Saturday, May 14, 2016

Formula One: Elo Ratings, Post-Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton finally had a fully operational car for qualifying, Max Verstappen finally drove a Red Bull, and a McLaren finally broke into Q3. There were a few inexplicable results, though, such as Felipe Massa getting bumped in Q1 (leading to some squabbling between driver and team) and both Ferraris getting relegated to row three. Let's take a look at the ratings, post-qualifying.
Rank+/-Driver TeamRating+/-
1 -- RosbergMercedes 1737 -3
2 -- VettelFerrari 1470 -35
3 -- RaikkonenFerrari 1444 -9
4 -- HamiltonMercedes 1416 +82
5 +2 RicciardoRed Bull 1343 +65
6 -1 BottasWilliams 1300 -6
7 +1 VerstappenRed Bull 1245 +83
8 +1 PerezForce India 1116 +25
9 +2 Sainz Jr.Toro Rosso 1105 +54
10 -4 MassaWilliams 1103 -176
11 -1 KvyatToro Rosso 1051 -38
12 -- AlonsoMcLaren 1046 +35
13 -- HulkenbergForce India 1018 +25
14 -- ButtonMcLaren 986 +16
15 -- GrosjeanHaas 949 -14
16 +1 MagnussenRenault 887 -9
17 +1 GutierrezHaas 770 +16
18 +2 PalmerRenault 722 +11
19 -- EricssonSauber 702 -26
20 +1* NasrSauber 637 -26
21 +1* WehrleinManor 583 -31
22 +1* HaryantoManor 532 -38

Verstapped and Hamilton were (unsurprisingly) the big winners. Hamilton has a long uphill battle to catch up to Rosberg after a run of bad luck, but getting pole in Spain is a big first step. Verstappen appears to have validated Red Bull's choice to promote him to the A-team. Williams was already in serious danger of losing third place to Red Bull, and Massa's ratings took a pummeling from the Q1 mistake.

McLaren might have broken a psychological barrier by breaking into Q3, but per Elo it wasn't quite the monumental milestone as claimed by some commentators. It was a positive step forward (+26 points for the team average), but nearby leaders Force India and Toro Rosso averaged a +25 and +8 average, respectively.

Spain is a notoriously difficult track on which to pass, so provided Mercedes can get a good start, this may be a quite interesting race for third.

* Stoffel Vandoorne was removed from the rankings since he has not participated in a few races.

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