Quali VS Race

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Ok here's one to debate. Which do you go on to judge a driver's skill and how good they are doing in the season.

I noticed lots of debates, Heidfeld vs Petrov as one, where people have argued that one driver is better than the other despite them being behind on championship points because they out qualify their team-mate. Just the other day it was argued that Button and Hamilton aren't pretty much even this season because Lewis is much better in qualifying.

Now it could be because I come from the days when qualifying wasn't shown on TV and we just had the races but to me qualifying is qualifying - proofs in the name. To me it doesn't matter if a driver is out qualified by his team-mate in all 20 races as long as he beats him in the race because the race is what F1 is about. I understand its useful to gauge how quick a driver is over one lap when judging his skill but being quick over one lap is a very different thing to being quick over a full race distance. For instance Kimi got 10 fastest laps in the 2008 season but it would be very difficult to argue that he was the best driver of the season. If I wanted to watch a time trial I'd watch Rally or Drag Racing.

I guess that it also refelcts on which drivers you like too. I'm a Nico Rosberg sceptic because I see him as a driver who qualifys high up and then just falls back down the field. Its not impressive to me, F1 is about the race. I much prefer a driver like Button who qualifies low down and then comes through the field to finish higher up. Thats motor racing to me. But I understand people hold different views.

I know its argued that qualifying is the best way to tell because so many different things can go wrong and distort the result - but thats F1, that to me is what the sport is about. When it comes down to it for me there is no better way of judging how well a driver is doing/has done than the championship table. It really never does lie.

But what do you guys think? Do you think I see it far to plain and simple and that I should really be looking at the qualifying stats? Maybe you love to see a driver qualify higher up in a slower car as you think it shows true skill at being able to push a car to its limits? Also another point: now that qualifying has become televised is it viewed as more important than it used to be? Or maybe you think its a farce as no one actually qualifies for anything because you don't even have to put a lap in and you'd still be in the race.
 

Jos the Boss

Champion Elect
Qually is fastest over 1 lap and the race is fastest over a distance, so its 1 lap speed vs consistency? It would be a mixture of both I would think. But the points are scored on a Sunday in the race so if you were a team boss you would have to go for consistency which is why I would say the race is a better indication
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Qualifying is definitely given more importance than it used to have, I think. Partly a function of the difficulty in overtaking, perhaps partly due to it being televised I suppose.

The points are given out at the end of the race, and that must be the ultimate judge of a driver. The set of skills required to win a race are much broader than those required to put a car on pole position, I'd say.

Unfortunately it is very difficult to make judgements about individual drivers based on their race performances. There are so many variables confounding the picture, from fuel loads to tyre compounds and condition to track conditions, traffic, engine settings, team orders and so on. Drivers don't necessarily push 100% for the whole distance either, at least not if they've got any sense, with the current tyres. Fastest race laps are of about as much value as practice session times, possibly less.

Qualifying therefore provides a much more user-friendly snapshot, because it is held in the closest approximation to laboratory conditions. But any conclusions should always be drawn with caution, since it is only a measure of a driver's speed in qualifying. The faster driver may not necessarily be the best one, though of course he usually is. A balanced observer should weigh up all the evidence and try not to be too selective.
 

Vortex

Race Winner
Well its much more enjoyable to watch the driver you support start low, make his way up and finish high than it is to watch him start high and slowly fade down the order.
 

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
Let's look at it from this point of view - although it clearly takes skill for a driver to qualify on pole and race off into the distance ahead of his competition, it clearly doesn't make for an interesting spectacle (unless you're a fan of that particular driver, and dislike seeing him under pressure).

I'd go with the Jenson Button "make-up-for-a-rubbish-quali" race performance over the Sebastian Vettel "cower-in-my-dust-impudent-mortals" lights-to-flag victory every time. :victory:
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
It pretty much boils down to this in modern F1; If you want to win a normal race, you've got to qualify in the Top 3.

Over the last two seasons, 28 of 31 race winners have come from the top 3 qualifiers. 22 off the front row with the Pole man taking the checkers 14 times.

Only three times in the last 31 races has the winner come from outside the top 3 in qualifying. And all of these races featured several extreme variables and completely unpredictable circumstances.

--- At Australia 2010 Button won from P4 on the grid in a race that started wet, featured a safety car, and saw the race leader retire in the gravel.

--- China 2010 saw a wet circuit get wetter, the deployment of the Safety Car, the race leader go off the track, another SC, and the final result was Button winning from P5.

--- Canada 2011 saw just about everything. A SC start, an incident, a red flag, some more Safety Cars, and eventually Button winning from P7 when Vettel slid off momentarily with half a lap remaining.

So unless you're Jenson Button, you know it's going to rain, and can bank on a Safety Car, I would kindly suggest that you finish on the qualifying "podium" if you want any real chance to win the Grand Prix.
 
As a follow up to Keke's post, if you want to evaluate driver pairing "down the grid from the Sharp End", one measure is "who is fastest"...and "fastest" normally boils down to how fast they are in Qually.

In this regard, Perez is regarded as slighly faster than Kobayashi...but then Koba gets more points.

In the case of Lotus where no one's scoring, Kovalainen get's the nod over Trulli mainly because he's seen as faster in qually.

Perez's Saturday numbers are actually doing some damage to Koba's overall reputation.

Heidfeld was the slower qualifier...and he was the one who got the boot because his rep on Saturday got tarnished.

If you're out-qualifying your teammate, then it gives you a better chance of being percieved as the out-and-out 'faster guy'.

Only Trulli over a 10 year/multi year period (pre Lotus) was seen as over-performing in Qually but under-performing in races...and he's the exception to the rule.

You always want to be the faster guy in the team in qually because, most of the time, most managers are likely to sign you before the other guy.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
You always want to be the faster guy in the team in qually because, most of the time, most managers are likely to sign you before the other guy.

You see that seems odd to me because if you're a team manager surely you're main concern is where your team comes in the constructors championship due to getting a bigger share of the prize fund to further your team and therefore, logic suggests, they should go for the driver who is most likely to score them points.

You say that qualli is how team managers judge most of the time like its a stated fact and for all I know it probably is but as I've said the logic of it seems wrong.

Surely like G suggested they take a look at both. You bring up Trulli and Kovi and whilst Kovi has come out on tops at Lotus Trulli has won the spoils on race day and a new contract.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
The important, and impressive, thing is to win the race and sail home with 25 points. Other than that, its all a question of methodology.

Seb's won 7 of 12 races this year thus far, so I don't think its reasonable to quibble with their methodology.
 
If you are really clever you won't bother with Q3 at all and then you can storm through the field on fresh tyres like Button and Schumacher did this weekend.

No driver in their right mind, including these two very seasoned veterans, would want to risk getting collected in a tangle not of their own making.

If it were such a no-brainer, they'd purposely just use only the Prime tyre in Q1 and then a second Prime tyre in Q2...thus saving 3 fresh sets of Softs and 1 fresh set of Primes for Sunday..But they dare not risk that.

Ask anyone of the guys in the top 3 or 4 teams if they'd love to start 18th or 13th and see the response you get.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
No driver in their right mind, including these two very seasoned veterans, would want to risk getting collected in a tangle not of their own making.

If it were such a no-brainer, they'd purposely just use only the Prime tyre in Q1 and then a second Prime tyre in Q2...thus saving 3 fresh sets of Softs and 1 fresh set of Primes for Sunday..But they dare not risk that.

Ask anyone of the guys in the top 3 or 4 teams if they'd love to start 18th or 13th and see the response you get.

Out of 10, where 1 is not at all and 10 is absolutely, how literal do you think my comment was intended to be?
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Mark Webber was regarded as being a better qualifier than racer up until, probably, 2009. Maybe he still is? Or perhaps that perception was simply wrong - who knows?
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Mark Webber was regarded as being a better qualifier than racer up until, probably, 2009. Maybe he still is? Or perhaps that perception was simply wrong - who knows?

Maybe Vettel's qualifying speed has shown him up?

As to the original question qualifying is important from a psychological perspective for drivers, what greater boost to put you car on pole in the last seconds of qualifying and show your team mate and the other drivers how quick you and your car are. But if you then can't manage it in the race then no one will take you seriously so it's race pace for me every time.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
One thing that irks me in the DoTW thread is that (taking this weekend as an example) Schumacher is is seen to have driven much better than Rosberg because he overtook to get his position and people don't fully examine all the factors such as safety cars and fresh tyres, while Rosberg put in an excellent lap and even overtook Vettel with no DRS but this may be a bad example as Schumi's qualifying result wasn't his fault. But take Button instead the mistake on Saturday was his fault but he had a strong race and had Hamiltona and Kobayashi not had their coming together Button would have firmly finished behind the sister McLaren yet Button still recieved more DoTW votes than Hamilton but again this could be a poor example as people may not have voted for Hamilton because of his collision.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this, I rate qualifying and race craft equal but certainly it is more entertaining to watch a driver battle his way through the field after a difficult Saurday.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
That doesn't sound like what you're saying though.

If you were looking at quali and race craft equally you'd prob see that Schumacher did have a much better weekend than Rosberg because he finished in front of him. Yes Rosberg had the glory of taking the lead off the line and defending hard from the leaders getting all the plaudits as the TV cameras focus in on him. But where did it get him? In fuel saving mode when his team-mate appeared and breezed past him leaving him to finish one place lower than where he started. That to me is very poor race craft (and also a theme with Nico but we won't go there). Yes and I know there were other factors but at the end of the day its results that count and the records books will show that Nico finished 6th and Schumi finished 5th.

As for Lewis - He was never going to get more votes for DotW than Jenson because he didn't finish the race and we had no chance to see if he would have been DotW so that one's irrelevent.

I may be have this wrong but I thought the whole point of the Grand Prix weekend was to get the best result possible and as many points as possible. So unless its extreme (like if it was a HRT driver) someone who whips everyone in qualifying and gets pole but then ends up finishing 3rd could never be driver of the weekend for me because they've not achieved what they're suppose to do
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
One thing that irks me in the DoTW thread is that (taking this weekend as an example) Schumacher is is seen to have driven much better than Rosberg because he overtook to get his position and people don't fully examine all the factors such as safety cars and fresh tyres, while Rosberg put in an excellent lap and even overtook Vettel with no DRS but this may be a bad example as Schumi's qualifying result wasn't his fault. But take Button instead the mistake on Saturday was his fault but he had a strong race and had Hamiltona and Kobayashi not had their coming together Button would have firmly finished behind the sister McLaren yet Button still recieved more DoTW votes than Hamilton but again this could be a poor example as people may not have voted for Hamilton because of his collision.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this, I rate qualifying and race craft equal but certainly it is more entertaining to watch a driver battle his way through the field after a difficult Saurday.

I honestly think that Button would have beat Hamilton on the Sunday. Tyres would have been the deciding factor.
 

Andrea_Moda_Rules

Podium Finisher
Quali Vs Race??

In an ideal world you would have a driver who is good in both, They should rather compliment each other rather then used as ammo to decide if 1 driver is crap or another godly (being blunt). Everything helps in getting the result you want, need, to expexted to get. The higher you get in Quali, the easier Sundays are (unless you qually 18th appently tho).

I think Petrov and Hiedfeld is a good comparision on where some people have been coming up with Red Herrings. There has been the presumtion by a lot of people that Hiedfeld has underperformed because he has been pushed by Petrov in Qualifying yet in the Races I believe that Petrov is the most overtaken driver bar the newbie teams and in Races where both drivers finish, usally ends up behind Hiedfeld, despite the closeness in points before Spa.

Saturdays only show a small part of the Talent needed to be an f1 driver, and Yes some do it very well but you need more then being able to drive fastest when the car is on low fuel on Fresh Tyres. You need to manage the car though 190 miles. Be able to adapt to having fuel on board, being able to find the right pace has the fuel depleates, Manage tyres through a stint and not destroy them over the course of the opening Laps.

There is also the ability to adapt and work out stratergies through the Race, it perhaps it is more obivous in changeable conditions, but having that 'extra capacity' is needed now more then ever with the rules, tyres has they are.

I think the easy way of putting it is that its impossible just to use one part of the weekend to work out how good/bad a driver is but you have to look at the whole picture. The Teams themselves problery know better then we do with the hoards of infomation they have compared to us, but saying that a fast driver on saturday is a good one on sunday is just too simplistic.
If that was the case, wouldn't Andrea de Cesaris been a more successful driver?
 
Top Bottom