We got another exciting race in Great Britain. How did the midfield battle develop this last Sunday? The stats will tell us the story, so let’s take a look at the numbers.
Note: The “images” are actually vectors. You can click on them, and zoom in as much as you want, in order to see the lap number for each of the individual data points.
Drivers with a 1 stop strategy
Carlos Sainz was the fastest driver who tried a one stop strategy. His race pace of 1:31.602 is particularly impressive when you realize that he was faster than Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat, when both of those drivers did a 2 stop strategy.
Nico Hulkenberg was over 3 tenths away from Carlos’ pace, and just 5 hundredths of a second faster per lap than Kimi Raikkonen. Both drivers managed to score points, and while they were not the fastest out there on Sunday, the time saved from skipping a pit stop was worth it in the end.
Alex Albon has been impressive this year so far, but in Great Britain, he did not have his best race. While his pace was not as far from Kimi’s , the Thai driver could not manage to get in the position that he wanted, and was in fact only faster on average than George Russell and Robert Kubica.
Williams was, as usual, the worst team in terms of race pace. George managed to outpace Kubica by an average of 0.344 seconds per lap. Normally I would say that over 3 tenths of difference in race pace is massive, but
Drivers with a 2 or more stops strategy
Daniel Ricciardo was the fastest driver from a midfield team, doing an average lap time of 1:31.433. Unlike Hulkenberg, who was outpaced against Sainz on the same strategy, Ricciardo managed to be consistently faster than Lando Norris, who also did a 2 stop strategy.
Racing Point felt confident of scoring points in their home race, but it was not meant to be. Lance Stroll was never fast enough to challenge for the top positions, while Sergio Perez destroyed his front wing after the safety car and his race was ruined since then. Their race pace was not particularly encouraging either, with both of them being over 3 tenths slower than the fastest driver who tried a 2 stop strategy, Daniel Ricciardo.
Daniil Kvyat was in the right place at the right time. His race pace was the worst among drivers with 2 or more pit stops, but he still managed to get into the points. While he was in fact only 50 milliseconds faster per lap than Nico Hulkenberg, he still managed to make the 2 stop strategy work and obtained a valuable 9th place for Toro Rosso.
McLaren keeps looking strong, but Renault seems to have stepped up to the plate. At the moment, McLaren has a commanding 21 poinst lead over the French team in the Constructors’ Championship, but that could change in the near future if Renault shows the pace they were able to show last weekend.
Alfa Romeo is a team that has the potential to be among the best of the midfield, but lacks the consistency to do so. Antonio Giovinazzi has not delivered as much as the team would expect of him, and while Kimi keeps showing that he still has enough in the tank to perform, the team needs to be as fast as they were in Silverstone in order to climb positions in the Constructors’ championship.
Racing Point is having an unexpected season. They still have not shown enough pace, but they will get a major upgrade for the next race. Reports say that they will be getting an “almost new car”, so we will see what they can do with the new package. For now, they have not shown enough pace to replicate their usual 1st place among midfield teams.
Toro Rosso seems to be flying under the radar. It seems like they go unnoticed after every race, but their pace has been acceptable. Right now they have overtaken Haas in the Constructors’ Championship, and are even with Racing Point. If they manage to improve their pace, even by a little, they will be in a strong position to challenge Alfa Romeo.
Williams is a complete disaster and that will not change. No points during the weekend, and a race pace that is over a second slower than any other team’s pace. No speed, but hey, reliability has been fantastic.
Finally, Haas . I did not even mention them during the analysis because both drivers retired before the 10th lap of the race. Both drivers had a pathetic weekend, showing no pace in quali, and then crashing into each other during the race and having to retire early. What happened to the strong Haas team that we saw at the end of last year?
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