Thursday, June 9, 2016

Formula One: Elo Ratings, Post-Monaco Grand Prix

Apparently the gods of Monaco were looking out for Lewis Hamilton this year, after completely abandoning him last year. The Principality has always favored cars with strong downforce, even if their power units were lacking. For this reason we can assume that both Red Bull (for the first reason) and McLaren (for the latter) had this race circled on their calendars. Ricciardo put his car on pole, joining Vettel and Massa as only the third non-Mercedes driver since the start of the 2014 season to claim the front spot on the grid.

Monaco is notorious for favoring the pole-sitter. Over the last 30 years, if the pole-sitter isn't forced to retire (which they had to do in seven out of 30 tries) they go on to win 61% of the time. Barring any mistakes, Ricciardo was well-positioned to take the victory.

Pit stop mistake. Notice the lack of new tires.
Even with the botched pit stop, Ricciardo was on Hamilton's gearbox most of the rest of the way, and not even the looming threat of rain and mild sprinkles at the end of the race was enough to let him by.

Rank+/-Driver TeamRating+/-
1 -- RosbergMercedes 1649 -88
2 +2 HamiltonMercedes 1489 +73
3 -1 VettelFerrari 1462 -5
4 +1 RicciardoRed Bull 1454 +108
5 -2 RaikkonenFerrari 1432 -29
6 -- VerstappenRed Bull 1316 --
7 +2 PerezForce India 1214 +93
8 -- Sainz Jr.Toro Rosso 1150 +22
9 +4 HulkenbergForce India 1146 +128
10 -3 BottasWilliams 1133 -162
11 -- AlonsoMcLaren 1115 +69
12 -- KvyatToro Rosso 1056 +33
13 -3 MassaWilliams 1013 -82
14 -- ButtonMcLaren 982 -7
15 -- GrosjeanHaas 869 -80
16 +1 GutierrezHaas 846 +55
17 -1 MagnussenRenault 796 -22
18 -- EricssonSauber 706 -16
19 -- PalmerRenault 689 -32
20 -- NasrSauber 637 --
21 -- WehrleinManor 526 -35
22 -- HaryantoManor 478 -23

The big winner in all this was not Hamilton, but Force India. The mid-pack team not only managed to pick up a podium (well done, Perez) but Hulkenberg snuck by Rosberg on the final straight to snag sixth place. On the flip side of the coin, Williams' well-documented struggles with aero and downforce bit them big-time, as neither driver made it to Q3, and finished the race 10th and 11th.

Let's check in on our team ratings for the first time since the Russian Grand Prix.

RankTeamAvg. Rating
3Red Bull1385
4Force India1180
5Toro Rosso1103

Mercedes and Ferrari continue to run 1-2, but Williams has dropped nearly 200 points, allowing them to be overhauled by Red Bull, Toro Rosso, and Force India. Elo predicts that Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull will be jostling for the top six spots (well, Mercedes 1-2, with Ferrari and Red Bull fighting for the last podium spot), while a four-team mid-pack of Force India, Toro Rosso, Williams, and McLaren fight for the remaining points-paying positions. Haas has settled back down to earth after a lucky start to the season; look for Alonso, Sainz, and Hulkenberg to overtake Grosjean in the points standing during the European stretch. Further down the field, look for Renault and Sauber to battle out who's going to join Manor in getting bounced in Q1.