Insight into F1 race strategy by Mclaren's Vehicle Dynamics Engineer

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    I’ve always been interested in the techniques and processes used by F1 strategists but unfortunately it’s quite difficult to find papers or publications offering a gentle introduction that applies specifically to formula one.

    It seems that you need to study many branches of mathematics (game theory included) in a general manner and then apply it specifically to formula one. If done this way you’d gain an excellent understanding but it’s tremendously time consuming.

    Thankfully I found this publication by the Royal Academy of Engineering. It’s quite gentle (not overly complex) and anyone who can do basic mathematics will understand it.



    If you find anything interesting post it here.

    Profile photo of @HoHum

    Good way to make Math interesting, and another reason to be glad of the re-fuelling ban.

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    that’s a very good link, thanks man. Thanks to McLaren too.

    Now, that sentence in the first paragraph: “McLaren has  won more Grand Prix  than any  other Constructor since it entered the sport in 1966.” Is this correct? More than Ferrari?

    Profile photo of BasCB

    LL Jehto, I admit I didn’t check that fact, but considering this is McLaren they will probably have thoroughly checked it before putting it out in the public. And it makes sense, just think of the championships they won with Lauda, Prost and Senna in the 1980s and early 90s, while Ferrari was in a slump more or less since mid 70′ until the Todt/Schumacher team really got it going only 12 years ago.

    The trick is in the wording, while McLaren might have won more since 1966 than Ferrari, Ferrari did a lot of winning since far before that!

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    Er, Ferrari have won the same number of constructors championships in the last 12 years than McLaren has in it’s entire history! Oh I see, Grand Prix!

    Profile photo of Gaston

    ajassat, that’s a pretty interesting document, thanks for sharing.

    This is also something that I often wonder about: how do you go about making a mathematical model for optimizing the race strategy which takes into account tyre degradation, fuel consumption, etc. Due to my work, I have some experience with optimization problems (obviously not related to F1, sadly!) and I have thought for some time that it would be interesting to develop at least a simplified version of this problem for [nerd] fun.

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    it did seem a bit strange of a statement about McLaren, as even the Williams team seemed to me to have a more sucessfull history. Through here


    one can see they won 171 gps

    while Ferrari 215 with 15 more years in the business, so Ferrari would have to have won 45 gp between 1950 and 1966 which seems reasonable, considering there were no Mclaren nor Williams at the time.

    Checking those records it seems that having been the team that won more GPs since 1966 was one of the few things they can grab themselves of, while still being an incredible sucessfull team, they do not have many records

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