Comparing team mates in 2010

Fernando Alonso is not the only driver with a tough team mate this year

Fernando Alonso is not the only driver with a tough team mate this year

Alonso versus Massa, Hamilton versus Button, Schumacher versus Rosberg, Vettel versus Webber: we have some truly exciting inter-team battles to savour in 2010.

And thanks to certain changes in the rules it should be easier than ever to keep track of which driver has the upper hand on his team mate.


For the past three seasons ‘race fuel qualifying’ has impaired our ability to tell which drivers do the best job of squeezing the ultimate one-lap pace out of their cars.

This year, every driver will qualify their cars on the least amount of fuel they can get away with, heralding the return of the true one-lap flier.

Well, almost. Unfortunately the teams and the FIA have decided the top ten qualifiers will have to start the race on the tyres they set their best lap time on. This will lead some drivers to sacrifice the best possible lap time in qualifying by using harder tyres which are more suitable for the race.

So we’ll have to keep a close eye on who set their best lap time on which tyres. But we’ll still be able to compare team mates who set their best times on the same compounds and see which drivers reach the later stages of qualifying more regularly than their team mates. That will give us plenty of opportunity to tell which drivers are excelling on Saturdays.

Race pace

The refuelling ban will also give us a clearer picture of which driver is better at managing their car to get the best possible pace over a full race distance.

How consistently do their lap times improve as the fuel load comes down? Which drivers can manage their tyre wear best so they’re not out of grip late in the race? And who can pull off that all-important pass for position when it matters?

With a bigger field of competitors than last year there’ll be more going on during the races and TV broadcasters will find it harder to keep track of everything. We’ll pore over all the data to see which drivers are doing the best.

Comparing the drivers

Last year our post-race analysis articles proved very popular and started some interesting debates. Like when Rubens Barrichello was unhappy with his race strategy or Nico Rosberg was investigated by the stewards for going too quickly during a safety car period.

This year we’ll continue those articles and introduce a new series specifically to look at how all the team mates compare over the year. We’ll examine all the information described above to see who’s doing well, who’s struggling and who’s improving.

As always your suggestions can help make these articles even better. If you’ve got any thoughts on how best to compare team mates please post them in the comments, and we’ll see if we can incorporate those into the team mates analysis as well.

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114 comments on Comparing team mates in 2010

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  1. Invoke said on 22nd February 2010, 17:05

    I agree this will be a fascinating season to watch inter-team rivalries, but I still can’t believe they chose to keep the Q3 tyre’s for the race! Seems like a rushed decision and one that was not properly thought out.

    • sato113 said on 22nd February 2010, 18:04

      it could make races less processional though…

      • claudio said on 22nd February 2010, 19:40

        I don´t think this rule will have any impact on the teams´s tyre choice. They will simply choose what is the best for the race. As far I can remember, the most common choice for the amount of fuel at the beggining of the race was the optimum one. I remember Alonso, getting a pole with a very light car, but then at the race, stopping very early and, consequently, losing a lot of positions.
        My fellings are that the teams which will reach Q3 (Mclaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, RBR) will not be facing the shame of getting a pole position with a bad choice of tyres and, then, ruin the chances of getting a better position at the end of the race, just for the glory of leading a few laps.

  2. If you would like some ideas on how to compare team mates how about in addition to the rate the race articles how about rating each driver’s performance over a race weekend, this would work better if there was a drop down menu with ratings for each driver rather than the usual poll format and I don’t know how easy that would be to implement.

    Or perhaps if you just wanted to focus on team mates it could just be a poll asking people which teammate they thought had the best weekend, but then I would have thought any results for this would mainly be the same as which team mate finished higher.

    I suppose any voting would suffer from the same problems as any online poll where fanboys will always give their favourite driver top marks while giving drivers they dislike nothing.

  3. The Q3 tyre rule is silly, drivers are being disadvantaged because they drove better laps than the cars behind. Formula 1 is slowly moving away from ‘RACING’ and becoming something of a tv gameshow.

  4. FLuidd said on 22nd February 2010, 17:38

    I hate those new regulations.

    They should adopt
    1. old qualifying style ( 3 tries )
    2. refueling should stay banned
    3. raise the max RPMs to 20.000
    4. remain on slick tires and make the front ones the same size as the back ones.
    5. no diffuser restrictions.

    • 3,4,5 – worst ideas ever.

    • The “three tries” qualifying was like watching paint dry. Refuelling should stay banned, I’m with you on that. What would be the point of raising the revs to 20,000rpm? The reason that the rear tyres are usually bigger than the front ones is to balance up the handling, which is why we have the narrower front tyres this season, and they look better too! So, exactly how big can a diffuser be?

      • Scribe said on 22nd February 2010, 23:54

        Smeh, id have prefered if they made the rear bigger but still.
        I’m not completely satisfied with the new regs. I think theres good changes that could be made but the technical stuff it best to keep our noses well out of. Unless you can say “for sure” that you understand it.

  5. Victor said on 22nd February 2010, 17:38

    Alonso > Massa – 60:40
    Hamilton > Button – 65:35
    Rosberg > Schumacher – 55:45
    Vettel > Webber – 60:40
    Kubica > Petrov – 75:25
    Sutil > Liuzzi – 55:45
    Kobayashi > de la Rosa – 60:40
    Buemi > Algersuari – 60:40
    Kovalainen > Trulli – 60:40
    Glock > Grassi – 70:30
    Huelkenberg > Barrichello – 55:45

    • FLuidd said on 22nd February 2010, 17:40

      Massa is very light weight :)

      Massa > Alonso
      Hamilton > Button

    • Really? Rosberg over Schumacher? That judgment must be based on a MS hate because that is never gonna happen!
      Also, Trulli is faster than Kovalainen and Barrichello has always been under-rated. Kovi and The Hulk do, however, have an age advantage so I’ll just say 50/50 over the course of the season.

      • DanThorn said on 23rd February 2010, 8:11

        With no refuelling, I’d give Button a better chance against Hamilton. Trulli is also better than Heikki.

  6. i foresee a more generous use of comparative graphs- maybe one per team, one line each for the drivers, perhaps with different types of lines depicting which tyre they’re on (same green stripe for options? haha). this would allow the graphing of consistency, the ability to nurse and later push.

    i wonder how often we’ll see differences in tyre strategy between teammates?

    hopefully pit radio will also be helpful in revealing more information

  7. sato113 said on 22nd February 2010, 18:05

    i CAN’T WAIT!!!

  8. Jraybay-HammiltonMclarenfan said on 22nd February 2010, 18:13

    The battle I’m looking at is Ham and Button.The two most recent champions. I’ve never thought Jenson was an amazing pilot but he was with bar honda/Honda so I cant be hard on him or anything. Personally I think Hamilton will smoke Button but I also have this thought in my head that Button could be one of those guys who really steps up to the plate with better equipment. We’ll see.

  9. i cant wait for stefanGP

    the teammate wars will be pivotal in the championship… which team at which stage starts to back one driver more… so that their teammate isn’t taking points away from them….

    i think last year, brawn did that from almost the very beginning

  10. What about inventing a parallel points system which takes many more parameters into count. Such as place in Q1,2 and 3. Race pace consistency, Overtaking on track, fastest lap, places gained on starting position and position at end of race. This could work as a driver ranking system.

    • Giuliano Vilela said on 22nd February 2010, 18:21

      Hey, I really liked this idea! Could be an F1Fanatic only thing that would for sure gain some popularity.

      • Giuliano Vilela said on 22nd February 2010, 18:22

        Elaborating some more: It should keep the normal racing points established by FIA and add new points for those parameters.

        • I am in favor of this as well!

          And on the opposite end, we can also have the “Nelson Piquet Jr Championship” with points for crashes (4 + 4 for every car hit), spins (2), and of course, penalties(grid:5; drive-through:10, stop-go:18, post-race:25)!

      • Totally on board with that, but “not it” in setting that up. We should start our own points system and just start using it. I agree that laps led, positions gained, fastest lap, qualifying position all should be considered in the points system. In this way there is so many more levels to the race and this will also alleviate the pressure on the FIA to make this a WWF wrestling joke (ie: qualifying tires et al.).
        I’m completely against the winner takes all format as a means to increase the desire to win. This philosophy requires that drivers at the pinnacle of automotive sport are willing to put their lives on the line to drive around willy nilly with no desire to place 1st. HELLO! They are all trying to win already! By increasing the points gained for passing and fast laps we will have the more exciting racing required by FOM/FIA from the entire field… No more boring racing because someone is destroying lap times in first because everyone else will have much more reason to pass to gain points in 10th, 11th or even 15th.

        • Points for passing is pointless when the objective is to be the first to cross a line. The only way that would make sense is to make them like 0.05 pts/position gained or less (and a corresponding 0.05 pts/position lost). That way a second place car can’t pass a 1st place car in points just because the second place driver drove like a maniac from the back and the 1st place driver led the whole race.

          • Platine said on 23rd February 2010, 15:54

            I completely agree, the whole RACE WEEKEND leads up to who crosses the line first, end of story, and a few extra points for a win is not gonna make the whole race more exciting when only a fraction of teh field can make podium anyway.

    • maciek said on 22nd February 2010, 21:13

      Could be a very nicely objective way to keep track of how drivers are doing over the course of the season. I like it.

      • Lehonardeuler said on 23rd February 2010, 5:24

        Points for Q1? I don’t think so, because we’ve seen drivers not doing their best when they know they’ll enter Q2; so P1 in Q1 could be anything: If we build a points system, we want it to be significant, right?

        Also, I don’t think it’s good to give points for gained positions, because if there are lots of DNFs, the guys behind them will get lots of points for doing nothing.
        It could be done, but it should be more specific, which leads to trouble or hard-to-follow rules.

        Here’s my proposal:
        Points system: Extended to P20
        Multiply the current PS times 20, and add these points:
        P1 to P10: 500 360 300 240 200 160 120 80 40 20
        P11 to P20: 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 1

        This keeps the current points in scale, while it adds points to P11 to P20

        Pole position: Points up to P24
        Why more positions gain points than in the race? Easy: More cars qualify than what complete the race. Also, for cars further back, isn’t more appropiate to quantify how good they are according to their Quali sessions than in the race?
        Points given:
        P1 – P24: 50 40 36 32 …keeps decreasing by 2… 10 9 8 6 5 4 3 2 1

        Fastest Qualifying lap
        This is to measure real fastest laps. P1 as many as pole -I think we all appreciate the fastest lap of the weekend as much as a pole, don’t we? But points fall faster
        P1 – P10: 50 25 20 16 12 9 6 4 2 1

        Race Fastest Lap
        I believe it’s harder to see the race timesheets to see this, so I would say:
        P1: 25
        But, suggestions needed!

        grid penalty: gets 50% of quali points
        drive through: gets 75% of race points
        stop and go: gets 50% of race points
        …could be tweaked, but I think it will work :)

        DNF due to crash: -20
        This only contemplates driver’s fault only, and excludes collisions.
        Sutil in Shangai GP 2009
        Hamilton in Monza GP 2009

        Wow, this got so long!
        A perfect weekend would be fastest lap in quali (50) + pole (50) + fastest lap on race (25) + win (500) = 575

        A 2010 perfect 2010 WDC would have 10925 points. A perfect second would score 8075.
        Maybe we could add some historic info like, if a driver moves up form last years WDC position, he gets some extra points…
        Well, tell me what you think! :D

        • Nirupam said on 23rd February 2010, 9:15

          You are a crazy fanatic!!

        • Platine said on 23rd February 2010, 15:55

          You are german right?

        • Lehonardeuler said on 23rd February 2010, 17:26

          Some corrections:
          [1] The last quali points don’t exclude 7 (my typo)
          [2] Perfect weekend is 625 points, perfect WDC is 11875
          [3] Quali penalties are applied to the points of their final quali position
          [1] Car that don’t complete 90% of race don’t get points

          I’m not german… I’m just a somewhat crazy engineer :)

    • Peter said on 23rd February 2010, 9:57

      Great idea. Drivers can win the F1Fanatic Driver of the Year Trophy.

  11. Hamilton > Button (quali)
    Button > Hamilton (race)

    Massa > Alonso

    Rosberg > Schumacher

    Vettel > Webber

    Glock > Di Grassi

    Kovalainen > Trulli

    Kubica > Petrov

    Buemi > Alguersuari

    Hulkenberg > Barrichello

    Kobayashi > De La Rosa

    Controversial but hey-ho :)

    Keith – can you pull all these back up at the end of the season – would make interesting reading ?

    • Aleksandar Serbia said on 22nd February 2010, 18:33

      You were born yesterday right Pat, with no knowledge of who MS is right, they just pulled you out of the womb…

      • Polishboy808 said on 22nd February 2010, 22:09

        Well you have to remember that schumi hasnt raced in 3 seasons, while rosberg has, he has a better feel for how the drivers race, whats there strong and weak points, and what mistakes they are likely to do and just because schumis raced with them before doesnt mean he neccesarily remembers, and drivers change. ‘but polish, schumis a 7 time world champion’ yah well that was 3 years ago. But i geuss we will find out!

      • Nope been an F1 fanatic 35ish years – As I said Keith should re – post this page at the end of the season – should make interesting reading :)

        • Aleksandar Serbia – with your superior knowledge – why have you not posted your predictions ?

          • DanThorn said on 23rd February 2010, 8:18

            Once Schu is settled after perhaps 3 or 4 races (or shorter, you never know with MS) he’ll trounce Nico. Three years off doesn’t stop you being one of the greatest drivers ever (see:Niki Lauda).

          • Aleksandar Serbia said on 23rd February 2010, 9:23

            Because there is no sufficient data to do so!
            It is all plain guessing, look at the previous year, who could have predicted the outcome?
            The only thing that can be concluded of the people guesses is their preference to the drivers.
            And where did i advertise my superior knowledge Pat?
            I merely noted to the validity of this conversation, which is pointless and only implies pure guessing!

  12. Ned Flanders said on 22nd February 2010, 18:23

    Here’s a team mates ‘FIA Cup’ I’ve just devised to work out which driver is best, ordered on the 2009 Constructors results. The scores are a reflection of how competitive I expect each rivalry to be:

    ROUND OF 16:

    Rosberg v Schumacher
    WINNER= Schumacher (3-1)

    Vettel v Webber
    WINNER= Vettel (3-0)

    Button v Hamilton
    WINNER= Hamilton (2-0)

    Alonso v Massa
    WINNER= Massa (2-2- Massa wins on pens)

    de la Rosa v Kobayashi
    WINNER= Kobayashi (1-0)

    Barrichello v Hulkenberg
    WINNER= Hulkenberg (2-1)

    Kubica v Petrov
    WINNER= Kubica (4-0)

    Liuzzi v Sutil
    WINNER= Sutil (1-1 Sutil wins on pens)


    Schumacher v Sutil
    WINNER= Schumacher (2-0)

    Kubica v Vettel
    WINNER= Vettel (3-2)

    Hamilton v Hulkenberg
    WINNER= Hamilton (2-0)

    Kobayashi v Massa
    WINNER= Massa (4-1)


    Massa v Schumacher
    WINNER- Schumacher (2-1)

    Hamilton v Vettel
    WINNER- Hamilton (2-2 Hamilton wins on pens)


    Massa v Vettel
    WINNER- Vettel (2-0)


    Hamilton v Schumacher
    WINNER- Hamilton (2-0)

    • Victor said on 22nd February 2010, 18:47


      • What the hell?

        • My thoughts exactly. This and the “weighting/rating” post above are gratuitously confusing to me.

          If you guys are going to pull numbers out of your thin air, then give us some background please. What on EARTH is this based on and how did you come to these conclusions.

          • Ned Flanders said on 22nd February 2010, 20:15

            Wow, don’t take it too seriously. It’s just a daft football analogy. If you don’t like it just ignore it, simple as that.

          • Sorry, the football analogy didn’t come across at all. The “based on constructor’s standings” bit made it look like the numbers had some relation to last year’s results.

            I cee wot u did there.

            Didn’t work, but hey!

    • Lol! Nice one Ned although I completely disagree with the third place play off of course ;)

      • three4three said on 22nd February 2010, 22:33

        Hahaha, Aleksander what you say there may be a tad offensive to some but it made me laugh hard, hehehe. :P

      • DanThorn said on 23rd February 2010, 8:22

        You also appear to have spelt Alonso wrong on several occasions, and it implies that he’s knocked out in the first round rather that winning. I suggest you rectify this ;)

        • Ned Flanders said on 23rd February 2010, 11:41

          Hey, it’s like the FA Cup. There are always a few upsets in the First Round! I just fancy Massa to cause an upset this season.

          Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that I like Massa more than Alonso…

    • Icthyes said on 22nd February 2010, 23:37

      Lol, nice.

      Massa wins on pen[altie]s

      Hey, he does have experience in this field (Spa 2008)!

    • Nice. But you should not compare teammates in the first round. Most of the succes comes from teh difference in the car, because they are all good drivers.

      So Alonso and Massa, Button and Hamilton, Schumacher and Rosberg, Vettel and Webber should be in different legs like in tennis.

      In the end I think the championship will be fought over by team mates, just like last year.

      I think the order of the cars is:
      First row: McLaren/Ferrari
      Second row: Red Bull/Sauber
      Third row: Mercedes/Torro Rosso
      Fourth row: Williams/Force India
      Fifth row: Renault
      Sixth row: Virgin/Lotus

      It will be very hard for a driver to exceed the expectations above the cars limits.
      In the past Schumacher, Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel did that. Button never did. Maybe Rosberg but Nakajima was so bad we do not have good comparison of the speed of last years Williams.

      • A-Safieldin said on 23rd February 2010, 13:24

        Im not the biggest button fan but in all fairness he did… in 2006 in 2007 he scored 7 points in the season to Barichello’s 0 pts. in the second half of 06 he scored more points than anyone on the field in a not so great car, granted 08 and even 09 he coudnt manage a poor car but u cant say never.

  13. I can only say that I’m looking forward to a very much more unpredictable inter-team rivalry than has been depicted here so far.

    The guy who looks after his car the best will win this seasons championship.

  14. Rahzam said on 22nd February 2010, 18:49

    I believe that Hamilton will Qualify higher but Button will manage tyres better than Hamilton in race. Alonso it good but Massa is tough. It will be really interesting to see. Can’t wait.

  15. As somebody just touched on, it would be mighty interesting to see ALL these predictions shown again
    in late November and be able to compare fantasy to reality.

    Suspect there’ll be a lot of egg on a lot of faces…..

    • “Suspect there’ll be a lot of egg on a lot of faces…..”

      Not really. There will be some moaning about someone having the better car for half the season though. LOL

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