Winning in a Midfield Car

Sarinaide

Banned
Well if Kimi was so exceptional why not take the Renault offer? :thinking: you can't tell me NASCAR and WRC is more appealing.

Lets see the reasoning behind this, Kimi raced for McLaren and Ferrari, the two biggest names in F1, talk about midfield are we....tut tut.
 

Senna's_right_foot

Pole Sitter
Supporter
The Renault of the Summer of 2003 was hardly 'mid field'. It was a Top 4 car all year

Finishing in the top 4 9 times out of a possible 32 (2 cars x 16 GP) hardly equates to having 'a top4 car all year'. And Hamilton won Hungary '09 in a car that until Hungary had finished no higher than 4th (and only once too), in fact in the previous 4 GP's Hamilton had finished 18th, 16th, 13th,12th.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
18th, 16th, 13th,12th.....

Can you see a trend there?

A car is only a midfield car on a given day. Where it placed on any other day is completely irrelevant.

This glory of winning in a "midfield car" is not something we should be completely attributing to a driver. In 99% of these examples the so-called midfield car was a front-runner on the weekend in question. Yes, the driver has to capitalise on it but really we should be either praising the team for a turn around in form, praising the gods for a set of unforeseeable circumstances, or having a go at the team for producing a car that can only win on a particular circuit or under certain unpredictable conditions.
 

Legs

Podium Finisher
How about 'almost winning in a midfield car'?
Damon Hill, Hungary 1997, and Ivan Capelli, France 1990 are two of the most obvious examples. Hell, Capelli and Gugelmin hadn't even qualified in the previous race and almost scored a Leyton House 1-2! I seem to remember flicking over from the Wimbledon final and being astonished to see those turquoise cars at the head of the race...
 

Sarinaide

Banned
Ferrari and McLaren are hardly what you call "midfield" in recent memory, underachieving but not midfield.

I remember Damon Hill in a Jordan leading until the final lap before his engine failed.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
How about 'almost winning in a midfield car'?
Damon Hill, Hungary 1997, and Ivan Capelli, France 1990 are two of the most obvious examples. Hell, Capelli and Gugelmin hadn't even qualified in the previous race and almost scored a Leyton House 1-2! I seem to remember flicking over from the Wimbledon final and being astonished to see those turquoise cars at the head of the race...

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To be fair those Leyton Houses at the 1990 french Grand Prix were anything but "mid-field " cars, and it's interesting you should mention that race actually because with hindsight, this was the early manifestations of youthful genius from Adrian Newey, full of ground-breaking advances, but also very much a raw diamond, and that car was a perfect demonstration of it.

Aero-dynamically ahead of its time, but very perfectible and susceptible to go from one end of the grid to the other at te merest adjustment. That car had incredible downforce levels for its time and was superior to anything else in fast curves, BUT ONLY ON SUPER-SMOOTH TRACKS.

Any tracks with the merest suggestion of bumps or uneven tarmac and that beautif balance went to pieces.

Unable to even qualify in Mexico, The Leyton House was so incredibly efficient on the newly-re-surfaced Paul Ricard it didn't even need a tyre change, unlike all the other top-teams and Capelli duly took the lead when Maaccas and Ferraris pitted.
Only a dodgy fuel pump (I think it was) made him unable to stay ahead of Prost in the closing stages.

On the equally smooth (at the time) Silverstone the following week Capelli starting tenth was half-second quicker THAN EVERYBODY ELSE in the race, and that was despite a broken exhaust, and was inexorably catching the leaders in front of him. May very well have won there as well had he not been forced to retire with a broken.... something. Can't remember now.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Seem to remember that Hamilton has driven for McLaren and has had a top 3 car all the time... Except for the first half of '09 in which the car was in the 2nd worst car (better than the Torro Rosso) and that isn't midfield. However after the Germany update the car became (IMO) 3rd fastest after Red Bull and Brawn, so what is a midfield car? Is it 3rd fastest, 3th fastest, help me out here?
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
Seem to remember that Hamilton has driven for McLaren and has had a top 3 car all the time... Except for the first half of '09 in which the car was in the 2nd worst car (better than the Torro Rosso) and that isn't midfield. However after the Germany update the car became (IMO) 3rd fastest after Red Bull and Brawn, so what is a midfield car? Is it 3rd fastest, 3th fastest, help me out here?

I'd go for 3th fastest. :oops:
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Well, how many drivers have won in genuninely midfield cars. - I'll define a midfield car as one that doesn't finish in the top 3 of the constructors championship....

I'll start a list
Raikonnen (Ferrari) - Spa '09
Alonso (Renautl) - Japan and Singapore '08
Vettel (Torro Rosso) - Monza '08 (Although this is debatable as Bourdais started 4th)
Button (Honda) - Hungary '06
Alonso (Renault) - Hungary '03
Fisichella (Jordan) - Brazil '03 (I think)
Herbert (Stewart) - Nurburgring '99
Hill (Jordan) - Spa '98
Panis (Ligier) - Monaco '96

So, what have I missed from the last 20 years? - Remember that even this is a very approximate method - since on any given day, it's impossible to tell what the best car is!
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
Extreme - i'd agree with you, but only up to a point - remember that a driver may outperform his car during qualifying as well! It's always very difficult to define a mid-field car, as it is impossible to divorce the quality of the driver with the quality of the car....

So here's the question - in 1994 was the Benetton a midfield or a front-running team? I mean, throughout the season, Schumacher qualified top 6, his team-mate qualified much lower down!
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
You probably have a little more historical knowledge than me. I personally cannot think of a single time that a driver has qualified in the top 6 (ahead of at least one of the fastest 3 cars) entirely on merit and then won the race (faster than all cars) entirely on thier own merit. Normally a gamble on wet set up, for rain to materialise and enable them to carve up the field, timely safety car (or premeditated safety car) etc.

Midfield cars only win races where circumstances skew relative performance. A good driver is necessary to win any race but if the machinery is not up to scratch and there are no acts of god it just won't happen.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
Ah. In 94 didn't Schumacher have traction control where his teammate did not? I'm pretty sure that was the case. I remember reading about it.
 

Senna's_right_foot

Pole Sitter
Supporter
Ah. In 94 didn't Dchumacher have traction control where his teammate did not? I'm pretty sure that was the case. I remember reading about it.

The infamous 'option 13'. The FIA found that the Benetton of Schumacher had a secret option that the driver couldaccess by a series of secret button pushes on the steering wheel. However they couldn't prove it was ever used in race trim, despite the fact Benetton went out of their way to hide the option as much as possible... After retiring from a race (Brazil I think it was), Senna stood at one of the corners and swore he could hear traction control working on the Benetton on the exits of corners. Make your own mind up....
 

HammydiRestarules

Di Resta fan :).
Contributor
Fisichella's at the Brazilian GP is the one i remember the must as it was a bit of a farce how he'd won it. The FIA handed the win to Kimi Raikkonen, but I didn't actually find out until Imola 03 that Fisichella won the race (some of us weren't lucky enough to have the internet back then!).
But what i can remember of the race they was loadsa crashes and i seem to remember Alonso and Webber crashing into the barrier going up the hill which wasn't very nice to see. Also remember alot of drivers going off a corner 1 of those drivers i remember the must was Michael Schumacher. On the whole i enjoyed the race but the crashes were caused by the rain that feel.
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
Possibly the scene of Alonso's worst ever brain fade. He swept through the last turn flat out well after the waved double yellow flags came out and (I think, the safety car being deployed) only to slam into wreckage strewn across the track. Fisi won since he had crossed the finish line twice before the race was red flagged. Jordan had to lodge an appeal to the FIA to get the decision hence Fisi getting the trophy at Imola.
 

Legs

Podium Finisher
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To be fair those Leyton Houses at the 1990 french Grand Prix were anything but "mid-field " cars, and it's interesting you should mention that race actually because with hindsight, this was the early manifestations of youthful genius from Adrian Newey, full of ground-breaking advances, but also very much a raw diamond, and that car was a perfect demonstration of it.
I've highlighted the important part. Of course they weren't mid-field cars on that day (because they nearly won the race!), but, on the whole, the Leyton House was a slow and horribly unreliable car in 1990.
Genuinely on-the-day midfield cars only ever win when the attrition rate is really high. Other 'nearly' cases being the fastest Dereks in the world: Daly Monaco 1982 and Warwick Canada 1989!
 
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