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MP4/4 vs RB19: Which was the more dominant car (=most dominant F1 car ever)


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#1 Henri Greuter

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 13:22

OK, this can become a heated debate.

 

 

edit:    in bold italics edits made in reaction on valid comment in post 3

 

 

\

All year long we have read comments about the RedBull RB19 being the most dominant F1 car in recent F1 history, either to praise RedBull for a good job or to downplay the driving of Verstappen, or to praise another car over the RB19.

 

I kinda like make such comparisons and provide statistical or factual ammunition to see such debates going on. So, using previous experiences I looked into a decent comparison of the RB19 against the acknowledged ultimate dominators. But I soon realized that there were a few candidates I did not have data of and probably would not match those of the cars if which I do have data:

 

The one stat that had most people talking was if the RedBull would do the unthinkable: the clean sweep of a season. Till date only one car ever achieved that: the McLaren-Honda mP4/4 with 15 out of 16. It can be argued that the Ferrari F2002 did the same in the time period within 2002 that the car was used. But the complication is that in 2002 the F2002 wasn’t used in the first two races of the season and its debut race was with only a single car. Nevertheless, at least on F2002 was represented in 15 races and 14 of these races were won by the lone or one of the two F2002’s.

 

But let’s not make it more complicated than it can be, the most comparisons were made between the MP4/4 and the RB19 because of their achievement of doing a full season and being beaten only once. But which of the two was the more dominant and/or did even better than the other car had done already and why? Can they be compared to begin with?

Biggest difference is that the MP4/4 had `only` 16 races to contest, the RB19 eventually 22 from a planned 23 (Imola was cancelled remember?)

 

When we look to point scores, the MP4/4 raced in a season with the 9-6-4-3-2-1 points for the first 6 cars, the RB19 raced in a season with points for the first 10 cars, but also with points for fastest lap as long as the driver with fastest lap scored a top 10. And we had the Sprint races…..

To make a comparison between MP4/4 and RB19 as objective and equal as possible, let’s exclude the sprint races and fastest lap points. And to start very equal to begin with, let’s first look into the RB19’s first 16 races of the season, equaling the full season for the MP4/4. And let’s use the point score system for both seasons for the results.  How does that look?

 

Looking at the finish results we see that the MP4/4 scored 10 2nd placed against only 6 for the RB19. Even more painful: 4 of those 6 2nd places were won in the first 5 races of the season)

On the other hand, the MP4/4 has 5 DNF’s and/or DQ’s but every other of the 27 finish results were in the point scoring top 6. The RB19 had only one retirements in its first 16 races and two more results outside the top 6. And all of this leads to a surprising results when we use the two point scoring results methods.

 

 

Finish               MP4/4        RB19

1                           15            15

2                           10              6

3                                             2

4                             1              3

5                                             1

6                             1              2

7                                             0

8                                             1

9                                             0

10                                           0

11&up                                    1

Retired                   5              1

 

Total results          32           32

Points first6         199         190          (using 9-6-4-3-2-1 points for first 6)

% max (=240)     82.9%    79.2%

Points first10       576          581         (using 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 for first 10)

% max (=688)     83.7%     84.4%

 

Using the 1988 point scores, the MP4/4 outscores the RB19 with what is still a respectable margin. However, when using the 2023 points for the finishing results then the RB19 narrowly beats the MP4/4!

 

 

Then: how do things look over a full season for the RB19?

The RB19 did less good in its last 6 races compared with the first 16. Not a single 2nd place and primarily 3rd or 4th places, reducing the averages.

 

For both cars their full season results look like this.

 

Finish              MP4/4        RB19

1                           15            21

2                           10              6

3                                             3

4                             1              6

5                                             1

6                             1              2

7                                             0

8                                             1

9                                             0

10                                           1

11&up                                    1

Retired                    5             2

 

Total results        32           44

Points first6       199         256          (using 9-6-4-3-2-1 points for first 6)

% max (=240)     82.9%

% max (=330)                   77.6%

Points first10     576         581          (using 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 for first 10)

% max (=688)    83.7%   

% max (=946)                    82.8%

 

As can be seen, no matter the used point score system, the MP4/4 outscores the RB19 by now.

 

 

So, did I provide the evidence that the MP4/4 is a more dominating car in its season than the RB19 was in its season?

 

Well, here is a list of arguments I can think of to discuss.

 

- Given the fact that something beyond your control may affect the race results enhances the more races you race, it is easier to win 15/16 than 21/22. (Pro RB19)

- The MP4/4 was in its season the only dedicated, bespoke, non-compromise designed according 1988 rules in a field that consisted of primarily sot gaps cars used to `bridge` the last season before entirely new cars and engines were mandatory. The RB19 faced opposition that was designed according the very same rules and specs as the RB19 was, thus in theory, faced more equal opponents (Pro RB19)

- Given the limits on allowable number of parts like engines etc, reliability had to be much more a part of the RB19 then in 1988 for the MP4/4 and thus that suffered potentially from less reliability (Pro MP4/4)

- When excluding the highest finishing car, the second MP4/4 scored way better results than the second RB19. Suggesting that the MP4/4 had a larger performance advantage over its opponents tan the RB19 that enabled both MP4/4 drivers to extract much better results from their cars as combined team effort than the two RB19 drivers could. (Pro MP4/4)

- The lone defeat for the MP4/4 was due to a mechanical failure and a driver error in the very same race in which the MP4/4 still had remained competitive as long as it was represented and it had been in a position to win that race after all. The lone defeat for the RB19 was in a race in which it rarely made the impression that it could have won the race on its own capabilities after all. (Pro MP4/4)

 

 

Everyone has his own opinions, everyone may have his own reasons to rate one of the cars over the other, be it to promote one of them for whatever reasons or to downrate it for whatever reasons, including the love or dislike for the drivers of a particular car.

 

Anyway, here is some ammo. Any other argument or stat to put up in the discussion about which was the most dominant F1 car ever in recent F1 history ?

 

For me it is a close call but most of all because of the considerable larger number of races the RB19 had to contest all season long, that makes up for the arguably lesser results for the team in those 22 events versus the team results of the MP4/4 drivers in `only` 16 races.

But for me, resultswise, supported by point scores, the MP4/4 still remains the most dominant car in recent  F1 history when any challenger is compared with it on equal terms and conditions as valid for the MP4/4.


Edited by Henri Greuter, 08 December 2023 - 13:51.


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#2 SenorSjon

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 13:40

Perhaps you could do the 'tracks/nations they both used' championship?

 

Both ran on (more or less) the same tracks. Iirc, only Canada hasn't been changed? Japan minimal changes to 130R:

 

1. Circuit de Monaco

2. Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez

3. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

4. Silverstone Circuit

5. Hungaroring

6. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

7. Autodromo Nazionale Monza

8. Circuit Suzuka

 

Nationwise, you could add a few more

9. Brazil

10. USA

11. Spain

12. Australia

 

San Marino/Imola, France/Paul Ricard, Germany/Hockenhuem and Portugal/Estoril were races in 1988, but not in 2023.


Edited by SenorSjon, 08 December 2023 - 13:42.


#3 Sterzo

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 13:41

Alfa Romeo 158. 100% win record in F1 World Championship races, 1950.


Edited by Sterzo, 08 December 2023 - 13:42.


#4 Henri Greuter

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 13:47

Alfa Romeo 158. 100% win record in F1 World Championship races, 1950.

 

 

OK, point taken:

 

 I should have written most dominant F1 car of recent history. I'll see if I can change a few things.

 

 

Edit:  done with this lettertype


Edited by Henri Greuter, 08 December 2023 - 13:51.


#5 markpenske

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 13:47

What about the 1992 Williams? FW14B I believe. Pretty dominate, top 5 for sure


Edited by markpenske, 08 December 2023 - 13:50.


#6 Henri Greuter

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 13:58

What about the 1992 Williams? FW14B I believe. Pretty dominate, top 5 for sure

 

If it comes to performance advantage over its opponents yes, resultswise (finish results) the car is surpisingly way less convincing than we remember it to be.

Several years ago I did a similar kind of survey, that was before the Mercedes Era started. And even back then the 1992 Williams didn't make the top 5!  For sure that some of the early Hybrid Mercedesses did a lot better than the 1992 Williams.

Best of the Williamses if it comes to point scoring results to boost remains the 1996 car. 



#7 Jarninho

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 13:59

The MP4/4 was on pole in the 1988 Monaco GP and was 2.6 seconds faster than the first non-McLaren. The RB19 was les than a tenth faster than the 1st non-Red Bull.

In San Marino the MP4/4 was 3.3 seconds faster and won the race by a lap. How is this even a debate?

Any somewhat decent driver would have walked the wdc in the MP4/4. Perez is certainly not elite, but he has always been a more than decent driver, yet he often ended up outside the podium and it was only due to other teams fading or coming up that he managed to keep P2.

 

The operational side of RB was dominant. Max was dominant. The RB19 was the best car. But give me the MP4/4 in 1988 any day of the week over the RB19. 



#8 Goron3

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 14:02

The 1992 Williams is by far the most technologically dominant F1 car there's ever been. It may as well have existed in its own category.

Then it's the 1988 Mclaren which was a work of art.

 

The RBR19 had incredible results in the hands of one driver but that's a combination of that exceptional driver, a great car, incredible pit crew and fantastic reliability. The RB19 felt like the 2011 RBR, or the 2004 Ferrari.



#9 Henri Greuter

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 14:14

The MP4/4 was on pole in the 1988 Monaco GP and was 2.6 seconds faster than the first non-McLaren. The RB19 was les than a tenth faster than the 1st non-Red Bull.

In San Marino the MP4/4 was 3.3 seconds faster and won the race by a lap. How is this even a debate?

Any somewhat decent driver would have walked the wdc in the MP4/4. Perez is certainly not elite, but he has always been a more than decent driver, yet he often ended up outside the podium and it was only due to other teams fading or coming up that he managed to keep P2.

 

The operational side of RB was dominant. Max was dominant. The RB19 was the best car. But give me the MP4/4 in 1988 any day of the week over the RB19. 

 

The first paragraph of your post, why it can be a debate?

 

because: as I wrote already in my opening post:   - The MP4/4 was in its season the only dedicated, bespoke, non-compromise designed according 1988 rules in a field that consisted of primarily sot gaps cars used to `bridge` the last season before entirely new cars and engines were mandatory. The RB19 faced opposition that was designed according the very same rules and specs as the RB19 was, thus in theory, faced more equal opponents (Pro RB19)

 

The MP4/4 could be so utterly dominant becvause it had no opposition that came even near to it. But it is exactly this fact what enhances the results of the RB19: that car had a much more difficult time in doing what it achieved.

MP4/4 indeed being more dominant but it had it easy compared with the RB19: now what is more respectable then?



#10 Gravelngrass

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 14:33

I think that to determine the most dominant car points are not the best metric. The finishing time difference would probably be more appropriate. Also, you have to consider both drivers and then it becomes complicated. Maybe an average race time for both drivers? I suspect if we use that, some other cars will end up in front of the Red Bull…
Finally, the rating of the drivers should also be taken into account. Yes, a qualitative variable, but I think no one can argue that, for example, Prost-Senna was an average better combo than Ver-Per…

Edited by Gravelngrass, 08 December 2023 - 15:59.


#11 eab

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 14:39

The MP4/4 was on pole in the 1988 Monaco GP and was 2.6 seconds faster than the first non-McLaren. The RB19 was les than a tenth faster than the 1st non-Red Bull.

In San Marino the MP4/4 was 3.3 seconds faster and won the race by a lap. How is this even a debate?

Any somewhat decent driver would have walked the wdc in the MP4/4. Perez is certainly not elite, but he has always been a more than decent driver, yet he often ended up outside the podium and it was only due to other teams fading or coming up that he managed to keep P2.

 

The operational side of RB was dominant. Max was dominant. The RB19 was the best car. But give me the MP4/4 in 1988 any day of the week over the RB19. 

Give 'me' Sergio as teammate any day of the week over Alain or Ayrton, in any car.



#12 SenorSjon

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 14:59

I think that to determine the most dominant car points are not the best metric. The finishing time difference would probably be more appropriate. Also, you have to consider both drivers and then it becomes complicated. Maybe an average race time for both drivers? I suspect if we use that, some other cars will end up in front of the Red Bull…
Finally, the rating of the drivers should also be taken into account. Yes, a qualitative variable, but I think no one can argue that, for example, Prost-Senna was an average better combo then Ver-Per…

 

In 1988, you had aggregate timing after red flags and the SC wasn't used. So it was an advantage to gap the field. Current day F1, it is only useful to have a 5-10s gap to prevent undercuts. Anything more just wears out tires too much.

 

Also, the strength of the RB lies in how it manages tires over a stint, not one lap. 



#13 flatlandsman

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 15:06

I think sadly have to give it to red Bull as all the cars on the grid were running the same basic rules, the McLaren was in a class of very few.

 

But it was probably a more dominant car.

 

And a far more beautiful one.  Nobody will remember this can on wheels



#14 Risil

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 15:11

Nobody will remember this can on wheels

 

Wanna bet?



#15 Gravelngrass

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 15:57

In 1988, you had aggregate timing after red flags and the SC wasn't used. So it was an advantage to gap the field. Current day F1, it is only useful to have a 5-10s gap to prevent undercuts. Anything more just wears out tires too much.

Also, the strength of the RB lies in how it manages tires over a stint, not one lap.


As mentioned, there will be complications…
But one thing is for sure: you have to take into account both cars.
In any case, it just goes to show that a “scientific“ method of determining these things must include so many variables that it’s probably impossible to make.

#16 LegendInTheMaking

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 16:08

In 1988, you had aggregate timing after red flags and the SC wasn't used. So it was an advantage to gap the field. Current day F1, it is only useful to have a 5-10s gap to prevent undercuts. Anything more just wears out tires too much.

 

Also, the strength of the RB lies in how it manages tires over a stint, not one lap. 

Indeed. The difference in absolute speed between the fastest Red Bull and the fastest other car in qualifying has actually been quite small. As a comparison the average gaps between the best qualifying car and 'best of the rest':

 

1952 Alfa Romeo 2.77% 6/6 poles

1967 Lotus 0.56% 9/11 poles (non-WCC/WDC!)

1978 Lotus 0.36% 12/16 poles

1988 McLaren 1.24% 15/16 poles

1989 McLaren 1.23% 15/16 poles

1992 Williams 1.42% 15/16 poles

1993 Williams 1.35% 15/16 poles

2011 Red Bull 0.39% 18/19 poles

2014 Mercedes 0.64% 18/19 poles

2015 Mercedes 0.66% 18/19 poles

2016 Mercedes 0.66% 20/21 poles

2023 Red Bull 0.18% 15/22 poles

 

One can argue that Red Bull and Verstappen were mostly 'just' ahead and took its tire advantage to the maximum during races, whilst always being at its best when others were struggling with difficult circumstances. In that respect, this season is far more a mirror of the 2002 and 2004 Ferrari seasons than any of the dominant McLaren or Williams years. In these seasons, the overall standings would suggest complete dominance by the Ferrari's but the individual races paint a different picture.

 

When making a case for the most dominant car in F1 history, I'd argue for the Williams FW15C of 1993. This car was driven by an aging Alain Prost, who returned after a sabbatical, and an unexperienced Damon Hill, yet in the first 9 races the fastest Williams was on average 1.9% faster in qualifying than the fastest car of any other constructor. If Senna or Schumacher would have driven this car instead of its nearest competition, it would have obliviated the opposition. 

 

Motorsport did a nice story on this car: link

And it was quite a stunner too:

Williams%20FW15C%20%284%29.jpg?etag=%227



#17 Dan333SP

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 16:57

It's always neat to me that you can literally see the active ride height control at work in pictures of the FW14B and C... it's subtle but look at the distance from the front wing endplates and the diffuser tray to the group on both of the cars in the photo above, and then compare it to this Jordan from the same race- 

 

https://cdn-3.motors...n-931-hart.webp

 

The Williams is just absolutely flat and as low as possible, the others with either no active suspension or less advanced developments had to run higher to allow for a bit of roll in high load corners. Remarkable cars. 



#18 eab

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 17:01

 

edit:    in bold italics edits made in reaction on valid comment in post 3

 

 

Finish               MP4/4        RB19

1                           15            15

2                           10              6

3                                             2

4                             1              3

5                                             1

6                             1              2

7                                             0

8                                             1

9                                             0

10                                           0

11&up                                    1

Retired                   5              1

 

Total results          32           32

Points first6         199         190          (using 9-6-4-3-2-1 points for first 6)

% max (=240)     82.9%    79.2%

Points first10       576          581         (using 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 for first 10)

% max (=688)     83.7%     84.4%

 

 

 

Finish              MP4/4        RB19

1                           15            21

2                           10              6

3                                             3

4                             1              6

5                                             1

6                             1              2

7                                             0

8                                             1

9                                             0

10                                           1

11&up                                    1

Retired                    5             2

 

Total results        32           44

Points first6       199         256          (using 9-6-4-3-2-1 points for first 6)

% max (=240)     82.9%

% max (=330)                   77.6%

Points first10     576         581          (using 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 for first 10)

% max (=688)    83.7%   

% max (=946)                    82.8%

 

Got some slightly different numbers.

 

RB19's number of 4ths I have one less, and its number of 5ths one more.

Total number of points under 9-6--1: 191 (16 races) resp 258 (22 races)

 

Total number of points under 25-18--1: 575 for the MP4/4 and 577 for the RB19, after 16 races. Total after 22 races for the RB19: 779

Percentages change too (ofc).



#19 AV1

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 17:14

Having a 'dominant' car is also the result of others dropping the ball. Mercedes taking their gamble and to stick to it for so long, did help RB.   



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#20 eab

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 17:19

Don't agree at all with the, by the looks of it, most used argument of looking how much faster certain cars are in quali relatively to the opposition.

 

The 100m dash times of marathon runners, or even those of middle distance ones, cannot be used as a yardstick of their performances in their resp. event.

They may both be running events and about being the fastest, but they're subject to very different performance parameters.



#21 Risil

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 17:29

Having a 'dominant' car is also the result of others dropping the ball. Mercedes taking their gamble and to stick to it for so long, did help RB.   

 

I agree, but that's probably even more the case about McLaren in 1988.



#22 flatlandsman

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 17:46

Risil, yes I will definitely bet that this years Red Bull will not be remembered anything like as fondly as the MP4/4 in years to come, Max will, but the car will not. 

 

Why? Because it was only one driver, and though a great he is as yet not on the same level in most peoples minds and of a certain era as Prost and Senna are. 

 

He also was beaten (I dont know as I no longer watch modern f1), Ayrton and Alain would have easily won every race in 88 were it not for Senna making an idiotic mistake at Monza.

 

it doesn't look anything like as memorable as the McLaren, which will always be one the best looking cars of all time.  

 

it just looks like a tin of drink, sorry. 



#23 nada12

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 19:34

Indeed. The difference in absolute speed between the fastest Red Bull and the fastest other car in qualifying has actually been quite small. As a comparison the average gaps between the best qualifying car and 'best of the rest':

 

1952 Alfa Romeo 2.77% 6/6 poles

1967 Lotus 0.56% 9/11 poles (non-WCC/WDC!)

1978 Lotus 0.36% 12/16 poles

1988 McLaren 1.24% 15/16 poles

1989 McLaren 1.23% 15/16 poles

1992 Williams 1.42% 15/16 poles

1993 Williams 1.35% 15/16 poles

2011 Red Bull 0.39% 18/19 poles

2014 Mercedes 0.64% 18/19 poles

2015 Mercedes 0.66% 18/19 poles

2016 Mercedes 0.66% 20/21 poles

2023 Red Bull 0.18% 15/22 poles

 

One can argue that Red Bull and Verstappen were mostly 'just' ahead and took its tire advantage to the maximum during races, whilst always being at its best when others were struggling with difficult circumstances. In that respect, this season is far more a mirror of the 2002 and 2004 Ferrari seasons than any of the dominant McLaren or Williams years. In these seasons, the overall standings would suggest complete dominance by the Ferrari's but the individual races paint a different picture.

 

When making a case for the most dominant car in F1 history, I'd argue for the Williams FW15C of 1993. This car was driven by an aging Alain Prost, who returned after a sabbatical, and an unexperienced Damon Hill, yet in the first 9 races the fastest Williams was on average 1.9% faster in qualifying than the fastest car of any other constructor. If Senna or Schumacher would have driven this car instead of its nearest competition, it would have obliviated the opposition. 

 

Motorsport did a nice story on this car: link

And it was quite a stunner too:

Williams%20FW15C%20%284%29.jpg?etag=%227

I logged in to throw this car into the mix, but I see you already made my points. The FW15C it is for me, just simply look at those ridiculous qualy gaps. I don't think Prost was ever really flat out that season, he simply didn't need to. 



#24 ForzaFormula

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 19:40

The 1992 Williams is by far the most technologically dominant F1 car there's ever been. It may as well have existed in its own category.
Then it's the 1988 Mclaren which was a work of art.

The RBR19 had incredible results in the hands of one driver but that's a combination of that exceptional driver, a great car, incredible pit crew and fantastic reliability. The RB19 felt like the 2011 RBR, or the 2004 Ferrari.


The RB has similar advantages it was in a nother catergory for most races, it just had a poor second driver.


Also take into consideration most races max was crusing most of the time and taking care of the car,.this is much more important now.than it was then due to the penalty system and budgets.

#25 AV1

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 19:43

I agree, but that's probably even more the case about McLaren in 1988.

 

So, ....

 

"For which car is it most true that the entire competition combined dropped the ball the most?"



#26 Risil

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 19:55

Great niche thread idea :D

#27 Sparky68

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 19:55

As much as I am proud of the RB19 , the 92 Williams was in another league compared to its rivals



#28 PlatenGlass

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 20:00

I logged in to throw this car into the mix, but I see you already made my points. The FW15C it is for me, just simply look at those ridiculous qualy gaps. I don't think Prost was ever really flat out that season, he simply didn't need to.

People say this but it took him until round 7 to take the lead of the championship from Senna for the final time and even then only because Senna retired. He may possibly have backed off later, but until then he was just struggling to see off Senna.

#29 F1Frog

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 21:03

Great thread!

One thing I would mention is that apart from one qualifying in Jeddah, the RB19 had 100% perfect reliability. Also I think it had stronger opposition than other contenders like the MP4/4 or the Ferrari sharknose.

#30 PayasYouRace

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 22:31

And neither was as dominant in its first year as a 12 year old Alfa Romeo 158.



#31 nada12

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 23:00

People say this but it took him until round 7 to take the lead of the championship from Senna for the final time and even then only because Senna retired. He may possibly have backed off later, but until then he was just struggling to see off Senna.

Look into how the races went a little bit instead of just at the championship table. Senna won 3 of the first 6 races, with two of them affected by heavy rain in which Senna dominated, and in the 3rd, Monaco, Prost effed bis race up and was a lap down after serving his penalty. There is a reason Senna's 93 Season is heralded as one of the best non-Championship years of any driver ever. Prost taking the lead only in round 7 wasn't because of his car not being dominant enough. 



#32 flatlandsman

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 23:39

You do not win a championship by being in front in the first few rounds, you win it at the end!



#33 George Costanza

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 23:42

1992 Williams is IMHO the fastest.

#34 George Costanza

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 23:43

As much as I am proud of the RB19 , the 92 Williams was in another league compared to its rivals


Yes I agree 100. It was extremely fast. 2 seconds quicker than anyone else.

Edited by George Costanza, 08 December 2023 - 23:44.


#35 Wuzak

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 05:28

The RB19 was beaten in a race on performance by 3 teams (Singapore).

 

The MP4/4 was only beaten in a race when both cars retired.



#36 messy

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 06:11

I think there have been far more dominant cars than this year’s Red Bull but I don’t think there have been any more perfect combinations of car and driver than it and Max, if that makes sense. Plenty of the races this year he was pushed or closely shadowed by a McLaren or an Aston Martin or Ferrari or whatever and still had this knack of perfectly controlling things even when he wasn’t massively ahead. The others, he disappeared over the horizon easy as you like. Perfect season really, but it wasn’t as if he was always half a lap ahead (or Perez was always second). Didn’t make it any less boring because even if Lando was close behind you knew Max would do what he needed to.

The MP4/4 was miles and miles ahead unless they suffered reliability problems or crashed or whatever, and my impression is that Senna/Prost shared the front row just about every single weekend whereas when was the last time we saw a Max/Perez front row?

Edited by messy, 09 December 2023 - 06:12.


#37 PlatenGlass

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 07:29

Look into how the races went a little bit instead of just at the championship table. Senna won 3 of the first 6 races, with two of them affected by heavy rain in which Senna dominated, and in the 3rd, Monaco, Prost effed bis race up and was a lap down after serving his penalty. There is a reason Senna's 93 Season is heralded as one of the best non-Championship years of any driver ever. Prost taking the lead only in round 7 wasn't because of his car not being dominant enough.

I was referring more to Prost not being flat out and just cruising to the title. He was under pressure.

#38 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 09:56

Exclude Max and the RB19 will appear as nothing more than a ”pretty good” car. Something like 13th best in that particular decade. Really not special at all.

Perez may not be absolute elite-level talent, but he’s definitaly good enough to have finished pretty much every 1988 race in a somewhat distant second place (and qualified comfortably on the front row) had he driven the MP4/4.

There are two main reasons why the RB19 dominated the field statistically:

1) Max Verstappen
2) The inconcistency of the competition.

Had another team been able to be the consistent challenger then I don’t think Perez would have finished better than fourth in the WDC.

#39 rocque

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 12:46

McLaren dominates with Honda power

In addition to the ultra-flat chassis and the extremely torsion-resistant chassis of the MP4-4, Honda's masterpiece was the match winner of the successful combination. On average, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost drove ahead of the competition by one to two seconds per lap.
 
Ferrari only modified its 1987 car and engine in 1988. That couldn't go well. The drivers had to take their foot off the gas during the race. The Ferrari V6 turbo was too thirsty. Everyone else had already switched to naturally aspirated engines and had no chance from the start.

The right answer is obviously McLaren MP4/4.

https://www.auto-mot...-mclaren-mp4-4/


Edited by rocque, 09 December 2023 - 12:46.


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#40 DW46

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 17:34

Stick Senna and Prost in the RB and 2023’s a classic.

#41 F1Frog

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 17:59

Stick Senna and Prost in the RB and 2023’s a classic.


I think Senna would win comfortably as the car would suit his driving style more, and the reliability advantage of Prost wouldn’t come into play as the Red Bull had pretty much perfect reliability. However, it would be interesting to see which tyre deg races Prost could pull off something special to beat Senna in. It would be a classic season for sure even if I am confident Senna would win. Anyone disagree?

#42 DW46

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 18:08

I think Senna would win comfortably as the car would suit his driving style more, and the reliability advantage of Prost wouldn’t come into play as the Red Bull had pretty much perfect reliability. However, it would be interesting to see which tyre deg races Prost could pull off something special to beat Senna in. It would be a classic season for sure even if I am confident Senna would win. Anyone disagree?


But before my time but I’d lean towards Senna but a racier Prost not playing the percentages might be a different kinda challenge.

#43 Mc_Silver

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 18:11

Exclude Max and the RB19 will appear as nothing more than a ”pretty good” car. Something like 13th best in that particular decade. Really not special at all.

Perez may not be absolute elite-level talent, but he’s definitaly good enough to have finished pretty much every 1988 race in a somewhat distant second place (and qualified comfortably on the front row) had he driven the MP4/4.

There are two main reasons why the RB19 dominated the field statistically:

1) Max Verstappen
2) The inconcistency of the competition.

Had another team been able to be the consistent challenger then I don’t think Perez would have finished better than fourth in the WDC.


Well said. MP4/4 was really something special. They could have won every race 1-2 easily with fastest laps every race. Senna/Prost driver combo was also far superior compared to Verstappen/Perez.

#44 eab

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 18:38

Exclude Max and the RB19 will appear as nothing more than a ”pretty good” car. Something like 13th best in that particular decade. Really not special at all.

13th best? In whát particular decade? What exactly are you trying to convey here?

 

Perez may not be absolute elite-level talent, but he’s definitaly good enough to have finished pretty much every 1988 race in a somewhat distant second place (and qualified comfortably on the front row) had he driven the MP4/4.

"Pretty much every 1988 race in second." As in better than Senna? And against what competition? Who's driving the other McLaren, and the other 24 cars?

 

There are two main reasons why the RB19 dominated the field statistically:

1) Max Verstappen
2) The inconcistency of the competition.

This is another very popular thing to say these times. The deemed 'inconcistency of the competition' is nothing but (a sign of) the competitiveness of the competition among themselves, whilst there was another party that hovered all the while above them, in complete control and thus domination.

And to then, on top of that, point at one of the drivers for being the co-main reason for the established domination, is shaky.

 

Had another team been able to be the consistent challenger then I don’t think Perez would have finished better than fourth in the WDC.

Well, that's descriptively stating what domination is, being consistently unchallenged. Per definition, had this not been the case, drivers would have had a harder if not impossible task to get the positions that they eventually got.



#45 Heyli

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Posted 09 December 2023 - 23:08

The RB19 was beaten in a race on performance by 3 teams (Singapore).

 

The MP4/4 was only beaten in a race when both cars retired.

Dont think they would have been beaten by 3 teams if it wasnt for those untimely safety cars though. Could have even been in the mix for victory. Slim shot maybe, but not impossible.



#46 AlexS

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Posted 10 December 2023 - 02:48

But would the MP4/4 have won 21 of 22 races?



#47 Clrnc

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Posted 10 December 2023 - 03:07

I think there have been far more dominant cars than this year’s Red Bull but I don’t think there have been any more perfect combinations of car and driver than it and Max, if that makes sense. Plenty of the races this year he was pushed or closely shadowed by a McLaren or an Aston Martin or Ferrari or whatever and still had this knack of perfectly controlling things even when he wasn’t massively ahead. The others, he disappeared over the horizon easy as you like. Perfect season really, but it wasn’t as if he was always half a lap ahead (or Perez was always second). Didn’t make it any less boring because even if Lando was close behind you knew Max would do what he needed to.

The MP4/4 was miles and miles ahead unless they suffered reliability problems or crashed or whatever, and my impression is that Senna/Prost shared the front row just about every single weekend whereas when was the last time we saw a Max/Perez front row?

Agree with this.

#48 Ragamuffin

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Posted 10 December 2023 - 03:54

MP4/4 more dominant, but RB19 the much greater feat.



#49 George Costanza

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Posted 11 December 2023 - 01:21

I think Senna would win comfortably as the car would suit his driving style more, and the reliability advantage of Prost wouldn’t come into play as the Red Bull had pretty much perfect reliability. However, it would be interesting to see which tyre deg races Prost could pull off something special to beat Senna in. It would be a classic season for sure even if I am confident Senna would win. Anyone disagree?


Alain would win his share.... Alain always played the long game and it paid off to win 4 World Championships.

Edited by George Costanza, 11 December 2023 - 01:21.


#50 Nathan

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Posted 11 December 2023 - 02:42

I think the MP4/4 because its qualifying and race pace gaps to the rest were greater, I think its more impressive to have built such a reliable car in the late 80's, and as a tie breaker the MP4/4 lost its one race because it got knocked out in the lead, RB19 lost because it was the one track it didn't dominate.