Monday, July 6, 2015

F1 2015 Silverstone - Race Review

I actually got to hear radio commentary for the first and last 10 laps of the race today, but from the data it seems like I missed the most interesting bits...

So here's what the laptime data tells us about the on-track positions during the race:

Along the bottom is time in seconds (on track) the to lap leader, with lead lap number on y. The labels on the left are the lap leader, the text labels far right show the leader on the next lap.

Following a couple of safety car laps following the first lap, it seems like a pretty hard battle was being fought at the head of the race for 20 laps or so, with MAS leading a four car group, but after a round of pit stops (presumably) HAM dominated the race. The dotted circles trace VET's race, showing how he was well down the order at the back of the second group in the first stint, but the, starting at lap 37, all points changed and he moved up the order, taking a strong third in the last few laps and by the looks of it, putting in some pretty impressive laptimes as the cars in 4th and 5th fell ever further behind.

If we zoom in bit to the head of the race, we can see a bit more clearly how the cars were grouped at the front of the field over the first 20 laps.
So how did the race look from different drivers' perspectives?

First up, HAM. The early phase of the race saw him tussling with BOT in DRS range ahead and ROS in DRS range behind. Presumably following a pit stop window around lap 20, HAM took the lead, from MAS, who started to fall behind. What seems to be another round of pitstops at lap 44 put ROS into second, but HAM further extended he lead until pretty much to the end of the race.

For ROS, as we have seen, the first 20 or laps or so saw him riding on HAM's tail, though HUL behind fell off quickly. In the second stint, ROS was chasing BOT, and behind RAI failed to keep pace. Did something start to happen around lap 33, or was lap 33 a blip for ROS? Whatever the case, on lap 39 ROS makes it past BOT, then eases past MAS, though he fails to make progress on HAM ahead. Behind, MAS falls away quickly, and is replaced by VET as the chasing car, who makes ground in the last few laps but never represents a threat.

So how about the race from MAS' perspective? Leading through the first stint with team mate BOT in DRS distance behind, MAS lost out to HAM at lap 19 and started going backwards, with BOT fading slightly behind. At lap 39, ROS takes BOT, and eases past MAS with BOT fades horrendously behind. As if from nowhere (following a pit stop, perhaps) VET appears in front at lap 45, suddenly picking up pace and heading off into the distance ahead over the last few laps.

So how did it look from VET's seat? After following KVY through the safety car phase wth PER behind, PER sneaks passed to leave SAI on VET's tail before VET retakes PER and is back behind KVY at lap 9. At lap 14 VET takes KVY, something happens to HUL, and VET is now sitting on RAI's tail. RAI manages to pull out of DRS range until lap 38, and VET manages to keep KVY out o of DRS range behind over that same period. At lap 38 something happens to RAI, and VET is on a charge against BOT. BOT loses 5s or so on lap 43 - does VET then pit? - and suddenly VET is ahead of MAS and facing ROS in the distance ahead, making slight gains on him over the last few laps but never even to pose a real challenge. Meanwhile, all MAS can do behind is go backwards.
I'm guessing BOT is not a happy man tonight? Sandwiched between MAS and HAM for the first stint, I'm guessing with DRS flaps open all over the place, and then stuck between MAS and ROS after HAM's early pit stop, I wonder if MAS had been holding BOT back? Towards the end of the second stint, MAS does seem to start pulling away, but presumably BOT's tyres had been suffering as a result of being sandwiched - again. At lap 39, suddenly everything goes pear shaped. With backmarker traffic to negotiate, BOT goes backwards, fast; VET storms up from behind, followed by KVY, with MAS streaking away ahead. What a miserable day... and why did he go backwards?

In the other Ferrari, RAI was in a first stint tussle with HUL ahead and KVY behind, then quickly chased down ERI, presumably as HUL pitted? In the second stint, RAI was perhaps holding VET back as ROS made progress ahead? At lap 33 gains are made on ROS, then RAI loses it. ROS pushes forward, PER pushes past at a rate of knots, then presumably pits, gaining on RAI at several seconds per lap before RAI presumably pits and then it's PER who goes backwards.

And so, to HUL, and a chart which seems quite, erm, spacious. A first stint spent holding of RAI behind saw ROS at the back of the lead group streak away ahead. In the second stint, it's KVY who peels off ahead, as ERI is passed, and presumably passed by SAI, who is also then left for dust. Up front, KVY dances ahead, falls back, and takes off again several times, while behind, PER and RAI are all over the place... What on earth was going on with RAI?!
Finally, let's have a look at KVY's chart. A first stint spent chasing first RAI, then HUL, whilst being pursued by VET, then PER, then VET again, and PER again, turns into a second stint pulling away from HUL but failing to get within DRS range of VET, who starts to extenfd the gap ahead, slowly at first, bit then more easily, before being closed up on again. Suddenly, lap 32, VET is gone, and lapped ALO is dispatched as 5s a lap as BOT gets drawn in by 3s a lap, though it looks like he might have been taken had there been another lap in the race?

Hmmm...eventful... though I have to admit, I am a bit confused by RAI's final third of the race:
Ah - that makes it a bit clearer - he was tailing off badly from lap 39, but then managed to hold ground just behind HAM, albeit a lap behind, over the last 4 laps....

And I'm left wondering what on earth happened to BOT?

Ah, ha... similar problem, with it all going completely pear shaped on lap 42. He was also lucky not to lose that 5th place at the end, wasn't he?!


  1. Did you even watch the race?
    "At lap 14 VET takes KVY, something happens to HUL, and VET is now sitting on RAI's tail"
    Vettel and Raikkonen both undercut KVY and HUL with early pitstops. That's why they were in front.

    " At lap 38 something happens to RAI, and VET is on a charge against BOT"
    Vettel overtakes RAI on track in damp conditions and RAI pits immidiatelly after for inters (wrong decision). Vettel goes after botas.

    "does VET then pit? - and suddenly VET is ahead of MAS and facing ROS in the distance ahead"
    Vettel pits at the perfect moment. Bottas and Massa ahead lose 20 seconds to him (yep) in the one extra lap they stay out on slicks. That's how vettel got in front.

  2. @sebAs "Did you even watch the race?" Erm... no: "I actually got to hear radio commentary for the first and last 10 laps of the race today, but from the data it seems like I missed the most interesting bits..." In fact, it was probably more like the first 8 or 9 laps and the last 3. I haven't seen a race within 72 hours of it running for pretty much most of the season, due to one circumstance or another... So I've been trying to read the data, instead.

    I'm also trying to start spotting patterns in the data that will support automated race report generation - so things like spotting undercuts. Two problems there - 1) identifying reliable signatures for different events from the data; 2) no time to further develop the charts even trivially (like adding pit stop info to the above charts), let alone start to instrument feature recognition.


There seem to be a few issues with posting comments. I think you need to preview your comment before you can submit it... Any problems, send me a message on twitter: @psychemedia