How fast is a car over a season?

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    With the Monza race the traditionally the last of the European season, so its fast approaching the point were teams are at least thinking about starting to wind down development on the 2014 cars and start putting resources/ time towards the 2015 season. it got me wondering how much have the teams developed their cars since the first race? So hypothetically speaking, my question is:

    Since the first race of the 2014 season was held at Albert park, how much more competitive would the race be if the last race of the 2014 season was also held at Albert Park?

    Would those teams who struggled this year either through car design or problems outside their control (i.e. those with Renault power units), be able to be significantly more competitive?

    Don’t think this scenario has ever happened in real life but I might be wrong

    Craig Woollard

    I think 2009 is a good one to look at.

    2008 Australian Grand Prix quali part 2 fastest time: 1:25.187 (Lewis Hamilton)
    2009 Australian Grand Prix quali part 2 fastest time: 1:24.783 (Rubens Barrichello)

    Compare that to the 2008 and 2009 Chinese Grand Prix (where China was at the end of the 2008 season and at the start of the 2009 season)

    2008 Chinese Grand Prix quali part 2 fastest time: 1:34.947 (Lewis Hamilton)
    2009 Chinese Grand Prix quali part 2 fastest time: 1:35.130 (Sebastian Vettel)

    Obviously there are a few factors that have to be taken into consideration here. 2008 and 2009 had very different regulations as well especially regarding aero and tyres. Also the track conditions could well have been very different, and Brawn had a hugely impressive car compared to the rest of the field in the first part of the 2009 season, but at the end of the day, the times definitely do improve. Also a factor that has to be considered is that drivers get more comfortable with their cars as a season progresses in a lot of cases. It is an interesting question nonetheless.


    You make a good point that weather conditions sometimes play a vital role, some times every team having the optimum set up (which they would probably have as a result of racing their earlier in the season), it isn’t always a good thing the Spanish GP that hasn’t always produced the best racing

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