Archive for October, 2010

What’s The Points – Korea Update

October 24, 2010

Previous entries:

    What’s The Points
    What’s The Points – China Update
    What’s The Points – Spain Update
    What’s The Points – Monaco Update
    What’s The Points – Turkey Update
    What’s The Points – Canada Update
    What’s The Points – Valencia Update
    What’s The Points – Great Britain Update
    What’s The Points – Germany Update
    What’s The Points – Hungary Update
    What’s The Points – Belgium Update
    What’s The Points – Italy Update
    What’s The Points – Singapore Update
    What’s The Points – Japan Update

Below is a comparison of the World Championship positions for this year’s points (left), last year’s points-system (middle) and the older 10-6-4-3-2-1 approach (right). Ties are decided by count-back.

1   Alonso   231   Alonso   93   Alonso   77
2   Webber   220   Webber   88   Webber   70
3   Hamilton   210   Hamilton   87   Hamilton   65
4      Vettel   206      Vettel   84      Vettel   64
5   Button   189   Button   77   Button   55
6   Massa   143   Massa   57   Massa   36
7   Kubica   124   Kubica   48   Kubica   24
8   Rosberg   122   Rosberg   47   Rosberg   24
9   Schumacher   66   Schumacher   23   Schumacher   11
10   Barrichello   47   Barrichello   15   Barrichello   6

A horrific race for RBR, with their first double-no-score of the season. With an eleven point lead, things look good for Alonso. If the Korea result were to be repeated in Brazil, Fernando would be World Champion. If Webber can win the remaining two races, that would put him on 270 which Alonso could not beat even if he finished second in both. As well as Alonso moving above Webber and Hamilton moving above Vettel, Kubica takes a place off non-finishing Rosberg in all three systems.

With all the top contenders having had such up-and-down seasons, it is not so surprising the top places are the same in all three systems, it was always unlikely that which of these points-regimes used would change the eventual ‘Champion, but for all three top-tens to be identical in order is unexpected. By this year’s points, Fernando’s lead over Webber is 44% of a race-win, last year’s points, 50% of a race-win, and 10-6-4-3-2-1, 70% of a race-win. Under the latter system, Button would be mathematically out of the chase.

Nineteen drivers have scored points in this year’s ‘Championship (all the drivers except those for the new-teams) , eighteen under 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 (Alguersuari is yet to finish top-eight). Liuzzi’s sixth-place brings up to fifteen those that have finished top-six this season.

This is the order purely on count-back.

    Wins Seconds Thirds Podiums
1   Alonso   5 2 2 9
2   Webber   4 3 2 9
3   Hamilton   3 4 1 8
4   Vettel   3 2 3 8
5   Button   2 3 1 6
6   Massa   2 3 5
7   Kubica   1 2 3
8   Rosberg   3 3

Pure count-back gives exactly the same top-eight order as the points, with the number of podiums still looking like the biggest title-factor.

The next table shows the points scored by the World Championship contenders over the last five events.

   Driver Score    Average
1   Alonso    90      18·8   
2   Webber   59   11·8   
3   Vettel   55   11·4   
4   Hamilton   53   10·6   

If these mean averages of recent performances are multiplied by the three remaining races, added to the points the drivers currently have, and rounded to the nearest point, it gives this projection of the final tally.

1   Alonso   267
2   Webber   244
3   Hamilton   231
4   Vettel   228

With only two races left, the value of this indicator is very limited. The title will probably go to the highest placed driver that puts in two strong finishes in the last two rounds.

Alonso has won three of the last five races, plus a third and a DNF at Belgium. It seems very much his title to lose. Hamilton has always looked off his best in Brazil, and the long flat-out stretch will not suit Red Bull, so it should be another good weekend for the Spaniard.

These are the points if given to engines:

   Engine Score    Average
per Team
1   Mercedes    655      218·3   
2   Renault   569   284·5   
3   Ferrari   428   142·7   
4   Cosworth   65   16·3   

Ferrari took a 1-3 with both Saubers in the points to take 46 points. Mercedes had Hamilton, Schumacher, and Liuzzi in second, fourth, and sixth, for 38 points. Renault only got ten for Kubica’s fifth-place. Cosworth had both Williams in the points for 7.

The scores by nationality of drivers are:

   Nation Points   Scoring
Drivers
1   Germany   465     6
2   Britain   399     2
3   Spain   240     3
4   Australia   220     1
5   Brazil   190     2
6   Poland   124     1
7   Japan   31     1
8   Italy   21     1
9   Russia   19     1
10   Switzerland   8     1

The win for Spain was enough to win the week and take third off Australia. Webber has to defend his country unaided, but Alonso can not expect much help off Alguersuari, or any more from de la Rosa. Massa and Barrichello gave Brazil 21. Hamilton gave GB 18. Sans Vettel, the German hoards still took 4th, 9th, and 10th for 15. Poland got 10. Liuzzi’s sixth-place gave eight to over-take Russia for eighth. Kobayashi added four for the Land of the Rising Sun.

This is the Nations’ Cup only counting the score of the highest driver in a race for each country. I have also decided to use 10-6-4-3-2-1, partly because I think it a better scoring regime, partly because it meant less work. Thus, for example, the McLaren 1-2 in China would give Britain 10 points for the win, nothing for second, and Rosberg’s third place would give Germany 4 points, with nothing for Vettel’s sixth place.

   Nation Points  
1   Britain   94    
2   Germany   80    
3   Spain   77    
4   Australia   70    
5   Brazil   42    
6   Poland   24    
7   Russia   2    
8   Japan   1    
9   Italy   1    

Alonso’s win with Webber’s DNF sees Spain move up to third. It was with Monaco the second race this season to have the top-six feature six different nations. Liuzzi gave Italy its first point, remaining behind Japan on count-back.

This next table shows the standings based on qualification using current points.

1   Vettel   341
2   Webber   311
3   Alonso   207
4   Hamilton   192
5   Button   134
6   Massa   132
7   Rosberg   119
8   Kubica   116
9   Schumacher   48
10   Barrichello   44
11   Hülkenberg   24
12   Sutil   21
13   Liuzzi   10
14   Petrov   9
15   Kobayashi   5
16   de la Rosa   4

Little change in the status quo. Rosberg’s strong fifth did enable him to climb one position pushing Kubica down a place, the Pole disappointed to only qualify eighth after his car had developed a handling issue since FP3.

These are the fastest-lap points with the number of outright fastest laps in brackets.

1   Webber   247   (3)
2   Alonso   224   (5)
3   Vettel   216   (3)
4   Hamilton   181   (3)
5   Kubica   128   (1)
6   Button   124   (1)
7   Massa   122  
8   Rosberg   95  
9   Schumacher   72  
10   Petrov   59   (1)
11   Barrichello   54  
12   Sutil   44  
13   Buemi   42  
14   Alguersuari   39  
15   Liuzzi   26  
16   Kobayashi   19  
17   Hülkenberg   15  
18   de la Rosa   9  
19   Heidfeld   1  

The top-five in this discipline in Korea were Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton, Massa, Liuzzi. Kubica came seventh, Button outside the top-ten, promoting the Pole to fifth. Liuzzi’s good showing took him past Kobayashi to 15th.

Click here to see my Google documents laps-and-distance-completed spreadsheet.

See also RG’s Korea update for his championship for new teams.

Korea Pretent Points

October 23, 2010

If the Korea race-result was to be exactly the same as qualification order, this is how the points would pan out.

Webber    238
Vettel    231
Alonso    221
Hamilton    204
Button    195

Japan Snippets

October 12, 2010

In Japan, Vettel garnered his eighth win and 13th pole. He has taken six wins from pole-positions, his other two wins being from second and third on the grid. Six of his seven failures to win from pole happened this year. It was the thirteenth win for Red Bull from 104 races, but bearing in mind the team only won their first race in China last year, it is their 13th win in the last 31 races. It was the 128th win for a Renault-engined car. These are the top-five win-totals for engines.

1    Ferrari    215
2    Ford Cosworth    176
3    Renault    128
4    Mercedes    82
5    Honda    72

(See gpguide.com for full list)

There was a fair bit of action in Sunday’s race, and whilst I enjoyed watching the event, I am somehow surprised I did not enjoy it more. One suggestion I read was that it was marred by poor TV coverage, and although the live-editing was erratic at times, I do not think that was it. It certainly led to more screen-time for home-driver, Kobayashi, but his series of overtaking moves coincided to justify that, and provided much of the best of the afternoon; it is widely known that overtaking is just too difficult in Formula One, but it seems Kamui did not get that memo. The five ‘Championship contenders finished in the order they qualified in, with Button’s alternate tyre-strategy having no impact. We were denied Kubica’s part in the race action after his early retirement, or the opportunity to see Hamilton mix it with the Red Bulls and Alonso’s Ferrari by his gearbox-change grid-penalty, followed by his transmission issue in the race. With Massa out early and Rosberg’s retirement, the best-of-the-rest battle some way back from the big boys was not that inspiring. The points-gaps between the top-three were closed up by the result, but with one less race left on the season, so not a huge change in status quo; the McLaren pair were pushed further back in the points but it had already looked pessimistic for their chances before Suzuka. It was all a bit anti-climatic.

There are those who argue Nick Heidfeld has had his chance and is not especially deserving of a place in F1 but I disagree. As was once the case with Webber (who was dropped by Williams for not being good enough, although Patrick Head now concedes it might have been the car that was the problem), Heidi has never been in the right team at the right time, except once in Canada 2008, when team-ordered to let Kubica past to steal the win. This is a comparison of Nick’s performance against his F1 team-mates, with the year(s) and team, then his points on the left, the team-mate’s on the right.

2000   Prost   0 : 0   Alesi
2001   Sauber   12 : 9   Räikkönen
2002   Sauber   7 : 4   Massa
2002-3   Sauber   6 : 13   Frentzen
2004   Jordan   2 : 0   Pantano
2004   Jordan   1 : 2   Glock
2005   Williams   28 : 24   Webber
2006   BMW   13 : 7   Villeneuve
2006-9   BMW   150 : 137   Kubica
2007   BMW   0 : 1   Vettel
2010   Sauber   4 : 6   Kobayashi

It is fair to ignore Heidfeld being out-scored by Glock, Vettel, and Kobayashi as he has had them as team-mates for only one to three races. He was trounced by Frentzen in 2001, but has out-performed everyone else including Räikkönen, Villeneuve, Massa, Webber, and Kubica, who, with better opportunities, have collectively won two World Championships and forty-seven Grands Prix. He is also a driver that in the 2008 season overtook two drivers simultaneously not once but three times. Thus it was unfortunate news, issued even before quick Nick had had time to settle in with the team, that Sauber will be replacing him for 2011 with Mexican pay-driver, Mexican Sergio Perez. The reasons for the Swiss outfit recruiting Heidfeld were de la Rosa being disappointing and wanting a known-quantity driver to work out where the car is. With the scintillating but inconsistent Kobayashi partnered with an unproven rookie next season, heaven knows how they plan on evaluating the development programme if Pedro’s experience was unhelpful. For Nick, however well he does in the remaining races, it is difficult to see any opportunity for him unless Schumacher quits, Renault chose talent over money for the second seat, or he is willing to go to Force India, all of which look unlikely.

I looked at the circuit map for Korea with horror. Tilke has packed eighteen corners into the 3·5 mile (5·6 km) design. As you can see, fourteen of the turns are barely interrupted by any straights to speak of. With the bareness of the landscape, reconising one part of the track from another on TV will make the turns at Valencia look as individual as fingerprints; it might even be quite hard for drivers to remember where they are on the circuit. This sequence will of course spread out any cars that were close going into it. By the end of the start-finish, any minor ground that has been made up on a car in front will soon be lost in turns one and two, so it is very unlikely the longest straight that follows will be enough to slipstream to catch up by turn three, which anyway, by the look of the on-board footage from Chandhok’s run, is surprisingly narrow for a modern circuit, so will be easy to defend at. There only appears to be the one grandstand, on the start/finish, and we will find out if they can fill that. The grandiose plans include building a city around the circuit, so at least their optimism can not be faulted. There may be a good chance of a very lively weekend as with the tarmac so recently laid, as explained by Radio Five Live’s Anthony Davidson, the surface may still be emitting oils that will make the track very slippery indeed. Even in the sunshine, it could be a weekend for drivers that are good in the wet; if not careful, they may Korea off the track.

(If you have not already viewed it, have a look at the pictures from Korea in this post by Joe Saward.)

What’s The Points – Japan Update

October 10, 2010

Previous entries:

    What’s The Points
    What’s The Points – China Update
    What’s The Points – Spain Update
    What’s The Points – Monaco Update
    What’s The Points – Turkey Update
    What’s The Points – Canada Update
    What’s The Points – Valencia Update
    What’s The Points – Great Britain Update
    What’s The Points – Germany Update
    What’s The Points – Hungary Update
    What’s The Points – Belgium Update
    What’s The Points – Italy Update
    What’s The Points – Singapore Update

Below is a comparison of the World Championship positions for this year’s points (left), last year’s points-system (middle) and the older 10-6-4-3-2-1 approach (right). Ties are decided by countback.

1   Webber   220   Webber   88   Webber   70
2   Alonso   206   Vettel   84   Alonso   67
3   Vettel   206   Alonso   83   Vettel   64
4      Hamilton   192      Hamilton   79      Hamilton   61
5   Button   189   Button   77   Button   55
6   Massa   128   Massa   51   Massa   30
7   Rosberg   122   Rosberg   47   Rosberg   24
8   Kubica   114   Kubica   44   Kubica   22
9   Schumacher   54   Schumacher   18   Schumacher   8
10   Sutil   47   Sutil   15   Barrichello   6

The top-five in the ‘Championship standings all finished top-five in the race. Webber increases his lead, but sees his team-mate make up ground to join Alonso on 206 points. Hamilton falls behind Vettel, and to more than a win from the front. Button is creeping up on his team-mate, but both McLaren drivers needed a better weekend. Massa, Rosberg, and Kubica failed to score points in Japan, with before these retirements Massa looking fragile against the other two.

Vettel in real points is only behind Alonso on count-back, this only being the German’s third win to Alonso’s four this season. Sebastian has a slim advantage over Fernando under last year’s points, but, with more emphasis on outright results, the Spaniard has the edge under 10-6-4-3-2-1. Webber’s lead is about 60% of a win under this and last year’s points, but things are closer under 10-6-4-3-2-1, with Mark only leading by 30% of a win (both he and Alonso on four wins), and the top-four all covered by less than the ten points for a win. Under 10-6-4-3-2-1, the Australian’s two eighth-places and a ninth early in the season give his total no help, with the five real points they provide perhaps will prove to be critical at the end of the season. When this new scoring system was devised, the plan was to help smaller teams get the chance to score, but probably not that such minor positions decide who wins the title.

Nick Heidfeld’s eighth-place at Suzuka increased to nineteen those that have scored points this season (only excluding the new-team drivers), and made up to eighteen those that would have scored under last year’s points (Alguersuari is yet to finish top-eight). Fourteen drivers have finished top-six, not including the STR drivers, de la Rosa, quick Nick, or Liuzzi.

This is the order purely on count-back.

    Wins Seconds Thirds Podiums
1   Webber   4 3 2 9
2   Alonso   4 2 2 8
3   Hamilton   3 3 1 7
4   Vettel   3 2 3 8
5   Button   2 3 1 6
6   Massa   2 2 4
7   Kubica   1 2 3
8   Rosberg   3 3

Pure count-back promotes Hamilton over Vettel, and Kubica over Rosberg to seventh. This is the table in the order of the real points-standings.

    Wins Seconds Thirds Podiums
1   Webber   4 2 2 8
2   Alonso   4 2 1 7
3   Vettel   2 2 3 7
4   Hamilton   3 3 1 7
5   Button   2 3 1 6
6   Massa   2 2 4
7   Rosberg   3 3
8   Kubica   1 2 3

As after the last race, and suggested by Alonso as the likeliest Championship decider, the number of podiums seems to have the greatest influence. Webber’s points race-average is 13·75, behind 15 points for third-place, ahead of 12 for fourth.

The next table shows the points scored by the World Championship contenders over the last five events.

   Driver Score    Average
1   Webber    84      16·8   
2   Alonso   83   16·6   
3   Vettel   70   14·4   
4   Button   46   9·2   
5   Hamilton   35   7·4   

If these mean averages of recent performances are multiplied by the three remaining races, added to the points the drivers currently have, and rounded to the nearest point, it gives this projection of the final tally.

1   Webber   270
2   Alonso   256
3   Vettel   248
4   Button   217
5   Hamilton   213

McLaren had both drivers score points for the first time in five races, but with only three rounds left, both of their drivers’ title-chances look very tentative. Mark Webber looks strong as long as he does not drop the ball. The Red Bulls have a reputation for being fragile, but Mark has had 100% race-reliability, scoring in every GP except for his crash at Valencia, and Vettel has had very good reliability this season, except for three separate issues early in the season, all of which were those sort of strange one-offs, such as a spark-plug or brake-disk failing, that a driver usually expects one or less of a season. Post-race in Suzuka, Webber said he needed to win again to win the title. I question if that is true. If Mark gets a second and two thirds in the last three races, that would put him on 268 points. Vettel or Alonso, on 206 currently, would need 62 to match that. Two wins and a third would give 65, but that is something neither Alonso or Vettel have achieved in any three consecutive races this season. Obviously, if Mark has a bad race, he might need a win, but conversely if a McLaren wins in Korea, it will make life much harder for Mark’s title rivals. (I have this sneaking feeling that the title might just be decided by Brazil, denying us a last-round decider.)

These are the points if given to engines:

   Engine Score    Average
per Team
1   Mercedes    617      205·6   
2   Renault   559   279·5   
3   Ferrari   382   127·3   
4   Cosworth   58   14·5   

With first and second, Renault led the scoring with 43, but might have done even greater damage to Mercedes’s lead had Kubica not had his calamity. Mercedes had Button, Hamilton, and Schumacher behind the Red Bulls and Alonso for 30. Ferrari received contributions from Alonso, Kobayashi, Heidfeld, and Buemi, for 26. Barrichello’s Williams gave Cosworth two points.

The scores by nationality of drivers are:

   Nation Points   Scoring
Drivers
1   Germany   450     6
2   Britain   381     2
3   Australia   220     1
4   Spain   215     3
5   Brazil   169     2
6   Poland   114     1
7   Japan   27     1
8   Russia   19     1
9   Italy   13     1
10   Switzerland   8     1

Cripes, yet another German driver adds to the pot with Nick Heidfeld scoring four points, with Vettel’s win plus Schumacher’s sixth making 37. Lewis and Jenson added 22 for Britain. Webber took 18 for Australia, Alonso 15 for Spain, Kobayashi 6 for Japan, Barrichello 2 for Brazil, and Buemi 1 for Switzerland. No changes in position with the top-five gaps all widening.

This is the Nations’ Cup only counting the score of the highest driver in a race for each country. I have also decided to use 10-6-4-3-2-1, partly because I think it a better scoring regime, partly because it meant less work. Thus, for example, the McLaren 1-2 in China would give Britain 10 points for the win, nothing for second, and Rosberg’s third place would give Germany 4 points, with nothing for Vettel’s sixth place.

   Nation Points  
1   Britain   88    
2   Germany   77    
3   Australia   70    
4   Spain   67    
5   Brazil   38    
6   Poland   22    
7   Russia   2    
8   Japan   1    

Germany gain on Britain, but no changes in position. Only the top-four nations in the table scored.

This next table shows the standings based on qualification using current points.

1   Vettel   316
2   Webber   293
3   Alonso   192
4   Hamilton   180
5   Button   128
6   Massa   124
7   Kubica   112
8   Rosberg   109
9   Schumacher   46
10   Barrichello   43
11   Hülkenberg   24
12   Sutil   21
13   Liuzzi   10
14   Petrov   9
15   Kobayashi   5
16   de la Rosa   4

Massa fails to make Q3 for the second consecutive race, and the third time this season, losing a place to Button. Kubica, qualifying third after Hamilton’s penalty, moves up one place over Rosberg. The Red Bull drivers remain the only two to qualify top-ten (indeed top-six) every race. Despite optimism for Suzuka, neither STR driver has yet to score in this category, with the new-team drivers and Heidi also pointless.

These are the fastest-lap points with the number of outright fastest laps in brackets.

1   Webber   247   (3)
2   Alonso   199   (4)
3   Vettel   198   (3)
4   Hamilton   166   (3)
5   Button   124   (1)
6   Kubica   122   (1)
7   Massa   110  
8   Rosberg   95  
9   Schumacher   68  
10   Petrov   59   (1)
11   Barrichello   46  
12   Sutil   44  
13   Buemi   42  
14   Alguersuari   37  
15   Kobayashi   19  
16   Liuzzi   16  
17   Hülkenberg   14  
18   de la Rosa   9  
19   Heidfeld   1  

Many will be aware that on the very last lap, Webber pipped team-mate Vettel for the fastest-lap, denying Sebastian the win-pole-FL triple. On the last lap, Button also beat Vettel’s best lap-time, enabling Jenson to move up two places at the expense of retirees, Kubica and Massa. Kobayashi managed the sixth-best lap-time, moving up two places to fifteenth.

Click here to see my Google documents laps-and-distance-completed spreadsheet. Before the Japanese GP, Massa had only failed to complete one race-distance, finishing one lap down in Canada, but his early bath at Suzuka drops him several places for laps completed.

See also RG’s Japan update for his championship for new teams.

Japan Qualification Pretend Points

October 10, 2010

If the Japan race-result was to be exactly the same as qualification order (allowing for Hamilton’s five-place drop), this is how the points would pan out.

Webber    220
Vettel    206
Alonso    203
Button    187
Hamilton    186

Will Vettel help Webber? Probably not. Both Button and Hamilton should make up places, but look in danger of badly falling away from the title-battle. Alonso needs to hope Red Bull are not as fast in race-trim, or return to finding some way to mess up the races. Mark could do with making a good start for once.

Singapore Unfair Result

October 2, 2010

In Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, Sutil and Hülkenberg initially finished eighth and ninth, but after each receiving 20-second penalties (both of which were for cutting corners), were demoted to ninth and tenth behind Massa, putting the pair as the last two to complete the race-distance. What struck me was this gave them time-differences to the winner that had become much more than a lap’s-worth, with a number of drivers not that much over a lap-down behind them in the results.

At the end of the race, there was very little in it between 8th and 14th. The last-gasp battle with Alonso fending off Vettel for the win by 0·293 seconds saw the two leaders lap the 12th and 11th placed cars on the last lap, with Sutil, Hülkenberg, and Massa starting the last lap only just soon enough to avoid being lapped by the leaders, the three finishing the full-distance covered by less than a second.

The only way I can think of to judge this is to calculate the time-differences between the relevent cars at the last lap they all completed, that is the sixtieth, second-last lap. I have the .pdf file from FIA that gives me the lap-times for the cars that completed the last lap, and the post-penalties result page from gpguide.com (not only does it contain more useful information about the finishing times of the lapped cars but the race-result on f1.com has added ten seconds too many to Hülkenberg’s time). I have used the time at which Alonso finished the race as the zero-point, so this table shows how many seconds earlier or later the cars in question completed the 60th lap.

8th   Sutil   + 2·067
9th   Hülkenberg   + 1·643
10th   Massa   + 0·903
11th   Petrov   - 4·040
12th   Alguersuari   - 6·167
13th   Schumacher   - 12·934
14th   Buemi   - 17·450

The next car behind was another lap behind so can be ignored. The time-difference between Sutil and Buemi with a lap to go was 19.517 seconds, so surely it would be just to have relegated the two penalised drivers to 13th and 14th, with Petrov and Alguersuari gaining the points for 9th and 10th. Otherwise a driver that is last to finish on the lead-lap could be given a penalty of a million seconds with no effect on his race-position whatsoever.

It could be argued that had all the drivers had the opportunity to complete the full distance, even if lapped, then with the tendency of cars further up in the race to be faster, the gaps would have increased, so another way to do it would be to work out the average speeds of the penalised cars based on their race-time including the time penalty, and use that for comparison. That data is available in the gpguide.com results, and would have resulted in Adrian and Nico being only put down to 12th and 13th, in front of Buemi.

(Incidentally, five-times Le Mans winner, Emanuele Pirro, will be the driver-steward at the last round, and thus was present at Monza to observe the process. He was not at all happy about, as he saw it, Hülkenberg being allowed to get away with cutting the chicane so many times to defend his position against Webber. The drivers at Abu Dhabi would be wise to bear this in mind, although it is possible not all of them read this blog.)


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