Qualifying a good indicator of race performance at Silverstone


The Formula One paddock arrives back in Europe for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on June 30th. Despite a strong correlation between qualifying and race performance, only 30% of polesitters have gone on to win in the last decade.

Silverstone circuit

After two consecutive street circuit races, Formula One returns to one of the most traditional permanent tracks of the year at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.

Silverstone is arguably the most iconic circuit raced in the season because it is extremely demanding for the drivers, cars and tyres.

The racetrack has had major redevelopment work in recent years, with substantial changes to the track, which has created more overtaking opportunities, especially with the introduction of DRS.


No new tyres for Silverstone

Pirelli announced they will not use new rear tyres at the British Grand Prix as planned after wet weather on Friday in Canada limited the teams’ testing – the new tyre is designed to reduce the risk of delamination, but a lower operating temperature means it could also have an impact on performance for some teams.

The teams will have the hard and medium tyres available – the two hardest tyres in Pirelli’s range – which are best suited to the high-energy demands of the Silverstone track.

The track surface can be quite abrasive, which increases wear, while the tyre assembly has to cope with extended periods when the cars are at top speed.


Unpredictable British weather

Despite eight of the last 10 British GP’s being dry, Silverstone is often characterised by a wide variety of climatic conditions over the race weekend, with ambient temperatures ranging between 15 to 30 degrees.

The inclement weather is the biggest difficulty in terms of set-up. Drivers have to focus on their car and collect as much information as possible during each session – a set-up that isn’t perfect for race day conditions could see the driver lagging at the back of the grid.

Good tyre management, an effective strategy and a good car set-up are vital ingredients for a successful race outcome.


Strong correlation despite pole sitter struggling

After proving there was a solid correlation between qualifying position and final race positions throughout the 2012 season, we have used the same model to examine the last ten British Grand Prix to indicate how much influence Formula One bettors can place on the relevance of qualifying at Silverstone as a race performance indicator.

In the last 29 British Grand Prix there has been an average of 25.86 overtakes, while last year saw 48 overtakes. So far this season there have been 59.17 overtakes on average compared to 51.28 last season.

The data shows a strong 0.67 correlation between qualifying and race position at the British Grand Prix. Interestingly, the correlation is amongst the strongest of the previous Grand Prix this season.

90% of races correlate, with just the 2008 British GP having a poor correlation (0.39) – however this was due to seriously wet weather, which saw seven retirements. The data showcases that qualifying at the British GP provides a strong predictor of a drivers’ race performance.

Despite a strong correlation between qualifying and race performance, only 30% of polesitters at the past 10 British GP’s have gone on to win the race, with the last being Sebastian Vettel in 2009.

Only three drivers have secured pole position in the previous seven races this season and it’s the three-time world champion Vettel who has the best conversion (66%) with two wins from three poles – Lewis Hamilton (0% from one pole) and Nico Rosberg (33% from three poles) are the others.

Another point to note is that despite Vettel often having the edge over his teammate Mark Webber, it is the Australian who has had the advantage over the triple world champion in Britain, having taken four straight podiums, including two wins.

(Source: Pinnacle


Comments and Feedback

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment this article!

Register or log in to submit your comment.