F1 Analysis

Race Pace Prediction and Analysis

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Siddharth Anish

· 3 min read

A constantly improving track and each team starting their long runs at different times meant that it was difficult to establish a clear pecking order. The track was also freshly repaved. “The new asphalt is very smooth and slippery, offering little mechanical grip but at the same time good adhesion, which increasingly improved as conditions got better,” said Simone Berra. With a 60% chance of rain and a lack of clear data, the race already seems to have all the elements of a thriller. Let’s look at the data and see who might have the upper hand come race day.

Potential Race Pace for the Top 4 Teams

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As mentioned previously, this data must be taken with a pinch of salt. That being said however, Mercedes seem to have a fast race car in their hands. There were complaints of graining amongst some of the drivers. This circuit with this newly repaved surface is hard on the tyres. The outlier in the data is Alonso. He has set impressive lap times across a bigger stint of laps on the Hard compound. Starting on the front row, could this be victory number 33 for number 14?

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Data shows the expected order to be: RedBull > Aston Martin > Mercedes > Ferrari.

The Best of the Rest

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7 teams placed in the top 10 in qualifying, which included some unexpected results. Let’s see who can maintain their positions and compete for the final few points. Alpine appear to be highly competitive with both Gasly and Ocon. Their aerodynamic tweaks from Baku appear to be working, and they are on par with Mercedes in terms of race pace. Williams, Alfa Romeo, and Alpha Tauri are the most likely to capitalize on any incidents. After Magnussen’s strong qualifying performance, Haas can find themselves falling behind McLaren due to the latter’s unknown race pace

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Data shows the expected order to be: Mercedes > Alpine > Williams > Alfa Romeo > Alpha Tauri > Mclaren (Unknown).

Race Strategies

Most teams will keep an eye out for rear overheating and front graining. According to Pirelli from the data collected, they observed that there was graining on the soft and mediums on both the front and the rears but the hard was a very consistent tyre. Teams will also monitor the weather intently to strategize around the rain, if there happens to be any.

Strategy 1: One Stop: Medium – Hard

The one stop looks to be the best strategy owing to the balance of lap time as well as pit stop time. The pit window is expected to be open during laps 12-20.

Strategy 2: Two Stop: Medium - Hard – Soft

Ater the gaps have built up and the race has unfolded slightly, team may feel like pitting onto the Soft for a dash to the finish as they hope to jump the car ahead, similar to Mercedes and Red Bull’s famous strategies during races such as France 2021 and Silverstone in 2020. If they do decide to stop twice, the average pace of the middle stint is expected to be quicker, and the second pit window should be open around laps 35-43.

Strategy 3: Two Stop: Soft - Medium - Hard

If it rains before the race begins and clears out at the start of the race. Provided the track is dry, the Soft would be the best tyre to start on because of the grip level offered and tyre temperature requirements. In this case, teams would have to be on their feet to make the call on when to switch to the Hard or Medium.

#Race Prediction#formula one#Miami Grand Prix
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About Siddharth Anish

Mechanical Engineering student with experience in Aerodynamics and Vehicle Dynamics. My first words were Schumacher.