Stoffel Vandoorne, Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 2018

Who’s winning the F1 team mate battles of 2018 so far?

2018 F1 season

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Who are the most closely-matched Formula 1 team mates so far in 2018? And who is being dominated by the guy in the other garage?

With the summer break upon us and driver considering their driver options for 2019, it’s time to review who’s performing and who isn’t.

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton vs Valtteri Bottas

In terms of raw results, Valtteri Bottas is faring about as well alongside team mate Lewis Hamilton as he was at this stage in their first season together, 12 months ago. He’s out-qualified the world champion five times, as he had done at last year’s summer break, and though he hasn’t finished ahead as many times, it bears pointing out fortune has not been on his side.

Whereas this time last year Bottas had chalked up two wins, poor luck in China (Safety Car) and Azerbaijan (debris-related puncture) have arguably cost him two this year. Those potentially account for around half his 81-point deficit to Hamilton.

It’s not hard to see why Mercedes has signed him up for another season, then. The question now is whether he can avoid a repeat of his underwhelming second half of 2017.

Lewis Hamilton Q

Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel vs Kimi Raikkonen

Unsurprisingly Sebastian Vettel holds sway at Ferrari. And the overall picture is probably slightly less flattering to his team mate Kimi Raikkonen than first appears.

Raikkonen has always been stronger on Sundays than Saturdays. So while his 10-2 deficit to Vettel in qualifying is poor, the second-worst in the field, it’s hardly a shock. He’s managed four finishes in front of Vettel so far but arguably only two of those – Azerbaijan and France – were wholly on merit.

That said, there have been further signs this year Ferrari is tilting things in Vettel’s favour when it comes to race strategy.

Sebastian Vettel Q

Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo vs Max Verstappen

How far was Daniel Ricciardo’s decision to leave red Bull motivated by a desire to avoid playing second fiddle to Max Verstappen?

In their third year as team mates, Verstappen’s raw performance has again been superb. But a series of early-season incidents limited his points scoring.

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Red Bull have had a lot of unreliability too, which further obscures the picture. But the impression is that while Verstappen is capable of being quicker, the more polished Ricciardo is the one you’d expect to regularly achieve his potential.

Daniel Ricciardo Q

Force India: Sergio Perez vs Esteban Ocon

Once his role in Force India’s ongoing administration proceedings had been revealed, Sergio Perez admitted it had been a distraction from his driving. Does that explain why Esteban Ocon has led the way so far or, as the Mercedes junior has indicated, has Ocon raised his game?

What’s not in doubt is how Perez ended up ahead of Ocon in the points at this stage despite lagging behind his team mate on every other metric. Ocon paid dearly for a silly first-lap move on Raikkonen in Baku, while Perez swept to a superb podium for the team, which accounts for exactly half his points total.

Sergio Perez Q

Williams: Lance Stroll vs Sergey Sirotkin

The stakes couldn’t be lower at Williams, where financial imperatives mean neither driver is realistically in danger of losing their seats due to a lack of performance.

Rookie Sergey Sirotkin may be the only point-less driver in the field at the summer break but he has the edge over Lance Stroll in the qualifying battle. Stroll, of course, was hammered 17-2 by Felipe Massa in qualifying last year. That begs the question whether the ill-handling FW41 is quite as far off the pace as it appears to be.

Lance Stroll Q

Renault: Nico Hulkenberg vs Carlos Sainz Jnr

While Nico Hulkenberg led the way at Renault in the early part of the season, Carlos Sainz Jnr has come back at him since the ‘European season’ began.

The Renault operation is still ramping up and it wasn’t until the French round that Sainz’s full engineering team was assembled around him. This was also the first weekend he qualified and finished in front of Hulkenberg.

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We now know he will lose his seat to Ricciardo at the end of the year. That gives the impression he’s been owned by Hulkenberg and Renault have lost faith in him, but as Sainz was only ever on loan to the team from Red Bull, that would be a harsh assessment of his season so far.

Nico Hulkenberg Q

Toro Rosso: Pierre Gasly vs Brendon Hartley

Unreliability and incidents means the Toro Rosso drivers have only taken the chequered flag together in half of the races so far this year. But that includes the Bahrain and Hungarian round, where Pierre Gasly delivered the kind of result Brendon Hartley can only envy at the moment.

Hartley was also blamed for the clash between the pair in China, and the brutal scoreline shows he must raise his game in the second half of the season.

Pierre Gasly Q

Haas: Romain Grosjean vs Kevin Magnussen

In the days when everything lines up for him, Romain Grosjean is a formidable racing driver. But there have been far too few of those days this year and the rest of the time Kevin Magnussen, in his second season at the team, has shown him the way.

This has surely killed off Grosjean’s hopes of making it to a front-running team.

Romain Grosjean Q

McLaren: Fernando Alonso vs Stoffel Vandoorne

Fernando Alonso’s destruction of Stoffel Vandoorne in qualifying has been total, and Vandoorne’s record in the races is little better.

Granted, the MCL33 is not a car to demonstrate great ability in when it is running well, and Vandoorne endured two weekends (Britain and Germany) with a chassis which the team could see was producing less downforce than Alonso car’s.

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That problem appears to be solved now, but it’s down to Vandoorne to reassert himself. As the team recently observed, it’s time for him to start showing he can beat Alonso.

Fernando Alonso Q

Sauber: Marcus Ericsson vs Charles Leclerc

New star Charles Leclerc took a couple of races to find his feet, and has been blowing the doors off Marcus Ericsson ever since. Yes, other drivers have better qualifying scorelines, but look at the margin Leclerc is beating Ericsson by: almost half a second on average.

Ericsson has experienced on his side, however, as his management of the wet conditions in Hungary showed. Otherwise, this has been about as one-sided as many expected it to be.

Marcus Ericsson Q

Over to you

Which driver has impressed you most compared to their team mate so far this year?

Have your say in the comments.

2018 F1 season

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Author information

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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83 comments on “Who’s winning the F1 team mate battles of 2018 so far?”

  1. Above you can see Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren Renault F1 driver and Fernando Alonso, Kimoa Racing F1 driver

    For some reason I though Hulk had a bigger margin over Sainz, are there any mitigating factors? I know both of them suffered some problems but don’t know how those problems could skew those numbers

    The FI stats are also very interesting, I at least don’t have the feeling that Ocon has been that much better than Perez, maybe because they usually run so close together. I wonder if mentally Checo has been up to it, it will be interesting the second part of the season

    Danny Ric, Stoffel and Kimi have been completely dominated by their team-mates in qualifying. You wouldn’t put those three in the same bag would you?

    1. @johnmilk Hulkenberg had issues in qualifying in both Spain and Hungary, but didn’t ‘retire’ from either one so it counted as a Sainz win in both cases. And in terms of points, Hulk has had 3 retirements (1 his fault), to Sainz’ 1, although 52-30 is still a big difference.

      1. @hugh11 Sainz has had at least one slow pitstop costing him a lot of points and also some strange strategies by Renault (at least one of which they publicly apologised for) – while Hulkenberg was had a clear margin for the first few races I’d say it has been extremely even since then. Where Sainz seems to struggle is the first lap, he doesn’t often make good starts.

        1. Still though, only really in France did Sainz have a proper advantage all weekend, whereas Hulk has in Bahrain, China, Canada and Germany.

          1. Oh, and Britain.

  2. So, now we have data and no emotions. Thanks!

    1. Spreadsheet heaven. No one said, ever.

      1. No one said, ever.


        1. But if you find spreadsheet data thrilling, you’re clearly investing them with emotion! Which was the roundabout point I was trying to make.

  3. Leclerc is my star of the year so far and I believe he has what it takes to match or even surpass Vettel in equal cars.
    I hope we get to find out next year!

    1. Leclerc is like the Emperor without clothes at the moment. Everybody is very impressed and place him in the Ferrari worksteam, even though he only completed 12 F1-races against a below average teammate. Let Grosjean and him switch seats and compare him agants a more complete racer. Magnussen has done a astonishing job and he will get even better next year.

      1. That should be a win-win for grosjean and leclerc: leclerc gets compared to a more worthy driver and will likely edge him out, and grosjean gets a weaker team mate to beat since he’s not having much luck against magnussen this year, and the sauber car isn’t that much of a downgrade for him.

        1. There is probably only marginal difference (measured in potential lap time) between the Haas and Sauber racecar at the moment.

          So it’s also a possible win-win for Magnussen and Ericsson too. It’s Leclerc and Grosjean who risk the most. Therefore Leclerc and his PR departement will work against such a move. Grosjean will just be happy to to have another year in F1.

      2. Agree, except i think it’s probably time for grosjeans f1 career to come to an end and him to go be a family man.

  4. Fernando Alonso’s destruction of Stoffel Vandoorne in qualifying has been total, and Vandoorne’s record in the races is little better.

    True, but the margin between Alonso and Vandoorne in qualifying is only 0.2 seconds on average (not counting the two races with the poor chassis). That is a lot closer than either Massa or Raikkonen had to Alonso, who is still one of the drivers on the grid. And also in most races Vandoorne finishes behind Alonso, he is not to far away, so imho he is doing reasonably well.

    1. who is still one of the best drivers on the grid.

    2. Is there a way to get the average delta between all the team mates in qualifying into the stats @keithcollantine?

      1. @hugh11 I’m working on that at the moment. The tricky thing is mitigating factors play a big role in it. For instance, can Ericsson’s 1.6s deficit to Leclerc at Baku really be considered representative?

        1. I suppose discount anything that involved a ‘mechanical’ issue, eg Hulkenberg to Sainz in Spain/Hungary, Hamilton to Bottas in Germany, etc. I can’t recall what happened to Ericsson: if it was a car issue ignore it, if it was a mistake, then I’d say include it as it’s something within his control.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            7th August 2018, 17:42

            As was described i think, Ericsson just happened to get slowed down on every attempt to do a fast lap in Baku. By one of the other cars. A good half a second is often realisitc. But not 1.6 seconds.

          2. Wet quali should also probably be excluded. Ideally you also wouldnt compare between separate sessions (q1, 2, 3 etc) but that’s probably reducing and manipulating the data set a bit too much.

        2. Outlier analysis 🙄

        3. well, I don’t rate Ericsson very high, but I wouldn’t say he is a mitigating factor

        4. I recommend a small graph of the differences, that way you can see the outliers easily, and there isn’t such a burden on removing outliers from the data itself.

      2. @keithcollantine I would also be interested in that, it tends to be a revealing stat. you could do the average delta in comparable sessions only and ignore mechanical issues.

  5. Damn Hartley and especially Ericson must find a place to hide, he has so many years and still gets beaten by the rookie.
    Also about Daniel vs Max, you can see how many more laps ahead is Verstapen but it does not materialise to points, IF Max can concentrate he can do way more things but he does not seem to learn.

    1. @notacop Does not seem to learn? I would say if you look at what he has done since Monaco you would rephrase that. I think he has learned to keep it more clean and make more deliberate and well timed moves. And as a result he has vastly outscored DR since Monaco and has brought the points between the two much more close to even (including with a win) than the doubling in points over Max by DR that existed after Monaco’s win.

      1. Indeed, Monaco was the turning point for Max. Also the British GP shouldn’t be counted as a win for Ric. While Max was clasified in the resylts he did not finish the race. Max was leading Ric until his DNF

        1. He actually went off, that’s when ricciardo passed him, then he retired, however I heard something about his off being caused by the mechanical problem as well.

        2. Calm down PMS.

      2. If it isn’t robbie, personal PR bodyguard of Max.

        Just as someone just seems to dare criticize dear old Max (” (..) he does not seem to learn.”), robbie immediately gets his sting out and then goes on rattling about how much better MV has been performing compared to DR by mentioning some one sided things wrapped in sugar sweet words and superlatives just to make him get the day and night through knowing he has set things straight with the commenter in question. Yeah, right.
        And robbie is being a hypocrite for it, yet again. Wasn’t this the same the guy that was continuously saying, over and over again, to all the suggestions of others (team members, father, others in the paddock, fans), after Max screwed up 10 or 11 times in the first seven weekends this season, that “Max doesn’t have to change anything” and what not?
        You’re a yoke you, a yoke I’m telling you.

        Here’s a bit more truth for you:

        Max has had 2 DNFs this season of which just 1 was not self inflicted without a question. So just one and maybe, just maybe, two.
        Now let’s have a look at his teammate: 3. That’s only in the race and only the race ending ones and of a technological nature.
        He also had Monaco, which wasn’t race ending.
        He’s also been taken out by Max in Baku, bc of Max “would rather drive them off track than let them pass”-philosophy.

        Now have a look at quali and FPs. One time RIC decided not to go all out and save tyres bc he had a 20-place grid penalty (though he had a car failure later on in the race anyhow).
        One time he couldn’t participate in the FP in which drivers establish their quali-setup. Yet he was only 0.15 slower than Max in quali (btw Max also had a FP during another weekend in which he had car problems, but that was a FP in which they were working on their race-setup).
        And just last race weekend he got unlucky with a yellow in Q2 after Stroll crashed and it wasn’t possible any longer to qualify bc of the rain.
        Also, I almost forgot, he got a very harsh 3-place grid penalty in Australia for not slowing down enough for something that occurred at the other side of the track.

        Your FBoyism doesn’t allow you to take those orange glasses off and see things for what they really are. To take into account the misfortune of all drivers, not just that of your idol. And not dismissing other drivers’ achievements as just being luck, claiming it’s not on merit. And not willing to acknowledge mistakes of your idol, blaming it on other drivers, his team, and others, bad luck, or denying it all together, even on the rare occasion he admits it himself.

        1. Max was faster in Bahrain qualy. Not his fault the car crashed.

  6. Which driver has impressed you most compared to their team mate so far this year?
    – A bit difficult to choose, but I’ll go for Leclerc with honorable mentions to Vettel, Alonso, and Hulkenberg.
    BTW, I think ”driver considering their driver options for 2019” should read ‘teams considering their driver options for 2019’ instead.

  7. The thing about having a championship winning car is that you can quite quickly see who has is top drawer and the rest. Valtteri is in his second year at Merc and there are no excuses for him this year. If he was the real deal by now we would be seeing fireworks at Mercedes.
    I suspect we won’t see him challenging Lewis this year or the next. It is pretty clear why Lewis likes having Valterin the team. He knows he’s got him covered for pace.

  8. Wow Alonso has wiped the floor with Vandoorne.

  9. Ouch, Vandoorne…

  10. Just goes to show how misleading raw statistics can be – based on those you’d think Verstappen was wiping the floor with Ricciardo, Ocon with Perez, and Hulkenberg with Sainz. None of those things is true!

    1. @tflb Wiping the floor, maybe not. Driving better, overall, true in all three cases. Arguably.

      1. @david-br Arguably true, yes – but still it’s interesting how these stats don’t necessarily correspond to the actual impression that one gets from watching the races.

      2. But also I’d say nobody could argue convincingly that Verstappen has driven better than Ricciardo, over the last few races maybe yes but let’s not forget the first races where he was by a mile the worst performer on the grid.

        1. Verstappen leading before Ricciardo, spun at Australia… Ricciardo spun twice in drama there
          Bahrain was a simple race icident wich could have cost Lewis his tyre as easily as it did Verstappen
          In China Verstappen was again leading in front of Ricciardo until Verstappen realy made a mess
          At Baku both RBR drivers messed up
          The Monaco, a descent race compromised by Verstappens crash in FP3… could not qualify

          A lot of drama over in fact one really bad race, China and a very unfortunate timing to crash in FP at Monaco.
          As things can turn around rather quickly, Ricciardo suffered from a gearbox failure in FP3 at China… rbr repaired it just in time and Ricciardo won that race.

          Not the best start of a season, but to say each race was bad and Verstappen swas the worst performer is making drama.

        2. @tflb

          nobody could argue convincingly that Verstappen has driven better than Ricciardo

          Hmm, well, at the risk of sounding ‘orange’ or worse, the out-qualification is evident, as is the time spent ahead (obviously linked to better qualification). So that leads to the conclusion that Verstappen has typicaly been faster – fairly unarguable I think – and his points and finishing ahead deficit is down to ‘incidents’ of various kinds. Again, most people would accept that can be described as a ‘learning curve’ with Verstappen having to recalibrate his approach after a incident-heavy start. Has that happened? Yes. So where does that leave them on balance? For me – and its subjective to some extent, depending on what you want to pick up on as important, points or potential – Verstappen has shown he’s faster and corrected early season mistakes (as of now: he could revert of course). So I’d put him ahead and also suggest that Ricciardo hasn’t helped dispel the idea that he’s now being beaten by opting to leave. Put it otherwise: Verstappen has shown he can do ‘reliable.’ Ricciardo hasn’t shown he can be faster than Verstappen most days.

          1. @david-br While I do think Verstappen is fundamentally more talented than Ricciardo (who may be overrated anyway, we’ll see next year) there is a difference between being more talented and performing better. Verstappen has undoubtedly lost a huge amount of points this year through his own mistakes. As far as I can remember all of Ricciardo’s retirements have been for technical issues, apart from Baku where Verstappen caused another crash. I don’t think Max has shown he’s changed; he’s had a few clean weekends, but he’s not an inexperienced driver any more and look at how he started the year… ‘Potential’ will only get you so far.

            Regarding Ricciardo’s move, Verstappen clearly fits Red Bull’s marketing ideas, hence why they’ve made him their number 1 (I maintain that if his face didn’t fit the brand he would have been out after Monaco this year). Perfectly reasonable of Ricciardo to want to leave.

          2. “apart from Baku where Verstappen caused another crash”
            Yeah, there’s where motivations go wrong, FIA and RBR agreed both drivers where at fault.

            Verstappen is clealry the faster driver of the two, his rough 2018 start was not his ‘normal’ modus and h snapped out of it.

            To me it pretty much seems Ricciardo’s performance is highly dependable on his team mate making mistakes or DNF, beating Verstappen when he’s clean seems to be an impossible task for Ricciardo.
            Verstappen and Sainz where much closer in quali at the beginning, being it Hulkenberg is stronger than both Perez and Sainz I expect a tough year for Ricciardo…beating Hulkenberg in quali maybe tough and driving past all midfield cars in a…..midfield car will be much tougher than in a RBR.

          3. @tflb I agree Ricciardo has plenty of good reasons to leave, even perceived favouritism of Verstappen. It’s worth remembering Verstappen committed to the team when Ferrari and Mercedes were scouting him (supposedly) whereas Ricciardo kept his options open, so it’s possible some of that perception was down to Ricciardo’s own actions. But it may well be he’s jumped at the right time too and Renault improve with RBR falling behind. Certainly I think Ricciardo in a top car could easily win a championship against just about anyone, that’s in no doubt.

          4. It would be real miracle when a driver that gets beaten 9-1 in quali would have a change of getting a WDC title.

          5. @david-br Was thinking something similar to what you said about DR and MV upon seeing their stats together. There seems not much more DR can do as we’ve seen him run clean and produce what he has, yet when Max keeps it clean he can indeed do more with his higher grid placings and his maintenance of them through races. DR directly benefitted when Max made his mistakes, and when Max has dnf’d he has usually been ahead of DR, again benefiting DR. So in terms of the driver comparison between the two, DR is lucky Max was his own worst enemy through Monaco. Had he not been, DR might not even have a win this year.

          6. @robbie I have to check I’m not suffering from some Tango-like orange delusion, but it does seem presumably independent F1 journalists have come to the same conclusion (quoting Luke Murphy on the James Allen site):

            Despite the side notes that you can put next to Ricciardo’s name at some of the races, the form doesn’t make for great reading. Even if you discount the races where he was set back by qualifying dramas, it’s still 4-0 to Verstappen, who has now reversed his early-season form and is now looking like the stronger driver. Can Ricciardo fight back after the summer break?

            @Matn Agreed but I doubt Ricciardo will encounter that level of competition at Renault for instance.

          7. Yes, agree more or less with what’s been said, as in verstappen is regularly faster than ricciardo, who isn’t really slow, which says a lot about verstappen.

            On the other hand, his start of the season was dreadful (mistakes) and this season so far he has no right to complain about technical issues, as in ricciardo had it even or worse.

            About that, let’s see, mistakes are mistakes, let’s correct for mechanical problems:

            Bahrain, ricciardo had a PU problem very early in the race, cost him at the very least 3rd place, I’m one of those who seems red bull as fast as the other 2 top teams in bahrain, so maybe with ferrari’s unoptimal tyre strategy he had some chance, but let’s say 15 points lost for now

            Austria, ricciardo had again an engine problem, however before that he had blistering issues, so given hamilton’s retirement he was on course for 4th place only, 12 points

            Silverstone, verstappen was on course for 5th place, then span and ultimately retired for the same reason, a mechanical problem, so 10 points lost and 2 gained for ricciardo, so 12 points swing in favor of ricciardo

            Germany, ricciardo was recovering a lot of places starting from the back, was on course for 6th, depending on verstappen’s tyre gamble, he could’ve also jumped him, but MAYBE verstappen wouldn’t have gambled had ricciardo been there and could jump him, so let’s say 8 points lost for ricciardo’s mechanical problem here

            Hungary, verstappen was running 5th with a red bull that wasn’t really fast at start but as ricciardo proved later in the race was actually a strong car here in race pace, let’s say in the end 4th place lost is more likely, hard to overtake anyway, 12 points lost for him and 14 points swing since ricciardo got 4th instead of verstappen

            So I get +26 points for ricciardo in the comparison between the 2 and -35 for ricciardo, so overall verstappen has been slightly more lucky this year, so ricciardo is on top for now, however he’s there only cause he’s a safe pair of hands, like someone said had verstappen been consistent this year he’d have 3 wins and ricciardo 0, if verstappen can keep this recent form up where he doesn’t make mistakes, with even mechanical issues he’ll come on top.

          8. All of this talk is pure nonsense.

            If anyone can explain to me exactly how 1 lap on low fuel has ANYTHING to do with winning a GP on full tanks, I’ll be amazed. It’s about as ridiculous as saying the boxer who can hit the hardest is the best boxer – it’s pure and utter ridiculousness. Yes, being faster over one lap gives you an advantage in F1, but equating 1 lap pace being the best driver is idiocy. If that were the case, Alonso would NEVER be mentioned as one of the best drivers in F1.

            There’s only 1 stat that matters, and that’s championship points at the end of the year – there’s no prize for anything else. So based on the ONLY stat that matters, Ricciardo is 2-0 up on Verstappen as well as leading the current championship despite the huge points he’s lost compared to his team mate through no fault of his own.

            Quite simply, Ricciardo has owned the anointed one since he joined RedBull and he continues to do so!

          9. @nick101 When one driver the majority of the time outqualifies the other, and therefore starts higher on Sundays, and then holds that higher placing throughout the races, it would be ridiculous not to acknowledge that. So it is disingenuous for you that claim us fans are only touting his one lap pace on Saturdays.

            But if you want to make it just about points that’s up to you of course. But you’d think if that’s all it was about RBR would have made DR an offer he couldn’t refuse. Maybe they were just looking at how Kvyat beat DR in 2015, how DR beat Max in 2016 when Max hadn’t even started the season at Red Bull, beat him in 2017 with the car only able to have both of them finish 7 races together, and now 2018 where Max would be leading but for his dnf last race.

            But you keep clinging to the hope that your guy can beat his teammate through his teammate’s mistakes and unreliability rather than through outright pace. More often than not that is not a formula to success. Not exactly stamping one’s authority over one’s teammate.

          10. @robbie

            and now 2018 where Max would be leading but for his dnf last race.


            I guess we’ll just forget about all the technical DNF’s Ricciardo has had shall we? Not to mention Azerbaijan that to anyone with half a brain was Crashstappens fault.


          11. @nick101 No I’m not forgetting anything. They’ve both had technical issues, Max has made the bulk of the mistakes, and Baku was on both of them. And since Monaco Max has had the upper hand.

    2. I think that one variable the data should have is an average representative of percentages teammates lap times.

      Like driver A was 3% slower on average than his team mate. It’s equal machinery, that should be the fairest assessment of raceday performance.

      For example, I think the Ocon/Perez “laps ahead” bar makes it look like it was a one sided affair, but maybe they were running 9th and 10th all race and they kept a delta for strategic purposes, so in essence they were equal, but none of the measures can explain us readers that.

    3. Martijn (@)
      8th August 2018, 8:43

      You are all incredible (but certainly entitled to your own opinion), even with clear statistics you know how to turn things around in RICs favour.

  11. Even blanc statistics don’t tell the whole story, when either driver DNF’s the race won’t be on the list as a ‘won’ race.

    Verstappen and Ricciardo each DNF-ed 4 times,, but Verstappen DNF-ed in the last rounds of the british GP and therefore gets classified wich puts Ricciardo one race in front of Verstappen…in reality this isn’t true ofcourse, as Ricciardo was behind Verstappen when he DNF-ed. Out of the shared 6 DNF’s Verstappen was actually in front 5 times.

    Though Ricciardo scored more points thanks to two maximum results in China and Monaco, these 2 podiums are worth more than the first 3 podiums Verstappen scored. RBR will face some gridpenalties over the last 9 races, so the total score will even get more confusing.

  12. There’s one thing I struggle to wrap my head around:

    He [Räikkönen]’s managed four finishes in front of Vettel so far but arguably only two of those – Azerbaijan and France – were wholly on merit.

    Azerbaijan and France, really? If those are the ones he finished ahead of Vettel on merit, I don’t want to see the rest of the list.
    He drove an absolutely pitiful race in Azerbaijan, lapping a full second off Vettel’s pace for almost the entirety of the race, even when he was running in clear air. They were almost 40 seconds apart on lap 39, just before the race became a Safety Car parade, and at that stage, Räikkönen was more likely to need another pit stop than Vettel was.
    Räikkönen finished ahead because the Safety Cars meant that anything that happened in the first 45 laps was largely irrelevant, and because Vettel missed that one braking point. If that’s what ‘on merit’ looks like, I don’t think I could stomach a case of ‘undeserved’.
    Then there’s the race in France, where Vettel clumsily drove into Bottas while fighting for 2nd place, while Räikkönen was busy fighting the Q2 dropouts. Race ruined for Bottas and Vettel, particularly as Ferrari attempted to get Vettel to the end of the race on the same set of tyres he put on at the end of the first lap. Did Vettel bring this upon himself? Hell yes. Did Räikkönen really beat him on merit? I don’t think so.

    So, what were the other two races Räikkönen finished ahead of Vettel?
    China and Austria.
    China was the one where Verstappen crashed into Vettel a few laps from the end while fightig for the podium, which Räikkönen, who ran in 6th place at the time of the incident, then inherited, while Vettel limped home in 8th place with a visibly damaged car.

    What about Austria? I guess that’s the closest Räikkönen came to beating Vettel on merit. Vettel did start the race with a disadvantage, namely a – somewhat controversial – grid penalty for blocking Sainz in qualifying, which meant he had to start 3 places behind Räikkönen despite qualifying ahead. Vettel finished the race in striking distance of Räikkönen despite that disadvantage, as well as having to overtake Hamilton at one stage of the race, but I guess Räikkönen arguably finished ahead on merit.

    In fact, the only race Räikkönen really deserved to finish ahead of Vettel isn’t even on that list: I’m speaking of the Australian GP, of course. Räikkönen was faster in qualifying and in the first stint of the race, but the VSC had other plans and gifted Vettel the valuable track position, which he then went on to convert into a rather undeserved victory.

    In other words: The current score of 5:4 is extremely flattering for Räikkönen. If finishing positions really reflected the respective performances of the drivers, Räikkönen would’ve finished ahead no more than once or twice so far.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      7th August 2018, 21:25

      It depends on how you think about those 2 races. It is Vettel’s fault he didn’t beat Kimi, so I would say Kimi does deserve to have beaten him due to those mistakes. And I don’t see the problem with using the words “on merit” either.

      Now I know, Kimi was far worse than Vettel throughout almost all of Ajerbaijan. Kimi had an underwhelming qualifying and was 6th. Lucked past both the Red Bulls and Bottas. Then Vettel, who had it under control vertually all race long, broke when he was under pressure. Bottas had a very good restart. Vettel should have known he likely wouldn’t have made that overtake stick. He was a bit too optometric and caused a lock up. It was unfortunate that the safety car undid his work from earlier, but he didn’t manage the unexpected circumstances very well at all. Kimi meanwhile while being nothing special kept things clean and finished ahead. Nothing an impressive performance, but I don’t see anything wrong with saying he beat him on merit.

      France is basically the same. Even if Kimi did nothing special, Vettel did much worse. No matter how much better Vettel’s race was after he crashed doesn’t matter. It is his own fault he had to do that. And Kimi finished well ahead due to being clean and keeping out of trouble. Which if anything, he has done a much better job than Vettel at this season even if his speed is not close in the race. He messed up with Hamilton in Britain, but didn’t cause himself to drop back badly. Not like Vettel who did worse with Bottas in France. Then messed up the end of Baku, loosing at least 3 places due to him mistake. Then ran off circuit in Germany and retired.

      I don’t want to be against Vettel or be generous towards Kimi, but I think the reasoning on the description towards France and Azerbaijan is perfectly fair.

      I do think Vettel has been far better than Kimi overall. Kimi very often seems to lack pace during the race. But he seems to make less mistakes than Vettel at the moment. maybe because he isn’t feeling under pressure.

      I do agree that this main race this year Kimi did look better than Vettel was certainly Australia though.

      1. The first 40 something laps would be relevant handn’t vettel overshoot the braking point.

      2. Roland Grant
        9th August 2018, 10:40

        Also consider Australia – Raikkonen was quicker all weekend and Vettel lucked in to get ahead of him through the VSC. It works both ways.

        Also, Raikkonen would be right with Vettel (within 10-15 points) in the championship had he not had two mechanical failures in Spain and Bahrain. Agreed, he has lacked some raw pace in some of the races, but he’s also driven very intelligently and has been unlucky.

    2. Nase, I totally agree, especially baku, I talked about it in the bottom of the page currently, as for france I’m not so against saying raikkonen had the better race since it was a sort of mistake that sent vettel behind immediately and having to play catch-up.

  13. The two drivers that have impressed me the most, particularly in relation to their teammates, have been Magussen and Leclerc. Grosjean can be devastatingly quick on the day, but he seems to need all the stars to align before he can unleash that speed. Leclerc has really come into his own and showed Ericksson to be a lackluster performer. My biggest disappointment so far has been Hartley. I had high hopes for him based on his performance with Porsche, but he seems to be having difficulty with the change from LMP1 to F1.

    1. I would have chosen Leclerc and Magnussen as well, but I am most impressed with Kevin Magnussen because I expected Leclerc to be really good and dominate his teammate, but I thought Magnussen would be beaten by Grosjean this year but instead Magnussen has destroyed Grosjean

  14. I believe Raikkonen being quicker on Sundays than Saturdays has maybe become a bit of a myth; if anything, he’s more competitive on Saturday than he is on Sundays.

    1. Thats always what you say in defence of poor drivers.

    2. He sure is competititve Saturday morning and Q1 and Q2…

    3. well, he has more wins than pole positions, so…

      1. Well, that refers in large part to prime raikkonen. Looks like recent times’ raikkonen has it easier to get a pole than a win.

  15. Damn, Raikkonen/Vettel looks very similar to Ricciardo/Verstappen. Really fascinating seeing it laid out like that…

  16. Magnussen definitely! He has destroyed Grosjean even in qualification. And Grosjean IS very fast on a single lap. This is very very impressive.

    If Ferrari wants to make the right choice to substitute Raikoinen from the 2020 season, they should ask HAAS to take Leclerc as 2nd driver in the 2019 season. Then Ferrari will see how he compares to Magnussen.

    If Leclerc can beat Magnussen, then he is ready for Ferrari. On the other hand if Magnussen beats Leclerc, then Ferrari should consider Magnussen as replacement for Raikonen.

  17. Magnussen has been most impressive. He has destroyed Grosjean even in Qualification. Grosjean is known to be ultrafast on a single lap.

    Ferrari should ask HAAS to take Leclerc on board in the 2019 season, to see if he can beat Magnussen. The winner of the duel should have take the avaiable Ferrari seat from 2020.

    1. The Leclerc PR-departement and his fans will hate a solution like this ;-)

  18. This is obviously great work. Have you folks considered exploring a version of this which lays out even more of the minute details race by race (e.g. mechanical issues, mitigating factors, simple driver errors etc), and draws conclusions accordingly? F1metrics sometimes goes into this kind of information in its annual reports, but it would be so useful to have a definitive place to go to for a refresher on all of the drivers’ mistakes, misfortunes, and excuses while the season progresses.

  19. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
    7th August 2018, 18:08

    Hartley was also blamed for the crash in China
    Sorry? Gasly came steaming down the inside recklessly and punted Hartley off. Dr Marko really can be harsh.

    1. No it was actually Hartley’s fault, team radio asked them to swap position at the end of the lap but for some reasons Hartley forgot to do do. I think Hartley said his radio was not working

  20. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
    7th August 2018, 18:08

    Whoops, made a mistake with the quote function

  21. Nice article, thanks a lot for that! Laps ahead that is a fairly good one to get a better picture than the classic race points or quali results.

    /love this site @keithcollantine

  22. Raikkonen has always been stronger on Sundays than Saturdays. So while his 10-2 deficit to Vettel in qualifying is poor, the second-worst in the field, it’s hardly a shock. He’s managed four finishes in front of Vettel so far but arguably only two of those – Azerbaijan and France – were wholly on merit.

    I would really say baku was NOT on merit for raikkonen, he made a mistake in qualifying, he was on course for pole, lost 1 sec and ended up 6th, then clashed with ocon, ended up in the back of the field, came back slowly and only ended in front of vettel thanks to the fact vettel made a mistake trying to overtake bottas after the SC had reduced the gaps to nothing, raikkonen wasn’t even able to keep up with red bulls which also dropped out, luckily for him.

    1. @esploratore So Raikkonen made a mistake and Vettel made a mistake and Raikkonen finished ahead. It’s a bit of a stretch, but he did perform better overall didn’t he?

      Not sure why Germany wasn’t added to that list. Not finishing due to driver error should not be scrapped.

      Raikkonen was thrown under the bus with a ridiculous strategy (which no one else used) to detract the Mercedes strategy crew (which failed) and still ended up reasonably close to Vettel anyway. Then Vettel cracked under the pressure when Hamilton came 2s er lap closer and Vettel also tried to go faster. While Raikkonen kept it on the road and took P3.

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      8th August 2018, 23:04


      But that clash with Ocon quite clearly wan’t his fault. It was only because he had to pit that he fell right down due to damage. I know from then on, his race was worse than Vettle’s other than the end. It wasn’t just Vettel that had to deal with the unexpected that there was a safety car. Kimi did too and managed the restart far better. He didn’t attempt to overtake the driver in front of him and fail badly and loose 3 places as a consequence. I know it was just the end of the race, but I still think on merit are reasonable words to use.

  23. Ocon is leading Perez in every department except championship points where he’s just on point down.
    You don’t feel it watching the races but Ocon is really taking the lead at FI. The second half of the season will be interesting between these two.

  24. Ericsson’s a big dude, if he retains a seat next year I wonder if he’ll be more competitive due to the weight mitigating regs. As Hammy mentioned there are still advantages for smaller drivers about where engineers can put the spare weight (obviously), but at least it means the big drivers don’t have to starve/dehydrate themselves (like Vergne).

  25. I think Vandoorne really should be doing a fair bit better, but even with Bottas, Their teammates are arguably two of the best that have ever done F1! As long as they are driving solid and contributing, i don’t think they could ask for much more. Or should they? To expect them to actually beat them with their drive depending on it is a tad harsh

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