A new scientific study reveals who is the best Formula 1 driver ever, and the answer may not surprise you too much.
Few disciplines have changed as much as Formula 1 has since its inception. It is understandable, considering that it is a competition that measures not only the skills of the pilots, but the technological advances of the manufacturers.
From the beginning, F1 cars have always had the most cutting-edge technology of the moment, long before it hit the street cars. Speed and safety increase hand in hand, and although it has gone through its bad times, the category has always known how to keep moving forward.
Technology and bravery come together in Formula 1
The downside of this constant change is that comparisons between pilots and teams of different few do not do much good. It really is fair Compare the first world championship, won by Giuseppe Farina, with the last one, won by Lewis Hamilton? Is Sebastian Vettel a pilot as good as his fraud, Michael Schumacher?
We could simply compare the number of world championships won, in which case Schumacher is unbeatable with seven awardsBut was there really so much competition during the five years that your Ferrari team dominated that in 2007, when the top three were divided by just two points, and in the end was Kimi Raikonnen the one who won the title?
It is clear that not all world titles are the same, as demonstrated in 1982 Keke Rosberg earning the title with only one race won. In this 2016 the championship will be made up of 21 races, while in the first years of the competition, it was normal for there to be only 7 races a year.
The circuits have also evolved, no longer runs in the Green Hell (Nurburgring) or dangerous circuits composed of public roads, but the calendar is dominated by tilkdromos, circuits of modern and standard design, named after the fans for having been designed by the German Hermann Tilke.
With all this in mind, the debate about who is the best F1 driver has been long and heated. Practically every fan has his own roster, and the arrival of new and young stars in F1 ensures that the debate has only just begun.
The algorithm that the best Formula 1 driver in history is looking for
Researchers from the University of Sheffield believe they have found the perfect mathematical formula to settle this conversation (although we are honest, that is unlikely). To decide who is the best Formula 1 driver in History, have done more than just count titles or winsThey have taken into account all kinds of aspects that surrounded those achievements.
The algorithm takes into account the final position in each race of the pilot, but that is only one variable in a multilevel model in which also the level of the team I ran on, how was the season for the team, and the level of the drivers they faced.
Not only that, but once the pilot level has been calculated, modifiers are applied depending on the year, the types of circuits on which he competed, and even the meteorologist he had to face, all in various complex functions.
Juan Manuel Fangio, El Chueco
With all this in mind, according to the algorithm Juan Manuel Fangio is the best driver in Formula 1 history. Of course, it is possible that you did not need an algorithm to realize this, since the Argentine is usually at the top of all the lists.
Considering that Fangio they won the championship five times with four different car brands, and he did it in the most dangerous era of motorsports, it stands to reason that he is on top. Instead, the second and third positions may surprise you.
Alain Prost, Le Professeur
The second best driver in history is Alain Prost, who was nicknamed Le Professeur (The Professor) for the methodical and calculated way of facing not only the races, but also all the politics that had formed around them.
The four world championships he has won them freehand, facing geniuses like Ayrton Senna and maintaining the record of victories until 2001.
Fernando Alonso, El Nano
The third place surely sounds to you: Fernando Alonso. The Spanish rider is considered by many to be the best on the current grid, despite having won only two championships.
This is where it shows more than the algorithm takes into account the strength of the team and the car, since since leaving McLaren in late 2007, Alonso has never been in the best car and despite that its quality has never been questioned.
To what extent is it true that without a good car it is not possible to win? Well enough, because according to the algorithm the team is responsible for 86% of the pilot’s position, a constant effect throughout the years.
Michael Schumacher, the legend
Is that why Schumacher is not in the top three? Schumacher is in the sixth position on the list, although He has all the records of victories (91), pole positions (68), and world championships (7)But the reason for this low position is not that he was in a dominant team like Ferrari.
What really penalized Schumacher was his return to the circuits in 2010 with Mercedes-Benz, four years after he retired. In none of the following three seasons did he manage to beat his teammate, Nico Rosberg, and that carried a lot of weight. If we ignore these years, Schumacher would be in the third position ahead of Alonso.
Proof that to achieve glory, it is not enough to have a good car and be fast, but you also have to make the right decision for your career.