ATLAS F1   Volume 7, Issue 14

  Qualifying Differentials

  by Marcel Borsboom, Netherlands

For the fourth year running, Atlas F1 is going to keep an eye on the battle between teammates throughout the season with a simple measurement: we compare the qualifying times of each driver against his teammate's result. After every Grand Prix, we will show how teammates have fared up against each other, and where they are overall since the beginning of the season. At the end of the season, the World Champion of Qualifying Differentials will be elected - the driver who was most beaten by his teammates, in seconds. Only those who participate in at least 15 of the 17 rounds are eligible for the coveted crown; and for those who made the efforts and participated in all 17 races, the best and worst result will be scrapped.

With three qualifying sessions completed for 2001, the differentials are on a roll! Let's see which drivers deserve bragging rights.

Brazil Notables

  • Setting the records straight. A number of drivers set their best F1 grid position ever, including Ralf Schumacher, Juan Pablo Montoya, Enrique Bernoldi, Luciano Burti, Nick Heidfeld, and Kimi Raikkonen. In fact, the qualifying session in Brazil was a remarkable one for almost all - the field never looked so tight, and intra-team competition never looked as fierce.

  • The Schumacher Bros. Did you see that? Did you see the qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix? Well you had better: it was the first time ever that two brothers shared the front row - F1 history in the making. But, who is willing to bet on it being the last time ever? Not us!

  • Alesi. Either Gaston Mazzacane is doing badly, or Alesi is in his top form, or both: one way or another, the Prost duo stand out in both charts of the Qualifying Differentials, Alesi thrashing his young teammate with a staggering 1.1 seconds differential in both the Brazilian chart and the overall chart.

  • Changes since Malaysia: While the bottom of the averages chart is remarkably tight, it should be noted that Giancarlo Fisichella has now moved ahead of teammate Jenson Button by a mere 17 hundreds of a second.

Brazilian Differentials                Average Brazilian Differentials   
-----------------------                -------------------------------   
Slower        Diff.   Faster           Slower        Diff.   Faster      
Mazzacane   > 1.083 > Alesi            Mazzacane   > 1.196 > Alesi       
Marques     > 0.600 > Alonso           Burti       > 1.029 > Irvine      
Barrichello > 0.411 > M.Schumacher     Marques     > 0.879 > Alonso      
Burti       > 0.179 > Irvine           Montoya     > 0.600 > R.Schumacher
Villeneuve  > 0.136 > Panis            Raikkonen   > 0.436 > Heidfeld    
Raikkonen   > 0.114 > Heidfeld         Coulthard   > 0.327 > Hakkinen    
Montoya     > 0.075 > R.Schumacher     Barrichello > 0.294 > M.Schumacher
Coulthard   > 0.056 > Hakkinen         Bernoldi    > 0.270 > Verstappen  
Button      > 0.054 > Fisichella       Trulli      > 0.106 > Frentzen    
Verstappen  > 0.047 > Bernoldi         Panis       > 0.077 > Villeneuve  
Frentzen    > 0.003 > Trulli           Button      > 0.017 > Fisichella  

The average gap between teammates in Brazil was a mere 0.25s - the smallest average gap in years. This, compared to 0.455s in last year's Brazilian Grand Prix, or 0.588 in the previous round, in Malaysia, and 0.852 in Australia.

Marcel Borsboom© 2007
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