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Old 16 Aug 2019, 11:22 (Ref:3922961)   #1
Schummy
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Stats: Vettel vs Leclerc, who is fastest?

The "stats" part of the title is an ominous signal saying I am going to put here some data to feed the argument about who of them is "faster". "Faster" can have several meanings, mostly raw speed in one lap and sustained speed through a race. As is well known, Senna was faster than Prost in qualifications but Alain had a lot more fastest laps in races, adding more confusion to the one-lap speed discussion

Anyway, here are the data I want to expose: qualification gaps and race gaps. Race gaps are calculated as time gaps at the end of the races divided by number of laps, thus it is expressed as a gap per lap, ta make it more comparable to qualy gaps.

To resume all those gaps I have used the median of qualy gaps and the median of race gaps. We cannot use noraml averages because of two reasons: there are "infinite gaps" (when one driver didn't completed the qualification or the race, thus he used and "infinite" time) and there are not infrequent "outliers", due to "random" circunstances.

Let's go with the (hideous) numbers: (positive is Vettel's advantage)

Code:
 QUAL   RACE
+0.25  +0.02  1
-0.30  -0.63  2
+0.02  +0.31  3
+1.43  +1.13  4
+0.32  +0.06  5
+1.20  +inf   6
+0.68  +0.01  7
-0.54  -0.83  8
-0.66  -0.24  9
-0.62  -1.73 10
-inf   +inf  11
-0.03  +0.05 12
---------------
Qual: -0.005 (-0.03/+0.02) , VET 6 - LEC 6
Race: +0.035 (+0.02/+0.05), VET 8 - LEC 4
(Between parenthesis is an approximate "error margin")

So far, the most important conclusion is they are extremely close in qualifications and very close in races. The difference in race gaps is not statistically significant (i.e. it could happen just by chance between two identical drivers).

One could argue that being Vettel a four time world champion and Leclerc a rookie in a top end team, it throws a positive light on Leclerc. Also, the age factor (32 vs 21) is a good indication for Leclerc. On the other side, Vettel has proven he is a front runner for many years and Leclerc has a lot to prove as yet.

If you one were Ferrari's principal and had to choose one of them for a two years contract, who would be the better option? And for a three year contract?
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Old 16 Aug 2019, 11:35 (Ref:3922962)   #2
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Very nice stats. I like stats.

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Originally Posted by Schummy View Post
One could argue that being Vettel a four time world champion and Leclerc a rookie in a top end team, it throws a positive light on Leclerc. Also, the age factor (32 vs 21) is a good indication for Leclerc. On the other side, Vettel has proven he is a front runner for many years and Leclerc has a lot to prove as yet.
Well put. Another way of looking at it is that people are constantly saying that Vettel hasn't been doing well, and Leclerc is the future. Well if this is Vettel on his downward trend, and Leclerc isn't beating this supposedly bad Vettel, is he as good as we think?

Vettel and Ferrari tend to fade as a season goes on. I suspect Leclerc will overtake (ha) and gap Vettel as the season continues.
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Old 16 Aug 2019, 12:27 (Ref:3922966)   #3
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Ferrari have dropped the ball on 3 of Vettel's qualifying efforts, once with tyres and twice with gear selection issues?
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Old 16 Aug 2019, 17:26 (Ref:3922999)   #4
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coppice should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridcoppice should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridcoppice should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Who is 'the faster '...., because only two in the comparison .



That's my Friday pedantry hit scored .
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