Category History

Do drivers influence mechanical reliability?

Car reliability has always played a central role in Formula 1 — an inevitable consequence of teams not wanting to leave any potential performance unexploited. Mechanical DNFs at inopportune times have decided numerous championships. Who can forget Mansell’s puncture at Adelaide 1986 or Hamilton’s shock engine failure at Malaysia 2016? Many of the sport’s most […]

Experts versus models: How do we rank drivers?

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. Examining the data table below helps to […]

2015 model-based driver rankings

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 […]

The most dominant teams in F1 history

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 […]

A reconstructed history of Formula 1

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 […]