The hypothesis I was talking about in the last post was that the reason the 2012 Formula 1 season’s racing was closer was due to the lack of blown diffusers, more particularly, I thought that this was because the diffusers and the way they worked (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_1_2011#Rule_changes) aided smoother drivers, or hindered the less smooth.
Now I admit this was mostly based on a gut feeling that Mark Webber was a much better driver than his 2011 results showed, and that, with the removal of the blown diffusers, his results would be closer to Sebastian Vettel’s.
Unfortunately, I can’t actually prove my hunch with numbers, because, Webber’s average placing in 2012 in races where both drivers finished, was actually slightly lower than his position the year before, in comparison to Vettel (on average he was 1.9 places behind Vettel rather than 1.8 places). I blame being Grosjean’d a few times. However, at the same time, he’s finished ahead of Vettel more times this season (five times as opposed to twice). I therefore decided that I needed more evidence to back up my theory. Or, you know, prove it at all. I needed another team where one driver is general regarded as smoother than the other and the drivers haven’t change between 2011 and 2012.
Bring on the McLarens.
Thankfully, the McLarens actually do bear out my theory, even with Hamilton’s various misfortunes. There’s a swing from Hamilton being -0.71 of a position behind in 2011 to being 3.3 of a position ahead in 2012. The other thing screaming at me is that really, McLaren’s reliability issues have really hurt them. Both Red Bulls finished 16 times, both McLarens finished 10 times.
Unfortunately, I’d planned to use the difference between the Ferraris as a baseline but it turns out that Massa is less capable of coping with a terrible car than Alonso is.
There would be spreadsheets to back this up, but, unfortunately, I’ve not been able to figure out how to post them into Blogger. Any help is gratefully received.