agree. What’s the point of qualifying ahead of your team mate if you lose 5 places on every start.

          1. If Kvyat was a bit more experienced he would have finished Austria ahead of Ricciardo, Silverstone near podium, and he would’ve been already ahead of Ricciardo in standings. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. But the point is Kvyat’s form has been better overall. He already has a better finishing position wrt his teammate. And all that after the subpar opening to the season.

    9. What I would love to know is whether the Button from 2010-2012 was quicker or slower than now. That would give a good representation of Hamilton vs. Alonso

      1. Why isnt the time they spent as team-mates a good representation of Hamilton vs Alonso?

        1. I should have specified. 2007 showed that they are fairly evenly matched, but many claim there were many factors affecting each’s performance i.e. Rookie year, Bridgestone tyres, Ron Dennis etc.

      2. That would give a good representation of Hamilton vs. Alonso

        Of course it wouldn’t, you want to analyse Hamilton Vs. Alonso, then look at 2007 data as that’s the only way you can do it.

    10. Maybe I’m being pedant, but you shouldn’t present these percentages with two decimal places of precision, particularly on small sample sizes such as in the “Finished ahead” category. That doesn’t make any sense (and looks kinda ridiculous). Better to at least round them to the nearest integer.

      1. Thank you for such a usefull comment!

    11. The true big 3 in F1 today: Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel

      They are beating their teammates, who aren’t exactly amateurs themselves, very soundly. It’s a shame that Alonso is not in Rosberg’s car if you ask me.

      1. + the biggest number you can imagine

      2. he should be in Hamilton’s car.

        1. Why? Hamilton vs. Alonso would make for a great season.

      3. Alonso is admirably good with hard to handle cars. But I think he’s missing a tenth or so in qualifying. In a really fast front runner car, qualifying better might be more important than most of things actually. Especially with the current aero design. I don’t think Hamilton lacks in race pace either. So it might not be as close as one might think. Rosberg is actually a very good qualifier. I believe he’s lacking confidence though. And not consistent enough to mount the challenge as a result. In the end, Hamilton vs Vettel might be a hell of a lot more closer than a repeat of Alonso vs Hamilton. But no one really know just how good Vettel is. It looks like if Raikkonen were to be the same guy for the last 2 years, there is little to choose between Vettel and Alonso. But who knows…

    12. Max also hasn’t finished 4 races due to technical issues (so no that doesn’t include Monaco), not just 2 which the author seems to think.

    13. Biggest surprise for me is Grosjean soundly outperforming Maldonado again this year, I had considered them to be fairly even on pace. If Renault do end up buying Lotus out, then it would be fitting for Romain to stay on and lead the team.

      1. Especially when you consider Grosjean has missed several FP1s due to test(pay)drivers taking his car, it’s remarkable how many times he has beaten Maldonado in qualifying!

      2. I disagree. Grosjean is only ahead in the driver standings because Pastor lost points due the poor reability of Lotus:

        -Australian Grand Prix: Nasr wrecked him while touching wheels with Raikkonen. A 5th place finish was possible.
        -Bahrain Grand Prix: Mechanical problems in qualify and in the race. A 8th place finish was possible.
        -Spanish Grand Prix: Broken rear wing due DRS problem. A 7th place finish was possible.
        -Monaco Grand Prix: Brake problems. A 7th place finish was possible.
        -British Grand Prix: Got involved in a multiple car crash. Not his fault. A 10th place was possible.

        So, Pastor lost, at least, 27 points due misfortunes. More than enough to be ahead of his team mate. He only lost points due his fault in Chinese Grand Prix and in Hungarian Grand Prix.

        He really needs to improve his qualify pace, but he doesn’t deserve to be fired.

        1. You conveniently neglect to mention the points Grosjean lost due to reliability.
          Not to mention, how can you count first lap DNFs as “xth place was possible”?

    14. The best driver to convert qualifying to score percentage: Max Verstappen
      The worst driver to convert qualifying to score percentage: Lewis Hamilton

        1. Exactly. 90% ahead in qualifying but only collected 53% team point share.
          Far worse than his performance in 2014.

          1. He always has a head start but falls behind. Sounds like a slacker. LOL

          2. I’ll say this in the nicest way possible, you don’t seem to understand what you’re talking about.

            With your statistic, the percentage can be ‘doped’ by being outqualified.

            Lewis 2015: Finished ahead: 70% Qualified Ahead: 90%

            Lewis 2014 (First 10 races): Finished ahead: 50% Qualified Ahead: 40%

            Lewis 2014 (full season): Finished ahead: 63.16% Qualified Ahead: 36.84%

            You can take a theoretical example where Team A is dominant. Driver A gets all the pole positions and all the wins. Driver B qualifies and finishes every race in second. Driver A would have qualified ahead 100% of the time but would only be collecting 58% of the team’s points. Driver B would be doing much better having converted 0% of qualifying ahead into 42% of the points.

            In a regular Mercedes race at worse, they will finish on the podium. So 25-15, 25-18, 18-15 means you are only scoring 62.5% of the team’s points at best despite how much you beat your team mate. Lower down the grid, you can score twice, three times as many points with a good result. Fun fact, Hungary 2015 is the first time Lewis scored twice as many points as Nico in 2014 and 2015 combined i.e. at the front of the grid, it doesn’t usually happen. Fernando Alonso went from having 25% of Jenson’s total points to 220% over the Hungary weekend!

            If you think Lewis 2015 (9 poles, 5 wins) is performing worse than Lewis 2014 (7 poles, 11 wins) or Lewis mid-2014 (4 pole, 5 wins) then the problem most likely lies between you are your calculator.

            1. *you and your calculator.

            2. Not really. His average finishing position is also worse than last year.

            3. Use your own data and I’m sure that your calculator will say this year Lewis qualification to point conversion ratio is worse than last year.

          3. So there are 4 occasions where Hamilton got pole but didn’t win, but it’s not really as bad as it sounds.

            Malaysia and Monaco (both due to poor strategy calls under the safety car) were largely the team’s fault (he had a role at Monaco though). Austria and Hungary were mostly his fault, but a lot of that was down to the start, which could potentially be the teams fault, since most of the start comes down to how well the engineers calibrate the clutch. I remember when Hamilton was interviewed about his fantastic start in Abu Dhabi 2014, he said that very little of the start is down to the driver, it’s mostly down to the engineer responding to the data from practice starts (plus the driver’s feedback), with most of the driver’s role coming from the second phase of the start.

            So his failure to convert 4 of his poles into victories isn’t really down to his driving, it’s more due to poor strategy calls and bad starts. With those new start rule changes for Belgium I imagine we’ll be many more cases of the polesitter failing to win due to a poor start in the future…

            1. Excuses excuses…

    15. ColdFly F1 (@)
      31st July 2015, 14:55

      reading through all the data I feel that laps lead is the most telling of the 4 measures.
      The ranking would be:
      (79%) Alonso > Button
      (75%) Grosjean > Maldonado
      (72%) Vettel > Raikkonen
      (66%) Stevens > Merhi
      (65%) Hamilton > Rosberg
      (65%) Hulkenberg > Perez
      (64%) Nasr >Ericcson
      (63%) Verstappen > Sainz
      (62%) Ricciardo > Kvyat
      (57%) Bottas > Massa
      Feels mostly right.
      I’m just a bit surprised about the Alonso/Button comparison, but maybe due to small ‘sample size’.

      1. I think it is the most useless stat for the smaller teams, as more often than not, they choose to use different strategies in order to get 1 right and get some points.

        This stat makes more sense in teams that the drivers usually follow the same strategy, tyre-wise.

        1. Even Ferrari had like only 3 races up until now where they used the same strategy for Vettel and Raikkonen. I don’t think it made a huge difference in the end, especially since Raikkonen qualifies so far behind, but there was an obvious difference in Bahrain for example and I don’t think that was just because Vettel was having a bad day. It makes a huge difference when you don’t get stuck behind someone and run your own race.

      2. All depends on how you look at it.
        I’ll give you 2 set of drivers’ some basic stats for 2014, and stats for one of those pairs in 2015. Make your own conclusions.

        Dan vs Seb in 2014:
        Laps spent ahead: 52% Ricciardo>Vettel
        Laps completed: Vettel: 970, Ricciardo: 1095 (Vettel completed 88% of Ric’s laps)
        Average finishing position: Vettel: 5.1, Ricciardo: 3.7
        Points scored: Vettel: 167, Ricciardo: 238 (58% Ricciardo>Vettel)
        Quali: Ricc 12 > Vet 7, difference: 0.077s
        Avg quali position: Ric 5, Vet 7.

        Bottas vs Massa in 2014:
        Laps spent ahead: 52% Massa>Bottas
        Laps completed: Massa: 954, Bottas: 1110 (Massa completed 86% of Valtteri’s laps)
        Average finishing position: Massa: 7.1, Bottas: 5.6
        Points scored: Bottas: 186, Massa: 134 (58% Bottas>Massa)
        Quali: Bottas 13 > Massa 6, difference: 0.401s
        Avg quali position: Bottas 6, Massa 7.7.

        Bottas vs Massa in 2015:
        Laps spent ahead: 57% Bottas>Massa
        Average finishing position: Massa: 7.1, Bottas: 6.6
        Points scored: Bottas: 77, Massa: 74 (51% Bottas>Massa)
        Quali: Massa 6 > Bottas 4, difference: 0.086s
        Avg quali position: Bottas 6.6, Massa 7.5.

      3. @coldfly Indeed, that’s a nice indicator. I’d say for Alonso and Button that it would probably be in the top three but the sample is so small that we can’t accurately judge.

    16. Kvyat, Sainz and Vettel really surprised me this year. Kvyat and Sainz because they are performing so well against their teammates. Vettel, because all the troubles he had with the tires last year seem to be gone and, with the exception of Bahrain, it has been a flawless season for him with some really impressive performances.

      1. It’s probably a bit due to the tyres being gone too LOL
        Remember when Raikkonen and Vettel was so good with previous Pirelli tyres compared to the rest. They were like the two tyre whisperers. Then tyres changed and they both plummeted and couldn’t get a handle of it. If they are not both underperforming at the moment, latest changes to tyres might have had a positive affect too. Or they got a handle of their problems.

    17. One thing we rarely discuss is the opening lap performances from drivers. For example, Ricciardo drops like a stone. Even if he qualifies ahead of his teammate, by the end of first lap you can find him behind Kvyat. Like what happened in Hungary. Same with Verstappen there. Then they often imply to their team to call up their teammates to let them through. That doesn’t sound nice.
      It might be interesting to see what will happen at starts from onwards Spa, even though I don’t expect new start procedures to really give the better starters any advantage. I think it will be rather “random”.

      1. To the Max !
        31st July 2015, 17:17

        In Silverstone both Toro Rosso drivers had a new clutch installed for the race with no starting profile, and with Verstappen being on the prime tyres made him doing an even worse start as his teammate.

        At Hungary Verstappen choose the conservative inside in turn 1 (which keeps you out of trouble) making him getting boxed in and losing 2 places to Alonso and Sainz after being blasted by two Force India’s who have a really good start system. Verstappen being conservative this time had to do with his previous race and him knowing he could score some decent points in Hungary but in the next 2 races probably not any more.

        All in all the starts of Verstappen have been solid but not spectacular…most of the time it was nothing more of him trying to stay out of trouble, at which he did a very good job (no damage to his car after any start).

        His position change stats on lap one are on average 0.

    18. Very nice piece of information, as usual!
      I’m somewhat less happy with some of the analyses, because that’s where driver preferences tend to come into play. But still, I’d say I agree with more than 90% of what Keith said.

      I’m not completely d’accord with the analysis of the Williams team battle:

      Massa has hit back, particularly in qualifying, although Bottas was compromised by a back problem. While Massa seized an advantage on the Saturday scoreline, so far Bottas has only narrowly out-performed him in the races.

      All of this is true, but also a bit misleading. While Bottas did miss the Australian GP and (arguably) also lost the qualifying due to his back pain, this injury is not the only circumstance that has distorted the competition. Unlike Bottas, Massa was also massively affected by technical issues in two of the races, viz. in Bahrain (where a sensor problem forced Massa to start from the pits, finishing 10th, while Bottas was able to snatch 4th from Vettel) and in Canada (where he was eliminated in Q1 due to a turbocharger problem and finished 3 places behind Bottas despite being massively faster in the second half of the race).
      Currently, Bottas is leading 77-74 on points. He lost 12 points to Massa in Australia, but Massa also lost 11 points in Bahrain and 7 points in Canada through no fault of his own. So, if we’re taking bad luck into account, the standings might just as well be reversed.
      The same goes for the “Laps spent ahead” statistic: Currently, Bottas is leading 326-247. This lead is somewhat less impressive when you take into consideration that the pit lane start in Bahrain and the blameless Q1 elimination in Canada meant that Massa was trailing behind his team mate during 57 and 70 laps respectively, without really driving in the same race. Bottas’s injury, however, has had no impact on the data, as he didn’t complete a single lap in Australia. Taking bad luck into account would also turn this statistic around; Massa would be leading by the best part of a race distance if we only counted the races in which both drivers didn’t have any major issues in qualifying or race.

      My other disagreement is with the assessment of the Mercedes team battle:

      Even so the points difference between the pair flatters Rosberg somewhat, and is partly so close because even when he fails to beat Hamilton the worst he can expect is to finish second.

      I don’t think there’s a lot of truth about that. I know you have a rather radical approach to points systems and would maybe even prefer a Bernie-style medal system where a single race win would outweigh any given amount of second places. I couldn’t agree less in this point, and would even say that the current points system is over-compensating first place, and that I preferred the pre-2010 system in that regard.
      But leaving that aside, even with a hypothetical 25-15-points system, Lewis’s lead wouldn’t be significantly larger. He’d be 30 points ahead instead of 21, which wouldn’t mean much.
      I could even say, heretically, that the opposite is true: The current points standing is flattering for Hamilton, because, at the end of the day, he had an extremely lucky race in Hungary. Even though he single-handedly and thoroughly screwed up his race by making another bad start, running off the track, causing a collision and getting punished for it, he still finished ahead of Rosberg, who was on his way to an unthreatened podium finish when a single small race incident in the wrong place cost him dearly. Even if Ricciardo hat overtaken him cleanly, Rosberg would’ve gathered 15 points and Lewis just 6 – Lewis’s lead would’ve been down to just 8 points.
      That’s the other side of the story.

      1. ” Even if Ricciardo hat overtaken him cleanly, Rosberg would’ve gathered 15 points and Lewis just 6 – Lewis’s lead would’ve been down to just 8 points.
        That’s the other side of the story.”

        No, that’s a different story. Which didn’t happen.

      2. I agree with you @nase
        Very good points raised. Though I like the current points system. Makes the championship more exciting, but definitely doesn’t reflect the relative performances of drivers.
        Especially good points about Williams drivers.

    19. For me Bottas’ head-to-head with Massa is just not impressive enough to suggest he could consistently rival Vettel in a Ferrari. That is not to say he does not have the potential, but equally, he is only in his third season in F1. Also, we must remember the man we are referencing him against scored less than half the points of Fernando Alonso during their four year partnership.

      Of the three potential heirs to Kimi’s seat there is no question in my mind that Bottas poses the most insignificant threat to Vettel’s supremacy – and since Ferrari are set to structure future campaigns around Vettel, there are not only incentives for Vettel to ensure his teammate tends to gravitate behind him. For me, Hulkenberg looks to have all of the speed, intelligence and experience to achieve a 2014 vintage Ricciardo-esque performance against Vettel; he looks to my eye to increasingly be among the most complete and rounded drivers on the grid. Oddly, I would rate the chances of Ricciardo doing another “Ricciardo” as unlikely – the raw excellence of Ricciardo’s performances aside, it should be clear to all but the delusional that his performances in 2015 have confirmed that we were looking at a highly sub-operational Vettel in 2014.

      With Hulkenberg’s quiet notoriety and Ricciardo’s “history” with Vettel, it is clear to me that Bottas represents the best option for a Scuderia keen to rebuild momentum (and team harmony is therein an essential ingredient). However I can say with equal clarity that Valtteri must improve before he can harbour any notion of beating the quadruple champion in his new home.

      1. the raw excellence of Ricciardo’s performances aside, it should be clear to all but the delusional that his performances in 2015 have confirmed that we were looking at a highly sub-operational Vettel in 2014.

        A multitude of car problems does tend to make any driver look a bit “sub-operational”. Let’s take just two back to back races from 2014, Spain and Monaco. If not for his sub-operational car Vettel would almost certainly have finished on the podium in both those races while pushing Ricciardo off it. That on its own would dramatically affect their comparative stats for the season: for instance they’d have ended with six podiums apiece instead of RIC “comprehensively” beating VET 8 to 4. And those two races reflect only a small part of Seb’s misfortune and Dan’s good fortune in 2014.

        1. His car was definitely sub operational. But I think he was a bit sub operational as a result too. God, I cannot imagine how disappointing all that must have been right after 2013!

          1. Looking at Vettel now it feels like 2013 part II, even though he isn’t winning the races. Unbelievably consistent for one.

        2. I am sorry, but with reference to the head-to-head data from last year, you cannot convincingly assign all of Vettel’s issues to reliability issues. In the races where both cars finished, Ricciardo was ahead 78% of the time. Furthermore, Ricciardo outqualified Vettel 11-8 (before penalties are applied). It is also not true to say extenuating circumstances only hindered Vettel: Ricciardo lost a P2 in Melbourne to disqualification, a likely P4 in Malaysia to a wing failure and a likely P5 in Brazil to a suspension failure.

          Once the reliability margin of error is removed, the head-to-head stats do become more palatable for Vettel, but not nearly enough to account for the full extent of his general pace and confidence deficit to Daniel.

          1. I agree with that. He wasn’t even self-consistent, never mind in comparison to Ricciardo. He was clearly underperforming.

          2. I think people underestimate the mental side of the sport. I don’t think Vettel’s head was in the right place last year and I think he was demotivated.

            A combination of burn out after fighting for the title for the last 4 years (or even 5 if you include 2009), a less competitive car, which he knew would be the case before the start of the season due to both Renault and Red Bull being late with their preparations, and a disillusionment with the direction both the sport and cars were taking with the new formula.

            I think he fell out of love with the sport for a while, you can also throw in the reliability problems (it was not just DNFs in races it was all the lost mileage and experience of the tyres from lost time in practice sessions as well), off track distractions such as Schumacher’s accident, becoming a father for the first time and later making a decision to leave for Ferrari.

            I think he went through a period of self examination as to why he was doing this and decided he still wanted to drive in F1, the new challenge at Ferrari has also re-motivated him and he is now enjoying his driving again which is reflected this season in a return to the consistently high level of performances that he has delivered in the past.

          3. In the races where both cars finished, Ricciardo was ahead 78% of the time.

            If you’re dishonest enough to argue that “both cars finished the race” means neither car had any issues in that race, then this is going to be an unproductive discussion. Both RB’s finished the race in Spain 2014, but it would take a stunningly biased person to claim this as a data point in Ricciardo’s favor.

            The same is true for “Ricciardo outqualified Vettel 11-8”. This includes several races where Vettels qualifying runs were badly compromised by PU or transmission failures – the Australian GP for instance.

            It is also not true to say extenuating circumstances only hindered Vettel:

            While I admire your impressive skill at attacking strawmen, I never said that “circumstances only hindered Vettel”. I pointed out the mathematically indisputable fact that he had significantly more problems than his teammate, and that the “statistics” which are regularly invoked to justify the “Ricciardo trounced Vettel in 2014” meme, such as the aforementioned 11-7 edge in qualifying, cannot withstand any serious scrutiny.

            1. There’s like 0 time difference between them in quali. Even if everything is OK and Ricciardo outqualified Vettel, it’s hardly big deal. If you did the sessions again everything would be up for grabs there. It might have even ended up 18-0 but with a minimal time difference.

          4. Wasn’t it 12-7 to Ricciardo in qualifying before penalties? I keep seeing 11-8 thrown around, I don’t know where those figures come from.

            1. Yeah, very important. Big difference.

      2. I definitely agree with you. I was going to say the same thing about Hulkenberg and Ricciardo, up until I read the part “Hulkenberg looks to have all of the speed, intelligence and experience to achieve a 2014 vintage Ricciardo-esque performance against Vettel. .. Oddly, I would rate the chances of Ricciardo doing another “Ricciardo” as unlikely.” Imo, you summed up the situation very nicely!

      3. According to Alonso, 2012 was his best season, but in the later part of 2012, Massa was generally slightly faster than him.
        So, for me, how good Felipe is now is a difficult question to answer. Also, I certainly believe Valtteri has more or less improved this year.

      4. @countrygent Had a laugh when I read this:

        only in his third season in F1

        Most drivers don’t improve much (or at all) after their thrid season in F1. The only ‘special’ year is the rookie one. After two year in F1, there are no excuses anymore. Heck, Toro Roso throws their drivers away before their third year most of the time.

        1. Don’t think that’s true! At least for some drivers. We’ve been watching clearly mature some drivers over the years. Vettel from 2009-2010 is nothing like 2013 or 2015. Even this year he seems better than the 2013 version who was miles ahead of 2011 version. This Vettel would have been a 5XWDC from 2009 to 2013. He’s one of the least accident prone drivers, despite being a rather aggressive driver and has good race craft. That’s not the Vettel from 2009-2010. And by 2010 he’s been there for 3 years already.
          Do you want me to do the same for Hamilton?

    20. Everyone has been criticizing Raikkonen and saying he didn’t fare better against Alonso than Massa did, but I believe that’s not true. I think last year’s results indicates they were as close as Massa and Alonso ever got closest to each other. That surprised me actually. As I thought Raikkonen and Massa would have fared similar against Alonso as they seemed close enough.

      1. I think he did far worse than Massa, but a first year is often though, so can we really compare?

        1. Have you ever looked at their respective average finish position? They did very similarly. If they weren’t so similar I wouldn’t be trusting the result anyway. But it’s eerily similar. And it was the same for 2010,2013,2014. Massa vs Alonso first year, last year, and Rai vs Alo.

          1. Michael Schmiglow
            5th August 2015, 14:06

            Actually I don’t think so, by the half of 2010 season Massa was in front of Alonso in the standings. I think that after Hockeinheim 2010 Massa just couldn’t get back to his line mentally, and then Ferrari giving all the attention to Alonso was the ultimate to Massa be struggling that bad. Even so, he outqualified Alonso a lot of times, but in the races he just wasn’t there, and with the team radio calls, that became even worse. I think it’s also fair to say that Massa is in the top 5 for the most unlucky driver in F1 history, starting from 2008 season, with his engine blowing up with 3 laps to go in Hungary after dominating the race, then Singapore, with that disaster on the pit stop while Piquet Jr. crashed to help Alonso win that race, and then losing the championship in the last corner of the last race to Hamilton after dominating the weekend. After that, his accident in Hungary 2009, bizarre to say the least. Not many people remember that on the refueling era, Massa was one of the fastest men in F1, and that was sprint race all the time, not caring much about the tyres and everything, I think that this is also where Felipe struggled in the last years, with this tyre consumption thing. I honestly think that Felipe is the most underrated driver in F1, and all of that is due to the fact that he doesn’t have a champion star on his helmet, but honestly, not many people have the same numbers in F1 with a non-dominant car as Felipe has.

    21. I have to disagree about Maldonado. He lost a lot of points due mechanical problems and misfortunes (like in Australia, Spain, Monaco and Britain) and this is the only reason which he is behind his team mate in the driver standings.

      True Grosjean is faster in a single lap, but Pastor showed to be better in race pace. He deserves a place in F1.

    22. I’m not glad to Kimi’s performance, otherwise I support him. These results are very weak beacuse of mistake of Kimi and other conditions as well.

    23. I thought I should post this:


      Not particularly surprising, Hamilton is on top, then Vettel, then Alonso. Though it’s from June 1st, I wonder if recent races would have changed something.

    24. Hamilton has wiped the floor with Nico and Mercedes had to give him Monaco and screw Hamilton over in Malaysia for the title race to be even close.

    25. Qvalif Alonso- Button 50%? I think 5-3 for Alo?

    26. There’s been some talk of how this was one of the most dominant qualifyings of recent times. So I put together a list of quali sessions since 2007 where the pole sitter qualified at least 0.4 sec ahead of the second who may or may not have been his teammate. All sorts of conditions (wet, mixed) are included.
      Hamilton: 0.667 Abu’09, 0.612 Can’08, 0.595 China’14, 0.594 Australia’15, 0.578 Spain’12 (disqualified), 0.575 Hun’12, 0.456 Can’07, 0.452 BGP’13, 0.442 Sin’12, 0.413 Hun’12
      Rosberg: 0.620 BGP’14, 0.505 China’12, 0.486 Hun’14, 0.406 Abu’14
      Vettel: 0.913 Malaysia’13, 0.778 Australia’11, 0.752 India’13, 0.715 China’11, 0.623 Brazil’13, 0.450 Ita’11, 0.432 Belgium’11, 0.420 Australia’13, 0.411 Hun’10, 0.405 Turkey’11
      Webber: 1.346 Malaysia’10
      Hulkenberg: 1.049 Brazil’10
      Massa: 0.664 Sin’08, 0.482 Malaysia’08
      Alonso: 0.405 Ger’12
      Raikkonen: 0.421 Australia’07

    27. Interesting statistical figures but they cam be misleading, particularly the “laps led” as this can be affected by differences in strategy. With Mercedes, the car is clearly the most dominant of rest of the field since McLaren in 1988 and 1989 but in today’s driver pairing, Hamilton seems to have the psychological edge over Rosberg. IMO Rosberg simply does not have a winner’s cutting edge despite some good performances. He has the mind of an also ran. I think Hamilton would have had it considerably tougher had it been either Alonso or Vettel in that car.
      I also feel that a car design and set-up matching its driver’s style has a lot to do with the result. The 1990 Ferrari for example suited Prost more than it did Mansell and hence the vast difference in results. Likewise, the 2011 McLaren appeared to suit Button more than it did Hamilton. The 2014 Red Bull story is somewhat different – IMO Vettel tried to drive the car in the same way he had done in the past 4 years and simply did not adapt his technique to suit the new changes while Ricciardo, new to the tem and in a sense starting from scratch, was able to adapt much better.

      Raikkonen seems more sensitive than most other top drivers to changes in car configuration. It has happened to him before; From a near championship winning performance in 2005 to a very mediocre result in 2006 and an actual championship outcome in 2007 to losing out to his teammate in 2008. The present Ferrari set-up simply does not seem to be suiting his driving style and in F1 tiny differences can greatly affect results as we all know.

      I had the feeling from the start that Ferrari will suit Vettel, both in the way they set-up cars and the way the team functions. He may not win the F1 title this year but I think he will be a real contender from next year onwards. Ferrari have always been at their best when they have a potential winner on their hands and I think the combo will work again.

    28. Your Toro Rosso conclusion is patently untrue. Verstappen retired from big points in Australia, China and Monaco. Sainz only retired from points in Hungary. Leaving aside that Sainz has definitely outqualified Verstappen, Verstappen has been hit far harder by unreliability than his team mate.

    29. Apex Assassin
      3rd August 2015, 19:23

      Very interesting and well laid out!

    30. Michael Schmiglow
      5th August 2015, 14:28

      I actually do not agree with the Bottas-Massa situation, I don’t think Bottas dominated Felipe in 2014, Felipe was really unlucky, but on races that both finished, Massa was ahead by one or two races. This year is pretty much the same story, but this season Massa hasn’t been so unlucky and is dominating his teammate in qualifying, but still there were some bad luck involved. In Malaysia, Felipe was the whole race in front of Bottas, but a 6sec pitstop for Masssa allowed Bottas to catch him in the last lap with fresher tyres, and then overtaking him. In Canada, Felipe started from 16th place, and brought the car home in 6th place with 14 sec diff from Bottas in third, in Bahrain, Massa started from the pits and had a contact with Maldonado wich damaged his car, but got 10th place. In Monaco, Felipe outqualified his teammate in normal conditions by more than 1 second, got contact in the first lap and had to go trought a whole lap in Monaco with his front wing broken and a tyre puncture. It’s also fair to say that Bottas was unlucky in the last race, with his tyre puncture. But in races that Massa is in the same situation as Bottas, usually Massa finishes ahead, and usually by a big gap. I also see some people saying that Raikkonen did a better job against Alonso than Massa did.
      Actually I don’t think so, by the half of 2010 season Massa was in front of Alonso in the standings. I think that after Hockeinheim 2010 Massa just couldn’t get back to his line mentally, and then Ferrari giving all the attention to Alonso was the ultimate to Massa be struggling that bad. Even so, he outqualified Alonso a lot of times, but in the races he just wasn’t there, and with the team radio calls, that became even worse. I think it’s also fair to say that Massa is in the top 5 for the most unlucky driver in F1 history, starting from 2008 season, with his engine blowing up with 3 laps to go in Hungary after dominating the race, then Singapore, with that disaster on the pit stop while Piquet Jr. crashed to help Alonso win that race, and then losing the championship in the last corner of the last race to Hamilton after dominating the weekend. After that, his accident in Hungary 2009, bizarre to say the least. Not many people remember that on the refueling era, Massa was one of the fastest men in F1, and that was sprint race all the time, not caring much about the tyres and everything, I think that this is also where Felipe struggled in the last years, with this tyre consumption thing. I honestly think that Felipe is the most underrated driver in F1, and all of that is due to the fact that he doesn’t have a champion star on his helmet, but honestly, not many people have the same numbers in F1 with a non-dominant car as Felipe has. Especially with Skysports I see a lot of that, Massa is the second driver for them, and he has to prove them wrong pretty much every race. I think this has something to do with Hamilton Massa feud back in the day, I don’t know, but it doesn’t look professional.


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