Saturday, 27 September 2014

Driving stints in Texas

During the 6 hours of Circuit of the Americas, a message came up on the timing screens to tell teams that the driving time regulations would still apply, despite the fact that the race had been suspended for 49 minutes, and drivers had been allowed out of their cars during the stoppage.

It got me thinking a little bit, so I have worked out the number of laps driven and the time in the car, for each driver in the LMP1 category. For the purposes of this table I have included the time spent by drivers in the pits, so that the sum of the times for each car adds up to six hours, and the sum of the laps completed adds up to the number of laps completed by each car in the race (unless I have made a mistake).

No. Driver No. of laps Percent Time Percent
1 Loïc Duval 48 31% 1h 32m 16s 26%

Tom Kristensen 52 33% 2h 40m 38s 44%

Lucas di Grassi 57 36% 1h 49m 51s 30%

2 André Lotterer 49 31% 1h 34m 38s 26%

Benoît Tréluyer 42 27% 2h 19m 41s 39%

Marcel Fässler 66 42% 2h 07m 33s 35%

7 Alex Wurz 78 50% 2h 29m 40s 41%

Mike Conway 47 30% 2h 32m 14s 42%

Stéphane Sarrazin 30 20% 1h 00m 17s 17%

8 Sébastien Buemi 69 44% 2h 10m 58s 36%

Nicolas Lapierre 58 37% 2h 53m 50s 48%

Anthony Davidson 30 19% 0h 58m 08s 16%

9 Christophe Bouchut 53 37% 2h 50m 14s 47%

Lucas Auer 33 24% 1h 16m 21s 21%

James Rossiter 54 39% 1h 56m 06s 32%

12 Mathias Beche 67 45% 2h 16m 59s 38%

Nicolas Prost 24 16% 0h 49m 36s 14%

Nick Heidfeld 58 39% 2h 55m 33s 48%

13 Fabio Leimer 37 42% 1h 21m 39s 33%

Dominik Kraihamer 22 25% 0h 44m 24s 18%

Andrea Belicchi 29 33% 1h 58m 53s 49%

14 Romain Dumas 28 18% 0h 53m 01s 14%

Neel Jani 75 48% 3h 24m 47s 57%

Marc Lieb 53 34% 1h 44m 09s 29%

20 Mark Webber 46 30% 1h 28m 18s 24%

Timo Bernhard 59 38% 2h 56m 18s 49%

Brendon Hartley 50 32% 1h 37m 25s 27%

I will leave readers to draw their own conclusions from all this, but feel that one or two of my own conclusions might also be appropriate. Firstly, it is noticeable that Toyota seems to favour one driver in each car over the others. Both Buemi and Wurz drove the TS040 twice during the race; at the start and again at the finish. Audi cycled their drivers through one driving shift each and Porsche split their strategy, giving Dumas, Jani and Lieb one stint each in the no. 14 but allowing Webber two stints (at the start and at the end) in the no. 20.

Surely minimising the number of driver changes must be the best strategy? Although tyre usage plays a role in when to change drivers.

It is also interesting - or perhaps fun would be a better word, for it is hardly an illuminating statistic - to see who actually achieved the fastest average speed for his stint. Probably by virtue of it being the shortest, that honour goes to Romain Dumas at 174.7km/h. Benoît Tréluyer, in the winning Audi, actually set the second slowest stint of all, completing his 42 laps at an average speed of just under 100km/h, but at least he kept it on the track.

And even though Neel Jani was at the wheel for longer than anyone else, it was Alexander Wurz who actually drove more laps than anyone else in the class, with a total of 78.

If anyone wants the same information for the P2 class or GT cars, then you'll have to bribe me: send whisky or leave a begging message below!

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