#### Blog Zbod

##### Podium Finisher

Around the autumn of 2010, F1 Racing magazine had a short article about some (unnamed) physics boffin who had crunched the numbers on 40 years of F1 results, looking for a formula that would describe factors relevant to winning WDC (beyond simply the points awarded), a sort of a "unified field" theory for analysing (or predicting) any given driver's possibility of winning. This is the formula he came up with:

X = (11*(√p ÷ r)) +10w + 5s + (5f ÷ 2) - 20a

Where:

p= number of poles

r= number of retirements

w= number of wins

s= number of second or third place results

f= number of points scoring results lower than 3rd (currently, 4th thru 10th)

a= average race result

The article I'm afraid offered no explanation of its application, which is unfortunate, because the formula itself has a couple of problems. Firstly, the first term is meaningless if a driver has not had a DNF. And secondly, the fifth term potentially could be used to penalise a DNF, as well as the first.

The solution I applied to the first problem was to was to credit each driver with a single DNF at the outset. So mathematically, drivers with no retirements receive full credit for (11 times the square root of) the number of poles taken. Thereafter, the credit for poles is reduced by the inverse of the number of retirements

__plus one__. I.E., one DNF = (1+1=2) 1/2 credit, two DNFs = (1+2=3) 1/3 credit, and so on.

As to the second problem, the first term specifically penalises for DNFs. It is clear this was the creator's intent but I cannot make the same claim regarding the fifth term. Therefore I elected not to include a "non-result" in the average of results.

The formula isn't particularly byzantine, and I didn't run it against the past 40 years to vet it, but I presume the blokes at F1 Racing did.

Here is how the maths work out for the current season to date (with my tweaks):

For comparison, this is how the previous season worked out:

No slight intended to the drivers not included in these stats. I limited my selection to a handful of front runners (and Webber, to contrast to his teammate) to limit the work load.

I post it now because it is another tool for the statistically-obsessed among us to use to analyse the possible permutations for the remainder of the season. What scenarios would have to come to pass for anyone to catch Vettel? If there's sufficient interest, I might expand it to the entire field.