2020 Italian GP: Gasly vs Sainz

Let’s take a look at the micro-sector analysis of the fight between Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz for the 2020 Italian GP.

Brief notice

If you hover over the micro-sectors (or click them if you’re using a mobile device), you will get additional information. In this case, the average speed (shown in km/h) of each driver over the course of the race is presented to you.

Methodology

For the interactive map, I started by obtaining data from the “telemetry” provided by the Formula 1 live app. The data contains information about the speed and position of each driver from the entirety of the race. I then decided to divide the track into 100 micro-sectors, each of about 100th of the length of the track.

After getting this data, I made a spatial analysis to classify each of the data points provided by the timing app into the just created micro-sectors. This meant that I would get the information from all 53 laps divided by micro-sector.

To get meaningful information, I ran an analysis to remove speeds that were considered as anomalies. For example, there’s no point in including the data from lap 27, since all drivers were in the pit lane at that time. The same thing applies for laps when the safety car was out, like during laps 21 to 24.

For the next step, I grouped the data by micro-sector and calculated the average speed achieved by each driver in that micro-sector. This means that the number that you see is the average speed done by each driver over all the laps of the race.

Finally, I created a simple interactive chart that allows you to explore the resulting data.

For the second chart, I followed the same procedure as for the interactive map, but grouped the information by lap. If should tell you who was faster in each micro-sector in each one of the laps that came after the red flag.

The race

As usual, the images shown above are vectors. You can zoom in on them as much as you want without losing quality.
As we all know, Carlos tried hard to catch Pierre, but eventually ran out of laps before and had to settle for second place. The charts show us that Carlos was faster than Pierre on the straights, as well as on the famous Curva Grande. He, however, was unable to compete with Gasly on the corners. Is this because AlphaTauri is a stronger car on the corners? Perhaps, but also because the dirty air has a massive negative effect on F1 cars.
While Sainz bounced back in every straight section, he lost time once and again in every turn. The lap by lap analysis shows us the same pattern, repeating lap after lap. In a few laps, like laps 51 and 52, the Spaniard was able to reduce the gap by being faster in some areas of the Curva di Lesmo, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.

Final remarks

What a fun race we saw at the 2020 Italian GP. We have to accept that this result only came due to the red flag and the grave mistake made by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. However, it was exciting to see two drivers with similar performance challenging for the race victory.

In the end, Gasly deserved the victory. The Frenchman was able to keep the soft tires alive until the end, and just had enough in the tank to keep Sainz at bay. For the Spaniard, unfortunately, the current F1 cars struggle to follow closely due to the negative effect caused by the so-called dirty air. His lack of performance on the corners is a clear example of the existence of this phenomenon.

I hope that you have enjoyed this analysis which I feel provides some exciting information. If you did, please share it with your friends and let me know what you think in the comments below.

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