2020 season: ūüźģūüćģ update

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¬†(1-7)
  • Bottas¬†(1-11)
  • Norris¬†(3-13)
  • Albon¬†(3-15)

Hamilton has the ‚Äúbest worst‚ÄĚ result: P7. Grosjean is now the sole owner of “worst best” result: P12.

Formula 2

This is getting complicated.

Graph of 1-2 finishes

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: Del√©traz (2-19), Daruvala (4-19), and Piquet (7-21). The best worst result is shared by Del√©traz and Daruvala: P19. The worst best result is Samaia’s P14.

Formula 3

And just like that, the season is over…

F3 season

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 Stanńõk did the same, with far less spectacular results.)

Classified in every race: Pourchaire (1-26), Verschoor (2-27), Fittipaldi (4-26), Stanńõk (8-26). The best worst result (P26) is shared by Pourchaire, Fittipaldi, and Stanńõk. The worst best result is Deledda’s P20.

Peroni dominated intra-team qualifying battle, which was not a battle at all.

2020 season: Monza update

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:

  • Hamilton¬†(1-7)
  • Bottas¬†(1-11)
  • Norris¬†(3-13)
  • Albon¬†(4-15)
  • Latifi¬†(11-19)

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.

Formula 2

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:

  • Del√©traz¬†(2-19)
  • Aitken¬†(3-19)
  • Daruvala¬†(4-19)
  • 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.

Formula 3

The F3 graph of 1-2 finishes is more loopy, which makes it harder to draw.

It is still a planar graph

Four drivers were classified in every race so far: 

  • Pourchaire¬†(1-26)
  • Verschoor¬†(2-27)
  • Fittipaldi¬†(8-26)
  • Stanńõk¬†(8-24)

Perhaps surprisingly, Stanńõk has the best worst result (24th). Less surprisingly, Deledda has the worst best result (20th).

Peroni remains unbeaten by his teammates in qualifying.

2020 season as of 70th Anniversary

Formula 2

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):

  1. Ilott (33)
  2. Aitken (25)
  3. Tsunoda (23)

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.

Formula 3

Graph of 1-2 finishes. Both components expand but remain disjoint

Combined 70th anniversary podium (by total points earned):

  1. Sargeant (29)
  2. Lawson (23)
  3. Hughes (22)

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.

Go Linus!

Incidentally, here is Lundqvist showing off one of his eight FRAC trophies on Swedish TV.

2020 season as of Great Britain

Formula 3

Graph of 1-2 finishes. Symmetric large component centers at Piastri, yet Vesti-Zendeli stay separate

Combined Great Britain podium (by total points earned):

  1. Lawson (32)
  2. Sargeant (27)
  3. Novalak/Peroni/Piastri/Vesti (tied at 18)

Most consistent in 2020 so far: Beckmann, finished in top 10 in every race.

Unbeaten in intra-team qualifying competition: Peroni.

Formula 2

Graph of 1-2 finishes. Oddly enough, it still has 4 components

Combined Great Britain podium (by total points earned):

  1. Mazepin (31)
  2. Lundgaard (26)
  3. Zhou (20)

Most consistent in 2020 so far: Mazepin, finished in top 14 in every race.

Unbeaten in intra-team qualifying competition: Aitken, Drugovich, Lundgaard, Ticktum.

Formula 1

Graph of 1-2 finishes: a path, an unlikely pattern to hold, yet remaining unchanged since Hungary

Most consistent in 2020 so far: Hamilton, finished in top 4 in every race.

Unbeaten in intra-team qualifying competition: Gasly, Russell*, Verstappen.

(*) A penalty put Russell behind Latifi on the grid, but he did qualify ahead.

Bonus feeder series

U.S. F4 Championship currently has a nice symmetric graph in which the championship leader Yeany is a vertex of degree 4.

2020 season as of Hungary

Formula 3

Graph of 1-2 finishes. Still three components, but a pattern emerges around Piastri

Combined Hungary podium (by total points earned):

  1. Pourchaire (32)
  2. Piastri (32)
  3. Verschoor (18)

Most consistent in 2020 so far: Piastri and Verschoor, finished in top 8 in every race.

Unbeaten in intra-team qualifying competition: Peroni, Verschoor.

Formula 2

Graph of 1-2 finishes. Still has 4 components, but patterns emerge around Shwartzman and Ilott

Combined Hungary podium (by total points earned):

  1. Shwartzman (33)
  2. Ghiotto (27)
  3. Mazepin (26)

Most consistent in 2020 so far: Ilott, finished in top 8 in every race.

Unbeaten in intra-team qualifying competition: Aitken, Drugovich, Ghiotto, Lundgaard, Ticktum.

Formula 1

Graph of 1-2 finishes: a path, an unlikely pattern to hold

Most consistent in 2020 so far: Bottas, finished in top 3 in every race.

Unbeaten in intra-team qualifying competition: Gasly, Russell, Verstappen.

Unbeaten in qualifying (Styria)

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

Austria 2020 in graphs

The results of F1, F2, and F3 races summarized in 1-2 graphs. After just one weekend the graphs are too small to be interesting.

F1: Bottas-Leclerc
F2: Ilott-Armstrong and Drugovich-Deletraz

Most consistent driver (the only one to finish in top 4 in both F2 races): Shwartzman.

F3: Piastri-Sargeant and Lawson-Verschoor

Most consistent driver (the only one to finish in top 5 in both F3 races): Zendeli.

Prema/FDA Venn diagram

Remembering the names of Prema drivers isn’t so hard: a driver usually has the same name in 2020 as in 2019. But their affiliation with Ferrari Driver Academy is less stable. A Venn diagram of who is in Prema, who is in FDA, and who is in both, is called for.

But since the drivers are also divided by level, I will use a table instead.

LevelPrema onlyPrema and FDAFDA only
F2Mick Schumacher
Robert Shwartzman
Giuliano Alesi
Marcus Armstrong
Callum Ilott
F3Oscar Piastri
Frederik Vesti
Logan Sargeant
Enzo Fittipaldi
FROliver Rasmussen
Jamie Chadwick
Arthur Leclerc
Gianluca Petecof
F4Sebastian Montoya
Gabriele Mini
Gabriele Bortoleto
Dino Beganovic

FDA is currently top-heavy, with 5 of 9 drivers competing in F2. This necessitates placing three of them outside of Prema’s F2 team. There is only one instance of Prema running non-FDA drivers while an FDA driver is left outside… this does not inspire confidence in Enzo Fittipaldi’s future in FDA.

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

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.

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

Unusually, J√ľri Vips moved in the opposite direction: from F3 to FREC. This highlights the absurdity of equating FREC with Super Formula in terms of Super Licence points. Whether Vips stepped up to SF or stepped down to FREC, the potential reward in terms of points is the same. It is pretty clear that FREC competition is much weaker. This is not to suggest that Vips is looking for a weaker series: the travel issues and the Lost in Translation effects are obvious obstacles in SF.

F4 to F3

  1. Dennis Hauger
  2. Théo Pourchaire
  3. Roman Stanńõk

Skipping F3R is a bold move, and originally, only two drivers were set to attempt it in 2020: the winners of two most competitive F4 championships, Italy and Germany. The last-minute addition of Roman Stanńõk to this list is a very bold move.

F4 to F3R

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

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
S√©rgio Sette C√Ęmara403010
Marcus Armstrong33258
Mick Schumacher3030
Anthoine Hubert28325
Dan Ticktum2525
Jehan Daruvala21201
Artem Markelov2020
Jack Aitken2020
J√ľri 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
√Ālex 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 C√Ęmara is rumored to join IndyCar.