The Unpredictable WDC

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Sometimes a comment from another contributor sparks me to look at some statistic and it was just such a thing from F1Yorkshire, about unpredictability, that got me looking at the last 30 years of the Drivers Championship.

  • Since 1983 there have been 14 different World Champions so a 1 in 2 chance of different WDC.
  • On 14 occasions the title has been decided in the last race of the year (1 in 2 again)
  • 6 drivers titles were decided in the last but one race so only 10 years where you could suggest total dominance by any one driver.
  • Of the 14 drivers to win they have been driving for 7 different teams (that's getting a bit predictable)
  • There have been 7 single WDC winners, so the rest were multiple winners. (Well, Durr!)
  • 7 drivers have won consecutive, or multiple consecutive, titles.
I don't see that F1 is too predictable. Yes, Vettel and Red Bull are dominating at the moment but it hasn't been a complete walk over every year. I'm also sure if I went into more analysis of race winners in each year there would be a similar level of unpredictability.

I think we are all too hasty to write F1 off simply because this season hasn't been that great (unless you're a Vettel fan - but even then it has been pretty bland). There will be huge rule changes next season and who knows what will happen. Last time there were similar upheavals a "journey man" called Jenson Button swept all before him as he finally had a car to match his driving ability. Somehow I just don't think 2014 will as dominant for Red Bull as 2013 has been.
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
This season is certainly one of two halves. Before the change in tyre construction we had that element of not knowing exactly what is going to happen during a race. This kept the fans on the edge of the seats throughout. It was only the change in tyres back to the 2012 spec that has seemingly favoured the Red Bulls.
The last half of this season has been very predictable, in most cases the race is over after the 1st corner and this has put off many of even the most die hard fans.
The sporting regs have been fairly stable the last 3 seasons so the maximum performance has been extracted from these cars so I think the new rules and engines next year will bring a welcome change to the proceedings.

FB Is it possible to look back at the periods where a single driver has won for multiple seasons and see how stable the regulations were at that time.

If there was a similar period of regulation stability when Schumacher was dominating the grid then the answer is simple, keep on changing the regs to keep the sport current and fluid!
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
There was a thread on here with details of all the rule changes, which I will try and track down. I don't think the 2014 turbo cars will be as unreliable as the machines from the early 80's as manufacturing technology has moved forward immensely since the 80's and the teams won't be trying to squeeze 1000 bhp per litre from from the power units this time around. I fully suspect a few more engines will be going pop over the early part of 2014 compared to the last few seasons and, who knows, some drivers may well be better at driving a turbo car than others.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
I think the "problem" is actually quite simple.
Aero is king, and is destined to become ever more such. We are getting ever closer to the limits of exploitable grip on any given track. Perfect grip is an abstract notion, there is always a way to go faster.
So we are getting ever closer to a target which in reality is moving all the time, but moving slower than the pace of technological evolution. There are no limits to how many fractions you can divide a second by.

In plain terms it means gaining a tenth over your rivals is getting ever more difficult. 20 years or so ago a set-up change could earn you a second a lap over your rivals, because we were much further to the limits of useable grip on each circuit (in spite of constant technical regulation changes aimed at slowing down the cars).

Today the entire grid can have a pace-setter 2 seconds perlap quicker than the tail-ender.

We are getting closer all the time to maximum grip but we can never reach it, only reduce the distance that separate us from it. So the last tenth is getting ever more difficult to get.

Since all engines now produce similar power, generated downforce is everything, which is why top speed haven't risen (and have in fact decreased over the last 40 years) and it means what we see today in terms of the balance of power we are likely to see next year and the year after that.

I'm not sure I explained myself very well to be honest?....
 
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Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
Maybe the perception of how things would turn out came about because of some of the things that seemed to always favour Red Bull and Sebastian. Even when there were no questions about the legality of some of Red Bull's innovations, most people in the know knew how good a package the whole team is and how tough they would be to beat. My disappointment was that we had seasons starting with a host of different winners that seemed to decay into a Red Bull bloodbath, sorry whitewash, sorry mullering ...

Oh whatever it was, they did the job and somehow we thought they would even if we didn't want to!

With rules as tight as they are I think Incubus has nailed the problem exactly. Whoever gets their package right first will take the 2014 titles and will have a developmental lead, albeit probably quite narrow, which may mean another run of championships going to that one team. Hopefully 2014 will be unpredictable whilst the teams adapt to the "renewed" or "revised" formula. After that who knows ...
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
Actually FB Vettel winning this year is not the reason this season has bored me, the reason is the completely contrived racing, things that have nothing to do with racing being implemented to try and improve racing and completely failing to do so and in fact made it much much worse..

It wouldn't bother me If Vettel carried on winning for the next ten years as long as the racing improved...
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
With rules as tight as they are I think Incubus has nailed the problem exactly. Whoever gets their package right first will take the 2014 titles and will have a developmental lead, albeit probably quite narrow, which may mean another run of championships going to that one team. Hopefully 2014 will be unpredictable whilst the teams adapt to the "renewed" or "revised" formula. After that who knows ...

This is pretty much spot on but what I will say is that the narrower gap between the leading team and the rest means a title is more likely to be effected by a drivers form than just the car package.

Lets face it this season we got a one way title fight because Vettel was consistantly on his game whilst his rivals were all over the shop. Now if it had been the other way round we'd have seen something closer.

We have not so long ago seen drivers win the title when not in the best package due to either a driver not maxamising the equiprltment they had. The Ferrari was the best car in 08 but Massa and Kimi couldn't capitalise. The Mclaren was the best car in 07 but the drivers were too busy fighting themselves. I'd say the Mclaren was the best car in 05 too but was made of chocolate. The Williams was prob the best car for most of the season in 03 too.

I guess what I'm saying is that the 'closer' gap does throw things open for driver influence more. The reason we're not seeing that though is because Vettel and Red Bull are the most consistant driver/team combination by a country mile!
 

Kewee

Race Winner
I think the "problem" is actually quite simple.
Aero is king, and is destined to become ever more such.
Not according to the major players of all the big teams, including Ross Brawn prior to his retirement from Mercedes. Almost all have been quoted as saying to gain an advantage the focus will once again return to powerplants. Engines to the fore, won't that be wonderful considering that's what F1 used to be about. It will be like a return to the sports roots.
 

riskitall

Points Scorer
This is pretty much spot on but what I will say is that the narrower gap between the leading team and the rest means a title is more likely to be effected by a drivers form than just the car package.

Lets face it this season we got a one way title fight because Vettel was consistantly on his game whilst his rivals were all over the shop. Now if it had been the other way round we'd have seen something closer.

We have not so long ago seen drivers win the title when not in the best package due to either a driver not maxamising the equiprltment they had. The Ferrari was the best car in 08 but Massa and Kimi couldn't capitalise. The Mclaren was the best car in 07 but the drivers were too busy fighting themselves. I'd say the Mclaren was the best car in 05 too but was made of chocolate. The Williams was prob the best car for most of the season in 03 too.

I guess what I'm saying is that the 'closer' gap does throw things open for driver influence more. The reason we're not seeing that though is because Vettel and Red Bull are the most consistant driver/team combination by a country mile!
The 2012 mclaren had so much potential, what let it down was reliability issues. It should have been the main car to challenge and even beat the Redbull. This season was very boring once the Redbull became 1 second, sometimes 2 seconds a lap quicker, which ofcourse is massive in f1.but if Mark had of been able to put up a better fight against seb, that would have made things very interesting. That's why I would like to see vettel up against a wc team mate in the same car without number 1 status, if the Redbull is dominant again.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
mandatory 2 pit stops with the softer tyre must use at least 30% of the race and the harder tyre 50% therefore limiting the effect of cars superior on one tyre over another has been suggested apparently
 
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