Lotus team mates Nigel Mansell, left, and Elio de Angelis
Austrian GP, Osterreichring, 14 August 1983

Who was a greater Formula 1 driver: Nigel Mansell or Elio de Angelis? Expert panels have uniformly selected Mansell. Raw statistics of success — wins, championships, and the like — also clearly favor Mansell. Yet, every mathematical model of driver rankings developed to date resoundingly answers de Angelis. This is a motivating example, but certainly […]


With testing finished, I continued my earlier analysis to form a clearer picture of the team hierarchy as we go to Melbourne. This time I have taken both tyre degradation and fuel loads into account. Making predictions in F1 is extremely difficult, as I found out in a previous analysis of F1 economics. Nevertheless, I think there are significant insights to […]


I was as excited as anyone to see the 2016 cars hit the track in Barcelona. After a winter of boasts from Ferrari, Renault, and Honda about the progress they have made, we finally have a chance to properly assess where they all stand. Often we are told that “testing times are meaningless”, but it’s important to […]


Last year, I presented model-based rankings for all the 2014 season drivers. These rankings are derived from a mathematical model, described here, that statistically estimates the strength of driver and team performances in each year, as well as overall career performances for drivers. It achieves this by finding the best fit to all race result […]

Recent years in Formula 1 have been challenging for viewers, with Red Bull dominance in 2011 and 2013, followed by Mercedes dominance in 2014 and 2015. Periods of team dominance are not new to Formula 1, since differences in car performance have always trumped differences in driver performance. Nevertheless, the level of dominance achieved by Mercedes […]

With silly season underway, it is a good time to consider which junior drivers are most deserving of a Formula 1 seat next year. Any incoming juniors will obviously be competing not only with the current grid but also recent drivers Vergne, Magnussen, Gutierrez, van der Garde, and Sutil. And of course, it’s doubtful drivers […]

I grew up reading many Formula 1 fact books and encyclopedias. Despite their different sources, ages, and authors (all English language, I should mention), they told approximately the same story of Formula 1 history, with the same heroes and villains. Drivers with two or more titles were usually considered the “true greats”, joined by a select […]