Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

F1 Analytics 2009 (Part 1) - Points tables // A review and look behind the meaning of the championship standings

Published by Christine

The news just keeps on coming regarding next year's season, but here at Sidepodcast Towers, we are just about ready to start reviewing the season. Last year, we took a detailed look at the year through some statistics and graphs, and it seems like a good time to repeat the process for 2009. We're starting with a quick look at the championship points, and how the season progressed.

Teams

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In 2008, we had three teams that pulled away an early lead and fought until the bitter end. This time round, there was one team obviously out in front already - that would be Brawn - whilst it took a few races for the number two team to be established. Even when Red Bull made their own dominance felt, they were still nowhere near catching the leaders.

Further down, the battle between Ferrari and McLaren is a great one to view in this way, as their interchanging positions are visible early on, and the tight battle towards the end is also really clear.

The teams towards the back have much straighter lines, and it seems as though there is a pattern of scoring a point or two and being stuck on that score until the next points haul. There's no chance of regular points scoring when you are that far back. The only team who seemed to make a break for it towards the end where Williams and Renault, whilst Toro Rosso clearly had a very poor season.

Drivers

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This graph tells a few more of the stories we saw over the year, particularly with Jenson Button's blue line flying high over everyone else. I think Barrichello's points haul is very interesting, as it's clear that he was always ready to challenge Button, but had a bit of a dip around Germany and Hungary, and then again towards the end of the season when Vettel had a resurgence.

Further down the order, the Ferrari story is fascinating, as Räikkönen's orange-ish line is basically obscured by all the other drivers until Europe, when he begins to rise up and perform better again. Meanwhile, Massa was making good, steady progress until his accident in Hungary.

Contrast the Ferrari story with McLaren, and it's an amazing jump for Hamilton who spent about five races without picking up a point, and then made a giant leap in Hungary, to then improve up to finish fifth in the championship at the end of the year.

Compared to last year's graph, the championship seems to have been a lot more spread out. Whereas 2008 seemed to have specific clumps of competition, with several drivers battling each other down the order, there seems to be more spread in 2009. It's also more mixed up (if you remove Button's dominance), so that is the positive side of it.

The points were there for the taking, and it could have been any team ready to step up and grab them. However, the flip side of that is a lack of close competition, with the points spread out throughout the field. This is a simplistic view of things, obviously, as in real life, we had the four way battle for the title, and the Hamilton/Räikkönen type fights as well.

That's what immediately strikes me when I look at these graphs, but I'd love to hear what you think about the visual representation of the season as a whole. If you're finding it hard to see, the statistics are all available here, and there are links to all the data I collate during the year on the Season page. More stats and graphs soon!