Formula 1: Against The Odds

2007: A Statistical Review

with 3 comments

Unfortunately this is not a look at how many cans of Red Bull the Scuderia Toro Rosso mechanics got through last season or the vital measurements of the Fosters Pit Girls. Instead a quick review of some stats that may help us as we approach the betting markets of 2008.

The seventeen races that made up the 2007 F1 calendar each saw twenty-two cars line up on the starting grid or at the end of the pit lane. From these 374 attempts, 281 drivers were officially classified as having finished by the FIA – almost exactly 75%.

As you would expect, some circuits saw higher rates of attrition than others: The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada saw the fewest classified finishers in a single race with just twelve. The wet race at the Nurburgring had just one more with thirteen. At the other end of the scale, Turkey saw twenty-one drivers classified and Monza twenty. Perhaps surprising was the low number of casualties at Monaco, where nineteen of the twenty-two starters were classified.

We all know that last season was dominated by Ferrari and McLaren (both on and off the track). This is illustrated nowhere more clearly than by the fact that no race win, pole position or fastest lap was claimed by a driver outside of those two teams.

Kimi Raikkonen was the most successful driver with six race victories. Bitter rivals Alonso and Hamilton both recorded four apiece, with Massa claiming the remaining three. Lewis and Felipe were the men to follow in qualifying, each delivering six pole positions. Kimi scored three and Fernando just two. Ferrari dominated the fastest race lap market with their two drivers sharing twelve of them equally. Alonso shaded Hamilton three to two for McLaren.

Interesting, eleven times in seventeen races we saw the pole sitter go on to take the chequered flag, including all four of Hamilton’s victories. On seven occasions the driver in pole position went on to set the fastest race lap and eight times the fastest lap was driven by the race winner. The hat trick of all three was landed on six occasions and my gut instinct is that the bookmakers underplayed this factor – one to keep an eye on.

As detailed above, every race saw at least one retirement. In fact in five grand prix at least one driver failed to complete the first lap. In Japan on the other hand, we had to wait until nineteen laps had been completed before Alexander Wurz retired due to a collision. The average race saw its first retirement comfortably inside the first five laps (4.06 laps completed – to be precise).

When it comes to the winning margin (the time gap between the first and second drivers when they finish) I am struggling to decide whether there is any statistical merit. With multi-race engines being protected and no incentive to finish X seconds as opposed to Y seconds behind the man in front, it is not a market I tend to get involved in. Regardless here are some stats from last year: The average winning margin was 5.26 seconds, the largest gap was between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in Malaysia (17.5 seconds) and the smallest margin of victory was just 0.7 seconds in Hungary.

Finally, my favourite topic; the Safety Car! Just five races in 2007 saw the safety car deployed, but it was actually seen on nine occasions; four times in Canada, twice in Japan and once each at the Nurburgring (Europe), Italy and Bahrain. China was anomalous because usually a wet race brings out the Mercedes CLK 63 AMG at least once.

That’s it for looking backwards; from next week I will begin looking ahead to the 2008 season. In the meantime if anyone has noticed anything that is statistically significant, please post it up in the comments.


Written by f1punter

February 10, 2008 at 5:10 pm

3 Responses

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  1. […] have in common though is that they appear designed to make the sport less predictable. In my 2007 statistical review I commented that 75% of all drivers who started races last season were classified in those races. I […]

  2. hey,just observed your web-site when i google something and wonder what webhosting do you use for your blog,the speed is more faster than my blog, i really need it.will back to check it out,thanks!

    Garrett Montella

    May 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    • It is hosted by WordPress.com.

      f1 Punter

      May 18, 2010 at 12:13 pm

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