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How much faster are the fastest cars?


VeroniTasingoli
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F1 is one of the most competitive and prestigious series in motorsport so obviously everyone that gets a seat is a really good driver. So I’m always baffled when I see someone like Verstappen or Hamilton zip past the mid pack like they are NPCs on an arcade game. Sure they might have better pace but I’m guessing the cars also play a big role in this disparity.

So I’d love it if someone can explain how big a different is it omegle shagle voojio between the fastest and the slowest cars.

Edited by VeroniTasingoli
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I wouldn't go as far as saying everyone who has been on the grid is a good driver... but they've all been competent, i'd say!   In the older days, you had some.... characters that may not have got on the grid on pure ability.  It's potentially similar these days but they can at least all drive very well. 

 

It's tricky to put a finite number on how much faster the quickest car is in comparison to the slowest as it's a very variable consideration.

For example, tyre condition, wind direction and speed, engine operating configuration, downforce on the car, etc are all factors that can change an overtake outcome even if you did the same thing twice. 

Also some cars perform better on one track than they do another.  The best teams tend to be good at every track, but even they have certain tracks where they'd perform better.    Plus the length of the lap too.   It's easier to find/lose time in a lap that's longer.

Plus it also depends on whether it's qualifying or race as cars perform differently based on fuel levels and wing configurations. 

That's even before you factor in things that aren't related to the car such as driver behaviour (are they going for the win/podium and are therefore braver / are they being cautious because they don't want to cause a collision and lose good points, etc).   

The main consideration why drivers like Max/Lewis fly through the pack is that the other drivers don't bother to defend.  Hear me out here;  If you're 5 laps into your race and one of them comes behind you, you might as well let them by and lose only 2 to 3 tenths on that one lap rather than lose 2-3 seconds defending against them for the next 3 before they pass you anyway.   Racing is all about getting from the start line to the finish line as fast as possible, and yeah ideally beating as many others as possible, but picking your battles is one of the more important skills. 

 

If I was going to put a number on it... i'd say probably an average of around 1 - 1.5 seconds a lap if the same driver was in the same car in the same conditions for say 50 laps.  Drivers like Lewis and Max and their ability are what get the extra 2-3 tenths every lap over the majority of the rest of the field. 

 

Disclaimer; the numbers are of course a little arbitrary.  They did used to say that you need to be around 2seconds a lap faster to even overtake a few years ago. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/27/2022 at 2:41 PM, SmokyAtom07 said:

I wouldn't go as far as saying everyone who has been on the grid is a good driver... but they've all been competent, i'd say!   In the older days, you had some.... characters that may not have got on the grid on pure ability.  It's potentially similar these days but they can at least all drive very well. 

 

It's tricky to put a finite number on how much faster the quickest car is in comparison to the slowest as it's a very variable consideration.

For example, tyre condition, wind direction and speed, engine operating configuration, downforce on the car, etc are all factors that can change an overtake outcome even if you did the same thing twice. 

Also some cars perform better on one track than they do another.  The best teams tend to be good at every track, but even they have certain tracks where they'd perform better.    Plus the length of the lap too.   It's easier to find/lose time in a lap that's longer.

Plus it also depends on whether it's qualifying or race as cars perform differently based on fuel levels and wing configurations. 

That's even before you factor in things that aren't related to the car such as driver behaviour (are they going for the win/podium and are therefore braver / are they being cautious because they don't want to cause a collision and lose good points, etc).   

The main consideration why drivers like Max/Lewis fly through the pack is that the other drivers don't bother to defend.  Hear me out here;  If you're 5 laps into your race and one of them comes behind you, you might as well let them by and lose only 2 to 3 tenths on that one lap rather than lose 2-3 seconds defending against them for the next 3 before they pass you anyway.   Racing is all about getting from the start line to the finish line as fast as possible, and yeah ideally beating as many others as possible, but picking your battles is one of the more important skills. 

 

If I was going to put a number on it... i'd say probably an average of around 1 - 1.5 seconds a lap if the same driver was in the same car in the same conditions for say 50 laps.  Drivers like Lewis and Max and their ability are what get the extra 2-3 tenths every lap over the majority of the rest of the field. 

 

Disclaimer; the numbers are of course a little arbitrary.  They did used to say that you need to be around 2seconds a lap faster to even overtake a few years ago. Chevy also a super fast car. I recently read a guide about big block check here (https://nerdycar.com/big-block-chevy/) and got surprised. 

The majority of the differences you observe during a race or qualification are explained by the automobiles.

I like to think of it this way: The car sets the upper limit of how fast the car and driver combination can travel, and the driver's skill decides how near they can come to that limit. A bad driver in a good automobile will be slower than other drivers in that same seat would be. A great driver cannot overcome a terrible car.

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