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Formula 1 predictable: seven leaders and 56 leadership changes

Formula 1 too predictable
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A At first glance, the statistics don't look too bad. In 2015 there were 56 management changes. Unfortunately only four of them on the racetrack. In Malaysia, Russia and the USA. Only one of them was really fought. When Daniel Ricciardo ousted Lewis Hamilton from the top in Austin. The remaining position changes are due to pit stops. Or were due to a mistake like Hamilton's against Rosberg in Austin.

The year before it looked only marginally better. In 2014 the leadership changed 61 times. What did we remember? When Nico Rosberg passed Lewis Hamilton with enemy contact in Spa. And Daniel Ricciardo's super maneuver at the Hungarian GP. The front runner in the number of leadership changes in 66 years of Formula 1 was 2008. The front runner changed 85 times. But that too is deceptive. Since refueling stops and tire changes have been the rule in Formula 1, the statistics have been falsified.

This also applies to the first 11 years of GP history. The 500 miles from Indianapolis were still part of the World Cup program. And in the wild chase in a circle there were a disproportionately large number of overtaking maneuvers. The 1960 season with 15 different front runners came first with the 2008 season because five drivers led the Indy 500 in the same year.

No winner worse than starting position 3

After all, there is a year that is clearly behind in terms of predictability. The 1988 season when McLaren won 15 of the 16 races. The luck at that time was that Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost took turns winning and the title race was only decided in the penultimate run. But the division of the lead kilometers shows how monotonous the season was. In addition to the McLaren drivers, only two other drivers came to the train. Gerhard Berger led 119 kilometers, Ivan Capelli 6 kilometers.

In 1988, only 12 changes in leadership were counted. 1952 and 1972 (13 each) as well as 1962 and 1974 (16 each) are also in the rear. Before 1972, the Formula 1 years often benefited from the slipstream battles in Monza. At the 11 Grand Prix in 1971 there were 36 changes in leadership, 25 of them at the Italian GP alone.

The past season was not exactly a model of variety. With Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Kimi Räikkönen, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas only 7 drivers led a race. The three winners Hamilton (3,096), Rosberg (1,610) and Vettel (866) earned the majority of the lead kilometers. That wassimilar in the previous year. Only the Mercedes drivers Hamilton (2,676) and Rosberg (2,247) as well as the three-time winner Ricciardo (411) got a big boost. Only in 1988 (4), 1992, 1993 and 2000 (5 each), 1962, 1963, 1964, 1998 and 2002 (6 each) were fewer leaders than in the previous season.

Even the winner's worst starting position tells a story. This year it was 3rd place. Which translates to mean that there were no surprises. This season is in line with 1951, 1965, 1988, 1994, 1998 and 2007. What a difference to 1983, when the winner John Watson came from position 22 at the GP USA-West. And that on the Long Beach street circuit. At the GP Germany 2000 Rubens Barrichello won from 18th place on the grid. John Watson also wins the bronze medal in this ranking. The Northern Irishman drove from 17th to victory at the 1982 GP USA-East in Detroit.


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