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F1 Victories In 1950's Were 60% Driver Skill/40% Car Quality. Now It's 20% Driver, 80% Car


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#1 prize

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Posted Oct 17 2020 - 08:03 PM

A statistical analysis described in an Economist article backs up the claim that driver skill mattered a lot more in the GPL era than it does now.

The title of the Economist article is "Engineers, not racers, are the true drivers of success in motor sport."  The article was published today.

#2 jgf

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Posted Oct 17 2020 - 10:58 PM

True of most motorsport.  I read somewhere that decades ago the driver was 60% of the equation and the car 40%;  today that has virtually reversed;  and F1 would have been worse had Williams had their way 30 years ago ...but F1 outlawed their active suspension, active aero, computer controlled gearbox, etc.  One more  step and the driver would have been computerized.

#3 Saiph

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Posted Oct 18 2020 - 02:55 AM

Clickbait headline. Impossible to prove in any meaningful, objective way. Another example of the desperate press deliberately stirring up controversy to gain readers. And it also probably has racist motivations as Britain has a black multiple World Champion driver and they're trying to undermine him. Ignore Britain's shitty right-wing press. They cannot be trusted.

Edited by Saiph, Oct 18 2020 - 02:59 AM.


#4 DuncanS

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Posted Oct 18 2020 - 03:51 AM

View PostSaiph, on Oct 18 2020 - 02:55 AM, said:

.... Ignore ... They cannot be trusted.

View PostSaiph, on Jul 25 2020 - 11:25 AM, said:

A packet of Kelloggs Cornflakes? ;) :D
Speaking of ignoring I'll just call you up on this one Saiph :whistling:


View Postprize, on Oct 17 2020 - 08:03 PM, said:

A statistical analysis described in an Economist article backs up the claim that driver skill mattered a lot more in the GPL era than it does now.

The title of the Economist article is "Engineers, not racers, are the true drivers of success in motor sport."  The article was published today.

Personally I've seen more recent F1 races where Lewis Hamilton's skill has been clear to see as being the difference between success and otherwise.

As for the 50's & 60's, what then about the 1954-55 mercedes, the 1959-60 Coopers, the 1963 (especially) and 1967 lotii? Drivers skills can be appreciated, as can skills of engineering and design.

#5 Millennium

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Posted Oct 18 2020 - 06:40 AM

I don't get the obsession some people have with skin colour honestly.

Anyway I don't know if I would agree with the percentages. Back in the day there were also a lot more retirements because the cars were unreliable.
So just by finishing you had a higher chance to win a race I would say.

#6 jgf

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Posted Oct 18 2020 - 10:31 AM

The general progression of technology means the cars are easier to drive - easier, not easy - and increasingly stringent regulations mean they are more identical, both making the car more of the equation.  Williams openly stated he wanted his cars to be so easy to drive that any decent driver could win the championship in one, so it would be obvious it was his car, not the driver, responsible for the success.  (Consider Mansell and Villeneuve in the nineties, both were champions in Williams cars, neither did much of note in F1 otherwise.)

And the cars today are setup to the tiniest degree specifically for each track, in the fifties the car was hauled from track to track with little, if any, setup change;  the driver was expected to adapt to the car and track.  In NASCARE today the more affluent teams even have specific cars for specific tracks, requiring even less ability on the drivers' part.

The design and performance of the car can be rigidly controlled, the performance of the driver only slightly and indirectly.  So which becomes more important.

It is easy to compare the cars over the years, many still exist in their original states and can be seen at vintage events.  But drivers are a product of their times;  Fangio was one of the greats, but this massive man would not even fit in a modern F1 car;  how would Jim Clark compare as Hamilton's teammate today, how well would Hamilton perform in a '67 Lotus.  (We've seen modern drivers in vintage cars, but a "road test" is a far cry from racing wheel to wheel all season.)

Thus I contend the car has become more important than the driver.  A team fields a car, the driver may change season to season;  you do not see a team with a driver, and the car changing season to season.

#7 KARTM

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Posted Oct 18 2020 - 11:44 AM

i dont think thats its right wing or racist  to relativise  the 90 or so  victory of Hamilton and btw its also true for  Schumacher  , they both had the opportunity to be on a uber dominant car for many seasons ( seasons with near 20 grand grix)  , and that with no competition by team order  of the second driver ( except for one season at mercedes) , Mclaren had many dominent years in the eighties but at least both drivers were in the fight , what  i find terrible is  that some people have insult Jackie Stewart recently   for his comments , everything he said was very reasonable and base on a real knowledge  of the history of motor sport , it seem that some drivers Senna was one of them  who attract an immature fan base

#8 twinpotter

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Posted Oct 18 2020 - 03:18 PM

To quote it simply the car or driver is not the problem. Formula One is the real culprit here 🤔 Constantly trying to find the secret formula (pardon the pun) for competition and parity, when they just can't see the woods for the trees.

TP:

Edited by twinpotter, Oct 18 2020 - 03:21 PM.


#9 Iestyn16

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Posted Oct 18 2020 - 05:49 PM

I don't know how many of you are familiar with F1 Metrics, but I think that is the best complex mathematical model. I also like the much simpler arithmetic model from Grand Prix Ratings.

Some findings from F1 Metrics:
  • Top 7 drivers within statistical uncertainty of being the best: Schumacher, Stewart, Alonso, Fangio, Ascari, Clark, Hamilton. Vettel 8th, Max Verstappen 9th (to be at that level soon?), Moss 10th.
  • Alain Prost is the only driver to show a statistically significant influence on car reliability
  • Mark Donohue could have been one of F1's top drivers of the early 1970s and even a WDC, and is surprisingly rated as the best driver of 1975
  • Fangio and Clark stand out for a lack of driver-related DNFs (i.e. spinning off or colliding)
  • Senna and Ascari have the highest % of wet races won, Jenson Button most likely to score a wet win vs a dry win (5:1, usually due to changing tyres the best), Gilles Villeneuve (1974 World Snowmobile Champion) most likely to score more points in a wet race than they would in a dry race. However, this analysis was done before Lewis Hamilton went on a 5 year wet race winning streak (2014-2019).


#10 Bob Simpson

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Posted Oct 19 2020 - 06:57 PM

View PostSaiph, on Oct 18 2020 - 02:55 AM, said:

Clickbait headline. Impossible to prove in any meaningful, objective way. Another example of the desperate press deliberately stirring up controversy to gain readers. And it also probably has racist motivations as Britain has a black multiple World Champion driver and they're trying to undermine him. Ignore Britain's shitty right-wing press. They cannot be trusted.
Although you’re right that there are too many sensational periodicals and journalists in general, The Economist is very respected and thought of as centrist with very little bias in their reporting. Their focus on statistics and the inclusion of explanations of economics theory wouldn’t very often drive your average flash media follower to pick it up, I’d think.

#11 dario

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Posted Oct 20 2020 - 04:10 AM

 Iestyn16, on Oct 18 2020 - 05:49 PM, said:

I don't know how many of you are familiar with F1 Metrics, but I think that is the best complex mathematical model. I also like the much simpler arithmetic model from Grand Prix Ratings.

Some findings from F1 Metrics:
  • Top 7 drivers within statistical uncertainty of being the best: Schumacher, Stewart, Alonso, Fangio, Ascari, Clark, Hamilton. Vettel 8th, Max Verstappen 9th (to be at that level soon?), Moss 10th.
  • Alain Prost is the only driver to show a statistically significant influence on car reliability
  • Mark Donohue could have been one of F1's top drivers of the early 1970s and even a WDC, and is surprisingly rated as the best driver of 1975
  • Fangio and Clark stand out for a lack of driver-related DNFs (i.e. spinning off or colliding)
  • Senna and Ascari have the highest % of wet races won, Jenson Button most likely to score a wet win vs a dry win (5:1, usually due to changing tyres the best), Gilles Villeneuve (1974 World Snowmobile Champion) most likely to score more points in a wet race than they would in a dry race. However, this analysis was done before Lewis Hamilton went on a 5 year wet race winning streak (2014-2019).

With all due respect. But Clark has one driver related DNF

And that driver related DNF resulted in another man's demise.

Just shows that statistics and metrics without story that lies underneath mean nothing.

#12 KARTM

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Posted Oct 20 2020 - 05:17 AM

the  other side of the medal  is to create some idealised image of driver of the past  even Fangio or Clark  , all drivers did uncall mistakes and did spun even the greatest ,  https://www.youtube....v=7ibl-rKhoG4   not his best day :hithead:

#13 Iestyn16

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Posted Oct 20 2020 - 01:18 PM

No doubt those statistics could probably be improved by counting more than only championship GPs for the older era. Clark also missed a race (Reims '66) due to a pre-race crash.

I also suggest that as one of the cleanest drivers, Clark was not at fault for that incident at the '61 Italian GP. Footage shows von Trips moving over onto the racing line from the inside line, when not fully in front.

#14 DuncanS

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Posted Oct 20 2020 - 03:57 PM

View Postjgf, on Oct 17 2020 - 10:58 PM, said:

...and F1 would have been worse had Williams had their way 30 years ago ...but F1 outlawed their active suspension, active aero, computer controlled gearbox, etc...

View Postjgf, on Oct 18 2020 - 10:31 AM, said:

The general progression of technology means the cars are easier to drive ... and increasingly stringent regulations mean they are more identical, both making the car more of the equation...

Williams openly stated he wanted his cars to be so easy to drive that any decent driver could win the championship in one, so it would be obvious it was his car, not the driver, responsible for the success.  (Consider Mansell and Villeneuve in the nineties, both were champions in Williams cars, neither? did much of note in F1 otherwise.)
...

...how would Jim Clark compare as Hamilton's teammate today, how well would Hamilton perform in a '67 Lotus.  (We've seen modern drivers in vintage cars, but a "road test" is a far cry from racing wheel to wheel all season.)

Thus I contend the car has become more important than the driver.  A team fields a car, the driver may change season to season;  you do not see a team with a driver, and the car changing season to season.

If the cars are easier to drive and more identical what is making the difference between the winners and losers? The (not withstanding engine differences) driver?

You seem to have an issue with Williams, he wanted his cars to be easy to drive. What do you think all the teams are trying to do each and every season, make their cars the most difficult to drive....

A bold statement, Nigel Mansell won at least 1 GP across 8(!) different F1 seasons. He scored at least a podium over 11 leasons. He raced for 3 different teams and scored 5 podiums or better with each of those teams. He became an F1 World Champion as well. He came 3rd in his first (of two) indianapolis 500s, and won the Indy Car series in his 1st season, having little to no knowledge of the majority of the circuits with many being Oval in nature a race type he was not expereinced in. WOW! I'd also like to add that Nigel Mansell was in his racing days, a very brave guy (in his early seasons too brave). Bravo Nigel

I'd also be very confident the likes of Lewis Hamilton, a pure racer for one who started in carts, would be very quick to get up to the speeds of say a Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Jochen Rindt, Fangio, Ascari et al in their era of cars, with just as good heel and toe technique

How about Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes as one example, for a driver remaining the same but the car changing? He has driven cars of three different sets of regulations for them. Soon to be four.

View PostKARTM, on Oct 18 2020 - 11:44 AM, said:

...
Do any of us like fake news or wrongly reported facts? to some of the facts you quote

Ferrari had teams orders, Mclaren & Mercedes did not (only a few occasions at the end of the season when the championship was at stake), how many times did Lewis benefit? How many times Schumacher? Do you know the answer, because it is a huge amount for one of those drivers and very,very,very,very little for the other.

As an aside, you may be interested to know (if you did not hear it), in the year Rosberg won his championship, the engineers of the two drivers were swapped around. Imagine all that personal information and knowledge which you trustedly shared and had helped you to win, going from yourself (Lewis) to your team mate (Niko). Just first of all that is quite difficult pyscologically speaking I would say. Niko to his credit made many sacrifices for that year, he changed his training method, for example to exclude cycling, so he could reduce his muscle mass and so body weight, to gain tenths in the car. He lived for much time away from his family unlike before. He studied everything he could and had the help of Lewis's former personal engineer. He was also lucky, by chance, to have better car reliability that year. He left no stone unturned and he won the championship (just). He can be given absolute credit for that achievement and the commitment he made that it might make it possible to happen. But if I was him at the end of the year I would have said Lewis my friend, I am the World Champion thank you for a great season, but I know you are still the better driver.

Jackie Stewart from what I can see, appears to have a problem with Lewis Hamilton. That is a shame if correct. Jackie was certainly a great driver.

In Brazil, the majority, by many 1000s are extremely poor. Ayrton Senna made a connection with those people of his country, they loved him, they felt he understood them, spoke and cared for them, when their leaders did not. In such circumstances of poverty and hardship, where every day is a battle to survive (many of us here may count ourselves fortunate for where we live) love may indeed be a simple, innocent & blind, (you could say immature and in some ways I would agree) thing. However we are all human. It is good to understand each other because with understanding we are empowered, we can forgive and we can love each other again, be strong for others and help to make our world a better place (which I certainly hope for)

View PostIestyn16, on Oct 20 2020 - 01:18 PM, said:

No doubt those statistics could probably be improved ...

You probably know what they say Iestyn, 'there are statistics, more statistics and then there are lies'. I don't personally like stats much myself but a couple of years ago I came across this paper which still to this time I consider as the best model so far, trying to establish the greatest F1 driver of all time. When I consider it's findings against the real world experiences and human details that occured, the answers arrived at would match my own personal perceptions. That Fangio & Prost stand out as the two greatest F1 drivers of all time. I however don't think they can be compared and placed one or the other above, they are of their own fundamental F1 design eras, one front engined, one rear engined.

Here is a link to an overview
https://www.sheffiel...r-ever-1.567358

and here is a link to the full published paper
https://www.research...mance_1950-2014

... for those interested. Of course the data sets are now somewhat out of date and whilst I would imagine Lewis will have moved up and Alonso & Vettel down amoungst others, I would expect from the mathematical modelling, that Prost and Fangio will have remained at the top.

To take it back to the original post. Perhaps what has changed is that the teams are now the greatest influencer of results, but perhaps it was always so. This does not take away from the skill of all the drivers, no matter what era they drove in and clearly the driver still makes a significant difference. I would wager that if Lewis Hamilton had been driving for Ferrari these past 8 years, they would have certainly at least another two, if not three or even four drivers championships, than they do now.

Edited by DuncanS, Oct 20 2020 - 06:03 PM.


#15 jgf

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Posted Oct 20 2020 - 04:29 PM

View PostDuncanS, on Oct 20 2020 - 03:57 PM, said:

...
You seem to have an issue with Williams, he wanted his cars to be easy to drive. What do you think all the teams are trying to do each and every season, make their cars the most difficult to drive....

The point is - Williams wanted it known it was his car, and not the driver, which won the title.  And the thrust of this topic is whether the car or driver is more important.

On a tangent, it is virtually impossible to form an accurate assessment of F1 because they continue to simultaneously run two championships of diametrically opposed concept.  A true drivers' championship would be a spec racer series, such as IROC, with identical cars so the driver ability would be the decisive factor.  Whereas a true manufacturers' championship would be identical drivers so the difference in cars would be the deciding point (an impossible scenario unless you want to pursue computer controlled cars).

#16 DuncanS

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Posted Oct 20 2020 - 04:45 PM

View Postjgf, on Oct 20 2020 - 04:29 PM, said:

The point is - Williams wanted it known it was his car, and not the driver, which won the title.  And the thrust of this topic is whether the car or driver is more important.
...

What then Colin Chapman? and even more so Enzo Ferrari?! Maserati? ...and so on. What about the modern day Mercedes team? They always speak of the 'team'.

and perhaps the thrust of the topic is wrongly placed, as highlighted, that it actually is a team's influence (v the drivers) we should be considering foremost, as opposed to the 'car' alone. Even so it is somewhat semantics.

Edited by DuncanS, Oct 20 2020 - 04:54 PM.


#17 John Woods

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Posted Yesterday, 08:33 AM

.

Edited by John Woods, Yesterday, 11:05 AM.


#18 DuncanS

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Posted Yesterday, 08:52 AM

View PostJohn Woods, on Oct 21 2020 - 08:33 AM, said:

Any ... that.

Pseudo-Pop John, I can't say I ever liked the taste of it.

#19 John Woods

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Posted Yesterday, 09:21 AM

.

Edited by John Woods, Yesterday, 11:05 AM.


#20 DuncanS

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Posted Yesterday, 09:25 AM

View PostJohn Woods, on Oct 21 2020 - 09:21 AM, said:

"puesdo-pop"

Have you 'puesdo-popped' John?

Edited by DuncanS, Yesterday, 09:55 AM.





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