Home > F1 2012 season > 2012 F1 Season: Competitive Analysis after Six Races before going to Canada

2012 F1 Season: Competitive Analysis after Six Races before going to Canada

Okay, we have six races… and for each race we have seen a different race winner. So who is really leading the championship? Well by points surprinsingly Ferrari Fernando Alonso is the undisputable leader… surprise! well Ferrari was not (at least in paper and qualifying) the most performing car out there…

Some of the favorites to lead the Championship were: McLaren, RedBull or Mercedes… but it did not work out in their way…

We have a fascinating championship and it is worth to take a look at it. As I am a humble and independent F1 fan, I have used some help from Grand Prix Rankings. The folks at Grand Prix Rankings crunch stats for various racing series… of course, including Formula One. So, I have use some of their stats to produce this post. Merci!

Grand Prix Rankings uses a simple formula to produce their rankings including: pole positions, wins, podiums, top5 finishes, performance and finished races. Their race performance factor is quite interesting as they calculate the gained positions per each race and then calculate an average in return. Anyhow let’s look at the top drivers in the 2012 F1 Standings (after six races completed):

Ferrari Fernando Alonso (76 points): No pole positions, but 1 win (Malaysia) and 3 podiums (50%), has completed all races so far (100%).  In the majority of the races he has gained positions like in Malaysia where he went from 8th in the grid to win the race!  On average (considering all six races), Fernando Alonso has gained 2 positions per race.

Red Bull Sebastian Vettel (73 points): One pole position (Bahrain), 1 win (Bahrain) but only 2 podiums (1 less than Alonso). Completed all races so far (100%). Vettel is a bit more cautions and his race strategy is more about timing pitstops to gain race positions instead of confronting and overtaking in the race. On average (again consider all races so far), Sebastian Vettel has gained 0.6 positions per race. Not as complete as Alonso, albeit Alonso is missing a pole position to his name.

Red Bull Mark Webber (73 points): One pole position (Monaco), 1 win (Monaco) = only 1 podium, but he has achieved four 4th positions (Australia, Malaysia, China, Bahrain). Spain was a bit of a disconnect for Webber where he qualified 11th and finish the race in the same position. Same as Vettel, Webber prefers pitstop strategy to gain positions against his rivals instead of using on-race action…. Completed all races so far (100%).  Looking at their stats: On average Webber has lost 0.5 positions per race.

So both Red Bulls are not very eager on race overtaking but utilize pitstops to jump their opponents… again this is only based on the data we have form the last six races.

McLaren Lewis Hamilton (63 points):  2 pole positions (Australia, Malaysia), no wins, but 3 podiums. He actually got pole position in Spain too, but was sent back to the back of the grid because his car run out of fuel…ouch! Still Hamilton style is to go head-to-head with his opponents and in Spain he finished 8th position (but started from 24th)… wow! In Monaco he went backwards from 3rd to finish 5th… Completed all races so far (100%).  On average Hamilton has gained 0.3 positions per race.

Mercedes Nico Rosberg (59 points): 1 pole position (China), 1 win (China) and 2 podiums (China, Monaco). Completed all races so far (100%).  Rosberg could be higher in points but Mercedes started the season with the wrong foot and went bad in Australia and Malaysia. Now, Mercedes is probably better suited to claim a second victory if not for Red Bull resurgence. Rosberg is not the type of driver that comes from behind to win races, he has to be on pole to win (like China), we shall see in the next races. On average, Rosberg has lost 0.3 positions per race.

Lotus Kimi Raikkonen (51 points): no pole positions, no wins, but 2 podiums (Bahrain, Spain)… Things went bad with the tires for Kimi at China (finished 14th) and Monaco (finished 9th but started 8th). Completed all races so far (100%).  On average, the iceman has gained 0.8 positions per race.

McLaren Jenson Button (45 points): no pole positions, one win (Austrialia), and 2 podiums (Australia, China). He had troubles in China (wet race), Bahrain (differential failure) and Monaco (tire puncture since he was held off by Kovalainen), so his race performances had suffered. On average, Jenson has lost 0.5 positions per race. Completed 83% of all started races.

Lotus Romain Grosjean (35 points): no poles, no wins, only 1 podium (Bahrain). The GP2 champion is sometimes qualified as too aggressive… but his GP2 styles (where you have to overtake to succed) is giving fruits: on average Grosjean has gained 2 positions per race, but he has only completed 50% of all started races (something to work on).

Williams Pastor Maldonado (29 points): one pole (Spain), one win (Spain). The Venezuelan driver caused sensation when he won the Spanish Grand Prix. Unfortunately, he DNF in Monaco. Maldonado has completed 66% of all started races.

Sauber Sergio Perez (22 points): no poles, no wins, by one podium (2nd in Malaysia). The Mexican driver caused headlines when he challenged Alonso for the win in Malaysia, but since then Perez has had a quiet profile, 11th in China, 11th in Bahrain, DNF in Spain and 11th in Monaco.

Mercedes Michael Schumacher (2 points): Yes, I know… why Schumacher?… he only have 2 points!… well, I have always found fascinating his return. How he deals with the press and all the bad, bad news (or misfortunes). Schumi has only finished 2 races (out of 6). Best performance: Bahrain, he started 22nd and finished 10th… so he still got his mojo… but what happen? probably too optimistic during the races: in Spain, Schumi pushed too hard and collided with Senna expecting the Brazilian driver will open the space (but did not) and in Monaco, Schumi clashed with Grosjean at the start… probably too optimist too. His DNF in Australia and Malaysia where inflicted by his own team (Gearbox and wheel nut issue)… I think some good luck should come one way or the other.

So the best rounded driver: Spanish Fernando Alonso. why?

  1. Has 1 win (like the other 5 drivers that won a race)
  2. Has the most podiums (equal only to Lewis Hamilton).
  3. 66% of the time has been in the top 5 (Webber has a  top5 average of 83% but less podiums than Alonso)
  4. Has finished all races (100%)
  5. Has the best race performance (on-race action): average gain of 2 positions per race. This says it all! a driver that can win races coming from behind! … from the six races, four where won by the pole sitter. Only Alonso and Button had managed to win a race (not from pole position).

Did I get it right? let me know. Cheers!

As a complement, here is the drivers ranking (only top5) by Grand Prix Rankings:



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