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2012 - season, when driver counts more than ever?

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#1 sopa

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:59

I just got wondering. Usually throughout years the gaps between teams have been so large that it has prompted people into saying that car counts for 90% of the result or whatever. Because usually team-mates have been finishing together or at least close to each other. And due to that it has been difficult to rate midfield drivers, because they haven't got the cars to challenge the top.

But this year is truly unique. To me it looks like Drivers' Year. Even midfield teams have already around 100 points on board (some more, some less) and it is often argued that they should have even more if they had drivers to deliver. Particularly Sauber and Williams have often had cars capable of challenging for podium. And in races we don't have like say first six positions locked out by only 3 teams (like it has usually been in past years), but in many cases we have 6 different teams in first 6 positions!

Looking at the front, in top 3 there are drivers from three different teams and if it wasn't for Hamilton's endless reliability issues, we would have four different teams being represented at the top of the drivers championship table. So again can we say that this is the sign that the best drivers are delivering and it is not so much about cars?

I consider the results of 2012 to be more driver-dependant than usual, because the cars have been so close. Though in the 70's and early 80's there were also periods, when many cars were really close in performance. Did it sort out the best drivers?

Sure it is a bit complicated as when the cars are close in performance, it also highlights the team operations and strategy department skills more as well. But what is your verdict about rating drivers in 2012? Has it given you more insight than, say, 2011, when there were big gaps between teams?

Edited by sopa, 05 November 2012 - 11:03.


#2 ivand911

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 11:39

I don't think so , it is the season where the car counts important as always. And the luck.
And how we can forget the tyre lottery start of the season.

Edited by ivand911, 05 November 2012 - 11:40.

#3 noikeee

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 11:52

I think this is partially true but only up to a point, because the very large gaps we're seeing between team-mates have very specific reasons: in Ferrari and Red Bull (particularly Ferrari) the #2 drivers have been WAY off the pace for a considerable period of time; in Lotus the #2 driver has had a crazy amount of race-ending incidents; in Williams the #2 was way off the pace in the rare weekends the car was at the front; in Mercedes one of the drivers had a ridiculous amount of reliability issues; and in McLaren the #1 driver has also had a huge issue with reliability with the #2 being very hit-and-miss with his pace.

When a driver like Massa was qualifying nearly a second off Alonso every race, it's not the closeness of the field that's keeping him miles from the result intended, it's his lack of speed. There's been a lot of abnormal lack of speed days for many drivers, and cars too.

I suspect it's the awkward tyres causing this over anything else.