Formula 1:What's more important – Driver or Car? – University dissertation help!

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    As part of my University dissertation, I am investigating in Formula 1 whether the driver or car is most important.

    What are all your opinions? Who would be happy to be quoted and possibly have a follow up mini interview?

    Thanks in advance!

    Ben Needham

    Hi @melking,

    I think it goes without saying that the car is the most important thing when assessing the performance of a car/driver package. A good example to illustrate my thinking this is Jenson Button in 2008-2009. In 2008, Button scored only 3 points in a terrible car. In 2009, Button scored 95 points on his way to the World Championship in a very good car. The driver hadn’t changed, the drivers around him hadn’t changed, but his car had.

    I think the best way to describe it is that the car offers up the performance and the driver extracts it. A bad driver sat in this year’s Mercedes would come last. A good driver in this year’s Williams would also come last.


    I’d say it’s 80% about the car and 20% about the driver. The car determines whether you drive at the front, at the back or in the midfield. The driver dertermines the last important bit, whether you become champion or not (Hamilton vs Bottas) or whether you are demoted or not (Gasly vs Albon and Verstappen).


    Yeah obviously the car. Sometimes the grid is color coded with the teams side by side all the way down. The best driver in the world would still be second to last in a Williams this season.

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