Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Best F1 Driver of 2012???

I've been having a dabble with a database downloaded from the Ergast Motor Racing Database and came up with this ad hoc model for trying to get a feel for who the best F1 "racing" driver of 2012 was based on the difference in their grid position and final race classification.

The model I used was to calculate the following quantity: sum of (gridPosition-racePosition)/racePosition) over all races

The numerator (top term), gridPosition-racePosition, gives the number of positions gained (positive), or lost (negative).

These values are scaled by dividing through by the final racePosition in each corresponding race, which means that position changes at the head of the field count for more than those at the back of the field. (There is a certain balancing effect going on here though, because cars that start at the back of the field may gain several places through non-finishers amongst the cars that started ahead of them). Here are the resulting rankings...
I then tweaked the model to add in a term that accounted for holding position, equal to 1/racePosition (so the equation became sum of ( (gridPosition==racePosition)/racePosition + (gridPosition-racePosition)/racePosition) over all races. Here's the result this time:
A problem with that approach is that there is no differentiation between gaining a a place and holding position. We can account for this using the following refinement: sum of ( (gridPosition>=racePosition)/racePosition + (gridPosition-racePosition)/racePosition) over all races
Here's a final chart, this time using the product of the grid and final positions as the denominator (that is, calculating sum of ( (gridPosition==racePosition)/(racePosition*gridPosition) + (gridPosition-racePosition)/(racePosition*gridPosition) ) over all races).

So do any of these charts make (non)sense? (And if so, which make most (or least) sense and why?)

Friday, December 21, 2012

F1 2012 Race Review Charts App

I just realised I haven't posted any links to my graphical race review app, so here's a link now: F1 2012 Race Review Charts App...



There's also a brief write-up at More Shiny Goodness – Tinkering With the Ergast Motor Racing Data API.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

F1 2012 Brazil Third Practice Summary

A quick visual summary of P3 at the 2012 Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix...

Here are the deltas between best lap time and ultimate laptime (so who's not driving to the limit?;-):



The ultimate vs. personal best laptime chart shows similar information in an alternative form - the further away form the line, the further off the ultimate lap:



How does each driver fare by sector? 

We can also compare sectors separately:
Or like this....



Deltas again...



If we compare sector rankings with overall classifications, we can get a feel for drivers who are particularly quick - or slow - in a sector; something goes wrong for WEB in sector 3, but GRO is good in 2 and DIR in 3? ALO's losing in sector 1?



How do deltas compare by sector against sector classification?



How do the deltas compare in each sector (delta from fastes sector time)? Again, lets order by overall classification so we can see folk who are out of sorts:


By the by, how do speeds compare?


And sector rank v straightline speed?

Sector delta v speed?

Friday, November 23, 2012

F1 2012 VET vs. ALO in Practice and Qualifying

A couple of quick sketches to summarise how Vettel and Alonso have compared over the season to date in practice and qualifying.

First up, the time delta between their best times in each session:

This doesn't take into account the lap length, though, so we can normalise by dividing through by the fastest laptime recorded across VET and ALO for each session:
Casting a quick eye over the charts, I think we could make at least an anecdotal claim that progression continues in qualifying at least... so if VET improves over ALO going Q1 to Q2, then we'll see a further increase going into Q3?

How do P3/third practice times compare with qualifying session times?
VET seems to straddle his P3 time with the Q1 and Q2 times? (Below the line shows the qualifying session time beat the third practice time.)

How about ALO?
Is there a tendency there for ALO to perform better in qualifying than in P3? This is where "proper" statistics come in, not just graphical stats "by eye"... 

So, what statistical test should we use to see how qualifying session times compare with practice times?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

F1 2012 Championship Going in to Brazil

A quick round up of some of the elements of the races to date...

Intra-team comparison: the dots show the position of the two drivers ("driver 1" in the team is blue the "second" driver s orange; the bar shows the difference between positions in the team. Bar to the left of the centre line shows that driver 1 was higher placed):

As a side-effect, the lack of a green bar denotes that at most only one car finished for the team. The chart therefore immediately makes it clear that Ferrari had good reliability, but the McLarens had quite a few races without a double finish. ALO and VET are also seen to dominate their respective team rankings. HUL has had a good run in his team in the latter part of the season.

Here's another take on that chart - but this time we order the x-axis for classification so that 1st is at x=23 (i.e. better placed is further to the right; winer is extreme right).



Reasons for non-finishes (no data for United States?):
Pit stop performance - delta from best pit times:

Here are the pit deltas from best pit time by race, with a LOESS best fit line to try and pull out any trends:
Here's a close-up of fast pit stops by driver number:


Saturday, November 17, 2012

F1 2012 United States Qualifying Summary

A quick summary of qualifying at the 2012 Formula One US Grand Prix.

Here's how the practice and qualifying sessions went:


Does that table need to have the y-axis reversed so that first is at the top? I think it does, doesn't it?



How about progress through the actual qualifying sessions?




How close to ultimate lap times did each driver get?



In response to a comment from MartinB, here's that same chart with the laptime axes reversed so the fastet laps are top right:



Does that work? Convention is to read axes as increasing value, so we break that here... but maybe the chart does make more sense? If anything, I guess it shows how you really would need to take care when reading axis titles and labels... Below the line is now slower than ultimate lap. Would it be more useful if Ultimate and personal best axes were flipped? Or maybe we should just focus on deltas between personal bests and personal ultimates?

How about this - looking at deltas vs the personal best time?
The different axis scales really make a big difference here - VET was "way off" his ultimate laptime compared to HAM. But a problem with this chart is that we can't easily tell whether HAM would have beaten VET if HAM had driven his ultimate lap compared to VET's personal best lap?

How about with flipped x-axis so fastest is to the right:

Any good?




If drivers had driven ultimate laps during qualifying, would the qualification classification have been any different? RAI would have moved up a place, it seems...


Here's how the best sector time deltas stacked up - drivers are ordered by qualifying classification, so it should be easy enough to spot anyone who drove good sectors on different laps, but didn't hook them up in a single qualifying lap:






Are the drivers performing particularly well or badly in any particular sector?  MAL and ALO are making up ground in sector 1 compared to their overall classification, but MSC is losing places. In sector 2, HUL does well but WEB is down. In sector 3, MAS is up, GRO and HUL are down.

We can also look at deltas to the fastest time in each sector, again arranged by overall classification (rather than rank in sector). WEB and GRO both lose time in sector 2.
How do the session times vary from the ultimate laptime (and did anyone fare better in an earlier session than a later one?)? Seems like BUT did better in Q1 than Q2... and ALO did better in Q2 than Q3:


How did speeds compare?
How slow are the Red Bulls?!

Any obvious (to the eye) relationship between speed and ultimate laptime?


I guess the next thing to do is to start trying to tie these data views into session reports, such as this one form f1fanatic: Vettel takes pole as Alonso struggles to fourth row. What we really need to support session write-ups of that form is the timing data for each qualifying lap. This is available from the FIA media centre, but I've been laying off the PDF scraping for the second half of this season...

F1 2012 United States Grand Prix Third Practice Summary

Sketches around P3 of the 2012 Formula One United States Grand Prix...

First, how to the deltas for each driver's best sector time compared to the best overall sector time stack up? Drivers are ranked by session classification, so we see that Button is out of position. WHilst he pulled in some good sector times, presumably he couldn't hook them up together?
If we look at the delta between best lap time and ultimate laptime, we should therefore see that BUT is way off...
...as indeed he is..

If we look at the ultimate vs. personal best laptime, we should see BUT out of postion - we can get a feel for the ultimate laptime ranking by look at how drivers are ordered along the y-axis:
 This is a little cluttered - let's zoom in:
Now we see that if drivers drove their ultimate laps, BUT would have moved up three positions.

How does each driver fare by sector? 

If we order by driver number, we can get a feel for how each driver fared as well as team behaviour:

One thing that jumps out for me in this chart is how much time can be lost in sector 2? The Red Bulls seem to be nailing it in sector 3 compared to everyone else?

If we compare sector rankings with overall classifications, we can get a feel for drivers who are particularly quick - or slow - in a sector:
So in sector 1, GRO is fast, and HUL slow. BUT is up in sector, wheres WEB is down. In sector 3, WEB picks up places, as does RAI, but MAL seems to be slow?

How do the deltas compare in each sector (delta from fastes sector time)? Again, lets order by overall classification so we can see folk who are out of sorts:
So in sector 1, we see HUL is slow and GRO picks up time. Sector 2 is all over the place, but WEB's bad time stands out. Similarly, in sector 3 we see MAL mess up, but RAI makes up time.

If we view the same sort of chart order by sector ranking, we can get a better feel for whether there are any breaks in the team performances, as well as as whether any sectors present any particular problems to any given team (you need to know driver pairings to detect team patterns though...)
Looks like sector 2 spreads them out...

By the by, how do speeds compare?

Red Bulls are *slow*, aren't they?

Does there appear to be any relationship between speed and ultimate laptime?
How about speed and overall classification?

Can we spot any relationships between speed and sector times?
Maybe we'll see something if we group the driver's deltas and plot them against speed?

Hmmm... I'm not convinced I can easily spot any patterns there...? Thought I'm not totally sure what to look for... (That is, this view may not be meaningful at all;-)