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F1 Analytics 2009 (Part 2) - Teammate comparisons - Pitting the best of the best against each other, two at a time

Published by Christine

In our 2009 Analytics series, we have so far looked at the points scored by teams and drivers throughout the season, and therefore how the year took shape. Now it's time to look at the team comparisons. The raw data is simply which driver finished ahead in qualifying and the races, and of course that doesn't tell the whole story, but it does give a good indicator of performance.

Brawn GP

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I think this comparison sums up the season perfectly. Button had such a great run of wins at the start, that it's no surprise Rubens can't touch him when it comes to Grand Prix wins.

The qualifying stats are more interesting, though, with Barrichello beating Jenson 10-7. This demonstrates the dip in form Jenson had clearly, when his struggles in qualifying affected his races, but overall, didn't affect his grip on the championship.

Red Bull

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This one surprises me. Webber is supposed to be one of those qualifying specialists, but it seems as though he has met his match in the form of Vettel. Of course, Webbo started the year with a dodgy leg, and it's understandable it may have taken a while to get back in the swing of things, but 14-3 is quite a large swing in the numbers.

When it comes to the racing, things are much tighter, and despite Vettel securing more wins, Webber finished higher up more often.


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Poor Kovalainen is out of a drive for 2010 and the numbers clearly show why. At least he was consistent though - five times on top in qualifying, and the same in Grand Prix.

The numbers aren't entirely fair, though, as we know the McLaren made the most astounding progress throughout the year, and one half of the team always seemed to have the updates first. It's not hard to figure out which!


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Ferrari is a tricky one to try and analyse, as Massa didn't complete the year, and there's little point in trying to compare Badoer and Fisichella to anything.

We know the Ferrari is a really hard car to get to grips with, and it would have been interesting to see how Massa would have stacked up against Kimi for the rest of the season. Felipe makes for a unique benchmark for Alonso next year, and I'll be watching closely.


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Another team with more than two drivers but this has a lot clearer implications... for Trulli!

The single lap flyer continued to keep up his performance in the Saturday sessions, but when it comes to the racing, not only was he outclassed by Glock, he was also shown up by new boy Kobayashi as well.

Kamui only participated in two races and beat the experienced Trulli in both.


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For BMW, the numbers are almost entirely reversed from qualifying to the race. It makes perfect sense that Heidfeld performs better on a Sunday, as he is the consistent one always picking up the points.

Kubica isn't vastly behind though, and in the same way, he isn't vastly in front when it comes to qualifying either. Heidfeld lags a little behind in qualifying performance, but the pair seem to be quite evenly matched.


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This is another team where the numbers are the same for both qualifying and the race, and Rosberg has the edge in both. Nakajima has been pretty much outshone this year, with Rosberg on 14 for both stats, and Kaz only on 3.

In the context of the season, Rosberg has been consistently in the points, with a dip here and there, and just one retirement. Nakajima failed to pick up a single point.


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Another clear cut case for the number one driver, as Alonso outshone Piquet no problem at all. When Grosjean climbed in the car, he only managed to finish in a higher position than Alonso once in the race, but given the way the stats are against him, that is actually quite an achievement!

With Alonso off to Ferrari, it's not a surprise the team are taking their time rethinking their driver strategy.

Force India

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Sutil seems to have had the edge in qualifying, although not by a huge margin over Fisichella, just 10-7, with Liuzzi not outdoing Adrian at all on Saturdays. The Grand Prix positions are another matter though, as Fisi had 9 finishes on Sutil's 6, and Liuzzi managed to finish higher in two of his five contested races.

We found out today that Sutil and Liuzzi have been retained for 2010, so the competition between them will be fascinating to watch.

Toro Rosso

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Buemi was always the leader in this team, despite the fact that Bourdais had the experience within the car. It's not a surprise that Le Seb saw his marching orders mid-season with such a low performance. Alguersuari didn't appear to be more of a match when it came to qualifying, but held his own in the race, and finished ahead more times the Bordy did when he had his seat.

As mentioned at the start of the post, the hard statistics never tell the entire story but I do like the indications they hint to. When it comes to resigning drivers, the numbers don't lie and the teams will be looking at the facts. What do you make of the analysis above? Which partnerships were the best, and who needs to try a little bit harder?

DriversQualifyingGrand Prix

Update: Sean asked the question in the comments: What do the figures look like between Massa and Kimi before the accident? Brilliant idea, can't believe I didn't think of it. To the right are the numbers from Australia to Belgium.

Pretty even, wouldn't you say?