How to measure F1 drivers?

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
If we imagine for a moment that we wanted to quantify the range of skills for a particular driver, what categories should there be? I've listed my own ideas below, what do you think I've left out?

Dry Weather Pace (raw speed basically)
Wet Weather Pace
Qualifying Pace
Ability to handle pressure (on the circuit!)
Consistency
Car Control
Technical Feedback
Experience (relevant?)
Overtaking
Stamina
Mechanical Sympathy (nursing a damaged car etc.)
Adaptability (driving around a poor setup or able to change teams/tyres without too much time to adjust)

What else might we consider as being part of a racing driver's skill set?
 
G

Guest

Guest
It would be cool if there as some formula that could be used to link the drivers performance to the relative performance of the car .. by that I mean some sort of ratio that links what the driver can get out of the car compared to its maximum.

I don't know how that could be achieved though.

It's the age old question of is this an average driver in a top notch car or a great driver in an underperforming car?
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Indeed, it's a classic problem. There's no way of knowing how close a driver is to getting the most out of his car. The only comparison is his team mate, and usually that doesn't tell us very much.

Still, that's part of the romance of the sport I suppose.
 

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
Would driver temperament count? For example, being able to 'control' the red rage when wound up by an opponents driving, and use it to increase performance? Or, to up the performance when a possible win is sniffed by a driver, when a 'lesser' driver would be unable to?

Or would this be covered under one of the skills already listed?
 

Andrea_Moda_Rules

Podium Finisher
MZR

I think it could come up under Ability to handle pressure,

GM,

Dry Weather Pace (raw speed basically)
Qualifying Pace

wouldn't it be that all the attributes make up them two

I would add judgement of race lines, and braking, or would that come under car contorol
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Thanks guys.

McZiderRed - I think part of that comes under Ability to Handle Pressure, however there is also Determination/Motivation - the way some drivers get an extra burst of speed and others give up and (seem to) go to sleep. So I definitely think that should be in there.

AMR - I wasn't very clear about those two, I suppose I was trying to quantify a driver's basic, raw talent, which incorporates things like picking the right lines, braking, controlling slides etc. There are drivers who are consistent, good under pressure and everything else but just not that quick.

We could break them down into the components of the driving style but that might not tell us much either. The latest braker in F1 is generally agreed to be Mark Webber, but I'd say he's not the quickest driver. So I suppose I've been a bit lazy with my categories but hopefully for good reasons?
 

Amdathlonuk

Somewhat related.........
Contributor
What about race planning and adaptability?

They should have a game plan, but be able to modify/adapt it in certain circumstances. Quite often it's not just the driving that wins races.........

my 2p worth.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
If I was being peevish, I'd say ability to stop at red lights, but I'm not going to go for that!

I think that the ability to keep your temper is important; it's Alonso's big failing as a driver.

And how about the accidentproneability of the driver. It is a word now...
 
R

redshark

Guest
Gordon: I wouldn't include "experience" as all of the other qualities will probably improve with that.
I'd have "race-craft" rather than "overtaking" as there are times when it's prudent to hold back rather than making a desperate (but spectacular!) lunge for position. In my opinion, Prost and Lauda were masters of race-craft.
I'd go for "temperament" rather than "ability to handle pressure" (or anger-management as teabagyokel mentions) as you've also got to be able to perform when the pressure is OFF and things get boring ... like when leading by a country mile. Also, a failing in the temperament area just leads to self-inflicted pressure.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Thanks everyone. I wasn't too sure about experience, it's more of a secondary factor so perhaps it's not appropriate for the list.

Temperament is obviously a recurring theme, though it's something difficult to quantify I agree it is important. Racecraft too should be on there but I think in addition to overtaking, rather than instead of - a driver could be a demon passer but still have the judgement to know when it's tactically right to hold back.
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
The biggest factor is unfortunately one that is impossible to quantify in most cases these days and that is performance of the car.

Race-craft is an issue in the respect that if a driver doesn't need to overtake anyone due to being fast enough to have got pole and keep it, does this mean their race craft is too good or does it mean they have the best car underneath them?
 
Top Bottom