Pre-Race Analysis Abu Dhabi – Learn based on last year’s result

1. Understanding the data

The final Grand Prix of 2020 takes place in Abu Dhabi. Let’s take a look into the data from last year’s final race in Abu Dhabi and focus on the teams which have the chance to finish the season as 3rd in the constructor’s championship. We might get some insights on how the teams performed last year and who of the drivers was able to collect some final points for the team.

But first, here are the data we are working with – mainly we will focus onto the “secs” (-> Laptime in Seconds), driver code (-> Driver name abbreviation) and the position per lap:

Excpert of the data

Overall, the dataset gives us information of all 1075 driven laps in 2019’s race and a first indication of the distribution of the laptimes:

Summary of secs column
  • The fastest lap during the race last year was a 01:39.280 (99.28 sec.)
  • The slowest lap was a 03:01.540 (181.54 sec.)
  • Average laptime was a 01:45.010 (105.01 sec.)

2. Analyzing overall Laptimes

Due to the wide spread of the laptime data (possibly caused by Pitstops, Safety-Cars, laps with damaged car, etc.), there is not that much information we can see on the above shown chart. In order to see where the majority of the laptimes were, we exclude the outliers:

>> boxplot(df$secs, outline = FALSE)
>> stripchart(df$secs, method = "jitter")

And now we take a look on the laptime distribution of each lap (still without the outliers):

>> boxplot(df$secs ~ df$lap, outline = FALSE)

We can cleary see laptimes decreasing throughout the race. This can be explained by the fact, that cars are getting lighter lap by lap and with fresher tyres at the end of the race, some drivers were definitely “sending it”. Having the overall laptime distribution per lap, we now want to take a look into the laptimes of each driver or team in the next section.

3. Team-specific Analysis

McLaren

Renault Racing

Ferrari

Racing Point

4. Conclusion

Based on the laptimes we have seen last year, we can analyze how consistent a driver drove. This ranking could be an indication how comfortable the driver feels on this specific track. It can of course be very misleading as laptimes with a damaged car, drivers with a bad pitstop or different situations based on Safety Car deployment or overtaking (which takes additional time) during the race are not reflected in this analysis. Nevertheless – based on the standard deviation of the laptimes – Max Verstappen, Kevin Magnussen and Lewis Hamilton seemed to have a very consistent race last year; and we can be curious how this year’s race will be…

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