Sunday, 7 August 2011


This has been a difficult season to rate for the following reasons:

- The artificial effects of DRS, KERS, the various and compulsory tyre usages and increased importance of strategy on race data.

- The short, pre-race timed and qualifying ‘shoot-out sessions ‘with varying tyre strategies which often render times that are not directly comparable.

However my methodology remains the same as for the other seasons documented from 1894. The figures represent running season averages, with 100.0 as the fastest. My System is not perfect: it measures relative speeds alone, not reliability. Only those races without rain, safety car periods or in which packages run well and without significant problems are counted.

(car plus driver combined)

1. Vettel/Red Bull Renault 100.0
2. Hamilton/McLaren-Mercedes 100.2
3. Webber/Red Bull-Renault 100.3
4. Alonso/Ferrari, Button/McLaren-Mercedes 100.4
6. Massa/Ferrari 100.9
7. Rosberg/Mercedes, Heidfeld/Renault 101.5
9. Petrov/Renault, Schumacher M/Mercedes 101.8
10. Kobayashi/Sauber-Ferrari 101.9
11. di Resta /Force India-Mercedes 102.1
12 Sutil/Force India-Mercedes, Perez/Sauber-Ferrari 102.2
13. Buemi/Toro Rosso-Ferrari, Alguersuari/Toro Rosso-Ferrari 102.3
14. Barrichello/Williams-Cosworth 102.8
15. Maldonado/Williams-Cosworth 103.2
16. Kovalainen/Lotus-Renault,de la Rosa/Sauber-Ferrari (pre-race) 103.5
17. Trulli/Lotus-Renault 104.1
18. d’Ambrosio/Virgin-Cosworth 106.0
19. Glock/Virgin-Cosworth 106.3
20. Liuzzi/HRT-Cosworth 106.4
21. Ricciardo/HRT-Cosworth 106.7
22. Karthikeyan/HRT-Cosworth 106.9
23. Chandhok/Lotus-Renault 108.1

(car neutral)

1. Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel 100.0
2. Rosberg 100.1
3. Button 100.2
4. Webber, 100.3
5. Schumacher M 100.4
6. Massa, Kovalainen, Kobayashi, Heidfeld, di Resta 100.5
7. Barrichello, Sutil 100.6
8. Glock, Buemi, Alguersuari 100.7
9. Petrov, Perez, Maldonado 100.8
10. Liuzzi 100.9
11. Trulli, d’Ambrosio 101.0
12. Ricciardo 101.2
13. Karthikeyan 101.4
14. de la Rosa 102.1
15. Chandhok 104.3

(driver neutral)

1. Red Bull-Renault 100.0
2. McLaren-Mercedes 100.2
3. Ferrari 100.4
4. Renault 101.0
5. Mercedes, Sauber-Ferrari 101.4
6. Force India-Mercedes, Toro Rosso-Ferrari 101.6
7. Williams-Cosworth 102.3
8. Lotus-Renault 103.8
9. Virgin-Cosworth 105.0
10. HR-Cosworth 105.5

By documenting these stats to the nearest 0.1 or 1/100th, much debate will be raised. However speed differentials have always been as close between certain competitors.

These stats are season averages. Individual race speed differentials can and do vary, depending on circuits, weather conditions, car and driver suitabilities.

© Patrick O’Brien 2011. Nothing from this page can be used without the permission of Patrick E. O’Brien.


  1. Patrick, a lot of "food for thought". I bet that if the Renault people look at their #4 place in CAR RATINGS, they would be very concerned.

    Flavio81 (from PF1 forum)

  2. Hi Flavio

    Many thanks for your valued comments!

    The Renault might be fourth fastest car, but it is a second-a-lap off-pace. Time differences tell more than points or race finish positions.

    I'd love to do Prost vs Senna and Mansell vs Piquet, and will try to find time asap.

    I have a nice quote from and English engineer from Willliams, who said that Piquet was far better than Mansell at car set-up, testing and driving! I agree with this; that famous overtake Mansell did on Piquet to win at Brands was due to Nelson’s tyres being finished, and Nigel on newer ones. It was not superior driving.

    Like you I am a great fan of S American drivers; Reutemann being one of the most talented of all that I saw, even against such talents as Clark and Stewart. Surprisingly my ratings found Emerson as slow as the Hills, G and D and J Villeneuve! Piquet confirmed this; Emmo’s strength was in methodical car set-up and careful, safe ,consistent driving. I also met and talked to Fangio at Kyalami through an interpreter, and he signed my book. He was my first GP hero. He was brought out in 1992 by Pirelli South Africa; I arranged for him to do a demo lap in a 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C1750. JMF was 80, but drove the car faster and better than the owner who had had it for 30 years. What a great driver.

    Saddest day for me was Montoya retiring; what a racer. Another season or so at McLaren and he’d have given Raikkonen a good go imo. I have done an essay comparing Montoya and Gonzalez; will post it here on my blog for you.



  3. Patrick, thanks for the reply. The comment on Piquet is interesting, i never fully understood why he seldom mentioned whenever the Senna Prost and Mansell are.

    The same for Lauda who i feel is underrated on the light of his consistently high performances, even when he was old and paired against Prost, who Lauda called "the fast son of a bitch".

    As for Reutemann, i also rate him a lot, it's so ironic that he's a politician nowadays. He is one of the very few drivers to get pole on debut, and AFAIK it was on a car that wasn't the class of the field. Or it was a case of the Argentinians tampering with the chronos? LOL.

    Recalling your mention of Patrese and J. Watson, it would be interesting if you could make a feature of the 1980s (or 1990s) drivers that were as fast as the drivers in the limelight (according to the POBSystem), but somehow were forgotten by the fans.