Tony has genererously invited me to post some samples of work I've done building on his elapsed difference time charts.
I used his gnuplot scripts to generate SVG files (XML vector graphics) of the basic graph, and then post-processed these to add some extra details.
- I highlight the 2 cars immediately ahead and the 2 cars immediately behind the target car on any one lap - this helps identify the battle a car is in, but you can still see the position relative to the rest of the pack (so when a line changes thickness, this means the car has moved within or outside of the target car plus or minus two positions)
- I've added small line markers at each data point as it helps the eye differentiate the true gaps
- I've added an extra line representing the target car one lap later - this line stands out at the bottom of the graph and shows you how the target car's pace varied over the race, including pitstops. It also lets you easily see when backmarkers were caught and passed
- In the SVG version of the chart, if you hover the mouse over a line, you should get (in most browsers) a tooltip telling you the driver name and lap number
- If you view the SVG version in a WebKit based browser (primarily Chrome or Safari) you can roll the mouse to zoom in or out at the point under the mouse
Now unfortunately, blogger (and most other blogging services) don't recognise SVG as a valid filetype for posts yet, so I've put PNG versions of the images below, but they're linked to the SVG versions hosted on dropbox as per Tony's comment below, where he also explain where he has published the scripts I used to generate these from Tony's elapsed times CSV data files.
So here's the chart for Jenson Button - in Button's chart in particular I believe you can see how he eases off in the last stint to preserve his tyres (the laptime levels off around lap 46 despite the reducing fuel load), but despite this his tyres fail in the last few laps (lap 53 onwards) and his laptimes fall quite noticeably