Start, McLaren, Melbourne, 2008

Has F1 ??improved the show??? See what the data says

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Formula One was a very different sport when F1 Fanatic’s Rate the Race series began in 2008.

Cars ran on grooved Bridgestone tyres and pitted to refuel during races. KERS and DRS were nowhere to be found.

Since then much has been done in the name of “improving the show”. The Overtaking Working Group’s recommendations ushered in a new and peculiar generation of cars in 2009 with wide front wings and tall, narrow rear wings.

More controversial was the 2011 introduction of the Drag Reduction System, giving anyone within one second of another car a speed boost to aid overtaking. That came in 2011, while the sport’s new tyre supplier Pirelli was urged to produce rubber that would degrade quickly, producing more pit stops.

Have F1’s attempts to spice up the racing succeeded? It seemed to me the best way to tell would be to ask people to give a rating for each race, as objectively as possible. One hundred races on, here’s what the voting tells us about whether F1 has become more entertaining.

Season-by-season: 2008-present

F1 Fanatic readers rated all of the last 100 races out of ten. Here are the average scores of the races in each season so far (2013 to date):

Year Average rating Races
2008 6.651 18
2009 6.316 17
2010 6.759 19
2011 7.23 19
2012 7.367 20
2013 (to date) 6.882 7

There is a clear upward trend but for the first seven races of this season the average score is down compared to the last two championships. Are F1 fans tiring of a diet of DRS and rapidly-degrading tyres?

Before and after

Which tweaks to the F1 rules had the best effect on the racing? Here are the average scores for races before and after various changes were made

DRS and Pirelli tyres

The Drag Reduction System and ‘designed to degrade’ tyres arrived in 2011, both as a means increasing changes of position during a race.

Both have attracted a lot of debate and criticism, as well as conjecture over which of them is having a greater effect on the racing. The latter is difficult to make a judgement on as both were introduced at the same time.

Change Average rating Races
Before DRS and ‘designed to degrade’ tyres (2008-2010) 6.584 54
With DRS and ‘designed to degrade’ tyres (2011-present) 7.237 46

Refuelling ban

In-race refuelling was reintroduced to F1 in 1994, then dropped at the end of the 2009 season on cost grounds.

Change Average rating Races
With in-race refuelling (2008-9) 6.488 35
Without in-race refuelling (2010-present) 7.097 65

Slick tyres and OWG cars

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren. Melbourne, 2009The ending of competition between tyre suppliers in F1 after the 2006 season later meant the FIA felt it could reintroduce slick tyres, which were last seen in 1997, and were still being used in almost every other form of motorsport.

It was a popular move among the drivers, many of which disliked the grooved tyres which reduced the contact patch with the ground to limit cornering speeds in the name of safety.

Change Average rating Races
Grooved tyres and non-OWG cars (2008) 6.651 18
Slick tyres and OWG cars (2009-present) 6.935 82

KERS

The FIA granted engine manufacturers the freedom to add Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems to their power units in 2009. These harness energy which would otherwise be lost during deceleration to give drivers a brief, on-demand speed boost, useful for overtaking.

Due to the expense of developing them teams agreed not to use them in 2010. They returned in 2011 and this season is the first in which every team has the technology.

Next year’s Energy Recovery Systems will be far more powerful.

Change Average rating Races
Without KERS (2008, 2010) 6.707 37
With KERS (2009, 2011-present) 6.988 63

Which circuits produce the best racing?

Since the beginning of 2008 F1 has raced at 24 different circuits, some of which are no longer on the calendar. Here are the average scores for the races at each circuit:

Circuit Average Score Races
Circuit of the Americas 8.772 1
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve 8.02 5
Spa-Francorchamps 7.839 5
Nurburgring 7.763 2
Melbourne 7.716 6
Interlagos 7.708 5
Shanghai International Circuit 7.46 6
Monza 7.419 5
Silverstone 7.226 5
Istanbul 6.845 4
Yas Marina 6.844 4
Hungaroring 6.796 5
Sepang International Circuit 6.793 6
Fuji 6.66 1
Suzuka 6.543 4
Korea International Circuit 6.536 3
Monte-Carlo 6.525 6
Singapore 6.244 5
Bahrain International Circuit 6.22 5
Circuit de Catalunya 6.146 6
Hockenheim 5.992 3
Magny-Cours 5.548 1
Valencia 5.488 5
Buddh International Circuit 5.374 2

Notes on the data

Fans were asked to rate each race between one and ten out of ten immediately following each race. Since 2011 polls have only been open to registered site users.

Here are the average scores for each race:

Over to you

What does this data tell us about F1’s efforts to produce better racing? Is it time to put the focus on ‘sport’ rather than ‘entertainment’? Have your say in the comments.

2013 F1 season


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Images ?? BMW ag, McLaren

93 comments on “Has F1 ??improved the show??? See what the data says”

  1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
    26th June 2013, 11:29

    I think in some area’s it has improved (ban of grooved tyres, refulling). But I don’t really need to say much about KERS DRS and, of course, the dreaded TYRES!.

    1. @full-throttle-f1 You have to look at where were were before DRS and the tyres though. We had Bridgestones that lasted an entire race so there was no variance in strategy. In addition to that, there was no on-track passing because once you caught up to the car in front, you got stuck a second behind in the dirty air. This meant that most races hinged on pit stops that were easy for the teams to control due to ever lasting tyres.

      If the tyre durability was 10/10 with Bridgestone and difficulty following cars without DRS and therefore passing was 10/10, both have no been reduced to 1/10 now with the current tyres and DRS regs. If both could be configured to allow a middle-ground, the whole sport could really benefit from DRS and less durable tyres.

      F1 is far from perfect now but it would be wrong to think that it was anywhere near perfect before!

      1. We had Bridgestones that lasted an entire race so there was no variance in strategy. In addition to that, there was no on-track passing

        Thats actually not true.

        2010 featured more on-track passing than any season since 1989 so clearly before DRS/Pirelli there was plenty of on-track overtaking.

        The perception of what F1 was like before 2011 tends to be decided on 2 races, Bahrain/Abu-Dhabi 2010, People say ‘there was no overtaking in those races’ & then decide the entire year was like that which statistically it wasn’t.

        1. Not to mention those overtakes was actually exciting to watch!

          1. And I can’t help noticing that the highest rated race was one where the harder compounds were used and tyre degradation was a non-event.

  2. I think that discussing this topic is very tricky, since even the fan ratings aren’t a good indicator of how the actual racing is. Often ratings are influenced by non-racing events which overshadow the action on track. For instance team-orders usually result in very low ratings. Also likes and dislikes of fans influence their perception of how the race was. A race won by a disliked driver might get low rating, despite brilliant fight on track. Thus we don’t really have a reliable reference point according to which we could judge whether the racing has or has not improved.

    1. @cyclops_pl Regarding driver preference, as I just explained in a comment on the other article I think we have good reason to believe it doesn’t significantly affect the data.

      As for team orders, I don’t think that happens often enough to be significant.

      1. @keithcollantine Following some analysis, it appears driver preference does affect the ratings.

        I took the average score for races won by each driver and got the following results:

        Pastor Maldonado 8.274 (1 race)
        Robert Kubica 7.809 (1 race)
        Lewis Hamilton 7.477 (17 races)
        Nico Rosberg 7.39 (2 races)
        Jenson Button 7.307 (14 races)
        Kimi Raikkonen 7.045 (5 races)
        Fernando Alonso 6.799 (13 races)
        Sebastien Vettel 6.519 (29 races)
        Mark Webber 6.517 (9 races)
        Felipe Massa 6.202 (6 races)
        Heikki Kovalainen 6.202 (1 race)
        Rubins Barichello 6.202 (2 races)

        This shows 2 things to me. One is that people like races where someone unusual wins. Maldonado won 1 race as did Kubica. Nico got a high score for his first win (8.648) but not so much for his 2nd win (6.132).

        Secondly, if you look at drivers with 5 or more race wins, the order is Hamilton (7.477), Button (7.307), Raikkonen (7.045), Alonso (6.799), Vettel (6.519), Webber (6.517), Massa (6.366).

        Clearly this puts the Brits comfortably on top with Raikkonen next which I would imagine tallies fairly closely with the figures for favourite drivers.

        In addition to this, if you look at the stats for Constructors (and ignore the ones who have won less than 5 races), you get:

        McLaren 7.39
        Ferrari 6.615
        Red Bull 6.474

        Obviously there are other factors (ie Vettel’s wins tend to be him driving off into the distance and therefore will score lower) but in general, the stats seem to show people vote higher if their favourite driver wins.

        1. Very interesting…

        2. @petebaldwin thx for your efforts. a very interesting finding.

        3. @petebaldwin Very interesting, thanks! But regarding the “love for unusual winners”, I’m not sure it qualifies. Because normally, it takes a cracking race to deliver unusual winner. There might be a slight exaggeration, but I don’t think it’s significant

        4. @petebaldwin – I like the analysis. I would also submit that the change in the poll rules themselves (only registered users from 2011 on) may have impacted the average score. That lines up directly with a jump in average score.

          To be fair, Keith did divulge this and I do not think this is anything other than an unfortunate circumstance–where the Pirelli/DRS introduction perfectly aligns with this polling participation change. But I think it muddies the water a bit.

          @montreal95 – You make a good point here. Unusual winners often mean weather changes or leaders crashing out or Nelson Piquet Jr crashing. Well spotted.

        5. Yeah – I was thinking those year on year stats di sort of align with how down to the wire the championship went. This year Vettel has taken off like a startled cat and the ratings are down.

    2. @cyclops_pl Add to that list the races with championship implications. The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix for instance was only interesting because it was the title decider. A race which sees an utterly dominant win and only one interesting battle for 5th place would never score highly at any other time of year.

    3. Excellent points. Viewers also pick up on the excitement level from the announcers and the journos, all of whom earn their living off fan enthusiasm. And then there’s Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s Baghdad Bob, who has spent the better part of three seasons trying to convince us the quality of the racing is in direct proportion to the number of overtakes. Which would mean the racing is 4x as good now as in the Bridgestone era, and 2x better than it ever was.

    4. Mark (@marlarkey)
      27th June 2013, 0:05

      As is common with any kind of Net2.0 rating system, there is a general escalation over time with more recent ratings higher than older ratings…. check any rating system… tripadvisor, IMDB, goodreads, etc…. ratings tend to go up.

      It would be interesting to have some psychological research on this to see if it is TIME alone that drives the rise in ratings or whether it is something to do with a difference in the user base – early raters being more discerning than later raters ? Or do early raters also tend to up their ratings over time ? Or is it a factor of a greater user base.

      1. But that does not explain the slight drop in ratings this year @markarkey

  3. With the massive amount of horsepower they will have available at the push of a button, next year, I really don’t see why we would still need DRS.

    1. It won’t work like that. The ERS system will provide constant assistance to the Combustion Engine thereby making the overall package around 760 hp at the brake. The boost button will be no different to that of today.

      1. Oh, good to know

      2. Not that simple. The 2014 ERS will have 2x the bhp and 5x the endurance off the 2013 KERS. Also, there won’t be enough petrol on board even to reach the finish without battery assistance, not even at Monaco. So the racing will be quite different, regardless whether they sack Pirelli and switch to REAL racing tyres.

        1. by REAL racing tires you mean the boring rock hard Bridgestones, responsible for the most boring period in F1 history, and who said they don’t want to come back? Or the Hankooks who might enter in a few years but not now(they’re incapable of it as of now)? Or Michelins who are responsible for one of the worst disasters in F1 ever, but said they might consider to comeback if F1 agrees to a long list of their terms, chief of which is a switch to 18 inch wheels? Or Goodyear who never said they want to comeback and only capable of making Nascar tires nowadays?

          Really the arrogance, and lack of vision of some F1 fans beggars belief. Be careful what you wish for or you might not get F1 at all next season. Would serve you right I guess, but what about the vast contingent of fans who disagree with you(like me) and think that Pirelli are doing the best job they can in impossible circumstances?

          1. Bridgestone, just like Pirelli, makes the tyre that is mandated. Pirelli is nowhere near as competent a developer as Bridgestone.

          2. @alebelly Incorrect 100%. Bridgestone were asked by just about everyone in F1 a zillion times to stop making tires that last the whole race and bore everyone to death and promptly refused to do so. Even the one exciting race they had was by accident. They refused to make more exciting tires and chose to quit the sport instead. How did you decide Pirelli are less competent than them is beyond me, when they provided exactly what was asked of them in impossible circumstances when they have to test with ancient cars(not what Bridgestones had, they had tested extensively with current cars each year up to and including 2009)

          3. @alebelly74 Sorry for the mistake in your name

          4. @montreal95, no worries about the name :), Bridgestone didn’t quit, the rubber trade is a haven for slavery and murder, Bridgestone is actively combating this while also becoming more Green. Simply put, Pirelli was cheap.

          5. @montreal95, you need to look further back into history, the days of the Dunlop racing tyre were great racing, just because there was an era when tyres didn’t need changing to finish a race and it was not the most exciting era in your estimation does not mean durable tyres were to blame, more likely the large wings allowed were the cause.

  4. I appreciate the efforts to improve the show and I like some of the recent changes to the rules but I think that mistakes have been made, too.

    The DRS is probably the biggest failure and I actually think it’s an insult to me as a hardcore fan as it suggests that I can love my sport only if there are a lot of passes, no matter how they’re achieved. I accept that it’s used at circuits such as Valencia or Abu Dhabi but mostly it’s just sad to look at the “overtaking” that the moveable rear wings create.

    I believe that there is a simple way to make the racing more unpredictable, which always ensures high ratings. F1 needs to take the next steps in the cost-cutting process that was started several years ago to make the teams more equal in terms of financial resources. That will certainly lead to a competitive grid, more unpredictable results and millions of satisfied fans.

    1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
      26th June 2013, 12:02

      +1
      COTD :-)

    2. I actually think it’s an insult to me as a hardcore fan as it suggests that I can love my sport only if there are a lot of passes, no matter how they’re achieved.

      this

      F1 needs to take the next steps in the cost-cutting process that was started several years ago to make the teams more equal in terms of financial resources.

      that too

    3. It’s an insult to assume we need 500 passes a race to be interested but it’s also fairly sensible to assume that people may get bored with races like we used to have a Catalunya…

    4. make the teams more equal

      Modern F1 is a glorified spec series. The teams/cars have never been as equal as they currently are in the whole history of F1. I’m not on board with the mania for ever greater uniformity among the teams.

      1. Nor me, give me powerful but fragile engines versus less powerful but durable engines, and peaky engines versus grunty engines, and I’ll show you exciting races.

  5. While I don’t believe that DRS and Pirellis have given us any more thrilling races than we would’ve had otherwise, I do believe that they have at least reduced the number of tearfully dull races. So I do consider the show to have been “improved” although perhaps not as much as I would have hoped.

    1. Who would have thought that the show could be improved at the expense of the racing? Still, it is what we’re seeing.

  6. In retrospect, I would like to have seen DRS & Degrading tyres introduced seperately, rather than simultaneously. Together they seem a little contrived to me. Personally I liked the refuelling era and think it would maybe help to offset the tyre tradgedy we currently endure.
    Surprised to see the Monaco race rates more highly than the
    Singapore event. Both are redundant in my view yet Monaco is just plain boring. Maybe if it was run under lights…
    As for overtaking, I personally dont care if there is no overtaking. I do however need to see drivers ‘trying’ to overtake one another.
    Thanks for the great article Keith, definately worth the read.

  7. It’s certainly improved compared to the snorefests of the last decade. Since 2010, there has been a lot ofthose “highlight” races where everything falls into the right place.

    Back in the day, a lead change was enough to hail a race as “epic”. We were getting too used to that.

    Maybe the way people are getting bored of this last trend in racing (a lot faster than previouslyIMO) has to do with everyone already saying the DRS was “utter rubbish” right from the word go. Watching people storm by in the middle of a straight was, is and will ever be rubbish.

    I also doubt FIA’s trying a lot to search for options. It baffles me that in 2 and a bit years they are yet to do a race without DRS in the way…

  8. I’m not sure why the FIA feel the need to ‘improve the show’ at all. I remember the seasons before DRS, KERS and wear quick tyres were extremely exciting. Think back to 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Did anything need improving?

    Now we have these ‘improvements’ which take away from the sport and are turning it into American Wrestling. The result being that I now have less interest in F1 than I have ever had since I started watching in 1976!

    It used to be that I was excited every couple of weeks when there was a race on. This year I record it and watch it whenever.

    1. It used to be that I was excited every couple of weeks when there was a race on. This year I record it and watch it whenever.

      I’m the same, I used to arrange my work, social life, holidays etc to fit around the F1 season and until last season I’d watched every qualifying & race live for as long as I can remember. These days I tend to record qualifying and while I’ve watched almost all the races live it’s no longer the priority it used to be and I’ve no problem recording it to watch later if there’s something going on that day.

      It may be a small and insignificant protest but I’ve also stopped buying F1 merchandise and have asked my family not to buy me any as gifts either. My money now goes to MotoGP, BSB & Le Mans teams instead.

  9. Overall, I think DRS and tyres that degrade have been a good thing for F1. Having said that, there is a window in which both of these work.

    As things stand, the tyres degrade too quickly and the DRS is too powerful. If the tyres encouraged strategy but didn’t force the drivers to go at 50% for the whole race to conserve tyres and the DRS allowed cars to race the ones in front without getting stuck in the dirty air but didn’t allow them to blast past on the straights, it would be perfect. I don’t think anyone could argue that in that case, DRS and degrading tyres are bad for F1.

    As things stand, the racing is more interesting than it was before but it could be so much better again if they got the tyres and DRS strength etc right.

  10. good: slick tyres, kers
    neutral: drs (because one zone is enough)
    negative: no refuelling (allthough i can see why it was banned)

  11. How do these stats correlate with age, year started watching F1 and preferences for drivers / teams?

    Are young people easily bored? If you started watching at the height of boredom, say 2000, Does that affect your vote? And do people really try to vote objective?

    1. Joseph Becker
      26th June 2013, 17:13

      I started watching casually (age 10) around 1997. By 2004 I almost could not watch a whole race. The Michael Schumacher show sucked ass (imho). I got back into to F1 in 2009, and started watching religiously (every fp, qualy, and gp) in 2011, though I often dislike Vettel, the feeling that the game is entirely rigged for him is not so strong.

      I love slick tires. I like the pirelli degradation, rather like kers, ok on drs but it seems something that should be more for a series like indycar.

      I think that there should be a budget cap like a salary cap in american sports, but it should be a) absurdly high (250 million euro and linked to inflation or inflation + 200bp), and b) breakable with a large fee (like basketball) and c) coincide with looser technical regulations, and finally d) unlimited testing

    2. @verstappen

      “If you started watching at the height of boredom, say 2000”

      This is the most ridiculous statement ever made! You do remember that 2000 had some of the all time classic races right? Silverstone, Nurburgring, Hockenhiem and Spa. Other notable mentions for high drama were, Monaco, France, Austria and Suzuka. If you look back, only 2001, 2002 and 2004 were the truly boring Schumi years. 2004 actually had a good couple of races in the second half (spa 2004?). 2003 was downright awesome. Even after the tyre saga Monty and Kimi made Schumi work right till the end. The racing was real. Cars looked beautiful and had the V10s. I fail to see what more you could want!!? We as formula 1 fans have a responsibility of respecting the sports evolution. I am not that big a fan of DRS or the tyres. But it’s okay. I admit that suddenly going back would be detrimental to the sport. People would instantly cringe at the lack of action. Perhaps me too. I do concede that after 2000 especially, Schumi and Brawn had almost exclusively adopted a overtaking-in-the-pits mentality, which quite often used to be unnecessary.
      ______________________________________
      “The Michael Schumacher show sucked ass (imho).”

      It was NEVER the MSc show. The other protagonists were: Hakkinen, DC, Irvine, Barichello, Raikkonen, Montoya, Villneuve, Frentzen. These were all drivers capable of taking it to Schumi and quite often did if you watched the seasons back then.

      ” I got back into to F1 in 2009, and started watching religiously”

      Had you said 2010 I would have bought it, but 2009? Really? The mediocre drivers in awesome cars and the best drivers(ALO-HAM-KIMI) in mediocre cars. 2009, in my opinion was the worst season ever!

      1. Joseph Becker
        26th June 2013, 21:55

        I only really remember better drivers being destroyed by MSC

        1. Joseph Becker – As @sankalp88 said, 2002 and 2004 were the only predictable or dominant years (maybe 2001 as well). 2000 and 2003 were close years that went to the wire.

          @sankalp88 – Which mediocre drivers were in “awesome cars” in 2009? Button, though unimpressive in 2008, didn’t shame himself at Mclaren next to Hamilton, even if LH was better.

          1. @david-a

            I’m sorry, if you disagree with me. But there is nothing you can do to convince me that Button is not a mediocre driver. On raw pace the following drivers have been better than Button since his debut. Kimi, Monty, Alonso, Hamilton, MSc, Vettel, Massa (Pre-Crash), Ralf Schumacher (Pre-crash). I’m sure I missed a few more.

            “Which mediocre drivers were in “awesome cars” in 2009?”

            As an aside: Vettel was raw in 2009.

          2. @sankalp88 – Well, alright, we’ll agree to disagree on Button. Presumably then, Webber and Barrichello would come under “mediocre” for you as well.

            Btw, SV being “raw” doesn’t put him in such a category- the talent and pace was always there.

        2. Between 1994-1999. Schumi was clearly a cut above the rest. And this is an opinion shared by many. Aggressive, strategic, calculating and ruthless. The best of both Senna and Prost. I remember Murray Walker (or was it Brundle?) commentating in the Italian GP 1998 where he said: “Hakkinen can’t rely on a superior Mclaren to beat Schumi”.

          After the accident I would agree with you to an extent. Raikkonen was certainly on his level even if he wasn’t as consistent as Schumi. Mclaren’s piss-poor reliability in 2002-03 also didn’t contribute to Kimi’s cause. Monty was fast, but reckless. Alonso took a huge qualitative leap in the second half of 2003 as well. By 2005 I would say Kimi was the fastest. ALO was the new MSc however. But all in all, if I were to pick a driver between 1994-2006 for raw pace and breathtaking wet weather skill I would pick Schumi.

  12. In my fan point of view, tyre degradation and DRS only make it worst for me, for two different reasons. I’m not saying that they should get banned, but to work properly they should make some changes.

    As for the tyres, it can’t be call racing when you’re not racing to the maximum, the tyres should support the car and the driver and give them a sense of secure to race to the maximum the most time as possible, and with these tyres we see mathematics winning races instead of pilots. The best lap at the Monaco GP was one example of it.

    As for DRS, of course i want to see overtakings, but not those is a straight line that the car in front looks like getting backwayrds. I want to see the chalenge and the guts and courage of the pilots, not just wainting and in time braking to have the DRS and then overtake, once more that’s not racing for me.

    F1 turned to a less impulsive sport for a more mental one, and i love the raw side of racing.

    1. Yeah I agree – F1 should be run at 100% for the whole race. The tyres need to last long enough that with 2 stops, drivers can really go for it. I’d also ban the pointless “use both compounds” rule. Why does that exist? If the softs would mean a 2 stop but the hards would mean 1, there would be a variance in strategy that was organic rather than forced. If anything, having to run both compounds reduces the variance in strategy!

      1. My ideal would be to scrap the “use both compounds” rule, and let drivers choose which tyres they want to bring. So we might see the front running drivers go for three stops, all on super-softs, whereas a backmarker may try to complete the whole race on the hards without stopping at all. It would add a lot of variation to the strategies – now there is one “main” strategy that the majority of people use, then a few other drivers use alternative strategies. This way we would see massively different strategies.

        If the drivers had a set allocation for the year (as with engines etc), and had to choose which tyres to bring in advance, then it would not cost any more.
        It would also help massively in the wet – if no rain is forecast, then teams would only bring one set of inters and one of wets (or even none of each if they want to gamble) and then they can save them for a rainy day where they can have six or seven sets of each, as opposed to the standard three wets, four inters.

  13. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    26th June 2013, 14:08

    Interesting debate, and a great article. If you look at the list of races on the other article, races during the “hurry up and wait” Bridgestone era, naturally seem to gravitate towards the back end of the rankings. On that evidence you could say “Yes, F1 has improved the show”, however I would go as far as saying, “F1 did improve the show”. F1 in 2012 had everything for me. Unpredictability, plenty of overtaking, fluctuations in the balance of power at the head of the field, an appropriate tyre influence and a great two man duel for the title between the man with the car and the man with a plan, but a duel supported by an extensive cast such as the usual suspects of Hamilton, Button and Webber, stars of the future in Hulkenberg and Perez, but crucially by “man-of-the-match”, returnee Raikkonen. Couple this with some epic races, and an equally epic finale in Brazil, and there you have it; arguably one of the best F1 seasons of all time. The FIA clearly thought so, because buoyed by brilliance of such an chaotic season they made sure that 2013 was even more chaotic by signing off on insanely soft Pirelli tyres and putting two DRS zones on every track. The result has been…awful. I haven’t found myself enjoying a race since the Australian GP earlier this year, and that was only because Vettel’s race pace was poor. So has F1 improved the show? If I was speaking this time twelve months ago, then I could honestly “this is better ten fold”, but compared to 2013? Really? Has F1 improved things in 2013? No.

    1. I agree completely with your comments. 2012 was the first year that I felt a compulsion to go out and but the season review book when it was over. With so many top notch drivers, it seemed that we had entered another golden age. Why did they have to mess with such a winning formula? Let’s hope for better 2014.

  14. The list of “best” circuits is interesting. Bar COTA (on the grounds it’s just one race and therefore might be a skewed result), the top tracks are pretty much all old-school circuits…not ‘Tilkedromes’. No coincidence there I’m sure!

    1. COTA is a great track though mainly because they’ve decided to copy tried and tested sections for old school tracks. Other than that, Shanghai and Malaysia are good as was Turkey. Abu Dhabi is the worst track in F1 for me.

  15. People might be voting highly because their favourite team or driver won and not because the race was exciting.

    1. It’d be interesting to see stats based on who won the race to either prove or disprove it…

  16. I think the data only proves how subjective and how difficult it is to rate races. Honestly I think some 8 of 2010 were due to the championship excitement rather than the racing itself, maybe that happens as well with the 08 championship. In the end the facts are that despite F1’s evolution, the data shows the change in racing hasn’t produced a better or worse F1 in the opinion of f1fanatics, as .2 of a progress can’t be considered tangible.

  17. Tom (@newdecade)
    26th June 2013, 14:38

    Lets hear it for races in North America! The track popularity list is very illuminating. I have always been impressed with races at the new Nurburgring despite the distaste that seems to exist for it, and conversely, I have got to admit I havent really enjoyed Suzuka in a long time. Herecy I know, but do the scores agree with me…?

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      26th June 2013, 18:25

      Nurburgring 2011 was great. There was hard racing through the field and there was no DRS on the pit straight, but that didn’t stop the drivers from overtaking.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0ObtTfK4WU

  18. Impressive article and research, but not sure if any real conclusions can be drawn from this data as the polls have been restricted to ‘registered site users’ since 2010 as you say. This means that prior to 2010, casual visitors were able to vote and after that date only the ‘avowed F1 Fanatics’ were able to do so. So the results might be scewed higher after that date because the voters are exclusively F1 Fanatics.
    In some cases ‘avowed F1 Fanatics’ personal voting criteria is strange. To paraphrase someone who replied to one of my older comments “I rate every race as 6+ just because F1 excites me so much”. So if this registered user didn’t see and didn’t vote on a particular race, it would have a disproportionate affect on the results.
    Really, this research needs a consistent voting panel throughout all the seasons, but goodness knows how you’d do that.
    One of the problems researching via the voting patterns on this site is that we choose to come here because we are F1 Fanatics and so we are knowledgable, critical and possibly slightly biased in one direction or another. Much more telling would be the viewing figures from television broadcasters with a consistent platform over the last six or seven years. This would rule out the UK of course, but maybe France, Germany, Brazil or somewhere could show whether mass viewing figures (and Berne’s “mass F1 audience” is most definitely what he’s thinking of) are going up or down. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised of they peaked in 2008 or 9 and steadily decreased after that, with a more dramatic decline since the last part of last season. That would tell us whether “improving the show” had audience affect or not.
    Does anyone know if global tv figures are published anywhere?

  19. What about wet races? They are mostly rated higher should we take them out?

  20. I’d be interested to hear what the nationalities of the voters have been, as it’d be interesting to hear if the quality of the TV programming, especially in the UK, would have had any effect.

    I think KERS has had minimal effect on the racing, it’s underpowered old tech which is better used as a defensive aid. DRS is good and bad, it prevents situations like Alonso getting stuck behind Petrov or the train behind whoever’s one stopping but it also makes overtakes look ridiculously simple when there’s a differential in tyre performance also.

    The tyres have been good at some tracks but horrible at others for me, fast to degrade is fine even as far as going off the cliff but it’s the tiny temperature range which I find most boring. Moreso last year but this year to a degree also it’s been a case of who’s car inherently gets tyres up to temp in cool conditions or doesn’t overheat in high temp or challenging surfaces. It’s not as bad as the days when the Ferrari beasted the aero tracks and the McLaren the mechanical grip tracks or vice versa but when it puts cars like last year’s Williams in contention to win in dry conditions the sport loses credibility. It’s now annoying me that Pirelli are going back to ultra conservative tyre choices which blighted the second half of last season, shafting the Lotus in particular.

    I’d rather Pirelli said “here’s 4 types of tyres, they’ll all degrade at increasing rates as they get softer. Take which tyres you want to each race and get your optimum car setup then go out and see who’s fastest.”

    That or make tyres that all the teams can switch on as it must be rubbish for fans tuning in for a full weekend just to be told their favourite team can’t get anything out of that weekend’s tyres because of another team’s lobbying of the manufacturer.

  21. I’m frankly less bothered about this year because I have no drivers to get behind since Sauber axed Kobayashi. Last year was great because you had Sauber and Force India pushing the top teams. Force India is still there or there abouts but Sauber are pretty pathetic this year which they kinda deserve tbh.

    I just hope Koba is back soon, because F1 can be dull without somebody to get behind.

  22. KERS was an interesting concept when it was introduced. It had me thinking about the myriad of different tactical ways it could be used to influence position and had me genuinely excited.
    Unfortunately the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix showed the downside. Fisichella in the faster Force India was unable to pass the slower Ferrari of Raikkonen due solely to KERS.
    Ignoring that the pass may have happened had Force India had their own KERS unit, the use of KERS as a purely defensive tool made me realise the negative aspect of this device.
    As for DRS, an interesting concept affected by its use by the administrators. The location of the zone(s) have served more to enhance a location already considered a passing zone rather than used to construct additional potential passing zones for each circuit.
    I was about to start on about the effect of recent circuit design and how certain ideologies may not be as contributive towards the entertainment of this sport until I realised this and previous arguments are just rehashed versions of what I’ve read often on this site.
    So has it improved “the show”? Yes.
    Has it improved the sport? Undecided.

  23. I definitely agree that races in the 2000’s weren’t as exciting as they could be, and I was happy to hear the return of KERS and intrigued about DRS.
    I feel the combination of new, less durable tyres, DRS, KERS are exciting overall, but I see them as a sign of a confused sport.

    Wheel to wheel racing is the obvious enticing element for the casual fan, and that is who these new devices are catered towards.
    For instance, I’m not a huge fan of soccer, and seeing a 0-0 draw would lead me to think “oh gee, what a bore fest”, but I understand that true fans would be enthralled by mid-field match ups or tactics used by either teams.

    At the moment though, Formula 1 seems confused in the direction it’s heading, which is understandable.
    Get rid of DRS, and the drivers will just use their KERS in the obvious spots for overtaking.
    So you then look at the tyres, and since they’re a control tyre the strategies are going to be very similar up & down the grid. Tyre wear is the only real decisive factor, but I guess it always has been in motor racing, and you can’t rely on the tyres to create interesting racing at every circuit.
    So what else is there? Fuel? Again very similar across the board.
    Aero? Obvious, but advances in aero make the cars hard to follow, which takes us back to the mid 2000’s.
    So to help that, since both drivers are using their KERS, you introduce DRS to aid an otherwise difficult-to-make pass.
    So you’ve come full circle to where the sport is now.
    Personally I really hope we see more of a horsepower battle next year with the new engines, and hopefully a number of uncertainties for the teams still coming to terms with the changes.

    At the end of the day though, it’s about the driver as much as the car, and at least we’re guaranteed they’ll always do their best to provide good racing.

    Since I’ve been watching F1, the last couple of years have really felt like the first time I’ve experienced F1 trying to broaden its fan base. The dedicated fans will always be there, gimmicks or no.
    The racing in the mid-late 00’s called for changes and I’m sure a lot of the dedicated fans are still unhappy about those changes, but when have F1 fans been truly happy with the state of racing?

    As the stats show, we’re closer to being happy than we have been for a while.

    1. The dedicated fans will always be there, gimmicks or no.

      I know quite a few long-term & highly dedicated F1 fans who no longer watch F1 now purely because they dislike what they see as Artificial gimmicks.

      Not sure how much longer I’ll continue watching F1 either as im growing increasingly disinterested in the current product.
      I get zero entertainment value out of watching any of the DRS highway drive by’s, If anything they make a race more dull for me because the DRS passes are so boringly unexciting to watch.

      Same with tyres, Watching everyone managing there tyres is just dull.

      1. That’s a shame they no longer watch it, but I can understand why.

        Tyre management has always been a part of motor racing, always will be. Perhaps the current tyres would produce good enough racing without the gimmicks, maybe not. Either way, people complained when the tyres would last a whole race, and if less durable tyres are conducive to closer racing them I guess I’m all for it. But since we have the gimmicks, it’s hard to tell.
        DRS is a tough one, and like I said current aero design doesn’t help passing so I can see DRS benefits right there.

        I’d like to think that there’s more to F1 aside from the gimmicks that can maintain dedicated, loyal viewers. DRS or not, I still get a massive buzz as the lights go out.

      2. For all of the complaints about the late 90’s & 2000’s one thing is for sure, we’re never going to get action like this in the modern era of KERS and designed to degrade tires.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkXpkxtw0Do

  24. The problem with all of what we have now is that everything has been done purely for the ‘show’ rather than the ‘racing’.

    Is 50-80 DRS/Tyre based highway passes per-race great for the ‘show’, I guess it is, But is it really good in racing terms? I don’t believe it is & thats my biggest hate of the DRS/Pirelli era, There’s tons of highway passing & tyre related ‘unpredictability’ but there’s actually very little racing going on.

    Watching ‘races’ where all a driver has to do is get within 1 second, wait for a passing zone & push a button to be driven easily past the car infront which is left completely defenseless to me as a ‘racing’ fan is boring & I get zero entertainment out of watching that because I want to watch ‘racing’.
    Watching races where the tyres fall to bits after less than 10 laps & where everyone is running to a pre-set delta not racing other cars because there desperately trying to manage there tyres I also find boring because again there’s no decent ‘racing’ going on.

    To me watching a DRS highway pass or a pass caused by a big difference in tyre performance is really unsatisfying, Especially if its the sort of catch & pass with no decent fight between the drivers which we all too often see now.

    Watching races like Spa in 2000 with Hakkinen catching Schumacher who was doing everything to defend the lead, Both pushing each other hard over a couple laps with Mika eventually having to try something special to pull the pass off was truly exciting, The build-up was great, the fight for the place was great & the overtake was genuinely thrilling.
    I can recall many other races in the Pre-2011 era, Real racing & real overtaking that was all really exciting for race fans.

    Look at what we have now, Cars braking in a straght line desperately trying to not be the car ahead over a line painted on the track-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXRbgnqIG_Q
    utterly absurd.

    Sadly I can only see this obsession with the ‘show’ over racing & this obsession with quantity over quality getting worse from hear on leaving many ‘racing’ fans who just want to see proper, exciting, hard fought racing with real & exciting overtaking out in the cold :(

  25. a lot of people here often talk about how great the pirelli high wear tires have been for the show.

    an interesting comparison is indycar this year. at a few races this year firestone have trialed tires that they designed to wear faster than normal & interestingly those races (texas, indy, milwaukee, belle-isle) have all been far less entertaining as the same races were a year ago with the same cars/drivers.
    texas for instance turned into the sort of tyre management races seen in f1 nowadays as while last years race was thrilling this years race was the complete opposite.

    at the last round in iowa they brought tires that handled as they did in 2012 & the iowa race was brilliant as everyone could race hard knowing the tires would not be a big issue.

  26. My solution would be:
    1.Absolutely NO refueling
    2. ban DRS
    3. NO mandatory pit stops
    4. Tyres: Hard (no pit stop to 1 pit stop), medium(1-2 pit stops), soft(2-3 pit stops)
    Tyre manufacturer should bring all of those compounds to each race and teams would use any compound they like and mix ’em up however they prefer.
    And no colors on tyres. I as a viewer don’t want to know who’s on which tyre, and if I was in F1 I certainly wouldn’t want everybody to know what strategy I am on.

  27. KERS and slick tyres have had minimal effect on the racing, as the data suggests. I personally liked refuelling in F1 as it added another variable. It seems evident that people have now had enough of DRS and perhaps ‘designed to degrade’ tyres (more 2013-spec). I am not a fan of DRS, in its current use, in the slightest. If there was a better way of implementing it then I’d be all for that, otherwise I wouldn’t mind seeing it ditched.

    Regarding the circuits, as I mentioned in the previous article, Hockenheim is right down the order (2010 dragged it down, but still). I’ve heard many people over the last few weeks criticising Monaco, some suggesting it should be removed from the calendar, and others have been wanting Tilkedromes removed for years, but the ratings show Hockenheim below Monaco and many Tilkedromes, and I think it’s quite an accurate reflection. The Nurburgring, however, is right up there (excluding 2007). I was a huge fan of Hockenheim before Tilke’s redesign, but the racing there now is poor.

  28. Lewisham Milton
    26th June 2013, 16:53

    Clearly, races with Michael Schumacher are better than without – so he should make another comeback.

  29. the first photo had me thinking of kubica…
    his rehab is slow, slow but ongoing.
    he never raced a gravel rally until this year. he has entered 3 WRC events in the WRC-2 class and his results are 6th, 1st and 1st. last weekend (thought driving a wrc2 class car), he became only the 3rd f1 driver in history to score WRC points, when he finished 9th overall.
    He is oncourse to be WRC2 champion, though he cares not about this, he only cares about learning about rallying and his rehabilitation.
    Next year it is most likely he still wont make an f1 return, even though he is regularly testing in Mercs Sim. last weekend he said he doesnt care for a real f1 test unless he could race on all f1 tracks, at the moment with his elbow movement he says he could only drive on 80% of the tracks. Instead, it looks like with the progress he is making, and the words being put out by Citroens chief, that Kubica might end up having a fulltime WRC drive in a high up team next year, and going by current progress, he will be right up there at the sharp end of the field.
    I hope Kubica comes back to F1 one day, his recovery is very slow in his right arm and hand, but it continues nevertheless, and he has not lost any speed. even in 2016 if he came back as WRC champion, or WRC top 3 driver, he would still only be 31.

  30. Interesting to se that there are not many Tilke-tracks in neither the bottom of the track-poppularity list, nor the top.

  31. Michael Brown (@)
    26th June 2013, 18:14

    I believe F1 has improved the show with most of these changes, in my opinion:

    Refueling ban: This is good, because it makes the race easier to follow as well as encouraging more overtaking. Before, overtaking would occur when the car in front would pit allowing the car behind to use the fuel it saved to overtake during the pit stop phase. Hardly exciting in my opinion.

    Designed to degrade tires: These were at their best in 2011. In that season the tires allowed different strategies which allowed the drivers to either save their tires or push them. In 2012 and 2013, I noticed that there were hardly any alternate strategies, just an optimal strategy that you had to follow closely.

    KERS: If you have to drop DRS, then keep KERS at least. It increases on track action.

    DRS: I think DRS is a good concept but it’s mostly been implemented in wrong places on most tracks. We often see boring passes due to the massive length of the zone, giving the driver behind a much larger speed advantage. As much as I loved the 2011 season, it had this problem as well. Either the zone is too long or they put back-to-back DRS zones, which is incredibly stupid. The whole concept of DRS was to get cars alongside in the braking zone, but I always see them increasing the benefit of it to produce boring passes.

    Slicks: Because grooved tires were ridiculous.

    2009 Aero changes: At least the dirty air effect has been reduced slightly.

    1. @lite992

      Absolutely agree on all points – I wanted to write everything you mentioned but no need now.

      I think the Refueling/Tyres/KERS/DRS were most appropriately balanced in 2011, with maybe the DRS sometimes being too effective and sometimes too ineffective. In 2011 of course, we had a driver that understood how to use the tyres better than the others, on top of being in a great car. This is why ultimately the spectacle was not as great. However, Vettel’s wins were quite often not as clearcut as his year-end points tally would suggest: quite often, he was given quite a run for his money and only just came out on top in the end of the race.

      I would go back to the 2011 tyres and 2011 DRS rules, but with current car specifications, and I am sure the racing would be more interesting than what we have this year.

  32. Considering how many people like to complain about Abu Dhabi, it is surprising that it is placed 11/24. I genuinely think this may be to the blue colour along the side of the track. Blue inspires calm and serenity; not good GP colours. COTA (rated at 1) has copied this but painted their track red; colours that psychologically inspires passion and aggression. I wonder if this is the reason people always think of it as boring, despite apparently being in the top half of circuits. Of course this could be complete rubbish…

  33. I have no problem at all with the tyre compounds, whether quickly degrading or not. It’s the way the allocation is regulated that blows. I would dictate three different dry compounds, clearly distinct in performance/durability, and all three would be brought to all races without any stipulations on which are used how or when.

    Develop KERS technology much more and for the love of all that is racing, drop DRS. I have been less and less engaged this year and for me it’s really all down to DRS. Those just aren’t passes and it’s just not racing when you simply know more or or less 99.9% of the time that the guy behind will inevitably overtake no matter the defensive skills of the guy in front. It really has put an increasingly serious damper on my F1 interest.

    And to round it off – a plea bound to fall on the deaf ears of progress – I would limit the amount of information that drivers are given by engineers during the race and get back to shifters that are just slightly harder to get right. When was the last time someone missed a gear in F1? When was the last time a driver had to rely on his own brains and instinct to push or pull or whatever else happens to be necessary? Ah well, that’s just a bit of bah-humbug I guess.

    1. When was the last time someone missed a gear in F1?

      Button mentioned it happened to him at one of the starts, can’t remember which race.

      Schumacher got it wrong in Monza (2011 or 2012), which led to him being overtaken.

      Just two examples I know out of the top of my head. They still need to shift themselves, you know!

  34. Michael Brown (@)
    26th June 2013, 21:49

    The tires aren’t even bringing variable strategies any more. Drivers start on the options they used in qualifying because they have to, and then run the primes because they’re the most durable.

    I noticed that even when the drivers have free choice of tire, the vast majority choose the option.

  35. I don’t think the problems in 2013 are down to the individual elements. Rather, I think the problem is the way teams are stuck in a rut, always complaining about the same things and blowing them out of proportion. As Ferrari demonstrated in Barcelona, if you put your head down and do the work, you can win without a problem.

    So it’s not the elements that are the problem, and nor is it the racing. It’s the constant melodrama that goes with it.

  36. I support the ideaology behind the tyres but not the execution: I do feel it improves the racing when strategy is an important element in them and I feel degradebale tyres are a better way in which to go about bringing in that element rather than re-intrducing re-fueling (as that just simply led to drivers waiting it out to pass). However, the influence is far too great currently: I’d like it to be at Canada 2013 levels of influence (I welcome any similar examples with other driver’s winning as that would eliminate any claims of bias) and emphatically not Spain 2013. 1/2 stops should be the target and not 2/3 IMO.

    DRS is something I loathe in it’s current guise: it should only be used at tracks where overtaking is almost impossible without it (eg Catalunya, Hungaroring) or in places where overtaking doesn’t usually take place on other tracks. I wouldn’t object to it being banished completely though as it definitely cheapens overtaking manouvers!

    As for the new car design, aesthetically they aren’t particularly appealling but they aren’t monstrousitous either so I didn’t mind that change. However, I didn’t find it to be particularly successful as the dirty air effect is still very prominent. Simply, I think front wings should be eradicated (as they are very aero-sensitive) in favour of primative ground effect. That way, hopefully DRS wouldn’t be necessary!

  37. F1 is about Racing … cars going as fast as the driver can make the car go … while going fast the driver is passing other cars … passing other racers … FALSE inducements do not make races more interesting if one keeps focused on RACING … the most true race would be any number of given laps on whatever tires the team chooses and if they choose to change tires (weather not being a factor for discussion sake) with or without fuel stops again team decisions…. No fuel stops and pitl lane speed limits do add to safety which I am a support of … so kers, drs on / off qualifying or racing, racing incidents being reviewed with decisions made near real time or a week later, starting grid penalties due to any number of activities, (replacing parts, social attitudes, and whatever else crosses someones mind) IF a suspension part is suspect it may not get changed because of a possible grid penalty??… Rules for an UNruly activity just appeals to those who need to feel some ego power boast, and is just ridiculous in many cases. Once a rule is made there are 2 major problems, FAIR enforcement and immediate workarounds / avoidance by all those who are supposed to abide by the rules.. RnR

  38. Just wanted to raise a point regarding tyre management.

    Yes its always been a part of F1, However its never played as big a role as it does currently & unlike today in the past teams/drivers had full freedom regarding how they used there tyres.

    In the past the tyre supplier/s took all there dry compounds to every race & teams/drivers could pick to run those compounds in any way they wanted. They could pick 1 compound & stay with it, They could switch compounds during the race, They could opt for a no-stop strategy or plan 1 or more tyre stops.
    A driver could opt to use tyre management if he wanted to try & run a race non-stop or he could drive much harder knowing he will wear his tyres & need to stop one or more times.

    The problem with tyre management & strategy today is that teams/drivers have very little control over it because there forced to use the tyres selected by Pirelli & are forced to run both compounds during a race.

    The issue with tyres in 2013 is that drivers are not been allowed to drive how they want, There been forced to drive to the tyres Pirelli force them to run.
    In the past you had drivers selecting compounds that allowed them to run the race how they wanted to run it, Pick a soft & drive flat out knowing you will need to stop or go for a medium/hard & know you may need to conserve it at some point during the stint.

  39. All these solutions to improve the racing are only really stop gap measures. They need to treat the problem at the source which is that cars cant follow behind another car due to the aero effects. Instead of banning BD and other elements that change the aero as they pop up, why cant they make the regulations/rules mandate some kind of air envelope behind the car.
    With all the engineers and wind tunnels they should be able to figure out what constitutes ‘good air’ behind a car that does not hinder a trailing car, maybe even assists it. Then the engineers can do whatever they like with the airflow around their car so long as it produces the required airflow needed for a car behind.
    FIA then just test each car in a windtunnel and its all sorted.

    Net result is that cars should be able to trail a car closely in the corners and then pull out on a straight, not having to worry about lack of downforce due to air disturbed by the car in front.

    Im sure it would be quite complex and not as simple as I describe but they are smart cookies so should be able to figure it out.

    1. The so called ‘Dirty air’ is not in itself a problem, The cars have always generated dirty air even back before the cars had wings & it was the dirty air that helped create the great slip-streaming battles on the Pre-Chicane Monza.

      In fact the term dirty air is not even strictly correct as there’s not really any such thing as clean air when it comes to air disturbed by a car traveling through it.

      The problem is actually the cars aerodynamic reliance, Especially at the front. For example you could have a car from the 70s driving behind a 2013 car & it would have no more of a problem doing that than it did back when it was been raced. Put a 2013 car behind a car from the 70s & it would still suffer problems caused by the turbulent air been generated by the 70s car.

      People often believe the 2009 aero changes were designed to eliminate or reduce the turbulent air when it fact they were simply designed to try & redirect it away from the front wings.
      The higher/Narrower rear wing & lower/wider front wings were designed to get the turbulent air away from the front wings & try & keep as much of the front wing as possible outside the turbulent air.
      The problems however came with the double diffuser & then blown diffusers which simply blew massive amounts of hot, turbulent air directly onto the front wings of the cars behind.
      The front wings generating additional flaps, towers, flip-ups etc… also didn’t help.

      All that needs to be done is to reduce the cars wing generated aero reliance & this is why Patrick Head, Rory Bryne & Pat Symmonds proposed wing aero reductions & a return to ground effects for 2014.
      Those regulations were going to come in, However when DRS was introduced the teams saw that as a cheaper alternative & backtracked on pretty much all of the aero changes for 2014 & instead opted to continue with DRS.

  40. I have a question on the methodology – have you taken averages of averages, or averages of votes?

    Here’s why it matters: imagine two races – let’s say the 2013 and 2014 British Grands Prix. If only one person votes in the 2013 Rate the Race feature and gives it a perfect 10, while a hundred people vote in the 2014 feature and give it an overall score of of 5.00, then the average of the averages is 7.50, but the average of the votes cast is only 5.05.

    I know the situation here isn’t anywhere near that extreme, but I know there are more people voting now than in the past, so it does make a difference. I’d be interested to know which you’ve used. The latter method, averaging the votes rather than the averages, is generally considered to be a more accurate measure.

  41. What I find particularly interesting is how high the 2011 season is rated, it is surpassed only by the 2012 and by a very narrow margin at that. Considering how everytime Vettel wins there is always an outcry from someone ‘Oh no, back to the 2011 borefest!’, it is surprising to find that on the basis of the ratings that season was no more borefest than the last year’s. 2009, which in my humble opinion was a real snoozefest with the winner decided by the FIA before it even begun, however, is rarely mentioned as an example of a truly bad season. It appears that the ratings given during each year are more objective, because these things look different to many in the retrospective, quite possibly because of who the respective winners were.

    So, these stats do tell us something, but perhaps less about the quality of the show and more about the audience and how its subjective perception changes. There is one clear indication, though, that something is wrong with this current season, and this is the best statistical proof that the Pirelli went too far this time.

  42. I have not enjoyed this current season as much as I normally do. Its tyres, DRS, Controversies, TVcoverage that wears you out. But its also been the disappointing results for me, McLaren’s competitiveness, Rosberg loosing out in the standings from reliability even though he outperformed Hamilton, Kimi slipping down in the standings, “new” teams still being new teams, etc etc…

  43. Shouldn’t there be a category like this:

    Pre-2009 season (Without Vettel)

    &

    Post-2009 season (With Vettel)

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