Who really is the fastest in this crazy F1 season? The numbers, crunched

Formula 1


Lewis Hamilton is leading the championship heading into this weekend’s first European race of 2018, but he is doing so despite a wobbly start to the season.

The championship positions are only one set of numbers – and there are others that tell a more complex story about the season.

For example, Hamilton’s Mercedes is not the fastest car. That’s the Ferrari. And there are other key stats, too.

Which driver is out-performing his car the most? Which set of team-mates are the most competitive – and the least?

We’ve crunched the numbers so you don’t have to – and here they are, revealing the partially hidden real story of F1 2018 so far.


Team-mate comparison – qualifying battle

Team Drivers
Ferrari Vettel 3-1 Raikkonen
Mercedes Hamilton 2-2 Bottas
Red Bull Ricciardo 2-2 Verstappen
McLaren Alonso 4-0 Vandoorne
Renault Hulkenberg 4-0 Sainz
Force India Perez 2-2 Ocon
Toro Rosso Gasly 2-2 Hartley
Haas Grosjean 1-3 Magnussen
Sauber Ericsson 2-2 Leclerc
Williams Stroll 2-2 Sirotkin
Qualifying pace*
*Calculated by an average of the drivers’ fastest qualifying times, omitting races where a comparison is not possible, eg if one crashed or broke down
Ferrari Vettel +0.303secs Raikkonen
Mercedes Hamilton +0.259s Bottas
Red Bull Verstappen +0.114s Ricciardo
McLaren Alonso +0.304s Vandoorne
Renault Hulkenberg +0.258s Sainz
Force India Perez +0.194s Ocon
Toro Rosso Hartley +0.098s Gasly
Haas Magnussen +0.287s Grosjean
Williams Stroll +0.170s Sirotkin
Sauber Leclerc +0.373s Ericsson

Who is getting the most out of car?

This chart shows each drivers’ average qualifying position so far this season. Their actual championship positions are also provided to compare the pace of car the versus driver’s effectiveness in races.

Fernando Alonso has arguably been the most effective at getting the best out of his resources during the race. His average qualifying position is 12.5 but he currently sits sixth in the drivers’ championship after four top-seven finishes so far this season.



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