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Alternative history: 2012 championship without misfortune


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#1 mnmracer

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 20:17

With some of the closest driver fields in a long time, the 2012 Formula One championship has been crazy thus far. Left and right, the drivers have also been affected by misfortune though, skewing the outcome in comparison to the driver's performances. To put things a little in perspective, here is what the top 5 of the championship would have looked without misfortune. Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher are also included because they have had a big amount of problems as well in 2012.

DISCLAIMER: While anyone having watched Back to the Future understands that you can’t simply alter one thing in history without other things being affected, and thus these results are not completely definitive, they can’t be completely ignored either, considering any Formula One will always push for the best results. This article provides some context to the raw statistics of world championships.

DISCLAIMER II: If you think "but driver X was unlucky to have a slower car" or "I don't consider mechanical issues misfortune" is a constructive one-liner (it's not), please understand that is not the purpose of this article. It's purpose is to give an overview of what happened, not to ignite another debate on 'the best driver'.


What counts as misfortune: mechanical failure, being crashed in to by another driver, undeserved penalties
What does not count as misfortune: wrong tactical choices, crashing their own car, penalty by the driver’s own doing

Australian Grand Prix
- First race of the season started with a bang, or rather a screech, as Alonso binned his Ferrari in Q2. As it was his own fault, no changes there.
- Both Red Bulls were struggling with KERS in qualifying, but the gap to Schumacher was greater than KERS would have cost likely them, so no changes there.
- Michael Schumacher retired from 3rd place with gearbox issues. Without this, he would have still been passed by Vettel and probably Webber, but fifth should have been very possible.
- Romain Grosjean was punted off the track by Pastor Maldonado. Considering Grosjean's and Lotus' speed, he would have likely finished ahead of Alonso, but behind Schumacher still.
- The influence of the safety car on the Vettel-Hamilton has been much debated, but the pace of Vettel trying to jump Hamilton -before the field was slowed by the safety car- would have been enough to take 2nd, regardless of the safety car.

Changes: P5 for Schumacher, P6 for Grosjean, P7 for Alonso, P9 for Räikkönen.
Alternative standings (actual standings): Button 25pts (25), Vettel 18pts (18), Hamilton 15pts (15), Webber 12pts (12), Schumacher 10pts (0), Alonso 6pts (10), Räikkönen 2pts (6)

Malaysian Grand Prix
- Kimi Räikkönen received a 5 place grid penalty for changing his gearbox, setting him back to p10, which moved up Vettel, Grosjean, Rosberg and Alonso. Considering his race pace though, he would have probably not finished ahead of Webber, who qualified ahead, anyway.
- Grosjean spun Schumacher on lap 1, retiring by his own doing a few laps later. No change for Grosjean. Schumacher lost a lot of positions, and although the time difference was made up by the safety car a little later, he would have likely had a good chance to fight for Räikkönen's position.
- Vettel's radio stopped working shortly after the restart, which is a strategical nightmare in rainy conditions. Having been able to pit a lap earlier would have saved him some time, but would not have him overtake Hamilton.
- Webber lost 2 seconds in the pit stop, affecting his fight with Vettel, who in turn had also lost time due to the radio. As Vettel was the faster driver today, it likely evens out.
- Jenson Button collided with Karthikeyan trying to overtake him. This was his own fault.
- Infamously, Vettel and Karthikeyan came together when the Red Bull tried to lap the HRT. While there's a lot of would have/could have/should have's, the stewards also agreed Karthikeyan was at fault. This cost Vettel 4th place. While he was catching up with Hamilton, the McLaren's top speed makes that it wasn't certain the accident cost Vettel 3rd, so just 4th.

Changes: P4 for Vettel, P5 for Webber, P6 for Räikkönen, p7 for Schumacher.
Alternative standings (actual standings): Alonso 31pts (35), Vettel 30pts (18), Hamilton 30pts (30), Button 25pts (25), Webber 22pts (24), Schumacher 16pts (1), Räikkönen 10pts (16)

Chinese Grand Prix
- Lewis Hamilton was given a 5-place grid penalty for a gearbox change. Although Rosberg looked too strong for anyone this weekend, Hamilton would have probably taken second.
- Schumacher retired and lost a likely 3rd place (he was on the same winning strategy as Rosberg) podium finish when his mechanic failed to screw his tire on correctly.
- While Vettel and Räikkönen didn't saw their strategies work out, those do not count in these scenario's.

Changes: P2 for Hamilton, P3 for Schumacher, everyone behind one place down.
Alternative standings (actual standings): Hamilton 45pts (45), Vettel 38pts (28), Button 37pts (43), Alonso 33pts (37), Webber 32pts (36), Schumacher 31pts (1), Räikkönen 10pts (16)

Bahrain Grand Prix
- Although Webber did not have KERS in the first lap, considering his later race pace it is unlikely he would have finished ahead of the Lotus'.
- A slow first pitstop cost Hamilton 10 seconds, which left him behind Rosberg. Losing another 12 seconds in the second pit stop, and Rosberg finishing just 17 seconds behind Webber, Hamilton might have been able to challenge the Australian for 4th. As Webber probably didn't push too much in the final laps, we'll give Hamilton 5th.
- Button was pushing and had likely overtaken di Resta if not for a tire puncture and later exhaust problems. We put Button ahead of di Resta.
- Althought Rosberg had a broken exhaust in the final laps, it did not make a big difference.

Changes: P5 for Hamilton, P6 for Button, P7 for Rosberg, P9 for Alonso, Schumacher out of the points.
Alternative standings (actual standings): Vettel 63pts (53), Hamilton 55pts (49), Button 45pts (43), Webber 44pts (48), Schumacher 31pts (2), Räikkönen 28pts (34)

Spanish Grand Prix
- Two strategy calls by Red Bull in qualifying did not quite work out. In an attempt to safe tires, Webber was stuck in Q2 and had to start 12th. Vettel subsequently decided to safe tires in Q3, and to have a choice of tires in the race. Both choices ended up not working out for them, but as strategy can both win and lose you a race, it doesn't count.
- Underfueling Hamilton in Q3, we can assume, was not done on purpose, yet had grave consequences. Bad luck, so we put him back on pole. Judging his race pace if on pole is tricky, as his race pace from the back would not have won him the race. All throughout qualifying though, his pace was such that a win would be likely.
- Vettel's drive-through penalty for not slowing for yellow flags was his own fault as well. His front wing change later did cost him 6 seconds though, which would have been enough to finish ahead of Kamui Kobayashi.
- Judging the impact of Webber's front wing problems is a bit tricky; he was in 8th when he fell back through the ranks, and lost time on the pit stop as well. He wasn't leading the 6-car pack by much though, so without the issues he would have probably ended just in front of, or behind, Kamui Kobayashi. Considering he was fighting back really well, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and give him 7th, behind Vettel, ahead of Kobayashi.

Changes: P1 for Hamilton, P3 for Alonso, P6 for Vettel, P7 for Webber, P9 for Rosberg, P10 for Button.
Alternative standings (actual standings): Hamilton 80pts (53), Vettel 71pts (61), Alonso 49pts (61), Button 46pts (45), Webber 44pts (48), Räikkönen 43pts (49), Schumacher 31pts (2)

Monaco Grand Prix
- Schumacher's crash with Senna in Spain cost him the pole position, but this was his own fault.
- Vettel was given the wrong set-up in qualifying, but this counts as a strategic error, so it doesn't count for this article.
- At the start, Alonso pushed Grosjean into Schumacher, which cost the German Schumacher valuable time and made him fall back behind Räikkönen who held him up. Schumacher's race ended with a fuel problem, but if not for the start-crash, and if his fuel pressure hhad kept, he would have certainly kept up with the leading pack, finishing 7th or possibly higher. Considering Rosberg finished 2nd, let's split the difference and give Schumacher 4th, ahead of Vettel.
- With Grosjean not taken out at the start, he would have likely been able to stay ahead of di Resta, Hülkenberg and Räikkönen, finishing 8th and pushing Kimi out of the points.

Changes: P4 for Schumacher, P5 for Vettel, P6 for Hamilton, P10 for Räikkönen.
Alternative standings (actual standings): Hamilton 88pts (63), Vettel 81pts (73), Webber 69pts (73), Alonso 64pts (76), Button 46pts (45), Räikkönen 43pts (51), Schumacher 43pts (2)

Canadian Grand Prix
- Vettel and Alonso saw their race strategies crumble, but strategy doesn't count.
- Running 9th, Schumacher had to retire when his DRS stayed open, so we're giving him P9.

Changes: P9 for Schumacher.
Alternative standings (actual standings): Hamilton 113pts (88), Vettel 93pts (85), Webber 75pts (79), Alonso 74pts (86), Räikkönen 47pts (55), Button 46pts (45), Schumacher 45pts (2)

European Grand Prix
- Problems in qualifying for Webber meant he had to start in 19th. Free practice indicated he would have been fast, but still a few tenths off Vettel. Considering his start and his race pace, I would say he would been 4th after lap 1, behind Vettel, Hamilton and Grosjean.
- A bad pit stop cost Hamilton 3rd place at the time. Aside from losing position, having to fight with Räikkönen because of that also cost him tire wear later on. While he would have still suffered, it would not have been as severe, dropping him behind Webber and Alonso at worst.
- Alonso would not have been able to surprise Grosjean, as he would be behind the more experienced, and better defending, Webber and Hamilton.
- With Vettel and Grosjean not suffering from engine faillures, this would mean the top 5 would end up Vettel, Grosjean, Webber, Alonso and Hamilton.

Changes: P1 for Vettel, P2 for Grosjean, P3 for Webber, P4 for Alonso, P5 for Hamilton, P6 for Räikkönen, P7 for Schumacher, P9 for Rosberg, Button out of the points.
Alternative standings (actual standings): Hamilton 123pts (88), Vettel 118pts (85), Webber 93pts (91), Alonso 86pts (111) (75), Räikkönen 53pts (73), Schumacher 51pts (17), Button 46pts (49)

British Grand Prix
- Button was stuck in Q3 because of the yellow flags due to Glock spinning. As the qualifying was a mix-up, it's hard to see exactly where he could have qualified and thus finished. It would be safe to assume he could have finished in front of Senna, just 1 second ahead, so let's give him that.
- Other than that, not much happened in the context of this article.

Changes: P9 for Button.
Alternative standings (actual standings): Hamilton 127pts (92), Vettel 133pts (100), Webber 118pts (116), Alonso 104pts (129), Räikkönen 63pts (83), Schumacher 57pts (23), Button 48pts (50)

German Grand Prix
- Webber and Rosberg were given a 5-place grid penalty for changing their gearboxes.
- Rosberg would have finished ahead of Hülkenberg.
- Judging where Webber would have ended up is tricky, as he didn't quite have the race pace, and ended up behind drivers that started behind him anyway. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt on Räikkönen, Kobayashi and Perez, but with Schumacher on p4 and both McLarens very fast, Webber would have finished 6th.
- Hamilton's puncture and consequent suspension damage ruined his race, though it would be hard to judge his actual speed, as his race speed was very fluctuating. His mix-up with Vettel and Alonso was thanks to fresher tires, but it did show he still had some pace in the car. In practice and qualifying, Hamilton was faster than Button though, and at times also faster than Vettel. The race would have probably come together with a three-way fight between Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel, but with Hamilton having incredibly superior straight-line speed over Vettel, it's safe to give Hamilton 2nd.
- Which of course brings us to Vettel's illegal overtaking move on Button. Hamilton's overtake on Vettel has been much discussed, but regardless of what you feel about it, the move itself cost Vettel just enough for him to drop behind Button after his pitstop. So with Hamilton not ahead, Vettel would not have made the frustrated move on Button, and had finished 3rd.

Changes: P2 for Hamilton, P3 for Vettel, P4 for Button, P5 for Webber, P6 for Räikkönen, P7 for Kobayashi, P8 for Perez, P9 for Schumacher, P10 for Rosberg.
Alternative standings (actual standings): Hamilton 152pts (92), Vettel 148pts (110), Webber 128pts (120), Alonso 129pts (154), Räikkönen 71pts (98), Schumacher 62pts (29), Button 60pts (68)

Hungarian Grand Prix
- Schumacher's brain-fart at the start, which ruined his race, was his own fault. Although he failed to finish due to mechanical issues, it is unlikely he would have gotten any points today.
- Webber suffered an issue with his differential. Although it didn't cost him anything speed-wise, it burned his tires, requiring the final pit stop that put him back from p5 to p8, so we're giving him back p5. Vettel would have shortly fallen behind during the pitstop, but on fresher tires and not the lack of speed Red Bulls have with other cars, he would have easily passed back Webber on older tires.

Changes: P5 for Webber, P6 for Alonso, P7 for Button.
Alternative standings (actual standings):
Hamilton 177pts (117), Vettel 160pts (122), Webber 138pts (124), Alonso 137pts (164), Räikkönen 89pts (116), Button 66pts (76), Schumacher 62pts (29)

Belgian Grand Prix
- The start crash caused by Grosjean also meant the end of the race for Alonso, Hamilton and Perez.
- Judging where Alonso and Perez would have ended up is tricky, but judging by their team-mates, it looked like the Ferrari had much better race pace than the Sauber. I also take into account that Hamilton was struggling, and that Vettel was running circles around Webber (who qualified only just behind the trio) and much faster than 3rd qualified Räikkönnen.
- Schumacher lost 6th gear half-way through the race. Without it, he would have had a good chance of finishing ahead of Massa.
- Also about half-way through the race, Räikkönen had to start saving 10% KERS.
- Considering all that, I would say that without the start crash, and without Kimi's and Schumacher's issues, the race would have ended with:

Changes: P1 for Button, P2 for Alonso, P3 for Vettel, P4 for Räikkönen, P5 for Hamilton, P6 for Hülkenberg, P7 for Perez, P8 for Schumacher, P9 for Massa, P10 for Webber.
Alternative standings (actual standings):
Hamilton 187pts (117), Vettel 175pts (140), Alonso 155pts (164), Webber 139pts (132), Räikkönen 101pts (131), Button 91pts (101), Schumacher 66pts (35)

Italian Grand Prix
- Alonso's mechanical issues may have cost him a possible pole position. Looking over the entire race though, and considering Hamilton had higher top speed, I think Lewis would still have won, ahead of Alonso in second.
- Jenson Button's fuel pressure issues cost him a possible third place. Even with Perez's late charge, Button could have probably stayed ahead.
- With Alonso in front, Vettel would not have gotten the drive-through, and without his alternator faillure, he would have finished ahead of Räikkönen in seventh.
- Mark Webber retired with tire issues, but would likely not have been able to stay ahead of Schumacher even without them.

Changes: P2 for Alonso, P3 for Button, P4 for Perez, P5 for Massa, P6 for Vettel, P7 for Räikkönen, P8 for Schumacher, P9 for Webber.
Alternative standings (actual standings):
Hamilton 212pts (142), Vettel 183pts (140), Alonso 173pts (179), Webber 141pts (132), Räikkönen 107pts (141), Button 106pts (101), Schumacher 70pts (43)

Singapore Grand Prix
- Vettel was able to keep close to Hamilton, but it is unlikely he could have overtaken the McLaren had the engine not failed.
- Maldonado was pretty convincingly ahead of Alonso before hydraulic issues started dropping his lap time. As we've seen in Barcelona, it's not certain Alonso could have overtaken the Williams, so Maldonado stays in 4th, and Alonso 5th.
- The safety car came at a bad time for Mark Webber. Without it, he probably would have finished just behind di Resta in seventh.
- Schumacher's crash with Vergne was his own fault.

Changes: P1 for Hamilton, P2 for Vettel, P3 for Button, P4 for Maldonado, P5 for Alonso, P7 for Webber, P8 for Räikkönen.
Alternative standings (actual standings):
Hamilton 237pts (142), Vettel 201pts (165), Alonso 183pts (194), Webber 147pts (132), Button 121pts (119), Räikkönen 111pts (149), Schumacher 70pts (43)

Japanese Grand Prix
- Jenson Button received a 5-place grid penalty for a gearbox-change. He had a better start than Mark Webber ahead, and good race pace, so a second place would have been likely.
- Mark Webber was spun around by Romain Grosjean in turn 1, but at that point he was already behind Kamui Kobayashi. His later pace seemed pretty much on par with Massa's, so we'll give Webber third, ahead of Massa in 4th and Kobayashi in 5th.
- Alonso made a similair move on Räikkönen as he did on Grosjean in Monaco. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, this time it was Alonso who took himself out.
- Schumacher received a 10-place grid penalty for his crash with Vergne, which left him out of the points.

Changes: P2 for Button, P3 for Webber, P4 for Massa, P5 for Kobayashi, P6 for Hamilton, P7 for Räikkönen.
Alternative standings (actual standings):
Hamilton 245pts (152), Vettel 226pts (190), Alonso 183pts (194), Webber 162pts (134), Button 139pts (131), Räikkönen 117pts (157), Schumacher 70pts (43)

Korean Grand Prix
- Jenson Button was crashed into by Kobayashi in turn 2. He hadn't a lot of speed that weekend though, so I'll place him between Grosjean and the Toro Rosso's.
- Lewis Hamilton's rollbar failed, which cost him a lot of race pace later on. Without it, he would have likely finished behind Massa, who was much faster than Alonso.

Changes: P5 for Hamilton, P6 for Räikkönen, P9 for Button.
Alternative standings (actual standings):
Hamilton 255pts (153), Vettel 251pts (215), Alonso 198pts (209), Webber 180pts (152), Button 141pts (131), Räikkönen 125pts (167), Schumacher 70pts (43)

Indian Grand Prix
- A pretty straight-forward race, bar of course Webber's KERS faillure.

Changes: P2 for Webber, P3 for Alonso.
Alternative standings (actual standings):
Vettel 276pts (240), Hamilton 267pts (165), Alonso 213pts (227), Webber 198pts (167), Button 151pts (141), Räikkönen 131pts (173), Schumacher 70pts (43)

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- Vettel was sent to the back of the grid after issues with the fuel pump. Without it, he would have most likely been second after turn 1 and stayed there. Neither Red Bull had the race pace to challenge Hamilton.
- Without his engine faillure, Hamilton would have won the race, hands-down.
- Without Hamilton and Vettel's misfortune, Webber would have been in 7th before being taken out by Grosjean.

Changes: P1 for Hamilton, P2 for Vettel, P3 for Räikkönen, P4 for Alonso, P5 for Button, P6 for Perez, P7 for Webber.
Alternative standings (actual standings):
Vettel 294pts (255), Hamilton 292pts (165), Alonso 225pts (245), Webber 204pts (167), Button 161pts (153), Räikkönen 146pts (198), Schumacher 70pts (43)

United States Grand Prix
- Button lost power late in Q2, which cost him a likely 4th place on the grid. With better race pace than Webber, he would have likely finished 3rd.
- Continueing the above, Webber would have been 4th without an alternator faillure.

Changes: P3 for Button, P4 for Webber, P5 for Alonso, P8 for Räikkönen.
Alternative standings (actual standings):
Hamilton 317pts (190), Vettel 312pts (273), Alonso 235pts (260), Webber 216pts (167), Button 179pts (163), Räikkönen 150pts (206), Schumacher 70pts (43)

Brazilian Grand Prix
- Vettel's collision with Senna was a racing incident. Even more of a disaster for the young German, as in this scenario, he is not 13 points ahead of Alonso, but 5 points behind Hamilton.
- Hülkenberg cost Hamilton a win in his last race for McLaren, certainly considering he would still have gotten a penalty.

Changes: P1 for Hamilton, P2 for Button, P3 for Alonso, P5 for Webber, P7 for Vettel, P8 for Schumacher, P11 for Räikkönen.
Alternative standings (actual standings):
Hamilton 342pts (190), Vettel 318pts (281), Alonso 250pts (278), Webber 226pts (179), Button 197pts (188), Räikkönen 150pts (207), Schumacher 70pts (49)

In conclusion I
* Lewis Hamilton lost a net 152 points due to mechanical failures and other misfortune.
* Mark Webber lost a net 47 points due to mechanical failures and other misfortune.
* Sebastian Vettel lost a net 37 points due to mechanical failures and other misfortune.
* Michael Schumacher lost a net 21 points due to mechanical failures and other misfortune.
* Jenson Button lost a net 9 points due to mechanical failures and other misfortune from his other competitors.
* Fernando Alonso gained a net 28 points due to mechanical failures and other misfortune from his other competitors.
* Kimi Räikkönen gained a net 57 points due to mechanical failures and other misfortune from his other competitors.

In conclusion II
* Rather than ending the season in 4th, a distant 91 points beind Vettel and 88 points behind Alonso, without mechanical failures and other misfortune Lewis Hamilton would have won the 2012 world championship, 24 points ahead of Vettel and a massive 92 points ahead of Alonso.
* Rather than edging out Alonso in the championship by 3 points, Sebastian Vettel would have just lost the championship in the last race, ending the year 24 points behind Hamilton.
* Alonso would have been out of contention for the championship after Abu Dhabi, being 69 points behind Vettel.
* After losing 32 net points halfway through the season, Schumacher actually gained 12 points through other's misfortune in the second half.
* Although Romain Grosjean was actually still ahead of Kimi Räikkönen half-way through the season, the Finn clearly distanced himself from his team-mate in the second half of the season.
* One interesting thing to consider about Hamilton's 'alternative championship' this year though, is that counting back the 'championship without misfortune years', Hamilton would still only be a one-time world champion, as he would have been short of the championship in both 2007 and 2008.

In conclusion III
Like we've seen with the 2010 championship, we see here that the results can be very skewed, and with that, our impression of a driver performing. Hamilton in the fastest car in a distant 4th place looks like underperforming, but look at the context and you see the kind of results you can expect of him. It is also kind of funny to see Fernando being Fernando again; not perse blowing the competition out of the water on speed every weekend, but decisively picking up any points that his competitor's lose. That's worked for him amazingly in 2005, 2007 and 2010, and that's the cool-headedness that has had him leading the championship for so long. It does indicate however, that if Red Bull and especially McLaren had gotten their game together, Vettel and Hamilton would have been a more serious treat than most of us thought.

Edited by mnmracer, 09 December 2012 - 22:27.


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#2 tommi34

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 20:20

:stoned:

#3 sopa

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 20:46

* One interesting thing to consider about Hamilton's 'alternative championship' this year though, is that counting back the 'championship without misfortune years', Hamilton would still only be a one-time world champion, as he would have been short of the championship in both 2007 and 2008.


Oh, what and where are the results of previous Misfortuneless Championships?

#4 MrFondue

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 20:50

- Hülkenberg cost Hamilton a win in his last race for McLaren, certainly considering he would still have gotten a penalty.


Why? Hülkenberg was quite a bit faster.

#5 SpeedRacer`

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 20:58

Schumacher had a puncture in Korea whilst running in the points. Both he and Rosberg had punctures in the final GP, surely costing them positions.

Edited by SpeedRacer`, 09 December 2012 - 20:58.


#6 Jimisgod

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:07

Yes, but if every other car was this.

Posted Image

Narain would have won every race and been WDC by 400 points.

#7 sopa

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:11

I may guess, what could have been the results of previous similar analysis.

2011 - Vettel, obviously. Advantage was so big that nothing would have changed it.
2010 - Vettel. There was much talk he lost three race wins with car failures, so he is on top.
2009 - Button/Vettel. Very close. I am unsure, how this could have panned out. Button lost points in Belgium, while Vettel in Hungary, Valencia. Maybe someone else like Barrichello or Webber would have been in the game?
2008 - I guess it was Massa the champion then? Lost two race wins, while Hamilton didn't have car failures, even if he lost win at Spa.
2007 - Raikkonen. He lost two podiums with car failures, which I guess outweighs the unluck of McLarens still.
2006 - Alonso. Much is talked about Schumi's unluck in the end, but Alonso's two retirements (Hungary, Monza) balance it.
2005 - Raikkonen. I guess.
2004 - Schumacher
2003 - Interesting, have to work this one out. Raikkonen or Montoya? Schumi didn't retire with car problems, but had some other kind of unluck, like it was raining during his qualifying lap at Suzuka or puncture in Germany. The Alternative Champion could well have been Montoya, he retired twice from the lead with car failure. He had a start crash in Malaysia, while Raikkonen had in Germany. How to count these?
2002-2001. Schumacher. But in 2002 Barrichello would have ran him close.
2000 - now that is close. Hakkinen had three car problems, but Schumi had two of those as well plus a slow puncture in Spain.
1999 - Hakkinen, but I guess Coulthard would have been his closest challenger considering all the retirements he had. Of course do not consider the misfortune of Schumi's injury here. This would be impossible to consider in such race-by-race analysis.
1998 - Hakkinen? He had three retirements, plus a car problem in Hungary. Schumi had four retirements, but it may still not be enough to bridge the 14 point-gap.
1997 - Villeneuve or Schumacher??? Villeneuve had a few unlucky retirements (Australia, Imola), but he inherited a few wins as well.
1996 - Hill? Schumacher had lots of car problems that year, but I think this still wouldn't have been enough.
1995 - Schumacher. Many of Williams' drivers lost points were driver mistakes, but they had car problems too. Overall they would have been closer.

And so on
:D

Edited by sopa, 09 December 2012 - 21:21.


#8 Cult

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:18

I like the analysis, well done. It's nice to see this alternative reality even though by definition it's not like reality.

#9 Jejking

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:21

:stoned:

Such a big post, well thought-through of, unedited and the only thing you can reply with is that? :stoned:

#10 selespeed

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:22

Belgian Grand Prix
- The start crash caused by Grosjean also meant the end of the race for Alonso, Hamilton and Perez.
- Judging where Alonso and Perez would have ended up is tricky, but judging by their team-mates, it looked like the Ferrari had much better race pace than the Sauber. I also take into account that Hamilton was struggling, and that Vettel was running circles around Webber (who qualified only just behind the trio) and much faster than 3rd qualified Räikkönnen.


this is wrong...kobayashi had a damaged car....i think saubers had serious pace in belgium

#11 Kingshark

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:26

I've done a little research. Over a period of 34 years that is.

The following would be the champions without misfortunes;

1979 - Gilles Villeneuve
1980 - Alan Jones
1981 - Calros Reutemann
1982 - René Arnoux
1983 - Alain Prost
1984 - Alain Prost
1985 - Keke Rosberg
1986 - Nigel Mansell
1987 - Nigel Mansell
1988 - Alain Prost
1989 - Ayrton Senna
1990 - Ayrton Senna
1991 - Ayrton Senna
1992 - Nigel Mansell
1993 - Alain Prost
1994 - Damon Hill
1995 - Michael Schumacher
1996 - Damon Hill
1997 - Michael Schumacher
1998 - Mika Hakkinen
1999 - Mika Hakkinen
2000 - Michael Schumacher
2001 - Michael Schumacher
2002 - Michael Schumacher
2003 - Juan Pablo Montoya
2004 - Michael Schumacher
2005 - Kimi Raikkonen
2006 - Fernando Alonso
2007 - Kimi Raikkonen
2008 - Felipe Massa
2009 - Sebastian Vettel
2010 - Sebastian Vettel
2011 - Sebastian Vettel
2012 - Lewis Hamilton

Edited by Kingshark, 09 December 2012 - 21:27.


#12 John Player

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:26

When i saw the thread title i knew it was gonna be Lewis world champion :rotfl:

#13 Cult

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:29

I've done a little research. Over a period of 34 years that is.

The following would be the champions without misfortunes;

1979 - Gilles Villeneuve
1980 - Alan Jones
1981 - Calros Reutemann
1982 - René Arnoux
1983 - Alain Prost
1984 - Alain Prost
1985 - Keke Rosberg
1986 - Nigel Mansell
1987 - Nigel Mansell
1988 - Alain Prost
1989 - Ayrton Senna
1990 - Ayrton Senna
1991 - Ayrton Senna
1992 - Nigel Mansell
1993 - Alain Prost
1994 - Damon Hill
1995 - Michael Schumacher
1996 - Damon Hill
1997 - Michael Schumacher
1998 - Mika Hakkinen
1999 - Mika Hakkinen
2000 - Michael Schumacher
2001 - Michael Schumacher
2002 - Michael Schumacher
2003 - Juan Pablo Montoya
2004 - Michael Schumacher
2005 - Kimi Raikkonen
2006 - Fernando Alonso
2007 - Kimi Raikkonen
2008 - Felipe Massa
2009 - Sebastian Vettel
2010 - Sebastian Vettel
2011 - Sebastian Vettel
2012 - Lewis Hamilton


No Nelson Piquet :up:


#14 scheivlak

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:34

When i saw the thread title i knew it was gonna be Lewis world champion :rotfl:

:D



#15 George Costanza

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:37

I've done a little research. Over a period of 34 years that is.

The following would be the champions without misfortunes;

1979 - Gilles Villeneuve
1980 - Alan Jones
1981 - Calros Reutemann
1982 - René Arnoux
1983 - Alain Prost
1984 - Alain Prost
1985 - Keke Rosberg
1986 - Nigel Mansell
1987 - Nigel Mansell
1988 - Alain Prost
1989 - Ayrton Senna
1990 - Ayrton Senna
1991 - Ayrton Senna
1992 - Nigel Mansell
1993 - Alain Prost
1994 - Damon Hill
1995 - Michael Schumacher
1996 - Damon Hill
1997 - Michael Schumacher
1998 - Mika Hakkinen
1999 - Mika Hakkinen
2000 - Michael Schumacher
2001 - Michael Schumacher
2002 - Michael Schumacher
2003 - Juan Pablo Montoya
2004 - Michael Schumacher
2005 - Kimi Raikkonen
2006 - Fernando Alonso
2007 - Kimi Raikkonen
2008 - Felipe Massa
2009 - Sebastian Vettel
2010 - Sebastian Vettel
2011 - Sebastian Vettel
2012 - Lewis Hamilton


Not a bad list... I would change '98 to Schumacher, though.

#16 eric2610

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:38

When i saw the thread title i knew it was gonna be Lewis world champion :rotfl:

Yeah so did I...
Another thread that bends reality to make Hamilton WDC

#17 mnmracer

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:46

This is the first I post on here, but these are the previous ones I wrote:
- 2005
- 2007
- 2008
- 2010

planned for this winter are 2006 and 2009 (plus possible others)

#18 Kingshark

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 21:53

When i saw the thread title i knew it was gonna be Lewis world champion :rotfl:

mnmracer actually supports Vettel, not Hamilton, so I fail to see your point.

#19 Cult

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 22:02

This is the first I post on here, but these are the previous ones I wrote:
- 2005
- 2007
- 2008
- 2010

planned for this winter are 2006 and 2009 (plus possible others)


Interesting reading :)

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#20 mnmracer

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 22:06

mnmracer actually supports Vettel, not Hamilton, so I fail to see your point.

I support Formula One first and foremost, but thanks for having my back.

I guess it shows some people should be able to calm down and take a step back before pasting a biased sticker on everything.

#21 Kingshark

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 22:08

I deleted the Pedro post. Enough ridiculousness, and it wasn't funny anymore the second time I posted it. :p

#22 PretentiousBread

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 22:14

This is the first I post on here, but these are the previous ones I wrote:
- 2005
- 2007
- 2008
- 2010

planned for this winter are 2006 and 2009 (plus possible others)


Good on you :up: ignore the close minded.

#23 2ms

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 22:26

Very interesting and thanks for the hard work! Note that there would be two drivers with 3 times as many WDCs as anyone else next season. They also happen to be the two drivers I believe will be the two Red Bull drivers in 2014. The best team, the best designer, both of the two best drivers -- maybe the cream really does always rise to the top in F1 after all! :)

#24 Kalmake

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 22:33

Would have though Jones gets 1979. He needed only a few more points from first half of the season. Although he scored the maximum (4 best results count) on the second half, in the alternate reality he and his teammate would have won even more and taken points from the Ferraris.

1994 is a bit surprising also. Did you count Schumi's Spa DSQ as technical failure or not?

#25 TheUltimateWorrier

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 22:36

Very interesting and thanks for the hard work!

I agree, it's all very interesting and shows how sport is full of 'ifs and buts'.

I hate to say it but the 2010, 2011 and 2012 alternative histories are all sort of pointless, as in the alternative history of 2009 Massa wouldn't have suffered the serious injury in Hungary (as it wasn't his fault). So on that basis, who's to say he wouldn't have taken points away from Red Bull toward the end of the season like Kimi to help Brawn GP and cement Button as an alternate history WDC. Not only that, but had it not been for his injury, he could've ended up a bigger threat to the WDC in 2010 and beyond. All ifs and buts.

#26 garoidb

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 22:45

No Nelson Piquet :up:


I'd be interested to see the 1984 details at some point (I doubt it is a priority, though). Piquet had awful reliability that year, but great pace.

In close championships, the contenders would have been driving with their championship requirements in mind. For example, did you give Piquet the 1983 South Afircan Grand Prix?

#27 scheivlak

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 22:52

Would have though Jones gets 1979. He needed only a few more points from first half of the season. Although he scored the maximum (4 best results count) on the second half, in the alternate reality he and his teammate would have won even more and taken points from the Ferraris.

I would have expected Jones even more for 1981.

#28 prty

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 23:37

With some of the closest driver fields in a long time, the 2012 Formula One championship has been crazy thus far. Left and right, the drivers have also been affected by misfortune though, skewing the outcome in comparison to the driver's performances. To put things a little in perspective, here is what the top 5 of the championship would have looked without misfortune. Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher are also included because they have had a big amount of problems as well in 2012.

DISCLAIMER: While anyone having watched Back to the Future understands that you can’t simply alter one thing in history without other things being affected, and thus these results are not completely definitive, they can’t be completely ignored either, considering any Formula One will always push for the best results. This article provides some context to the raw statistics of world championships.

DISCLAIMER II: If you think "but driver X was unlucky to have a slower car" or "I don't consider mechanical issues misfortune" is a constructive one-liner (it's not), please understand that is not the purpose of this article. It's purpose is to give an overview of what happened, not to ignite another debate on 'the best driver'.


What counts as misfortune: mechanical failure, being crashed in to by another driver, undeserved penalties
What does not count as misfortune: wrong tactical choices, crashing their own car, penalty by the driver’s own doing

[long text]

Hamilton 342pts (190), Vettel 318pts (281), Alonso 250pts (278), Webber 226pts (179), Button 197pts (188), Räikkönen 150pts (207), Schumacher 70pts (49)


So you basically decide what is misfortune and what is not. Then you say having a slower car is not misfortune, because the purpose of the thread is to give an overview of what happened. And saying that having a slower car is unlucky is not constructive, because, and I quote, "it's not". Good reason.

This is the first I post on here, but these are the previous ones I wrote:
- 2005
- 2007
- 2008
- 2010

planned for this winter are 2006 and 2009 (plus possible others)

Favorite Driver/Team: Vettel, Schumi, Kimi, Kobayashi, Kubica


Interesting that 2005 is the first one, and that in every fantasy analysis, your favourite drivers end up relatively better, while Alonso systematically worse! Guess they had good luck in their bad luck, and wow, always supporting unlucky drivers! :drunk:

By the way, in those analysis, which part of the luck is this in, for example?

Rene Speksnijder:
 We learned that you are a bit more harsh on the engine then Romain. In which way does that affect the car? Furthermore, how do you like the engine to pick-up regarding your use of the throttle?

KR: I have driven the car and used the throttle in the same way all my career. Every driver has his own style of going fast. This is mine. It is maybe a bit harsh, but it remains within the scope of what the Renault engine can take.

.

Edited by prty, 09 December 2012 - 23:37.


#29 mnmracer

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 00:06

rant

And that's why I put that big disclaimer in there.
If you are not interested, or are not open to a different view, there is no one forcing you to read this.
I have not written this for the likes of you, but for those that are genuinely interested in what happened.

#30 TomNokoe

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 00:31

nigh on perfect except Hamilton's Japanese mechanical failure :)

#31 prty

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 00:33

And that's why I put that big disclaimer in there.
If you are not interested, or are not open to a different view, there is no one forcing you to read this.
I have not written this for the likes of you, but for those that are genuinely interested in what happened.


I doubt those who are interested in what happen would find value in this.
Anyway, it goes both ways, if you don't want your analysis to be criticized, don't open a thread.

#32 mnmracer

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 00:40

I doubt those who are interested in what happen would find value in this.
Anyway, it goes both ways, if you don't want your analysis to be criticized, don't open a thread.

Since you're not one of them, I don't think you are their best spokes-person ;-)

I have very clearly set the context of this.
What you're doing is akin to critisizing softball players they're not playing according to the baseball rules.
Completely off-topic.

#33 NotSoSilentBob

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 00:40

When i saw the thread title i knew it was gonna be Lewis world champion :rotfl:


ditto.

/end thread.

#34 Skinnyguy

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 00:55

Wow, after having a look my view on Lewis´ season has changed. More misfortune than a memory could handle. McLaren threw it away, they had a guy driving as well as Alonso and Vettel, a faster car overall, and they screwed.

Awesome effort by the way. Fair, complete, and as precise as one can be while reviewing past events. :up:

Edited by Skinnyguy, 10 December 2012 - 00:56.


#35 Juggles

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:28

I dread to think how long that took to put together, so well done.

Two more issues worth mentioning for Hamilton: (1) A botched pit stop in Malaysia putting him behind Alonso (the eventual race winner) when he should have been in front of him. (2) Carrying a suspension issue for most of the Suzuka weekend meaning he barely made the top ten in qualifying while Button put the car third on Saturday.

Still, it certainly gives an indication of just how blighted Hamilton's season has been by things outside his control. One can argue the magnitude but not the trend. Some people will try to trivialise your assessment because they don't like its conclusion, but that an F1 fan who is completely indifferent towards Hamilton believes he lost a net 152 points compared to his rivals should give them pause for thought.

I'm happy for people to say things like "Sebastian Vettel is the 2012 world champion and Fernando Alonso was his closest challenger" because those are facts and they are undeniable. What I won't put up with is people drawing conclusions about driver performance solely from those facts.

#36 sopa

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:43

1985 - Keke Rosberg


Interesting choice, considering he ended up well behind Prost in the WDC standings. And what about Alboreto and especially Senna, who had quite a few retirements that year?

#37 Kingshark

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 02:10

Interesting choice, considering he ended up well behind Prost in the WDC standings. And what about Alboreto and especially Senna, who had quite a few retirements that year?

In 1985, Keke Rosberg was;

Leading in Interlagos before his turbo engine broke down.
Qualified 2nd in Imola, but had a brake failure after having to drive the first 23 laps with rusty brakes.
He was 2nd in Silverstone and chasing Senna before an exhaust failure.
Was 2nd in Nurburgring to Senna before another brake failure.
3rd in Austria before an Oil Pressure problem.
Qualified 2nd in Zandvoort, Engine glitch.
At least 2nd in Monza before Engine failure.
Should've won in Brands Hatch, Senna took him out.

In total lost a total of 48 points, with the 1985 point system, not including the best 11 rule.

Lastly, overall, he lead more laps than Prost that year, who became champion.

Edited by Kingshark, 10 December 2012 - 02:11.


#38 Kyo

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 04:08

I've done a little research. Over a period of 34 years that is.

The following would be the champions without misfortunes;

1979 - Gilles Villeneuve
1980 - Alan Jones
1981 - Calros Reutemann
1982 - René Arnoux
1983 - Alain Prost
1984 - Alain Prost
1985 - Keke Rosberg
1986 - Nigel Mansell
1987 - Nigel Mansell
1988 - Alain Prost
1989 - Ayrton Senna
1990 - Ayrton Senna
1991 - Ayrton Senna
1992 - Nigel Mansell
1993 - Alain Prost
1994 - Damon Hill
1995 - Michael Schumacher
1996 - Damon Hill
1997 - Michael Schumacher
1998 - Mika Hakkinen
1999 - Mika Hakkinen
2000 - Michael Schumacher
2001 - Michael Schumacher
2002 - Michael Schumacher
2003 - Juan Pablo Montoya
2004 - Michael Schumacher
2005 - Kimi Raikkonen
2006 - Fernando Alonso
2007 - Kimi Raikkonen
2008 - Felipe Massa
2009 - Sebastian Vettel
2010 - Sebastian Vettel
2011 - Sebastian Vettel
2012 - Lewis Hamilton

care to explain these 2 races? 86 I just have the impression that Piquet was better, and 88 I'm pretty sure is wrong.

#39 Kyo

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 04:38

In 1985, Keke Rosberg was;

Leading in Interlagos before his turbo engine broke down.
Qualified 2nd in Imola, but had a brake failure after having to drive the first 23 laps with rusty brakes.
He was 2nd in Silverstone and chasing Senna before an exhaust failure.
Was 2nd in Nurburgring to Senna before another brake failure.
3rd in Austria before an Oil Pressure problem.
Qualified 2nd in Zandvoort, Engine glitch.
At least 2nd in Monza before Engine failure.
Should've won in Brands Hatch, Senna took him out.

In total lost a total of 48 points, with the 1985 point system, not including the best 11 rule.

Lastly, overall, he lead more laps than Prost that year, who became champion.

Senna was
3rd in Interlagos.
1st in Monaco.
2nd in Canada before he lost 5 laps in the pits.
3rd in France before pitting with problems in the turbo.
1st in British.
1st in Germany
3rd in South Africa
1st\2nd in Australia
Brands Hatch was a racing incident if not Rosberg's fault.



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#40 seahawk

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:34

Very well done first post. I think it is interesting to see how outstanding lewis was this season and how much bad luck he had, im comparison to the lots of Luck a certain Spanish driver enjoyed.

#41 darkkis

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:11

Very well done first post. I think it is interesting to see how outstanding lewis was this season and how much bad luck he had, im comparison to the lots of Luck a certain Spanish driver enjoyed.

Lewis' year resembles Räikkönen's years with Mclaren, pretty much... Very fast car but all that goes down the drain with mechanical failures. And certain Spanish driver also had good luck back then... :rotfl:

#42 f1rules

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:18

Careful, lewis might start to post images from this thread to convince the world of his superiority :drunk: that said he was very very good this year and im sad to see him leave

#43 seahawk

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:23

Lewis' year resembles Räikkönen's years with Mclaren, pretty much... Very fast car but all that goes down the drain with mechanical failures. And certain Spanish driver also had good luck back then... :rotfl:


Indeed that spanish driver needed lots of luck to win his titles...

Edited by seahawk, 10 December 2012 - 07:23.


#44 Lazy

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:27

Too many omissions to be in any way realistic I'm afraid.

Brazil, for example, no mention of Hamilton's good luck with the SC, surely he would have been 3rd luck adjusted. The whole post is full of such omissions.

It's all very well putting those disclaimers but unfortunately those are the reasons need to be far more thorough to be in anyway realistic, it is in no way what actually happened.

#45 Sakae

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:34

What I get out of this is, that Vettel didn't have a best car in the field after all. I find this comforting knowing, that he has won anyway.

#46 swiniodzik

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:10

With some of the closest driver fields in a long time, the 2012 Formula One championship has been crazy thus far. Left and right, the drivers have also been affected by misfortune though, skewing the outcome in comparison to the driver's performances. To put things a little in perspective, here is what the top 5 of the championship would have looked without misfortune. Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher are also included because they have had a big amount of problems as well in 2012.

DISCLAIMER: While anyone having watched Back to the Future understands that you can’t simply alter one thing in history without other things being affected, and thus these results are not completely definitive, they can’t be completely ignored either, considering any Formula One will always push for the best results. This article provides some context to the raw statistics of world championships.

DISCLAIMER II: If you think "but driver X was unlucky to have a slower car" or "I don't consider mechanical issues misfortune" is a constructive one-liner (it's not), please understand that is not the purpose of this article. It's purpose is to give an overview of what happened, not to ignite another debate on 'the best driver'.


What counts as misfortune: mechanical failure, being crashed in to by another driver, undeserved penalties
What does not count as misfortune: wrong tactical choices, crashing their own car, penalty by the driver’s own doing


I don't know if you realize this but deciding arbitrarily what's misfortune and what's not in terms of skewing the drivers' performances, you're not just giving an overview of what happened but exactly igniting another debate about who's the best driver, as already seen in some of the posts above.

Saying it's unlucky for a driver to have a slower car is as constructive as saying it's not when the bolded context is to be discussed, really. It's as much the team's responsibility to build a reliable car as it's to build a fast one and both things are basically out of the driver's control. Actually, the thing that skews the drivers' performances the most in F1 and makes it hard to judge them is exactly the differences in speed beetwen their cars they have at their disposal.

#47 mnmracer

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:53

I don't know if you realize this but deciding arbitrarily what's misfortune and what's not in terms of skewing the drivers' performances, you're not just giving an overview of what happened but exactly igniting another debate about who's the best driver, as already seen in some of the posts above.

Saying it's unlucky for a driver to have a slower car is as constructive as saying it's not when the bolded context is to be discussed, really. It's as much the team's responsibility to build a reliable car as it's to build a fast one and both things are basically out of the driver's control. Actually, the thing that skews the drivers' performances the most in F1 and makes it hard to judge them is exactly the differences in speed beetwen their cars they have at their disposal.

Maybe the disclaimer next time should just read: if you don't think this is interesting, or can not fathom why others might find this post interesting, feel free to not read this.

#48 Kelateboy

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:57

With some of the closest driver fields in a long time, the 2012 Formula One championship has been crazy thus far. Left and right, the drivers have also been affected by misfortune though, skewing the outcome in comparison to the driver's performances. To put things ................................

out of the water on speed every weekend, but decisively picking up any points that his competitor's lose. That's worked for him amazingly in 2005, 2007 and 2010, and that's the cool-headedness that has had him leading the championship for so long. It does indicate however, that if Red Bull and especially McLaren had gotten their game together, Vettel and Hamilton would have been a more serious treat than most of us thought.

Nice analysis. :up:

#49 AnR

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:20


What you can never put in as a factor is the tension it puts on a driver and a team to be in the title fight.
Lewis, Jenson and lastly Kimi we're left behind by Vettel and Alonso, who quite frankly dominated 2012, to claim anything else is living in denial.

#50 slmk

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:33

What you can never put in as a factor is the tension it puts on a driver and a team to be in the title fight.
Lewis, Jenson and lastly Kimi we're left behind by Vettel and Alonso, who quite frankly dominated 2012, to claim anything else is living in denial.


I think, based on your post, that you are the one in denial...