Pit-stops are a frequent part of IndyCar races and an important part of strategy that teams need to consider due to the need to refuel in the IndyCar series and run laps on both the red and black tires during a road or street course race. On ovals or during wet races, teams do not have to run both the red and black tire but nevertheless teams still have to deal with pit strategy to refuel and switch off of worn tires. With timing data we have access to total lap times as well as times for individual sectors on the track which are based off of timing lines. By using this data we can look at multiple phases of the pit-stop process and analyze which drivers and teams are performing the best in each phase and overall.Continue reading “Analyzing Pit-Stop Performance from St. Petersburg”
The third and final full length practice session has finished up at St. Pete and now teams will head out and qualify this afternoon. A few red flags came out this morning that took away some practice time, but every driver still got some solid time on the track on the black tires.
Both of Friday’s practice sessions for the season opener at St. Petersburg have finished up, which means we can take a closer look at the sector heatmaps from each of these sessions.
As a reminder the heatmaps show the percent above or below the field average a driver’s sector time is. Purple is above average (good) and red is below average.
St. Petersburg has had on average about four cautions per race since 2005, making it very likely we’ll see multiple caution flags waved on Sunday. Frequent cautions are a product of street courses, and St. Petersburg has some especially tight sections that make it prone to contact with the wall and other cars.
With St. Pete also the first race of the year after a long offseason, drivers are itching to get going and start off the season well when they are here (meaning they’re more likely to make dumb mistakes or be extra aggressive).