F3 Asian 2020 Shampionship

I do not enjoy seeing essentially fake entries used to boost grid size so it would meet the FIA requirement for Super License points (looking at you, “Ret DNS DNS” drivers at the bottom of the championship standings). So I am not going to say much about this generally uninspiring series of events. Instead, here is the championship table sorted by the average number of points earned per race.

DriverRacesPoints per race
Joey Alders1517.7
Sebastián Fernández616.0
Jack Doohan1515.3
Mikhael Belov313.0
Nikita Mazepin1512.4
Devlin DeFrancesco911.2
Daniel Cao310.3
Jamie Chadwick159.3
Pietro Fittipaldi157.9
Yu Kanamaru156.9
James Yu154.7
Jake Hughes64.0
Tatiana Calderón93.4
Tommy Smith153.2
Miki Koyama32.0
Alessio Deledda151.4
Khaled Al Qubaisi30.7
Thomas Luedi150.2

The unexpected success of Alders got its share of headlines, but I would also remark on Belov’s 4th place by average points, considering that he came directly from F4. At the moment it is unclear where either of them is headed next: hopefully, Formula Renault Eurocup.

Re-Sorting Red Bull Junior Team

The late addition of Jehan Daruvala to the team reshuffled the standings, so here is an update. Because Daruvala’s statistics are current as of today, for the sake of consistency I updated Lawson and Tsunoda who took part in Toyota Racing Series 2020. Generally, Lawson’s statistics got slightly better and Tsunoda’s slightly worse.

The 2020 Red Bull Junior Ream roster consists of Jak Crawford, Jehan Daruvala, Jack Doohan, Jonny Edgar, Dennis Hauger, Liam Lawson, Yuki Tsunoda, and Jüri Vips. Leaving aside Crawford, who is just coming from karting, I will sort the rest using several hugely flawed metrics: same as were used for FDA earlier.

Simplified Super Licence Points

  1. Jehan Daruvala 21
  2. Jüri Vips 20
  3. Yuki Tsunoda 2

Counting F2 and FIA F3 points from the past two seasons only.

Number of races won

  1. Liam Lawson 41
  2. Dennis Hauger 22
  3. Yuki Tsunoda 13
  4. Jüri Vips 12
  5. Jehan Daruvala 10
  6. Jack Doohan 10

Winning percentage

  1. Dennis Hauger 30.1%
  2. Liam Lawson 25.5%
  3. Yuki Tsunoda 16.9%
  4. Jack Doohan 10.8%
  5. Jüri Vips 8.5%
  6. Jehan Daruvala 5.8%

Number of podiums

  1. Liam Lawson 84
  2. Jehan Daruvala 40
  3. Jüri Vips 40
  4. Jack Doohan 37
  5. Dennis Hauger 36
  6. Yuki Tsunoda 31
  7. Jonny Edgar 5

Podium percentage

  1. Liam Lawson 52.2%
  2. Dennis Hauger 49.3%
  3. Yuki Tsunoda 40.3%
  4. Jack Doohan 39.8%
  5. Jüri Vips 28.4%
  6. Jehan Daruvala 23.3%
  7. Jonny Edgar 17.2%

Summary

Lawson, Hauger, and Tsunoda end up in the top half of the roster more often than others. Obviously, they did not participate in the same series: some statistics of Daruvala and Vips are lower because of the stronger competition they faced recently.

Toyota Racing Series 2020 recap

It was a close one. Igor Fraga vs Liam Lawson, points after each race:

Fraga wins 362 : 356

They were always within 20 points of each other:

The impact of 3rd race at Hampton Downs looms over the rest

That one Hampton Downs race, where Lawson briefly lost power and got hit from behind, had disproportionate impact on the championship, more than any race victory by either driver.

Fraga and Lawson are headed to FIA F3 next. I recalculated the TRS results using FIA F3 scoring, which also awards reduced points for reversed grid races. Result: Lawson wins 226:216.

F3 scoring: Lawson wins 226:216

By F3 scoring, Lawson led almost throughout the championship, only trailing once, by 1 point, after his Hampton Downs retirement.

This graph is not as much dominated by a single race.

Neither competitor ever finished below 8th place. Comparing the scoring systems, one can conclude that TRS essentially gives about 10 points just for finishing, or equivalently imposes a 10 point penalty for a non-finish.

PlaceTRSF3TRS revF3 rev
135252015
231181812
327151610
42412148
52210126
6208104
718692
816481
“rev” = reversed grid races

Final remark: in the points-free comparison of sorted results, from best to worst, Lawson beats or matches Fraga in all except the last line.

FragavsLawson
1=1
1=1
1=1
1=1
2<1
2=2
2=2
3<2
3=3
4<3
4=4
5=5
6<5
7<6
8>Ret
Last line trumped the rest of them

(By the way, I am glad that Fraga won, I was rooting for him. But that is besides the point.)

Movement of the people 2019-20

I try to track the movement of drivers between the following categories: F1, F2, F3, F3R, and F4. Here F3R (“regional F3”) category also includes Formula Renault and Euroformula Open.

F2 to F1

  1. Nicholas Latifi

F3 to F2

  1. Marcus Armstrong
  2. Jehan Daruvala
  3. Felipe Drugovich
  4. Christian Lundgaard
  5. Pedro Piquet
  6. Robert Shwartzman
  7. Yuki Tsunoda

Aside: Jüri Vips moving from F3 to Super Formula.

F3R to F2

  1. Guilherme Samaia
  2. Marino Sato
  3. Daniel Ticktum

This is an oversimplification of events, but most of Sato’s and Ticktum’s races in 2019 were on F3R level.

Aside: Pietro Fittipaldi moving from F3 Asia to Super Formula.

F3R to F3

  1. Enaam Ahmed
  2. Olli Caldwell
  3. Cameron Das
  4. Jack Doohan
  5. Lukas Dunner
  6. Enzo Fittipaldi
  7. Sophia Flörsch
  8. Igor Fraga
  9. Federico Malvestiti
  10. Matteo Nannini
  11. Clement Novalak
  12. Oscar Piastri
  13. David Schumacher
  14. Alexander Smolyar
  15. Frederik Vesti
  16. Calan Williams

F4 to F3

  1. Dennis Hauger
  2. Théo Pourchaire

Skipping F3R is a bold move, and the only two drivers to attempt it in 2020 are the winners of two most competitive F4 championships: Italy and Germany.

F4 to F3R

  1. William Alatalo
  2. Paul Aron
  3. Ido Cohen
  4. Hadrien David
  5. Sebastian Estner
  6. Alessandro Famularo
  7. Reshad de Gerus
  8. Gillian Henrion
  9. Arthur Leclerc
  10. Zane Maloney
  11. Emidio Pesce
  12. Gianluca Petecof
  13. Oliver Rasmussen
  14. Grégoire Saucy
  15. Josh Skelton
  16. Roman Staněk
  17. Laszlo Toth
  18. Glenn van Berlo

This list is inevitably incomplete due to the fuzziness of F3R category.

Karting to F3R

  1. David Vidales

I am not going to track the drivers coming to F4 from karts due to sheer numbers, but going directly to F3R is sufficiently rare to be mentioned.

Sorting the Ferrari Driver Academy

The 2020 roster of Ferrari Driver Academy looks impressive, with 5 of 9 drivers having already reached Formula 2. But with very little room available at the highest step of the ladder, chances are that only a small fraction of them will reach it. Instead of making predictions on this matter, I will simply rank them using a few hugely flawed metrics and pick top 5 each time.

Simplified Super Licence Points

Following the method of a previous post, I count only the Super Licence points earned in F2 and FIA F3 in the past two seasons.

  1. Robert Shwartzman 50
  2. Marcus Armstrong 33
  3. Mick Schumacher 30
  4. Callum Ilott 15
  5. Giuliano Alesi 3

The rest have not yet reached the aforementioned series.

Number of races won

Not counting karting, of course. As the previous indicator, this one favors more experienced drivers; but the amount of experience is also a relevant thing to consider here.

  1. Mick Schumacher 29
  2. Marcus Armstrong 26
  3. Robert Shwartzman 16
  4. Callum Ilott 11
  5. Enzo Fittipaldi 10

Winning percentage

I expected this to favor the less experienced drivers, who spent more of their time in lower level series. But the list looks quite similar to the previous one.

  1. Mick Schumacher 16.4%
  2. Marcus Armstrong 15.8%
  3. Robert Shwartzman 9.7%
  4. Enzo Fittipaldi 9.1%
  5. (tie) Arthur Leclerc and Gianluca Petecof 7.5%

Number of podiums

These are the same 5 drivers as in the list based on the number of wins, but they are not in the same order.

  1. Marcus Armstrong 76
  2. Robert Shwartzman 63
  3. Mick Schumacher 51
  4. Enzo Fittipaldi 36
  5. Callum Ilott 32

Podium percentage

  1. Marcus Armstrong 46.1%
  2. Arthur Leclerc 40%
  3. Robert Shwartzman 38.2%
  4. Enzo Fittipaldi 32.7%
  5. Mick Schumacher 28.8%

Summary

Dino Beganovic, who is yet to make his single-seater debut, could not possibly appear in any of the above lists. Giuliano Alesi only appears as #5 on the Super Licence list. Overall, the top 3 are clearly Armstrong, Schumacher, and Shwartzman but at this point I cannot put them in any order other than alphabetical. If this is not a satisfactory conclusion, you can look at the Future Racing Stars ranking from Driver Database, which was also my source for most of the above statistics.

Toyota Racing Series scoring: 2018 vs 2020

Back to 2018

Recall how Richard Verschoor and Robert Shwartzman did in 2018 season of Toyota Racing Series:

VerschoorShwartzman
Wins61
Podiums129
Finished ahead of the other114
Who had a better season? Looks pretty clear to me.

Yet, Shwartzman became the champion with 916 points versus 911 for Verschoor. Because for the TRS scoring system it did not matter much who won a race, or in what order the drivers finished it, as long as they finished at all. The second place was worth 67/75 = 89.3% of the first place; for example, 9 second places were valued more than 8 wins. Even finishing last, in the 13th place (there were never more than 13 cars on the grid) was worth 26 points, a third of a race win. Verschoor had one retirement, and that was it.

Forward to 2020

The scoring system is different now. It no longer attempts to distribute points among (non-existent) 30 cars on the grid. Just among the 20. And finishing 2nd is no longer worth 89.3% of winning a race. It’s just 88.9%. And 9 second places are now worth exactly the same as 8 wins.

So, not much changed in essence, except for the value of finishing last (now 1 point compared to 26 in 2018). But finishing last was not the issue in 2018: neither Verschoor nor Shwartzman were ever classified below 6th.

The amounts being different between three races held each weekend, I use averages: the first place gets (35+20+35)/3 = 30 points on average, while the second place gets (31+18+31)/3 = 26.7 points and the third (21+16+21)/3 = 23.3.

After the first round in 2020, Liam Lawson has 82 points while his expected rival Ciao Collet has 18 (car damage + a cruel and unusual penalty). Which in the TRS reality means that Collet might as well pack and go on vacation. Even if he wins all of remaining 12 races, and Lawson gets an equal mix of 2nd and 3rd places, the championship will be decided by:

  • Collet: 18 + 12*30 = 378
  • Lawson: 82 + 6*26.7 + 6*23.3 = 382

Sure, Lawson might retire too. But what fun is a championship that hinges on retirements rather than victories?

What if

If 2020 scoring (for “normal” races) was applied to 2018 results, Verschoor would have won by 1 point: 418 : 417. I do not take it to mean that the problem was fixed, though. The table at the beginning of this post is telling me the championship was not that close. With the current F1/F2/F3 scoring, Verschoor would have won 261 : 233, clinching the title with a race to spare.

Disclaimer

This is not meant to be an anti-Shwartzman post. He did not invent the scoring system. Handed an early advantage due to Verschoor’s retirement in Round 1, he did what he had to do to maintain the championship lead and minimize the risk of losing it.

Super Licence points, simplified

FIA Super Licence points are too complicated for most people to follow in detail, especially when quite a few otherwise eligible series fail to reach the required grid size.

This does not stop series organizers and commentators from talking up the point amounts at any opportunity (aside: if during a race, a commentator cannot find a more interesting subject than Super License points, perhaps the series isn’t good enough to be awarding them). The points earned at F4 and regional F3 levels do matter for getting Grade A licence, but in most cases they will either expire or become redundant before the driver is ready to enter Formula 1.

So I prefer to simplify the picture by counting only Super License points earned in the last two years in F2 and (FIA) F3. (Since the latter did not exist in 2018, I counted both of its precedessors, European F3 and GP3).

DriverPointsF2 ’19F2 ’18F3 ’19F3 ’18
Nyck de Vries704030
Robert Shwartzman503020
Luca Ghiotto46406
Nicholas Latifi44404
Alexander Albon4040
George Russell4040
Lando Norris4040
Sérgio Sette Câmara403010
Marcus Armstrong33258
Mick Schumacher3030
Anthoine Hubert28325
Dan Ticktum2525
Jehan Daruvala21201
Artem Markelov2020
Jack Aitken2020
Jüri Vips201010
Nikita Mazepin2020
Callum Ilott1515
Leonardo Pulcini13310
Pedro Piquet1385
Guanyu Zhou1183
Nobuharu Matsushita1010
Louis Delétraz963
Antonio Fuoco88
David Beckmann77
Christian Lundgaard66
Jake Hughes642
Ralf Aron66
Richard Verschoor55
Álex Palou44
Jordan King44
Giuliano Alesi33
Enaam Ahmed22
Yuki Tsunoda22
Max Fewtrell11
Ryan Tveter11

The exclusion of other series like IndyCar or Super Formula has mostly to do with the fact that most of the drivers in those series are not on a trajectory that would lead them to F1 (sorry, Nick Cassidy). I might reconsider this next year depending on how much success Vips has in SF.

Reality check

Where are the drivers who already earned 40 or more points required for Super Licence? Albon, Norris, Latifi, and Russell indeed reached F1. Shwartzman moved up to F2 so far. The others appear to have left the F1 ladder: de Vries went to Formula E, Ghiotto to GT, Sette Câmara is rumored to join IndyCar.