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Old 27 Jul 2020, 11:25 (Ref:3991012)   #1
Shaohao
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Who is winning in F1?

Hi!

I was taking part in an interesting discussion lately. We were touching the plethora of subjects. But among them there was also motor racing. One of our friends who is not a sports fan, like at all, decided to stir the pot and asked: In that F1 of yours are those cars that are winning or the drivers?
There was a sudden silence among our group and then the hell broke loose.

I am interested to see what you have to say. Who is winning in F1?

My answer is: it is a mix of both. You need a reliable car but you also need a skilled driver.
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 12:53 (Ref:3991022)   #2
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Originally Posted by Shaohao View Post
Hi!

I was taking part in an interesting discussion lately. We were touching the plethora of subjects. But among them there was also motor racing. One of our friends who is not a sports fan, like at all, decided to stir the pot and asked: In that F1 of yours are those cars that are winning or the drivers?
There was a sudden silence among our group and then the hell broke loose.

I am interested to see what you have to say. Who is winning in F1?

My answer is: it is a mix of both. You need a reliable car but you also need a skilled driver.
The Car is the most important thing in the sport. You won’t win a championship with the worst car on the grid even if you are the best driver
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 13:04 (Ref:3991024)   #3
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steve_r should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsteve_r should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridsteve_r should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
The best teams with the best cars try to employ the best drivers.
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 13:14 (Ref:3991026)   #4
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More car than driver I think.

Put Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in this year's Ferrari, and they would not have won a race either.

However, would Vettel-Leclerc or Sainz-Norris in this year's Mercedes have fared any worse than current pairing Hamilton-Bottas?
Or Perez-Stroll or your favourite driver parining?
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 13:20 (Ref:3991030)   #5
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When I first saw the thread title, my initial thought was that the answer is obvious - just look at the tables.

Then, reading the post, I can see the question is more along the lines of 'which influences the outcome of F1 more, the driver or car?'.

However - I think the answer still lies in the tables, but with a more subtle analysis.

One way to look at it - average the points of both drivers in a team:
Mercedes - 60.5
RBR - 27.5
McLaren - 20.5
Racing Point - 20
Ferrari - 13.5
Renault - 6
Alphatauri - 3.5
Alfa Romeo - 1
Haas - 0.5

In isolation, it is clear that the Mercedes is winning F1 - underlined by the fact that the drivers are occupying the top two slots comfortable ahead of the field. Which leaves the question of the drivers' contribution. That is highlighted by the share of points within a team.

How much is the lead driver bettering their car's average:

Verstappen - 5.5
Norris - 5.5
Leclerc - 4.5
Gasly - 2.5
Hamilton - 2.5
Perez - 2.0
Ricciardo - 2.0
Giovinazzi - 1.0
Magnussen - 0.5

It's only an interpretation of the results, but in terms of the original question:

The Mercedes-Benz is winning F1.
Albon, Sainz and Vettel are losing F1.
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 13:44 (Ref:3991037)   #6
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For sure its a combination, but if you replaced the driver with a robot, would you still watch?
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 13:52 (Ref:3991041)   #7
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Even a dominant car needs the driver to do the job, otherwise there is no point. Thankfully we still see great drivers shine through and we’ve seen plenty punch above their weight. The drivers are what make it worth it, not just a team sport, otherwise the drivers championship wouldn’t mean anything
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 14:08 (Ref:3991047)   #8
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More car than driver I think.

Put Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in this year's Ferrari, and they would not have won a race either.

However, would Vettel-Leclerc or Sainz-Norris in this year's Mercedes have fared any worse than current pairing Hamilton-Bottas?
Or Perez-Stroll or your favourite driver parining?
Yes, I think they would have fared worse. Well, certainly worse than Hamilton. Bottas is less clear. I wouldn't risk putting Vettel in any car I was responsible for.
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 15:03 (Ref:3991058)   #9
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The best teams with the best cars try to employ the best drivers.
As their No1, I agree. Not No2 drivers though, as they might take points away from the No1. Drivers like Bottas ( who I believe would struggle to match ANY No1 driver in ANY team ), and Albon, ( who I like, but I think would also struggle against a No1 driver at any Top team ) prove this. Some teams like to put a challenge to their No1, but certainly not all. The Best Car always wins, so all you need to be is "In the best car & better than your No2." This is all IMHO of course, everyone else is entitled to theirs.
Also, because the result is pretty well known at the start of any event, I like to follow the teams where the drivers are close, like McLaren / Ferrari / Alpha Tauri / Haas etc.
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 15:21 (Ref:3991060)   #10
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The mercedes is clearly quite a lot better than the other cars but obviously the drivers are much harder to quantify, obviously hamilton is a good driver but his performance is rather enhanced by the car whilst other drivers performance is certainly helping the cars they are driving look better than they actually are.
Over the many years i have been watching it has been obvious that the car has to be competative if it has any chance of finishing near the top, But even with a less (comparative against the others only) able driver a good car will usually finish near the front of the grid.
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 16:21 (Ref:3991072)   #11
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Yes, I think they would have fared worse. Well, certainly worse than Hamilton. Bottas is less clear. I wouldn't risk putting Vettel in any car I was responsible for.
I am not that convinced.

I am not saying Vettel version2020 is as good a driver as Hamilton version2020 (that was not the question)
but if Vettel had the best car (and team, a thing that was forgotten in the original question) at his disposal, I think the combo Leclerc-Vettel would still have brought home the wins for Mecedes.

Probably not in Hamilton-dominant fashion but I still think in a Mercedes they would win.


I think Vettel/Leclerc in a Mercedes would still win, and Verstappen/Hamilton/Bottas in a Ferrari would not.
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 16:40 (Ref:3991076)   #12
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I think that's pretty fair Gert and I agree with that. There would have been wins for Vettel/Leclerc, however I also think we would have seen more mistakes. Both drivers have, in my opinion, shown themselves to be significantly more mistake-prone than Hamilton/Bottas. (Mind you, that probably has something to do with the car they are having to drive).
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 16:52 (Ref:3991081)   #13
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Mercedes will all or most of the races this season and Hamilton will win the majority of those, pretty clear who is winning f1.
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 17:24 (Ref:3991094)   #14
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perhaps controversial, but i think 94-97 provided a good mix of the best driver vs the best car.

obviously i am rating Schumi as the best driver during that period and the Williams as the best car...so putting all potential controversies aside (but i doubt anyone will care much for that caveat though) the best driver won the first 2 drivers titles and then the best car took its driver to the next 2 driver titles....stalemate.

2007 was an interesting year in that the Mclaren was the best car and while helped with the two Mclaren drivers taking points off of each other, Kimi was truly sublime finishing with more wins and closing out the season with 10 straight podiums. imo Kimi emerged as the best driver that season.

2008 i would say the Ferrari was the better car/package but i dont think Kimi had the same motivation and Massa, who i love so this pains me to say, ultimately failed to keep the better driver at bay.

88-89 with Prost Senna in the same machinery and even 2016 with Nico vs Ham adds another level to this in so much as what constitutes the best driver.

2016 i think was something special in that both drivers had the same machinery (with probably the least amount of favoritism ever shown between the two by management) and Nico managed to beat the best driver...a truly epic season from Nico but a real outlier on this topic.

maybe i would also put down a couple of Alonso at Ferrari seasons as a different kind of outlier...rather, a what happens when the 'best' driver (Alonso) doesnt deliver.

their team loses!
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Old 27 Jul 2020, 17:55 (Ref:3991106)   #15
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If Nico and Lewis had the same car and Nico won then no way can anyone say Lewis was the best driver that year, other drivers oerhaps but Lewis was beaten that year by Nico.
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