If Ferrari was using Massa's car as a test bed for various things -resulting in a constantly changing car that the driver never gets a feel for-- how does one really factor in such things when doing a points comparison between teammates?
This is just a broader statement...can statistics really be effectively used to judge comparisons between Schumacher and Irvine, and then Schumacher and Barichello since team orders were in full play? Assuming the cars are equal, and there are no team orders, a statistical comparison is going to be more effective. Yet, how would we know if the cars were equal? We're taking it for granted both cars are equal. Without knowing all of the other external factors on the situation, it makes any statistical analysis of F1 difficult.
There´s no way to get a reliabe result regarding the drivers abilities from any available statistic. F1 is just too technical for that. Even if we take the easiest scenario possible - e.g. teammates with equal material, equal reliability etc. - there are several factors, which have to be considered. E.g. The general behaviour of the car, might just give edge for one driver as it suits his style better - and we might never know, that the result would´ve been different with other - but still equal - material....or just simply if a driver is "in good shape" in a specific period of time or not (that might sound vague, but i guess that also exists for drivers as it does for other athletes: E.g. Federer achieving a grand slam in year X and not winning sh!t in year Y.....despite using the same racket.;) )
As we all know, the result is, that there are vastly differing opinions about that issue - even if we only focus on the currently active generation, let alone all generations as a whole...
Ps. One small remark about your last passage:
It´s al little bit ironic, when someone puts much emphasis on using MSC as the example for possibly "unequal conditions", and uses a avatar of Senna sitting in a Lotus at the same time.
Edited by LiJu914, 06 December 2012 - 18:50.