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Reapplying redress to recent results - Considered conclusions considering the Championship conclusion

Published by Will Davies

With the Championship decider having come and gone, and Sebastian Vettel having been crowned World Champion, I feel it is the right time to revisit the idea of redress – with the view of seeing how the season would’ve shaped up if drivers were compensated for aggrieving eliminations from races. Since the first round of calculations, we’ve had high profile incidents affecting Jenson Button in Korea and most recently Lewis Hamilton from the lead in Brazil.

With the final standings so close, it is quite easy to point a finger of blame in Romain Grosjean’s direction (after his stupidity in Belgium) for costing Fernando the title, and we can see how the title battle and the rest of the standings can be corrected for ‘fairness’ – in particular for Lewis, who has had a very ‘unfair’ season.

Some sums

I have used the same set of assumptions as in the first post. I am continuing to look at incidents that have been ruled on by the stewards, and where blame has been apportioned; incidents also that saw the retirement of the driver who was crashed into, and where the other driver was specifically at fault (i.e. not including racing incidents).

For the redress I am also continuing to use a driver’s average points total from their ‘fair’ races. However, as I started to introduce below the last post, I have made a change to my method. I’d sat down with the numbers, and come up with a formula that takes into account the proportion of the race that had been completed, so as not to overly compensate any driver. The new algorithm uses a points-total from how far through the race the incident was, combined with redress for the laps missed:

Redress = (fraction of race completed) x (points for current position) + (fraction of race remaining) x (season's average points, as above)

i.e. if a driver is crashed out early they get a lot of their average for redress, whereas a late elimination means they’ll score more according to their current position. For example:

Fernando Alonso in Spa - from 6th on L1: 1/44x8 + 43x15 = 14.8 points
Or 6th on L43: 43/44x8 + 1/44x15 = 8.2 points

I said it before, and I’ll say it again, apologies for this starting to get complicated, but it doed now take into account their performance and progress through in the race in question.

DriverRaceTotal LapsLapPointsLaps RemainingAverageRedress


We have clearly seen that Lewis has suffered the most from ‘unfair’ incidents this season, and these earn him an adjustment totalling 47.6 points – that’s almost 2 win’s worth of points that he’s missed out on!! With the addition of this it moves him up ahead of Kimi Räikkönen in the WDC to take third – a position that might better represent the performance of his driving and the car throughout the season. (Apologies Kimi and Kimi-fans.)


The most important change that this adjustment brings is that Alonso becomes World Driver Champion! Essentially, if he had been ‘allowed’ to race in Belgium the calculation suggests he should pick up an average of 14.8 points, which more than bridge the gap between himself and Vettel. So congratulations Fernando, a well deserved title and well done for becoming the youngest-ever triple Champion*! (*If not in real-life, then in all ‘fairness’ he should be. That is until in all likelihood Seb steals it back in the near future.)

Not only has Fernando done well to drag his Ferrari up to a position of contention to beat Sebastian, but if it wasn’t for Romain in Spa… *grumbles* …If drivers get punishments for these incidents then surely the ones detrimentally affected can get ‘damages’!? It has to be said that Seb has suffered from a variety of incidents and crashes during the season, but not race-ending ones that fall under this remit.

Apart from Lewis’ and Fernando’s change of position for the better, none of the other drivers who have adjusted totals have either moved up or down. These drivers either have only one race that has been affected, or have small averages that haven’t altered the totals much. (This method doesn’t upend the table and overly alter drivers’ positions; it just helps in cases of close scores or lots of incidents.)

I think it has been clear from Fernando’s ability to drag his car repeatedly into the positions that he achieved that he deserved the WDC most this year, but I don’t want to diminish Seb’s achievement either; he has deserved it also – especially from some dominant race weekends that he’s had and the standards of other recovery-drives that he’s put together.

Red Bull460Red Bull468
Force India109Force India109
Toro Rosso26Toro Rosso28

When he’s tangled with others, rather than being forced out of the race, he’s managed to come away with some points. He has also may have suffered from his share of mechanical issues like most other drivers, and even though it may not have looked it at times, luck most definitely has been on his side this season.

In related news, when the adjusted scores are combined to generate the team standings it doesn’t prevent Red Bull for scooping the Constructors crown, but the only change that it does make is to bump McLaren up to 3rd in the standings. I’m not sure whether they’d be pleased to hear that they ‘deserved’ to finish second, or less so because they didn’t and so didn’t receive the extra prize money for doing so.

So… it would be nice to think that the FIA might institute something like this so that the victims of circuit-based ‘crimes’ aren’t forgotten, and that they receive compensation that is only ‘fair’, as well as the offenders receiving the punishment that they deserve.