(Motorsport-Total.com) – Max Verstappen’s record-breaking season continues happily: with his 53rd career victory in Las Vegas, he ties Sebastian Vettel on the list of all-time winners, but he had to fight harder than usual for the victory in Nevada.
In Las Vegas, Max Verstappen not only kept his nose just ahead of Charles Leclerc at the start
How good was the pace of the individual cars? What does the data from the 2023 season tell us? Who is good in qualifying, who is good in the race? Who has the best top speed? Who has the best tire wear and how much does it cost? How fast are teammates with each other?
With the data provided by our technology partner ‘PACETEQ’, we can gain insights into the hidden data of Formula 1 teams and we can use it to answer all these questions!
Race pace: Ferrari narrowly misses, McLaren with turnaround
Judging by the data, Max Verstappen was the fastest driver in the field at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, but only about a tenth per lap ahead of Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. While the Monegasse made a slightly stronger impression on the medium tyres, the Red Bulls were better on the hard tyres.
Surprisingly, third place went to McLaren (+0.43), which Oscar Piastri’s tenth place would not have been at all expected. However, the hard-medium strategy, without a safety car stop, ruined Piastri’s race. Mercedes (+0.58) also failed to exploit its full potential with seventh and eighth places.
Alpine (+0.77) and Aston Martin (+0.93) have benefited most from the problems of the top teams, although Alpine’s pace is still surprising considering that the Renault is the engine with the lowest power. However, Esteban Ocon managed to get the tires to work perfectly in the race.
Williams (+1.42), Haas (+1.59), AlphaTauri (+1.88) and Alfa Romeo (+2.0) all struggled with tire temperatures and graining in the race. Valtteri Bottas would probably have had the best pace, but after the collision at the start that damaged the diffuser and underbody, his race was over.
If you look at the best times in qualifying, Ferrari and Charles Leclerc were the dominant force. Due to the few corners, the field remained close, with only AlphaTauri and McLaren disappointing as they simply could not adjust the temperature in their tires.
Tire wear is not a problem for Ferrari and Haas
Leclerc deprived of a safe victory in the safety car race!
With his 53rd career victory in Las Vegas, Max Verstappen tied Sebastian Vettel on the list of all-time Formula 1 winners.
to the video section
At the Brazilian Grand Prix, the teams mainly made two stops, although this was due to the safety car phases. If you extrapolate the tire data from the race, the half-hard strategy without safety cars would have been about four seconds faster than the half-hard-hard two-stop strategy. In any case, it was more about warming the tires and preventing graining than protecting the tires.
Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari showed the best tire management in Las Vegas. Charles Leclerc’s first stint on medium tires was particularly impressive. There were no major differences between the teams at the back.
The seasonal average results in a mixed picture. The Red Bull RB19 is still the car with the least tire wear, with consistent laps also indicating pace management. Even so, in theory the team should have advantages, especially on tracks with aggressive asphalt. Mercedes and Aston Martin also score points when it comes to tire wear.
Ferrari and its client teams Haas and Alfa Romeo are a little further behind and wear their tires faster and more intensely. This costs the American Haas team in particular valuable race time and makes it almost impossible to score points in Sunday’s race.
This is what the balance of power looks like all season long!
If you look at the averages from the first 21 races, it now looks like the chasers are slowly catching up to Red Bull. Especially in qualifying, the Bulls are becoming increasingly vulnerable to not taking first place.
If we consider the average of the first 21 races, Red Bull is almost two tenths ahead of Ferrari in qualifying, followed by Mercedes (+0.38) and McLaren (+0.64). The problem child in qualifying is Williams: the Grove team is in last place, 1.21 seconds behind.
In the race there are bigger gaps. Ferrari is now six tenths behind, as is Mercedes. The gaps in midfield have also increased significantly. While the field was 1.21 seconds behind in qualifying, it is now 1.71 in the race.
The differences between qualifying and the race are sometimes serious. If we use Red Bull as a reference, Aston Martin trails in the race by around 0.082 seconds per lap and is therefore still the team closest to catching Red Bull in terms of qualifying, albeit in the wrong direction.
The biggest loser is Ferrari: the Scuderia is four tenths further behind Red Bull in the race than in the previous day’s standings. Alfa Romeo and Haas also appear to perform significantly better over a lap, losing a further three tenths to Red Bull in the race.
Team duel: Perez and Stroll with claps
A similar difference between qualifying and the race can also be seen in the distances in team duels. The clearest team duel in qualifying takes place at Aston Martin with Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll, where the Canadian wins on average almost eight tenths. Also noteworthy are the duels between Wiliiams, Haas and Red Bull, with Ferrari being the most disputed.
The clearest team duel in the race is also at Aston Martin, where Lance Stroll sees no match for Fernando Alonso. Interestingly, one of the clearest qualifying duels is one of the closest in the race, where Haas’ Magnussen is even faster on average than Hülkenberg.
In addition to Haas, other team duels also took place. In the race, Tsunoda is now faster than Ricciardo and Guanyu Zhou in the Alfa Romeo, ahead of Valtteri Bottas. Looking at the data, Daniel Ricciardo is also the best teammate of Yuki Tsunoda, who he had at AlphaTauri in 2023.
Which car has the best top speed?
The big question, of course, is where does Red Bull’s advantage come from? The car is perfectly balanced, of course, but the RB19 can also show its strengths on the straights. If you look at the top speed figures in qualifying, nobody is faster than Verstappen and Perez.
On the one hand, the RB19 is once again aerodynamically efficient and generates less air resistance than the competition, but even with the DRS open, Red Bull apparently finds more time than the others. With an average of 0.5 km/h behind, only Williams can remotely keep up, followed by Ferrari.
Mercedes is in the middle of the pack when it comes to top speed, while at the end of the pack are McLaren and AlphaTauri, which still need improvements with an average of 5 km/h behind Red Bull. These cars have a lot of air resistance.
Who bluffs the most in the first quarter?
Have you ever asked which team can improve the most from Q1 to Q3? We have the answer: Red Bull! The team finds more than a second during qualifying, which means that at the start of qualifying you often don’t have all the cards on the table, be it the amount of fuel or the engine mode.
The smaller teams, who are at risk of being eliminated in Q1, have to give their all in the first qualifying segment and can therefore only improve further through the general improvement of track conditions.
Who makes the best pit stops?
An important criterion for a good race strategy is, of course, pit stops. On average, Red Bull and McLaren drivers spend less time changing tires. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez last an average of just 2.62 seconds when changing tires, which is the best value in Formula 1.
Alfa Romeo and Haas have bigger problems changing tires with more than three and a half seconds per stop! And this excludes pit stops with front wing changes or similar. The unluckiest person in the pit lane is Guanyu Zhou. The Chinese represents an average of 3.7 seconds when changing tires.