Vettel record setter?
5th November 2012, 0:59 at 12:59 am #132320
Lots of discussion every race about how Vettel likes to collect records… and there’s lots of chat/discussion about him being “the greatest” and it only being a matter of time before he takes those records.
But is this really born out by his record ???
He has the advantage of course of having 20 races a year compared with the 8, 12, 16 opportunities a year that other drivers had…. but even taking that into account he not that high on many of the record table…
Race wins: VET is 7th in the table…. he’s even 4 wins behind ALO and a long way behind Mansell, Senna & Prost
Podiums: VET is 16th… among current drivers MSC, ALO, RAI, HAM and BUT are all above him and he has a long way to go to catch up either ALO or RAI who are both a long way ahead of him and still getting regular podiums to add to their totals
Fastest Laps: VET is 22nd in the table… he’s level with MAS and WEB (hehe) but has a way to go to catch ALO and he’lll need at least 2 seasons before he could catch RAI
The record he is good at is Poles where he is 3rd but he’d need at least 3 seasons to catch Senna who is in 2nd place.
Now, VET has had the advantage of being in the dominant car for three seasons which makes winning, getting lastest laps, poles, podiums, etc a lot easier. But these dominant periods don’t go on forever, history says a run of anything longer than 4-5 years is rare and actually after 3 years teams start to struggle to produce the dominant car for yet another season.
So does VET actually have a chance of beating these records and getting himself higher up the record books given that in a year or two it is likely that he won’t be in a car as dominant as he is now ? If he has to share the spoils with other racers then it would take him even longer to get up the record tables.5th November 2012, 2:02 at 2:02 am #214320
He’ll be racing for more than 10 more years. He has loads of time to beat a bunch of those records, especially if he stays with the “perfect team” that he’s in. Ferrari’s dominance only ended when Byrne, Brawn and the like left, so Vettel should consistently have one of the fastest cars unless something crazy happens.5th November 2012, 5:58 at 5:58 am #214321
Is it really fair that we’re comparing him against MSC, ALO, RAI, HAM and BUT at this stage?
Those guys have all had frontrunning cars even before Vettel made it into F1. They’ve been in the sport over 10 years (except for Hamilton) and Vettel is only in his 5th full season – he’s been in F1 for less than half the length of time.6th November 2012, 0:19 at 12:19 am #214322
Schumacher reached his records in an era where competition was much less – fewer really great drivers – and he had a long career which included an abnormally good run of years in a dominant car.
I just don’t think F1 is like that now, F1 is in a highly competitive and closely fought era and that seems likely to continue over the next decade.
So projecting ahead I don’t see VET having the hit rate over the next ten years that Schumacher had over his dominant period. And I don’t see VET’s track record showing that he has the hit rate to get to the top of these record tables.
My assumption is that VET will have 10 years career to go, that period will be closely fought, that he’ll be in a dominant car for only 5 out of those 10 years (history shows that’s a not unreasonable assumption), that his competitors will continue to fight with him as they are right now.
SO what does that do for the record tables…
Race wins: I’m assuming he’ll have 6 wins in each of the 5 dominant years – that would take him to 56 wins, taking him to 2nd place just ahead of Prost and a long way behind Schumacher. To catch MSC he’d have to have 4-5 years like 2011 rather than the win rate he’s had in 2010 or 2012. I just don’t see him having 4-5 years like 2011 over the next decade.
Podiums: Lets say he gets 10 podiums a year for the 5 dominant years and 3 a year for the others… that would give him 110 podiums which would put him 2nd. However that isn’t the whole picture because ALO and RAI are way ahead of him in the record table at the moment and if they continue to get podiums then they will be well ahead of 110 podiums by the end of their careers. So my prediction in 10 years time would be MSC top, following by ALO, then RAI, and then VET 4th.
Fastest Laps: VET’s hit rate on fastest laps just isn’t good enough for him to get up to the top of the table. MSC is top and achieved 25%, Prost 20%, RAI 21%… VET has achieved 14% in his dominant 4 years. This era is just too competitive for him to get a high hit rate. If he can only achieve 14% in these years then he is unlikely to average that over the whole of the next 10 years. So lets say he does almost as well – say 12%. 200 races (20 races per year for 10 years) @ 12% = 24 fastest laps giving him 38 career fastest laps, getting him 3rd in the table behind MSC and PRO, and only just ahead of RAI who is quite capable of adding to his total of 37. So my forecast is that VET might be 4th, just behind RAI and PRO but a long way behind MSC.
Poles: This is the one that he is well on track for. He has 35 from 99 starts, a hit rate of about a third. If he achieved the same in the 5 dominant years that I’m predicting then that would give him about another 30-35 poles taking him above MSC’s 68 poles. If you want to cheer VET to the top of the all-time record tables then Poles is the one to focus on. He’s already third in the table and has Senna and MSC in his sights… and he has Senna’s uncanny knack of being able to pull out the one single quickest lap from out of the hat that’s needed to get pole.6th November 2012, 0:29 at 12:29 am #214323
The fastest lap statistic has become kind of useless, as it all comes down these days to who has the freshest tires at the end. Back in the days, with just your own speed, you could set fast laps before you went for a refuel. I mean, was Bruno Senna really the fastest driver in Belgium this year?6th November 2012, 1:04 at 1:04 am #214324
True @Mnmracer which is why I don’t think VET will get to the top of that record table.
If he wants to be top of the record tables then its really poles he needs to focus on :)6th November 2012, 2:36 at 2:36 am #214325
While I think it’s difficult to overturn any of Michael (Schumacher)’s stats at this point – I think they can all get well into the Top 3/4/5 actually. Vettel is so young, and so early in his career, but already something like 7th on the all-time list in terms of grand prix wins. Alonso is I think 5th already.
So those are doable.
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