The last ever season of Eurocup ended with Martins as champion and a neat graph of 1-2 finishes. One can point to the Martins-Collets battle as evidence of championship drama, but it was mostly a snoozer with few notable position changes after the first lap.
Biggest disappointment: Paul Aron. One P2 and far too many unforced errors.
CryptoTower Racing won 16 out of 18 races… divided 11:5 between Ye and Dunner. But if one puts aside the four races that Dunner missed because of schedule clashes, the win counts are nearly even, 7:5. This is a championship fight that could have been but wasn’t.
The Edgar-Crawford fight was intense and entertainting, but overall the season was a disappointment by comparison with 2019. Prema team dropped out after two rounds, Pizzi (VAR) left one round later, and US Racing fell far short of replicating the strength of their 2019 lineup. The contest between Edgar and Crawford largely came down to who got torpedoed more often (Crawford, as it seemed to me).
The Mugello race did not change the 1-2 graph of F1, but some things changed in the finishing record, with Latifi’s DNF, Albon’s podium and Russell’s P11. Four drivers were classified in every race so far. With their (best-worst) positions, they are:
Hamilton has the “best worst” result: P7. Grosjean is now the sole owner of “worst best” result: P12.
This is getting complicated.
The F2 graph begins to resemble an organic molecule. One would not guess from it that Ilott is the championship leader: Ghiotto, Mazepin, Schumacher, and Shwartzman all have higher vertex degree. Of these, Ghiotto looks like the central character of F2 season, which he was not really.
Classified in every race so far: Delétraz (2-19), Daruvala (4-19), and Piquet (7-21). The best worst result is shared by Delétraz and Daruvala: P19. The worst best result is Samaia’s P14.
And just like that, the season is over…
Pourchaire and Piastri have degree 5; Sargeant, Vesti, Hughes, and Lawson have degree 4. An extremely impressive performance by Pourchaire, considering he came to F3 straight from F4 which is rarely done nowadays (only Hauger and Staněk did the same, with far less spectacular results.)
Classified in every race: Pourchaire (1-26), Verschoor (2-27), Fittipaldi (4-26), Staněk (8-26). The best worst result (P26) is shared by Pourchaire, Fittipaldi, and Staněk. The worst best result is Deledda’s P20.
Peroni dominated intra-team qualifying battle, which was not a battle at all.
The wild F1 race created a small 1-2 component, which is very unikely to get connected to the rest of the graph.
Russell and Verstappen remain unbeaten by teammates in qualifying. Five drivers were classified in every race so far. With their (best-worst) positions, they are:
This means that Hamilton has the “best worst” result: his worst result was 7th place. The “worst best” result is shared by Grosjean and Russell: their best result was 12th place finish.
Right after I exposed the two-party system in Formula 2, it was broken by Monza Feature Race, where Schumacher and Ghiotto were 1-2. This means F2 now has a connected 1-2 graph, in which the Schumacher-Ghiotto edge links two parts that were previously separate. It is a neat graph with relatively few loops, easy to draw on a plane.
The graph has a large diameter: Ticktum and Zhou are separated by 7 edges. It has two centers: Schumacher and Ghiotto share this role (every other vertex is within distance 4 of them).
Four drivers were classified in every race so far:
Piquet Jr. (7-21)
Therefore, the best worst result (19th place) is shared by Aitken, Daruvala, and Delétraz. On the other hand, Samaia has the worst best result: 14th place.
Aitken and Ticktum remain unbeaten by their teammates in qualifying.
The F3 graph of 1-2 finishes is more loopy, which makes it harder to draw.
Four drivers were classified in every race so far:
Perhaps surprisingly, Staněk has the best worst result (24th). Less surprisingly, Deledda has the worst best result (20th).
Peroni remains unbeaten by his teammates in qualifying.
The two-party system works as follows: in each F2 race so far this season, one of two parties took both P1 and P2: the president and vice-president posts. The parties are evenly matched, in that each won 7 out of the 14 races held so far. However, the split is uneven in feature/sprint categories.
Ilott’s party won 2 feature races (Austria and 70th anniversary) and 5 sprint races (Austria, Styria, Hungary, Britain, and Spain).
Shwartzman’s party won 5 feature races (Styria, Hungary, Britain, Spain, and Belgium) and 2 sprint races (70th anniversary and Belgium)
Ilott’s party tends to win on pace, while Shwartzman’s party is stronger in strategy. There is also a geopolitical aspect to this division: Shwartzman’s party represents mostly Asia and Russia (with exception of Schumacher), Ilott’s party is mostly European and has no drivers from either Asia or Russia.
Party lines tend to cut across F2 teams. Just two teams entirely align themselves with one of two parties: ART is Ilott’s, and Prema is Shwartzman’s. Three teams are in the awkward position of having teammates of different affiliation: UNI, MP, and Hitech. In DAMS, Carlin, and Charouz one of two teammates is an independent, while Campos, HWA, and Trident stay out of politics entirely.
While Ilott is an undisputed leader of his party, Shwartzman is facing serious threat of an internal coup: primarily from Tsunoda, but also from Schumacher and Mazepin.
A major change on top of the standings table, with Shvartsman dropping from 1st to 3rd after scoring just 4 points in 4 races. But let’s look at the larger picture: what are the chances of Shvartsman driving in F1 in 2021? I don’t think there are any to speak of. The driver market is tight (Alonso coming back, Hulkenberg trying to come back, the number of seats does not increase…) and any F1 team would be right to be concerned about Shvartsman’s one-lap pace: so far, he qualified in positions 8, 6, 11, 18, 11 in F2. Winning F2 championship without having a F1 seat lined up is not a great career move: it rules out another season in F2 and none of other series would be a step forward in single-seater racing career.
So, Shvartsman’s target in the 2020 championship ought to be the 2nd place, not for the 1st. From the FDA pipeline perspective, it would be logical to promote Ilott, drop Alesi, and keep Armstrong, Schumacher, and Shvartsman for another year in F2.
Back to the graphs of 1-2 finishes. Unusually, there are two large components with 5 vertices each: Ilott’s component and Shwartsman’s component. The former has mostly European drivers (plus Armstrong), the latter has drivers from Russia and Asia (plus Schumacher). And the small Deletraz-Drugovich component remains isolated.
Combined 70th anniversaty podium (by total points earned):
Most consistent in 2020 so far: Mazepin, finished in top 14 in every race. Since “top 14” does not sound that great, I’ll add he also scored in the last 7 races, the longest active scoring streak.
Unbeaten in intra-team qualifying competition: Aitken, Drugovich, Lundgaard, Ticktum.
Combined 70th anniversary podium (by total points earned):
Most consistent in 2020 so far: Beckmann, finished in top 10 in every race. In other words, the only driver who scored in every race so far.
Unbeaten in intra-team qualifying competition: Peroni. His teammates at Campos do not appear to threaten his qualifying record.
Bonus feeder series
Formula Regional Americas Championship has a very simple graph: Lundqvist won all 8 races held so far.
Incidentally, here is Lundqvist showing off one of his eight FRAC trophies on Swedish TV.
Most consistent so far in 2020: Bottas, finished in top 2 in every race.
Four components out of four races, meaning nobody finished in the top two more than once.
Most consistent in Styria: Zhou, finished in top 4 in both races.
Most consistent so far in 2020: Lundgaard, finished in top 6 in every race.
Sargeant is the only one to finish in top two more than once; it was P2 both times. Meanwhile, Pourchaire became the youngest F3 race winner ever, as well as the first F4-to-F3 rookie to score points this season.
Most consistent in Styria: Beckmann, finished in top 3 in both races.
Most consistent so far in 2020: Beckmann, finished in top 7 in every race.
Administrative divisions of Austria got a bit more attention with the introduction of Styrian Grand Prix. It still sounds to me as if someone was rearranging the letters of Austria trying to come up with a name for the second race at the same track, and got it slightly wrong. Which is unfortunate because Staurian Grand Prix pretty much has Alpha Tauri’s name in it, reinforcing the Red Bull affiliation of the venue.
Anyway, after two rounds of qualifying are done, there are only a few drivers who won the intra-team qualifying competition in both, partly thanks to the wild wet weekend in … Styria. Here they are.
Formula 1: Gasly, Russell, Verstappen
Formula 2: Aitken, Drugovich, Ghiotto, Lundgaard, Ticktum, Zhou
Formula 3: Hughes, Lawson, Nannini, Novalak, Peroni, Verschoor