#F1 Forensics: Singapore 2014 vs 2015; Part I

Brought to you by TheJudge13 Technical Analyst Tourdog

I just didn’t believe it.

I was unable to watch the race until Tuesday. I missed the live stream, refuse to watch NBCSP, and my online source for an HD copy wasn’t up until Monday. Then dental surgery got in the way, and I was kinda unable to focus until Tuesday morning.

What I couldn’t believe was that Mercedes lost all of their pace – AND THEN SOME – seemingly overnight. I wanted to see it for myself, and the chatter in the TJ13 Towers whatsapp chat room was driving me crazy. I knew everything that happened, but had not seen any of it myself.

Fortunately I did have access to the numbers. So I imported all of the Singapore 2015 AND 2014 lap times into a new dataset.

I know… I’m crazy.

Well, because Rosberg didn’t finish Singapore last year, and Hamilton didn’t finish this year, I have no good comparison of the Mercedes cars. I tried to use data from the other sessions, however the FIA’s website does not have the FP3 times from 2014 posted. That leaves us only with usable data from FP1, when everyone ran Soft Tyres, and Qualifying, where everyone ran SS Tyres, which is not enough to go on, though I will share the info I have with you.

NOTE: The Singapore Circuit layout was changed slightly between 2014 and 2015. All the official FIA docs show that the overall track length did not change, but the radius and approach angle of several turns did. It is not known how much this affected the lap times. Martin Brundle said the teams estimations were that the lap this year could be up to 1/2 a second faster, but we don’t really know for sure.


Click Here to See Mercedes FP1 in a new window.

Mercedes Qualifying:

Click Here to See all of Rosberg’s Race times in a new window.

Click Here to see all of Lewis’s Race times in a new window.

Thankfully, I was not lazy, and I grabbed almost all of the drivers data form 2014 that was available, which led me to some other interesting info.

Valterri Bottas

Bottas gives us a nice comparison between the 2 races, having finished both of them. Over the first 10 laps of the races on the SS tyre, Bottas was 1.646 sec a lap faster in 2015. He started in the pack both times (8th in 2014 and 7th in 2015), so the traffic he faced was similar.

Laps 41-59 were even more telling. Bottas ran the soft tyre in both races on that stint, and in 2015 he was 4.278 sec a lap quicker.

Click Here to see Williams FP1 in a new Window

Williams Qualifying:

Click here to see all of Bottas’s Race times in a new window.

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo gives us a nice dataset to look at. He completed the Singapore race both years. In 2014 he started and finished 3rd, and in 2015 he started and finished 2nd, so he was in comparable traffic in both races. If we throw away any pit, SC, and laps where he is running different tyres, that leaves us with 3 blocks of laps we can compare.

Laps 1-11 on the SS, Daniel Averages 2.175 sec a lap quicker in 2015

Laps 19-26on the SS, Daniel Averages 1.006 sec a lap quicker in 2015

Laps 41-60 on the soft, Daniel Averages 3.650 sec a lap quicker in 2015.

Q1 he’s 1.322 sec quicker

Q2 he’s 1.202 sec quicker

Q3 hes 1.426 sec quicker

Click Here to see Red Bull FP1 in a new Window

Red Bull Qualifying:

Click Here to see all of Ricciardo’s times in a new window.

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi managed to finish the Singapore race both years, though last year he was a lap down by the end. His times this year show just how far the Ferrari has come in 12 months. Over the first 10 laps, Kimi was 2.240 sec a lap faster (super softs), and over the last 20 laps, he was 5.071 sec a lap faster (Softs).

Click Here to see Ferrari FP1 in a new Window

Ferrari Qualifying:

Click Here to see all of Kimi’s times in a new window.


In Part II we will cover Mclaren, and the drivers that switched teams.

For even more interesting numbers and reports, visit the CHANCERY’S ARCHIVE

9 responses to “#F1 Forensics: Singapore 2014 vs 2015; Part I

    • Me too. I was hoping to get a good comparison across both years, but as I said, the failure of the Merc drivers to finish both races, combined with the FIA’s failure to post the FP3 times left me with limited info for comparison. So to salvage the work, I was able to get a few comparisons in of other drivers.

      Everyone else seems to be blaming Mercedes lack of pace on the tyres. I am still not so sure.

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