Mid-season Supergrid

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
This is based on each driver's fastest lap in any part of qualifying, converted to a percentage from the fastest of all. If a driver didn't set a representative time at all his average is just taken from those races when he did:

2018_Supergrid.jpg


Other than confirming the very big gap between the big 3 teams and the rest, there were a few surprises:
  • Grosjean's problems are all in races, not in qualifying
  • After being outqualified in the first four races, Sainz has asserted himself at Renault
  • Like Grosjean, Hartley is doing better in qualifying than races
The biggest gaps between team mates are:
  1. Sauber 0.85% (very impressive for a rookie; Ericsson virtually dead-heated with both Nasr and Wehrlein)
  2. McLaren 0.45% (Vandoorne was 0.37% behind over the full season in 2017)
  3. Ferrari 0.32% (Despite all the - justified - criticism, Raikkonen was 0.36% slower than Vettel last season, so is doing no worse on this measure at least. For what it's worth, in 2014 Alonso was 0.44% faster than Kimi on average)
Finally some food for thought for Williams. Last year Massa was 0.94% faster than Stroll - a wide margin. If that had been maintained this year, Massa would appear on this chart between Alonso and Gasly at -2.81%.
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
Other than confirming the very big gap between the big 3 teams and the rest, there were a few surprises:
  • Grosjean's problems are all in races, not in qualifying
  • After being outqualified in the first four races, Sainz has asserted himself at Renault
  • Like Grosjean, Hartley is doing better in qualifying than races
The biggest gaps between team mates are:
  1. Sauber 0.85% (very impressive for a rookie; Ericsson virtually dead-heated with both Nasr and Wehrlein)
  2. McLaren 0.45% (Vandoorne was 0.37% behind over the full season in 2017)
  3. Ferrari 0.32% (Despite all the - justified - criticism, Raikkonen was 0.36% slower than Vettel last season, so is doing no worse on this measure at least. For what it's worth, in 2014 Alonso was 0.44% faster than Kimi on average)
Finally some food for thought for Williams. Last year Massa was 0.94% faster than Stroll - a wide margin. If that had been maintained this year, Massa would appear on this chart between Alonso and Gasly at -2.81%.

Great stuff !

A few comments to the comments:
1. Grosjean is clearly a faster driver than Magnussen, but his races have been cursed the first half of the season. Some of this is his fault, but not all.
2. I think Hulkenburg has outqualified Sainz. Out of 10 races, 6 to 4. A couple of bad times from Nico results in Sainz having the better overall time.
3. Gasly is clearly someone special.
4. The time difference between Leclerc and Ericsson is really rather amazing. Ericsson has had a number of teammates, and was never beaten like this. As you noted, Ericsson almost dead-heated with Nasr and Wehrlein, neither who were slouches. Can't wait to see Leclerc with another team and another teammate.
5. I am mystified at Vandoorne's continued substandard performance.
6. The criticism of Raikkonen is justified, as the stats show. Biggest gap among teammates among a top team. Only Vandoorne and Ericsson have a bigger gap compared to their teammate.
 
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Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Ruslan Gasly is an interesting one, clearly a talented driver - but I wonder whether he is being boosted in our estimation by the fact he has a Honda engine? Hartley is an unknown quantity as a team mate - a capable endurance racer, but F1? We don't really know, do we?

On Leclerc, I agree, although one thing is irritating me. I always rated Nasr in the junior series, and was surprised when he didn't match up better against Ericsson (whose junior record was mediocre). Same to a lesser extent for Wehrlein. Now, Ericsson's mates at Longbow own the team, so I did wonder - as did others - whether both drivers were getting a fair crack.

Now that Ferrari have placed their golden boy at the team, surely one of their conditions would have been equal treatment (if not preferential). None of which should detract from Leclerc's achievements - I just wonder whether Ericsson is slower than he may have appeared previously.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Galahad to be fair to Ericsson his junior career was always somewhat of an anomaly because he was always highly rated and quick but just never ended up with the expected results. For instants his season with the then all conquering DAMS team in GP2 was predicted to be a championship one but due to mechanical issues and mixed up races it never was despite him having the speed.

I always thought him matching up to Nasr and Wherlein was a sign that his junior results did not reflect his actual talent.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
That's certainly a possible explanation. I had high hopes for Nasr so perhaps that's clouded my judgement. The ones who do well in GP2 don't always do well in F1, and vice versa. Plus I don't have any evidence of foul play at all.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I posted an thread on this a while back. Hamilton is the only F2, F3000, GP2, level champion to win the F1 title. (And he was placed in a good team for a season to wait on a McLaren seat). Virtually all the other F1 champs went from successful lower junior formula / karting directly to F1.
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
Ruslan Gasly is an interesting one, clearly a talented driver - but I wonder whether he is being boosted in our estimation by the fact he has a Honda engine? Hartley is an unknown quantity as a team mate - a capable endurance racer, but F1? We don't really know, do we?

On Leclerc, I agree, although one thing is irritating me. I always rated Nasr in the junior series, and was surprised when he didn't match up better against Ericsson (whose junior record was mediocre). Same to a lesser extent for Wehrlein. Now, Ericsson's mates at Longbow own the team, so I did wonder - as did others - whether both drivers were getting a fair crack.

Now that Ferrari have placed their golden boy at the team, surely one of their conditions would have been equal treatment (if not preferential). None of which should detract from Leclerc's achievements - I just wonder whether Ericsson is slower than he may have appeared previously.

Well, the only way to really tell how good a driver is to compare him to his teammate. Right now, we have two new drivers to F1 at Toro Rosso. The only thing we know for sure is that Gasly is doing a lot better than Harley. We don't know if it is because Gasly is so good or Hartley is so bad, or some point in-between. On the other hand, I don't think this year's Honda engine is any better than the Renaults, and still suspect they are not as good. So, I don't think Gasly's results are because he has a superior engine to the rest of the backmarkers. He is probably pretty good. Would like to see him on a stronger team.

I was very impressed with Nasr, and for a while he made Ericsson look sad. And then Ericsson started attending sessions with a sports psychologist or something weird like that (this is from my memory...which is far from perfect). And suddenly his performances improved and he looked competitive to Nasr. Ericsson seems to be a case of a driver who really shouldn't be in F1 rising to the occasion and establishing that maybe he should be. It is rare, but it does happen sometimes (i.e. Damon Hill). It is to Ericsson's credit that he was competitive with Nasr and Wehrlein who were both highly rated up-and-coming drivers. So, I assume Leclerc results are simply to the credit of Leclerc. We won't know for sure until he is at another team. But......and this is a point that applies to many different situations......while team priorities, favoritism and race strategy can favor a driver during a race, it doesn't have near as much effect in qualifying.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
You may have written it prior to him winning the championship and there was 11 years between GP2 title and F1 title. It does mean that 50% of the F1 champions in the last ten years have been GP2 champs though.
 
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cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
When I was a kid in the late 80's I loved F3000. It was accessible because they showed it on Grandstand and also helped massively by the publicity surrounding the Birmingham Superprix.

Virtually the entire F3000 grid between 86 and 89 went into F1 in the following years to various degrees of success. (And whatever Perry McCarthy would describe his time as?).

I don't think I'll ever get back the love I had for motorsport from the mid 80's to the mid 90's. That's when I watched everything. My dad and I would regularly watch club racing at Castle Coombe.

Anyway, I've wandered off down Nostalgia Street and ended up in Offtopicville.

:oops:
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
I saw Nasr driving in Q1 at Monza, he did not impress me; he then went out in the following GP2 practice, once again he did not seem to do anything noticeable.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
virtually the entire F3000 grid between 86 and 89 went into F1 in the following years to various degrees of success. (And whatever Perry McCarthy would describe his time as?).

Back then though we had up to 38 cars trying to qualify at a weekend so plenty of places for those in the lower formula to prove themselves. One or two spots on the F1 grid a year become free now and that's if your lucky!
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
Back then though we had up to 38 cars trying to qualify at a weekend so plenty of places for those in the lower formula to prove themselves. One or two spots on the F1 grid a year become free now and that's if your lucky!

I think that is your quote.

Yes....we need to go back to having 38 cars trying to qualify, at least 32 or 33, and 26 on the grid.
 

Angel

Race Winner
Contributor
I think that is your quote.

Yes....we need to go back to having 38 cars trying to qualify, at least 32 or 33, and 26 on the grid.

Trouble is some of the teams we have now are struggling to compete due to the high costs. New teams who can last are almost non existant these days, so I can't see it ever going to be to that kind of scenario, which is a shame as I think it would improve things a lot. Qualifying when you weren't always sure you'd be on the grid was even more important and worth watching.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Virtually the entire F3000 grid between 86 and 89 went into F1 in the following years to various degrees of success.

Quite often there wasn't much difference between the machinery they were driving in the two series either!

Proper knockout qualifying was fun, but the sums for the tail end teams don't add up: no races = no worthwhile TV coverage or sponsorship, and (unless they changed the rules) no prize money either, so natural selection would soon bring us back to 26. Even more true now than it was then.
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
Trouble is some of the teams we have now are struggling to compete due to the high costs. New teams who can last are almost non existant these days, so I can't see it ever going to be to that kind of scenario, which is a shame as I think it would improve things a lot..
This is why I am such a big supporter of a budget cap, and I have been for years. It is clear that these types of problems are not going to be solved without one. If you look at the guestimated budgets of the various teams, the three teams separated and leading the pack in Galahad's great diagram each have a budget of $400 million or more. The rest of the teams (the seven tier 2 teams) have a budget of $250 million or less. You want more even racing, you want more teams, you want more seat for young drivers, if you want more competitive teams than 3....well, I can only think of only one way to get there.

Qualifying when you weren't always sure you'd be on the grid was even more important and worth watching.

Well, I did wake up early and go to the grandstands to watch the pre-qualifying at the Phoenix Grand Prix. Is was some of the more dramatic qualifying efforts I have seen.
 
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cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I think you'd have to end up with an A race and a B race for those who didn't pre-qual / qual for the main race.

Say 30 cars, giving a sprint race of 10 cars on Sunday morning with the prize being the 21st slot on the grid for the afternoon race.

Only trouble would be engine running hours I guess.

Would be fun though.
 
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