F1 Victories In 1950's Were 60% Driver Skill/40% Car Quality. Now It's 20% Driver, 80% Car
Posted Oct 22 2020 - 01:45 PM
Bell is certainly the most widely known model, with his appearance in 1 and The Economist. Dr. Phillips sums up the models here: https://f1metrics.wo...e-rank-drivers/
He later improved his own model: https://f1metrics.wo...1metrics-model/, which led to his latest top 100 list: https://f1metrics.wo...etrics-top-100/
His 2014 paper was published (I can send if needed), but not the latest one as far as I am aware.
He acknowledges the latest issues with the model, such as modern drivers being ranked very highly, with 80s drivers conversely so - I am assuming this is due to the prevalence of tarmac runoff now, as even when drivers make mistakes they will carry on with minimal time lost. Perhaps this is why 80s drivers take a bit of a dip - the hardest cars to drive (in terms of speed, turbos, H box layout without power steering, lack of telemetry, old type tracks with gravel) and hence the easiest to make a driver DNF in?
The alternative is that they actually are just better - since Hamilton (who namechecked Grand Prix 2 in a recent interview) all drivers have had ample access to simulator tools and more perfect practice than ever before, at a younger age than ever. Max Verstappen even had both parents as top level drivers.
Posted Oct 22 2020 - 02:16 PM
Yes, in the past you had to race on a track, go off track and you were in grass or sand or gravel, or armco; but today ...well, let's just pave the entire area and mark off a circuit with a pair of white lines. No penalties for going off track. Add to that the FIA's requirement (and i was appalled when first reading of this) that no straight exceed 1200 ft - these are race cars, heaven forbid they go fast - and you have tracks with no character at all. Overlay a map of Silverstone today with Silverstone of sixty years ago; it is ludicrous, no way to compare lap times much less assess drivers and cars. Hockenheim was castrated to a little club circuit; the "high speed" Monza is but a shadow of its previous glory; new circuits are cookie cutter designs flat as a billiard table and about as interesting as dishwater.
If tracks are "too fast", slow the cars and leave the tracks alone. And stop with the acres of run-off areas, these are allegedly the best drivers in the world in the most technologically advanced cars in the world, can't they stay on a track?
Posted Yesterday, 07:33 PM
One fun stat I've found is what cars of any era would do as a lap time around a circuit. I've found this listed at old Kyalami for cars from 1894 to 1993. My best estimate is that Hamilton in this year's Mercedes could do a 53 second lap at 1968-1985 Kyalami for instance. This is also still almost remarkably in line with 3 minutes per lap from 1905 and 1:30 in 1965, despite all continuous best efforts to slow the cars down between 2005-2016. Without that period, the cars might actually be approaching the 45 seconds in 2025 that would match that continuous rate of progress!
Even more mind boggling is how that would imply 22.5 seconds in 2085 . Of course, this progress will surely stop at some point (limits of the human body) as much as it rapidly progressed before 1905 - lap times more than halved in the first ten years of racing; indeed it was 5 years before cars were even a match for racing cyclists - no wonder so many early top drivers were actually top riders!
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