Top Numbers From The 2015 Season

The new year is right around the corner (just 78 days until St. Petersburg!), and there’s a lot to look forward to in regards to next season. An earlier start date and later end date to the season, the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, and the first Grand Prix of Boston, to name a few. It’s also a good time to reflect on this year as well. And being Single Seater, we’re going to take a look at the top statistics and numbers from the season.

0: What better number to start with than the points separating first and second place in the championship. Scott Dixon and Juan Pablo Montoya were tied in the points standings after a thrilling season finale in Sonoma. Montoya placed 6th in the race and Dixon won it (giving him the extra win to beat Montoya in the tiebreaker). Let’s hope next year’s championship is just as competitive as this one was.

80: The number of lead changes at Fontana this year. The heavily criticized event by both drivers and fans featured the most lead changes of any IndyCar or CART race there in history. Graham Rahal ended up winning the three hour epic.

5.8: This next number comes courtesy of our own statistic, R+/-. Ryan Briscoe held the highest R+/- score of any driver this season. He qualified pretty poorly in the eight races he started but was a contender for a handful of race wins. In fact, he finished higher in the championship than four drivers who completed more races than him, too — Stefano Colletti raced in 16 races to Briscoe’s 8 and was still two points shy of him in the points standings.

345: Josef Newgarden led 15.5 percent of the 2,232 laps run this year, the most of any driver. The bulk of these laps came at Milwaukee and Iowa where he led over 100 laps each.  He was only able to muster seventh place in the points though. Three DNFs and two more 20+ place finishes kept Newgarden from competing for the championship later into the season. Newgarden prevailed as one of the most promising young drivers this season and will surely shine again in 2016.

$3,526,100: The winnings Montoya will take home, according to Racing Reference, simply from race performances alone. This is the most of any driver, largely due to Montoya’s Indianapolis 500 win which netted him $2.5 million. Must be nice.

Here’s to a great 2015 season and an even better 2016!

Photo courtesy of IndyCar.

by: Drew B., Founder

sDRS Focus: Hulkenberg Continues to Fall

Nico Hulkenberg didn’t finish Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, completing just 35 laps before crashing out. Five of the last seven races have resulted in DNF’s for the German, with just one of the those being ‘excused’ (a did not start in Belgium). The rest were all crashes that one could argue could have been avoided. Meanwhile his teammate Sergio Perez has placed in the top ten in five of the last six races — including a third place podium in Russia.

Because of Formula One’s top heavy scoring system (drivers only score points if they place in the top ten), Hulkenberg sits a respectable 12th place in the championship. But his recent performances have dropped him down to 17th in our sDRS rankings with a score of 1414. The sDRS rankings punish drivers for not finishing races and being consistent. In the eyes of the rankings, Hulkenberg’s six top tens are not that impressive when it sees his six DNF’s and other poor performances.

Ignoring Alexander Rossi (who has not completed enough races to have an accurate sDRS score), Hulkenberg is the driver with the biggest gap between his championship position and sDRS position. He’s lost over 70 sDRS points in the last five races and only scored twice in the Formula One points since Silverstone.

Although he has out-qualified Perez more often than not, his R+/- score is also being effected by his poor race performance. It’s currently at -2.2 and is the second lowest score, ahead of only Pastor Maldonado (-2.4). For comparison, his teammate has an R+/- score of 1.5 and an sDRS score of 1531. Based on their ratings, sDRS says Perez should beat Hulkenberg 66 percent of the time: through 16 races of the season, he has beaten him 63 percent of the time.
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 Hulkenberg   Perez   Diff. 
1414
1531
117
-2.2
1.5
3.7

Hulkenberg has just three races left to regain some traction and show Force India he’s worth it. So far this season, there has been very little to be happy about if you’re team principal Vijay Mallaya.

by: Drew B., Founder

Championship Update: Hamilton Clinches at USGP

Lewis Hamilton won the United States Grand Prix, and in doing so clinched the 2015 Driver’s Championship. It wasn’t an easy race by any means, though. Nico Rosberg started on pole but was quickly moved aside (literally) in turn one. Then the battle commenced with the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat — Sebastien Vettel even joined in on the party to make it a five way battle for the lead.

Upper right hand corner, Hamilton and Rosberg rub in the first turn.
In favor of brevity, we’ll skip forward to the closing stint of the race — mainly because most readers have seen the race or previously read about it. The race saw multiple safety cars, both virtual and real. The final of which helped Rosberg jump Hamilton in the pits with less than 15 laps remaining.
Rosberg prevailed towards the end of the race and had the lead over Hamilton until an unforced error sent him off the track. Hamilton slipped by and Rosberg slotted in right in front of Vettel. With a Hamilton win, Vettel would have needed second place to keep the championship fight alive. He was unable to get by his fellow German and claimed the last spot on the podium.
Rosberg had the lead behind the final safety car.
With the result, Hamilton is now 76 points ahead of the field with three races remaining. The maximum number of points any one driver could claim in the remaining races is 75. This is Hamilton’s third driver’s championship which puts him tied for fifth on the all time championship list. Vettel is the only active driver with more championships (4) than him.
by: Drew B., Founder

The Last Time Qualifying Was Postponed to Sunday

Qualifying for the United States Grand Prix was pushed back to Sunday morning because of rain and standing water on the track. Q3 was cancelled Sunday, leaving Nico Rosberg with yet another pole position start. Lewis Hamilton took second place followed by both the Red Bulls and Force Indias.

The last time a qualifying session was postponed to the following day was at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix. Sebastien Vettel started on pole but Kimi Raikkonen took home the race win starting in seventh. Lewis Hamilton ended up in fifth place while his teammate Nico Rosberg was forced out of the race due to an electrical failure.

If that were to happen today, Lewis Hamilton would clinch the 2015 Driver’s World Championship with a ninth place or worse result from Sebastien Vettel.

More information on the 2013 race can be found here.

by: Drew B., Founder

sDRS Ratings: Round 15

Ratings Valid Through Round 15

Read about how sDRS is calculated here.

The Statistics

  • Lewis Hamilton won round 15 of the season at the Russian Grand Prix two weeks ago. After a brief battle with Nico Rosberg, Hamilton led 48 laps on his way to being 5.9 seconds in the clear of the field. The win was Hamilton’s ninth of the year and put him 66 points ahead of his closest championship contender, Sebastien Vettel.
  • Force India made it to the podium once again with Sergio Perez taking home a third place finish. His teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, wasn’t as lucky Sunday and retired on the first lap of the race after a crash with Marcus Ericsson. 
  • Nico Rosberg also retired from the race with a throttle issue on the seventh lap of the race. With this retirement not only did his sDRS rating drop, but his hopes of a championship have been depleted greatly. He sits 73 points out from Hamilton with just four races remaining (100 maximum points). Hamilton just needs a few points each race to secure his title. 
The ratings after Round 15 heading into the United States Grand Prix are:
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 sDRS Pos. 
Driver
 Rating 
 Champ. Pos. 
 Diff. 
1
   Lewis Hamilton
1740
1
0
2
   Sebastian Vettel
1688
2
0
3
   Nico Rosberg
1660
3
0
4
   Kimi Raikkonen
1574
4
0
5
   Valtteri Bottas
1571
5
0
6
   Felipe Massa
1559
6
0
7
   Daniil Kvyat
1534
7
0
8
   Daniel Ricciardo
1525
8
0
9
   Sergio Perez
1522
9
0
10
   Romain Grosjean
1485
10
0
11
   Max Verstappen
1483
12
1
12
Alexander Rossi*
1483
21
9
13
   Felipe Nasr
1452
13
0
14
   Carlos Sainz, Jr.
1449
15
1
15
   Marcus Ericsson
1435
17
2
16
   Nico Hulkenberg
1419
11
-5
17
   Pastor Maldonado
1416
14
-3
18
   Fernando Alonso
1391
16
-2
19
   Jenson Button
1390
18
-1
20
   Roberto Merhi
1382
20
0
21
   Will Stevens
1342
19
-2


* Has not completed the minimum number of races to be qualified with an accurate score.

by: Drew B., Founder