Qualifying restructured

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
It always struck me that lotteries for the grid would be a fair way of doing things; in ski racing, the quality of the course changes as more skiers have skied; the skier that goes first is picked by a lottery... The equivalent of qualifying in f1 would be to time racers during practice, and giving the fastest skiers the prime position on the slope...
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
They used to have lotteries for grid positions. They didn't keep it up. I wonder why.

One of the key things in any sport should be that it is a meritocracy. If you do the best job, you win. There are various ways to make a grid more likely to be mixed up, but none of them should ever say that the fastest legal driver should ever start anywhere but from pole.

There is no appeal to a sport that may decide a championship by a narrow margin because of a lottery*. For example, imagine a championship of 5 races where these are the grids:

TEN CAN.png

You can argue with my conclusions here, but one suspects that Valtteri Bottas' performance in this theoretical five race championship may underestimate the job he/Williams were doing. You'd also get the feeling that Daniel Ricciardo would do very well out of this, too.
Yes, there'd be more overtaking. Hamilton would get past a lot of people in race 1. There'd even be a pass for the lead (likely Vettel passing Grosjean). But would these be battles? Could we cope with Hamilton having to pass a McLaren, two Toro Rossos, two Saubers, Perez, Kvyat, Haryanto and both Renaults to actually join the Mercedes/Ferrari fight, through no fault of his own? How could Daniil Kvyat hope to show Red Bull bosses that he should keep his job if he twice started last while his team-mate started twice from pole, equally unmeritoriously. Not great. (In actual fact, the sheer number of Mercedes/Ferrari battles makes that list pretty much the best case scenario.)

Asking for lottery systems doesn't show understanding of what a sport is, and why it is important to preserve equal chances. It wouldn't improve racing, it would falsify the results and it would make that champions' trophy feel a whole lot more hollow than when drivers had to work for it.


*Penalty shoot-outs, despite what has been said by various numpties, are not a lottery. In football in particular, but elsewhere when they are used, they are a test of skill under pressure. The difference between someone who is not able to apply their skills in this way (Gareth Southgate), not able to handle the pressure (Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard (2006)) or is confident and skilled (Antonin Panenka) is evident from their records. So, no, that's not an example.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Asking for lottery systems doesn't show understanding of what a sport is, and why it is important to preserve equal chances. It wouldn't improve racing, it would falsify the results and it would make that champions' trophy feel a whole lot more hollow than when drivers had to work for it.
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This is actually quite offensive.

No-one is suggesting that races should be determined by a lottery, merely that it might make sense to allow cars to start in a randomised order.

Over a series of 21 races, whilst this is not a statistically large number, a lottery would even out the chances for drivers starting at the front or the back. Similarly, if you looked at team-mates, you would be very unlikely to see one driver starting ahead of their team mate more than 12 out of the 21 races. (I can calculate the probability for you if you like)

I will also add that I don't believe that F1 is a measure of just the fastest driver; I would like the champion to be the best all-round driver: this includes overtaking, managing the car, etc etc.. By lining the cars up from fastest to slowest does mean that you can omit some of the key skills...
 
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teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
No-one is suggesting that races should be determined by a lottery, merely that it might make sense to allow cars to start in a randomised order.
That's the same thing.

Over a series of 21 races, whilst this is not a statistically large number, a lottery would even out the chances for drivers starting at the front or the back.
In 2009, under the "randomised start order" system, the driver who won the championship would be the Brawn driver who started most frequently near the front for the first 7 races, determined purely by lottery.
 
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The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
Gambler's ruin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

lets remember, that it is the probability of any given event which remain consistent, rather than the outcome. So there is just as much chance of the same driver ending up on pole every race, as each race would be a discreet event, unlinked to the last or the next, and probability has no memory.

If you roll a 6 on a dice, there is still a 1 in 6 chance of the next roll showing a 6, and the next and the next.

No, a lottery is not the way to go, it is unfair.
 

Wombcat

Podium Finisher
The Pits Besides that, in a competetive season like 2010 or 2012 it might as wel ruin the show, when in the last two races one of the contenders lucks out, and gets at the front of the grid, while the others go far at the back.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Gambler's ruin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

lets remember, that it is the probability of any given event which remain consistent, rather than the outcome. So there is just as much chance of the same driver ending up on pole every race, as each race would be a discreet event, unlinked to the last or the next, and probability has no memory.

If you roll a 6 on a dice, there is still a 1 in 6 chance of the next roll showing a 6, and the next and the next.

No, a lottery is not the way to go, it is unfair.
The probability of a single driver being on pole in all 21 races would be 1 in 16000000000000000000000000000 (that's 16 with 27 zeros after it).

However, the probability of qualifying in the top half of the grid for 10 races, and the bottom half of the grid for 11 races would be
1 in 6.

Over the course of a season, the law of large numbers (I know, 21 races is not sufficiently large for it to play out) suggests there should be a reasonable spread.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
Whilst your maths are good I think you're missing The Pits point. You can't list the odds on all 21 races as one because everytime a draw is done it resets. The chances of pole would be 1 in 21 everytime.

The idea that things 'even themselves out' is a gambling myth.

The world champion would be the person in the best car who got the most luck with the lottery. Pretty much eliminating all the qualities you listed earlier.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
RasputinLives
I see where you're coming from, but that's a misunderstanding of gamblers ruin. Yes, it is true that the probability in any individual race is 1 in 21, but the law of large numbers does mean that over a sufficiently large number of observations, things would even themselves out. So, in a large enough number of repetitions, any given driver would be allocated first as often as they are allocated last.

I have, however, acknowledged that 21 races is not sufficient to gain convergence (it's nowhere near sufficient)

Gambler's ruin basically states that if you observe, say 10 red numbers in a row on roulette, this would mean that it is more likely to see a black number on the 11th trial. This is, of course, garbage. However, over the course of 100 spins, you would expect to see approximately 50 red and 50 black numbers (ignoring zeros) - although again, 100 spins is still not a large number.

(I've written a (currently unpublished) textbook about this!!!)

On a f1 sporting note, I do believe that teams like Mercedes currently build cars that run as fast as possible so that they qualify at the front. If you see their cars when they're in traffic, they sometimes struggle more than other teams to follow. If a designer knows that there is a very high probability of a car being in traffic, they can make some compromises to allow the car to work more efficiently in dirty air; however, this isn't likely to be the fastest overall concept.

By lining the cars up from fastest to slowest, this creates an incentive to design cars that run quickly in isolation...
 
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teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
In a season like 2014, the driver doesn't need to be on pole. If there are two drivers in the title race (from a team with a 1s/lap advantage) then the one in front gains an almighty advantage, and maybe even a guaranteed and undeserved win.

The probability at any given race of Hamilton/Rosberg being in front is 1/2. Look at the German and Hungarian Grands Prix of 2014 to see what the racing could look like.

This all remains relevant only if you believe that the governors of Formula One will produce a fair draw.

In addition, F1 is a sport and not a show. It should be meritocratic, and amidst all the talk of testing other skills, a randomised lottery is a victory for mediocrity. We've seen too many GP2 drivers celebrate 8th place in Monaco to believe otherwise.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
So I've learnt today then that as I've been playing the same set of numbers on the lottery for 5 years and my wife has been playing the same set for 3 years that I have a better chance of winning the lottery than she has!


Hmmm
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
RasputinLives that's not what I was saying; over the course of a season,the likelihood of, say Hamilton being on pole every race would be vanishingly small.

In the same way with the lottery, over a large enough number of draws, the proportion of times we see, say the number 5 would be equal to the proportion of times we see the number 6.

Similarly, if we saw an eye watering number of draws, each combination of numbers would come up the same proportion of times.
 
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Wombcat

Podium Finisher
The probability of a single driver being on pole in all 21 races would be 1 in 16000000000000000000000000000 (that's 16 with 27 zeros after it).

However, the probability of qualifying in the top half of the grid for 10 races, and the bottom half of the grid for 11 races would be
1 in 6.

Over the course of a season, the law of large numbers (I know, 21 races is not sufficiently large for it to play out) suggests there should be a reasonable spread.
I think the odds that one driver is qualifying in the top half of the grid in all the races would be fairly large as well. Which means the chances are high that it happens to at least one riider, maybe more. And also that at least one rider will be in the bottom half.

21 is not a sufficient large enough number to even things out. Maybe 210 would be.
 

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
There's about a one in a million chance of a driver randomly being selected in the top half of the grid in every race across a 20 race calendar. That's for a specific driver. If the only requirement is that one out of the ~20 drivers gets lucky I can't be bothered to work it out properly but a very naive extrapolation gives 1 in 10000.
 
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