Who is quickest? Detailed expert analysis after 8775 laps of data

Winter testing is ‘testing’ as they say, and many people look at the quickest times to decide in their own minds where the teams are in a pecking order – Often this is an inaccurate method of predicting what will happen in the coming season.

That said, it’s fairly safe to say that Ferrari isn’t shy about how fast their car is out of the box, and there are some serious questions on Mercedes, in particular during week 1 of testing in Barcelona.

But we must not take testing on face value, however, the track is cold and tyres don’t work in the current operating temperatures, the cars are new and often missing parts plus the teams always try and disguise their true pace from each other by ‘sandbagging’. Indeed Mercedes could well be doing this in the extreme.

 

The W10, long and thin… truly a ‘Silver Arrow’ now

 

Take for instance Red Bull in 2014, the dawn of the new Hybrid engine formula we have today, and one that Renault managed to fail with spectacularly.

The Red Bull Renault could barely complete half a race distance in Jerez and Barcelona winter testing for 2014, yet by Melbourne the car was quick enough to be on the podium (before their disqualification), plus Ricciardo was the only non-Mercedes driver to be in contention for the drivers’ title for part of the year.

This doesn’t stop some experts, fans, and pundits alike from trying to predict the cars that’ll be at the sharp end come Melbourne, and ex F1 driver turned pundit Karun Chandhok is perhaps someone we ought to take some notice of. Indeed TJ13 used his analysis for our first ‘odds analysis’ for 2019, seeing Haas as a seriously quick car again for down under.

Last night Karun published via an Instagram account his findings on race pace after analysing an astonishing 8775 laps worth of data.

 

View this post on Instagram

Looked through the 8775 laps done by the 10 teams in F1 testing to find representative race runs. Most logical way I thought was to bracket them into 3 distances of 31, 44 and 54 laps as not all did the same distance. Conclusions: 1. Seb & Charles are super close – 3 tenths after 31 laps! 2. Mercedes 16 seconds behind after 54 laps – average of 0.25 per lap; 3. RBR didn’t do a full distance or performance runs but the 2 stint 31 lap ‘race’ for Max show them to be very close to Mercedes; 4. Haas appear to be top of the midfield like in pre-season testing last year – Kevin’s race run on Day 8 was very impressive; 5. Midfield battle super tight – difference could be just engine modes; 6. I understand that Daniel’s run was compromised by a brake issue so expect Renault to be stronger in Melbourne. #RaceRunAnalysis #F1 #12DaysToMelbourne #F1isBack

A post shared by Karun Chandhok (@karunchandhok) on

 

Using the data over the whole test period, Karun has managed to split the long runs up into 31 lap stint, 44 and 54 laps stint to compare the cars eligible.

“Looked through the 8775 laps done by the 10 teams in F1 testing to find representative race runs. Most logical way I thought was to bracket them into 3 distances of 31, 44 and 54 laps as not all did the same distance.” says Chandhok.

 

Conclusions:

1. Seb & Charles are super close – 3 tenths after 31 laps!

2. Mercedes 16 seconds behind after 54 laps – average of 0.25 per lap;

3. RBR didn’t do a full distance or performance runs but the 2 stint 31 lap ‘race’ for Max show them to be very close to Mercedes;

4. Haas appear to be top of the midfield like in pre-season testing last year – Kevin’s race run on Day 8 was very impressive;

5. Midfield battle super tight – difference could be just engine modes;

6. I understand that Daniel’s run was compromised by a brake issue so expect Renault to be stronger in Melbourne.

 

 

10 responses to “Who is quickest? Detailed expert analysis after 8775 laps of data

  1. Nothing matters until race-day! They are all “testing” until Q3 on Saturday and the startline on Sunday! Only then will we know who is where. Cant wait, but Im already missing seeing Fernando in the car for McL. Charles looks more than promising, but Sebs experience could be the difference. Dan and Nico will be interesting…..Hulk might have to spin his cogs a bit faster. #:)

  2. There are lots of haters to karun, mostly racist commentators from England, but this is as good an analysis that can be done, don’t like it, too bad! Or go make your own analysis in your head, at least karun used real data.

    • Very well said. Some of the comments out there have been scandalous, and people should be ashamed of themselves (they wont be however)

      KC knows his beans, was there, has all the data and knows how to interpret it

      Comments around here have been pointless IMO

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