I've been having a dabble with a database downloaded from the Ergast Motor Racing Database and came up with this ad hoc model for trying to get a feel for who the best F1 "racing" driver of 2012 was based on the difference in their grid position and final race classification.
The model I used was to calculate the following quantity:
sum of (gridPosition-racePosition)/racePosition) over all races
The numerator (top term), gridPosition-racePosition, gives the number of positions gained (positive), or lost (negative).
These values are scaled by dividing through by the final racePosition in each corresponding race, which means that position changes at the head of the field count for more than those at the back of the field. (There is a certain balancing effect going on here though, because cars that start at the back of the field may gain several places through non-finishers amongst the cars that started ahead of them).
Here are the resulting rankings...
So do any of these charts make (non)sense? (And if so, which make most (or least) sense and why?)