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The importance of a driver as a reference


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#1 karlth

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:04

When Ferrari signed Michael Schumacher in 1995 Luca Montezemolo said that now Ferrari had the fastest driver there were no more excuses. If the team qualified badly it was because the car was slow, not the driver. Ferrari had signed a reference.

Now Ross Brawn says the same in Autosport, Hamilton is important because he is the reference the team needed:

"Lewis brings a great reference .... We will not be lacking in achieving our ambitions and objectives because of drivers. We'd only be lacking because we haven't built a strong enough car or because we haven't operated as a team strongly enough. I think it was a little unfortunate with Michael [Schumacher] because we didn't have these references. "


We can see the same with Ferrari and Red Bull. Both teams know that if results aren't coming it is because the car is slow. Alonso and Vettel can be trusted to consistently extract near everything from the car.

Where does that leave McLaren and Williams? Take Button as an example. In Canada last year Jenson struggled with front end grip and ended up 1-2 seconds off the pace. The problem wasn't the car but the driver. In Hungary this year Jenson ended up around 1 second off the pace as he struggled with front end grip. Was it a problem with the car or as the year before with the driver? Now Button is a very quick driver but he lacks consistency.

How can a team handle development with inconsistent drivers? Should midfield teams focus more on drivers that can adapt easily, are consistent but lack absolute pace instead of fast drivers that lack consistency?

Comments?



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#2 Mrluke

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:14

Id say that lower teams are more likely to have a fast inconsistent driver especially if they have taken on a rookie. They want somebody that will outperform the car maybe once or twice a season but will gain that all important championship point which puts them above the other teams. One 8th place and loads of 15ths is better than a season of 11ths.

I think that the top teams really struggle if they don't have a known consistently fast driver but the drivers that can be both fast and consistent are few and far between.

The mid field teams have to pick a compromise but money also comes in to play, the inconsistent drivers are the cheapest so allow the team to spend more on development whereas the consistent guys cost more but may be able to aid the development process.

As with any of these things its not a clear black and white decision.

#3 undersquare

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:27

Yeah, people sometimes wonder about how much the top drivers get paid, but this is why. If a team has a Brawn 09 or a Williams FW18 then a JB or Damon are fine, otherwise they're up against it without LH/FA/SV.

#4 kenkip

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:31

Good topic.I guess it just goes back to a concept most F1 fans these days dont understand,competitive car+great driver+efficient team is the bedrock to grand prix success.One cannot do without the other.
OP,what does extracting everything from the car mean excatly?I have always found this concept of 'driver x maxing out from the car than driver y' very confusing.Eg,last years European gp,Fernando won due to great driving plus massive loads of luck with retirements and saftey car,if everything was held constant and he finished 6th or 7th,would you say he extracted everything from the car?Same with Seb's abu dhabi gp and Button's 2011 Canadian drive.

#5 sopa

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:32

How can a team handle development with inconsistent drivers? Should midfield teams focus more on drivers that can adapt easily, are consistent but lack absolute pace instead of fast drivers that lack consistency?


Ideally team would try to have one consistent steady eddy plus one spectacular but mercurial driver if this is the choice, so they would have both options covered. If the inconsistent driver has a bad day, then at least the consistent one gets some points. However, nowadays midfield teams have to count money and forget about specific driver qualities a bit.

I think Force India has got a good balance. Though both of them are more like "steady eddy" type of guys, particularly di Resta. But still the team is doing fine, drivers get points. Even if a top driver could take more out of the car, we are still satisfied with the way these guys are performing.

Edited by sopa, 16 August 2013 - 12:34.


#6 Skinnyguy

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:37

Comments?


McLaren DO suck this year, and Jenson is doing much better than you think.


#7 Thomas99

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 14:13

Just like Sauber in 2012.

Two slower drivers hiding a true top car.

#8 BillBald

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 15:40

When Ferrari signed Michael Schumacher in 1995 Luca Montezemolo said that now Ferrari had the fastest driver there were no more excuses. If the team qualified badly it was because the car was slow, not the driver. Ferrari had signed a reference.

Now Ross Brawn says the same in Autosport, Hamilton is important because he is the reference the team needed:



We can see the same with Ferrari and Red Bull. Both teams know that if results aren't coming it is because the car is slow. Alonso and Vettel can be trusted to consistently extract near everything from the car.

Where does that leave McLaren and Williams? Take Button as an example. In Canada last year Jenson struggled with front end grip and ended up 1-2 seconds off the pace. The problem wasn't the car but the driver. In Hungary this year Jenson ended up around 1 second off the pace as he struggled with front end grip. Was it a problem with the car or as the year before with the driver? Now Button is a very quick driver but he lacks consistency.

How can a team handle development with inconsistent drivers? Should midfield teams focus more on drivers that can adapt easily, are consistent but lack absolute pace instead of fast drivers that lack consistency?

Comments?


This is stuff we've all heard before, nothing new.

Jenson is not inconsistent, he had a problem with last year's car for a while.

There's no indication that I've seen that McLaren might think they have a good car this year, or that they think the problem might be with the drivers.








#9 Spoch

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 16:57

This is stuff we've all heard before, nothing new.

Jenson is not inconsistent, he had a problem with last year's car for a while.

There's no indication that I've seen that McLaren might think they have a good car this year, or that they think the problem might be with the drivers.

The problem with threads like this is that inevitably a critical look will have to be taken at driver x or y and the fans will jump out with daggers drawn. What brawn and the OP have said is very true. And BTW Jensen is extremely inconsistent hence his problem with the car last year. They was another driver in that same car putting it on poles and leading races that pretty much spells inconsistency in CAPS to me. What is it with fans that shield their eyes from the blatant truth

#10 BillBald

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 17:22

The problem with threads like this is that inevitably a critical look will have to be taken at driver x or y and the fans will jump out with daggers drawn. What brawn and the OP have said is very true. And BTW Jensen is extremely inconsistent hence his problem with the car last year. They was another driver in that same car putting it on poles and leading races that pretty much spells inconsistency in CAPS to me. What is it with fans that shield their eyes from the blatant truth


2nd half of 2011, was it 9 podiums in last 11 races? Something like that. Jenson is not inconsistent, he had a specific problem with a particular car. An example of inconsistency could be Romain Grosjean.

This thread is an attempt to continue Lewis vs Jenson, it's not by accident that driver x is Jenson. The blatant truth is that Jenson scored more points than Lewis in their 3 years together, which is tough for some Lewis fans to deal with.

Most Jenson fans, on the other hand, are happy to accept that Lewis performed much better in 2012, and that the points difference doesn't really reflect it.



#11 undersquare

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 17:42

2nd half of 2011, was it 9 podiums in last 11 races? Something like that. Jenson is not inconsistent, he had a specific problem with a particular car. An example of inconsistency could be Romain Grosjean.

This thread is an attempt to continue Lewis vs Jenson, it's not by accident that driver x is Jenson. The blatant truth is that Jenson scored more points than Lewis in their 3 years together, which is tough for some Lewis fans to deal with.

Most Jenson fans, on the other hand, are happy to accept that Lewis performed much better in 2012, and that the points difference doesn't really reflect it.

I thought it was Schumi/2 who was being dissed? By Brawn anyway.

#12 BillBald

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 18:03

I thought it was Schumi/2 who was being dissed? By Brawn anyway.


Not really being dissed, but he might not have been pleased by Ross' comments.

Ross was making a valid point, we simply didn't know how good Schumi was because we only got to compare him with Rosberg, and we didn't know how good Rosberg was, because he hadn't been matched with a current top driver.

Nothing to do with Jenson at all, of course.



#13 Spoch

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 18:26

2nd half of 2011, was it 9 podiums in last 11 races? Something like that. Jenson is not inconsistent, he had a specific problem with a particular car. An example of inconsistency could be Romain Grosjean.

This thread is an attempt to continue Lewis vs Jenson, it's not by accident that driver x is Jenson. The blatant truth is that Jenson scored more points than Lewis in their 3 years together, which is tough for some Lewis fans to deal with.

Most Jenson fans, on the other hand, are happy to accept that Lewis performed much better in 2012, and that the points difference doesn't really reflect it.

Not taking your bait... The importance of a driver as a reference is key....some teams have that fortune of using the driver to know how good or bad the car is eg renault with Alonso in 2008 and 2009, mclaren in 2009 and 2012, now the question that begs for an answer is how good was sauber last year? Again how bad is the mclaren this year. And your argument about points is not sound enough. Take a sum total of points scored by each driver and divide it by total number of years the have spent in F1 that will be the 'mean'. Next calculate each drivers coefficent of standard deviation and tell me whose stats reek of inconsistency!

#14 Peter Perfect

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 20:09

Not taking your bait... The importance of a driver as a reference is key....some teams have that fortune of using the driver to know how good or bad the car is eg renault with Alonso in 2008 and 2009, mclaren in 2009 and 2012, now the question that begs for an answer is how good was sauber last year? Again how bad is the mclaren this year. And your argument about points is not sound enough. Take a sum total of points scored by each driver and divide it by total number of years the have spent in F1 that will be the 'mean'. Next calculate each drivers coefficent of standard deviation and tell me whose stats reek of inconsistency!

That's a good idea. It should help bring a bit of hard science to the idea of a driver being inconsistent and maybe take the fanboyism out of the equation.

I took the liberty of calculating JH and JB over 2010-2012.

Race results from - http://www.statsf1.com
Calculations from - http://easycalculati...d-deviation.php

Points from each race over the 3 year period
LH
15,8,8,18,0,10,25,25,18,18,12,0,25,0,0,10,18,12,18,18,4,25,12,18,8,0,12,12,25,12
,0,12,10,10,18,6,25,0,15,15,15,4,4,10,25,0,4,0,25,0,25,0,10,1,12,0,25,0
JB
6,25,4,25,10,0,18,18,15,12,10,4,0,18,12,12,0,10,15,8,18,12,8,15,15,25,8,0,0,25,1
5,18,18,25,12,18,15,15,25,0,18,0,2,0,0,4,1,18,8,25,0,18,12,0,10,12,10,25

Stats
LH
Mean 11.32759
Standard Deviation 8.73064
JB
Mean 11.58621
Standard Deviation 8.25266


#15 fed up

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 20:23

That's a good idea. It should help bring a bit of hard science to the idea of a driver being inconsistent and maybe take the fanboyism out of the equation.

I took the liberty of calculating JH and JB over 2010-2012.


:rotfl:

The poster mentioned their time in F1 i.e JB from 2000 and Lewis from 2007 yet you have take a reference point from 2010 - 2012 :rolleyes:

The OP has a good point, I would go further and argue that Alonso is not the best reference point as he is not the best in quali, so a car could perhaps do better in quali with a quicker driver.

It is no coincidence that the Merc is faster with Lewis as a reference point and the Mclaren is slower without LH

#16 Spoch

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 20:24

That's a good idea. It should help bring a bit of hard science to the idea of a driver being inconsistent and maybe take the fanboyism out of the equation.

I took the liberty of calculating JH and JB over 2010-2012.

Race results from - http://www.statsf1.com
Calculations from - http://easycalculati...d-deviation.php

Points from each race over the 3 year period
LH
15,8,8,18,0,10,25,25,18,18,12,0,25,0,0,10,18,12,18,18,4,25,12,18,8,0,12,12,25,12
,0,12,10,10,18,6,25,0,15,15,15,4,4,10,25,0,4,0,25,0,25,0,10,1,12,0,25,0
JB
6,25,4,25,10,0,18,18,15,12,10,4,0,18,12,12,0,10,15,8,18,12,8,15,15,25,8,0,0,25,1
5,18,18,25,12,18,15,15,25,0,18,0,2,0,0,4,1,18,8,25,0,18,12,0,10,12,10,25

Stats
LH
Mean 11.32759
Standard Deviation 8.73064
JB
Mean 11.58621
Standard Deviation 8.25266

Nice to see that some people actually read wo bias...... :up: however your work is incomplete as u dont have a uniform basis. You will have to discount all races where the driver DNF as a result of reliability or accident. Do that again and you will be get a better picture of inconsistency


#17 Peter Perfect

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 20:45

:rotfl:

The poster mentioned their time in F1 i.e JB from 2000 and Lewis from 2007 yet you have take a reference point from 2010 - 2012 :rolleyes:

The OP has a good point, I would go further and argue that Alonso is not the best reference point as he is not the best in quali, so a car could perhaps do better in quali with a quicker driver.

It is no coincidence that the Merc is faster with Lewis as a reference point and the Mclaren is slower without LH

I quite clearly bolded the part of the post I was answering.

Nice to see that some people actually read wo bias...... :up: however your work is incomplete as u dont have a uniform basis. You will have to discount all races where the driver DNF as a result of reliability or accident. Do that again and you will be get a better picture of inconsistency

I agree but unfortunately that starts to take us into the realms of the Vs threads which frankly I have no interest in revisiting after the last few years.

#18 undersquare

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 20:59

I would agree but unfortunately that starts to take us into the realms of the Vs threads which suddenly I have no interest in revisiting after all.

:D

#19 P123

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 21:12

The blatant truth is that Jenson scored more points than Lewis in their 3 years together, which is tough for some Lewis fans to deal with.


It's bloody marginal though. The only problem I have with that particular stat is it's disingenuous use in order to portray what was a close battle as even closer than it was in reality. There is no such thing as a two, three, four, whatever... season championship.

I agree with you that JB is not inconsistent, but as with most drivers people (critics) tend to latch on to certain things- his quali struggles with Brawn in the latter half of 2009, or his blip with McLaren for half dozen races in 2012 being taken as the norm.

Inconsistant would be the likes of Grosjean, Maldonado, possibly Massa of recent years. Kimi, for example, gets a huge amount of plaudits for his points gathering, but is he just being flattered by a teammate that blows hot and cold? In terms of outright pace of a car then it's probably good to have a benchmark such as Hamilton or Vettel. And JB, due to his consistency and success against various teammates, and the fact that he is a known package to McLaren, is a good benchmark by which the car can be judged- and also from JB's performance we (and the team) can judge Perez.

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#20 BillBald

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 21:26

It's bloody marginal though. The only problem I have with that particular stat is it's disingenuous use in order to portray what was a close battle as even closer than it was in reality. There is no such thing as a two, three, four, whatever... season championship.


Yes, Lewis beat Jenson 2 years out of 3. But if a car doesn't quite suit a driver, it can be a big disadvantage for any driver. This year it's Lewis who found the Merc didn't quite suit him in the earlier races, and Rosberg was made to look like a strong opponent, which I'm inclined to think is not really the case.


I agree with you that JB is not inconsistent, but as with most drivers people (critics) tend to latch on to certain things- his quali struggles with Brawn in the latter half of 2009, or his blip with McLaren for half dozen races in 2012 being taken as the norm.


Jenson's quali struggles with Brawn in the latter half of 2009 are generally exaggerated by those who have an agenda. The truth is that Jenson was normally only a tenth or two off Rubens, but it was often enough to put him behind a KERS-equipped car, which made it difficult for Jenson to show his superior race pace.

Inconsistant would be the likes of Grosjean, Maldonado, possibly Massa of recent years. Kimi, for example, gets a huge amount of plaudits for his points gathering, but is he just being flattered by a teammate that blows hot and cold? In terms of outright pace of a car then it's probably good to have a benchmark such as Hamilton or Vettel. And JB, due to his consistency and success against various teammates, and the fact that he is a known package to McLaren, is a good benchmark by which the car can be judged- and also from JB's performance we (and the team) can judge Perez.


:up:


#21 F1ultimate

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 22:31

F1 teams are R&D driven and in order to develop a car successfully, teams need a few constants: Tires and driver. If either of these perform variable and unpredictably from race to race then the engineers will struggle to progress a car's performance in a linear fashion.

#22 Rybo

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 23:07

This topic got derailed almost instantly. I think people should address the topic of how team needs a consistent, and fast driver. Therefore based on Brawns comments should we think less of Schumi or Rosberg is the question...

#23 OS X

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 01:46

Jenson's quali struggles with Brawn in the latter half of 2009 are generally exaggerated by those who have an agenda. The truth is that Jenson was normally only a tenth or two off Rubens, but it was often enough to put him behind a KERS-equipped car, which made it difficult for Jenson to show his superior race pace.

Then, conversely, you should surely appreciate the ability of Lewis to perform on a Saturday. He finished his McLaren career on a streak of 55 consecutive Q3 appearances from China 2010 to Brazil 2012 :eek: :eek: :eek:. That run, currently 65 Q3's, spans about 25 different circuits, 4 different seasons, 4 different cars and 2 different teams. We can see that on a good day Lewis is there, on a bad day he is thereabouts whereas on a good day for Jenson, he is there or thereabouts, on a bad day he is nowhere. Throughout his career, LH has only had a handful of 'lost weekends' where he has been performing well below the standard of the car.

Yes, Lewis beat Jenson 2 years out of 3. But if a car doesn't quite suit a driver, it can be a big disadvantage for any driver. This year it's Lewis who found the Merc didn't quite suit him in the earlier races, and Rosberg was made to look like a strong opponent, which I'm inclined to think is not really the case.

Even during his adaptation period for Mercedes, he has been in every quali top 4 and has been finishing all the races bar Spain in the top five. He was said to be struggling after Nico got the three poles whereas Hamilton qualified 4th (+5 place gearbox penalty), 2nd and 2nd - this is the standard to which he is held.


#24 pingu666

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 02:15

i think you can expect a top driver to be nearly always in contention, and just deliver in every respect, feedback etc etc

but merc needed that benchmark, as i dont think anyone was 100% sure how good nico and shumi2 where.

#25 SophieB

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 04:27

This topic got derailed almost instantly. I think people should address the topic of how team needs a consistent, and fast driver. Therefore based on Brawns comments should we think less of Schumi or Rosberg is the question...


No reports on this and sadly, I think this thread is beyond saving. A shame - interesting interview. I would prune the thread but as the opening post invites comparison with McLaren, I think it would most likely go in the same direction if allowed a do-over.

By all means you or someone else can start a new topic on the same interview with an OP that discusses Brawn's comments more directly rather than it being seized on to replay Hamilton Vs Button.

Closed.