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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:53 pm 
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It used to happen all of the time, a driver spinning out / beaching the car/ hitting a wall all on their own resulting in a DNF. Senna, Schumacher, Hakkinen all guilty during the 1990s. Famously Hakkinen and Hill at Monza in 96 and 99 respectively during their title fights and Schumacher at Adelaide in 1994.

During the modern era it just does not happen among the top drivers. The only time I can recall Hamilton making an error whilst running on his own that ended his race was China 2007. Jenson I can not remember him crashing out since Nurburgring 2007. Alonso since Japan 2007, before that Canada 2005? Kimi I can remember Singapore 2008 only.

I guess a lot of this is down to track design, Alonsos error at turn one in Brazil would probably have been a DNF last season as they paved turn one.

Do we prefer tracks that punish mistakes, which unless it is heavy rain it seems only street street circuits can catch the drivers out. Canada, Monaco and Singapore.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:01 pm 
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lamo wrote:
It used to happen all of the time, a driver spinning out / beaching the car/ hitting a wall all on their own resulting in a DNF. Senna, Schumacher, Hakkinen all guilty during the 1990s. Famously Hakkinen and Hill at Monza in 96 and 99 respectively during their title fights and Schumacher at Adelaide in 1994.

During the modern era it just does not happen among the top drivers. The only time I can recall Hamilton making an error whilst running on his own that ended his race was China 2007. Jenson I can not remember him crashing out since Nurburgring 2007. Alonso since Japan 2007, before that Canada 2005? Kimi I can remember Singapore 2008 only.

I guess a lot of this is down to track design, Alonsos error at turn one in Brazil would probably have been a DNF last season as they paved turn one.

Do we prefer tracks that punish mistakes, which unless it is heavy rain it seems only street street circuits can catch the drivers out. Canada, Monaco and Singapore.

Hamilton in China 2007 was more a team error than a driver error as his tire was down to the canvas, and even if it was 100% driver error doesn't really fit in the mould you are describing.

However Hamilton Monza 2009 is very much what you are describing.

The tracks and rules do not punish the drivers enough. I am all in favour of track safety and tarmac run offs, however as a result they should introduce a rule that says if a driver puts four wheels off of the track more than twice in a race they should receive a drive through penalty.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:01 pm 
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The lack of gravel traps makes it a lot easier not to go out but I think the limitations put on the cars plays a part, drivers just aren't on the absolute limit as much as they used to be, partly due to factors like the tyres which can't take being pushed hard lap after lap.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:07 pm 
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Pastor @ Australia? Sergio @ Japan? Romain / PaulDR @ Brasil?

Who might i have missed..?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:10 pm 
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And Romain all season long, even MS taking someone out from behind, there's been many driver error's this season, however there would be allot more DNF's if there was more gravel traps etc which punish drivers more for mistakes.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:13 pm 
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Same with road cars. It used to be a regular that you hear of someone stuff a Porsche 'cos it 'switched' or a sporty saloon spun of flipped. Now the electronics stop you doing anything too stupid.

F1 has fancy diffs anti stall, wont change down unless the revs match etc and a raft of things to stop them being stupid.

ABS and TC are allegedly not allowed, but they get around much of this by cuting the engine in and out

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:19 pm 
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I have a theory on this, a knock-on effect of increased mechanical reliability. It was usual to suffer a handful of breakdowns and a handful of race ending errors per season. As reliability improved the problem of non-finishes due to mistakes became more obvious, and the points lost came sharply into focus. As a result technical resources and human attention was shifted towards reducing costly errors. I honestly think drivers are better able to focus and concentrate nowadays (or if not better able, they place a higher importance on it and therefore make more effort). When you look at the mind management and concentration techniques that are commonly used nowadays it's quite obvious, in a way. It means drivers with a skillset like Button's have a better chance of succeeding now, I believe anyway.

As said, tracks have less gravel traps and more run off, and cars are easier to drive, two hugely important factors.

Just getting rid of manual boxes and developing better anti-stall systems must have made a massive difference. Think back to the 80's, if a car had a little spin (often due to a duff gear shift) they'd generally just stall. In fact I'd bet the anti-stall has done more than anything, perhaps even the removal of gravel traps, to keep cars running.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:27 pm 
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lamo wrote:
It used to happen all of the time, a driver spinning out / beaching the car/ hitting a wall all on their own resulting in a DNF. Senna, Schumacher, Hakkinen all guilty during the 1990s. Famously Hakkinen and Hill at Monza in 96 and 99 respectively during their title fights and Schumacher at Adelaide in 1994.

During the modern era it just does not happen among the top drivers. The only time I can recall Hamilton making an error whilst running on his own that ended his race was China 2007. Jenson I can not remember him crashing out since Nurburgring 2007. Alonso since Japan 2007, before that Canada 2005? Kimi I can remember Singapore 2008 only.

I guess a lot of this is down to track design, Alonsos error at turn one in Brazil would probably have been a DNF last season as they paved turn one.

Do we prefer tracks that punish mistakes, which unless it is heavy rain it seems only street street circuits can catch the drivers out. Canada, Monaco and Singapore.


For a start the drivers you mentioned have crashed quite a few times since the races you specify. But yes it does happen less rarely and I do think that tarmac run off has something to do with it. I think the main reason is the increased importance placed on reliability meaning drivers are not pushing as close to the edge as in the past as often as in the past. To be fair it was never all that common. How many race ending errors did Schumacher make?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:27 pm 
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Could be couple of things:

Racetracks - seldom any gravels to make you stop.
Cars were harder to control 15 and more years ago.
Nowadays, all these drivers grew up playing video games, training themselves to react better.
Cars do not brake to make uncontrollable exit.

Still, as mentioned, it happens, and it will happen, but very rarely and top drivers only DNF in rain sometimes.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:50 pm 
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Alonso Spa 2010 ?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:08 pm 
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I can remember Schumacher averaging one a year in the first 5 years. From 1998 onwards they became very rare.
Canada 1997.
Monaco 1996.
San marino 1995.
Adelaide 1994 he had ended his own race before hitting Hill.
South Africa 1993.
Europe 1993.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:33 pm 
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^^Canada '99 for Schumi although I guess the wall of champions has taken a fair share of victims over the years...
On topic, if there was a closer gravel trap or a wall on the exit of turn 19 in Austin this year we probably would have seen some DNF's for a couple of drivers

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:11 pm 
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Obviously the tracks have changed.
But the main reason I think are the cars. They have way more grip etc. now and they just seem way easier to handle.
So when a driver is right on the limit or over it, he's not punished all that much for his errors/over-pushing.
IMO driver errors just show they'r really driving on the limit and sometimes they just go over it.
A driver that makes absolutely no errors probably isn't pushing 110% :D


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:18 pm 
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With simulators etc drivers are much better prepared with circuits, in the past they only drove circuits like Hungaroring during the GP weekend now they can do countless laps on simulator.

Also cars have much more grip/downforce and less power.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:18 am 
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lamo wrote:
It used to happen all of the time, a driver spinning out / beaching the car/ hitting a wall all on their own resulting in a DNF. Senna, Schumacher, Hakkinen all guilty during the 1990s. Famously Hakkinen and Hill at Monza in 96 and 99 respectively during their title fights and Schumacher at Adelaide in 1994.

During the modern era it just does not happen among the top drivers. The only time I can recall Hamilton making an error whilst running on his own that ended his race was China 2007. Jenson I can not remember him crashing out since Nurburgring 2007. Alonso since Japan 2007, before that Canada 2005? Kimi I can remember Singapore 2008 only.

I guess a lot of this is down to track design, Alonsos error at turn one in Brazil would probably have been a DNF last season as they paved turn one.

Do we prefer tracks that punish mistakes, which unless it is heavy rain it seems only street street circuits can catch the drivers out. Canada, Monaco and Singapore.



I think a large part of it is the lack of gravel traps in favour of concrete run off areas.

Button crashes the least, but I'm pretty sure he crashed in Silverstone 2008, and although you're talking about drivers making errors on their own, he did crash into Heikki at Monaco this year.

Hamilton last crashed at Monaco 2009.

As good as Alonso is he crashes all the time in slippery conditions. He went off the tack multiple occasions in the last race alone! The lack of a gravel track saved his race. Same for Hungary 2011 - he finished third despite spinning several times. His last DNF that I remember is Spa 2010. Again, a driver error in slippery conditions.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:26 am 
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Last race ending error for each 2012 driver. Some are arguable so have included their previous one in brackets.
Only the last error that ended that drivers race has been included.

Vettel : Turkey 2010.
Webber : Italy 2012.
Alonso : Canada 2011 (Arguable. Otherwise Belgium 2010)
Massa : Australia 2012. (Arguable. Otherwise India 2011)
Button : Monaco 2012.
Perez : India 2012.
Raikkonen: Singapore 2008.
Grosjean: Brazil 2012.
Hamilton: Belgium 2011. (Arguable. Otherwise Singapore 2010)
Rosberg: Australia 2011. (Although arguable for Korea and Japan 2012, can't remember the impacts)
Hulkenberg: Abu Dhabi 2012. (Arguable. Otherwise Australia 2012)
Maldonado: Brazil 2012. (Had to look up what actually happened, TV didn't see it)
Ricciardo: NONE
Vergne: Italy 2012. (Or maybe USA, did he cause his own suspension failure?)
Pic: NONE
Glock: India 2011.

Schumacher: Singapore 2012.
Kobayashi: Korea 2012. (Didn't retire on the spot but Damage is cited as retirement reason)
Di Resta: Brazil 2012.
Senna: Australia 2012. (Arguable otherwise Singapore 2010)
Kovalainen: Germany 2010.
Petrov: Korea 2011.
De la Rosa: Monaco 2012.
Karthikeyan: Singapore 2012.

Kimi's stats are skewed by not participating in 2010 or 11, but made no race ending error in 09 or 12.
Riccardio and Pic have impressively not had a single race ending mistake so far.

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Last edited by ManicOversteer on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:27 am 
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I think like many others that the cars are easier to handl, have more downforce. The reliability is so high nowadays that races with high attrition have become a rarity. I remember end of the eighties until mid nineties it was the opposite. 16 cars finishing back than was incredible.
Lack of gravel traps indeed. Well I don't mind so much the huge tarmac run ofs but I would like it to be penalized. Nowadays they love to penalize a lot anyway.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:26 pm 
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years ago the number of engine failures was quite high too

I sort of miss the huge plumes of smoke billowing out the back of an F1, it led to a touch of unpredictability but obviously cost the teams a lot financially


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:31 pm 
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beanchimp wrote:
years ago the number of engine failures was quite high too

I sort of miss the huge plumes of smoke billowing out the back of an F1, it led to a touch of unpredictability but obviously cost the teams a lot financially

:thumbup: I miss them too, it could ruin or make your day as a fan!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:13 pm 
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I made this point after Monaco, but I think another factor in less driver DNFs has been the Pirelli tyres.

Particularly this season, drivers have had to nurse them. You've had guys like Webber and Schumacher, to name two, coming out and saying they don't feel like they can push on them, missed the days of racing flat out from start to finish, etc. If the tyres are forcing the drivers to be a little conservative, then they're not going to be pushing as hard as they can, and are therefore not as likely to make a mistake because they're right on the very limit.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Kimi also took himself out in Monaco when at Ferrari (2009 maybe).
He clipped the armco with his tire in the swimming pool chicane.
But I think that was in quali now that I think of it.
He also crashed into Sutil in 2008 coming out of the Tunnel.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:14 pm 
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lamo wrote:
I can remember Schumacher averaging one a year in the first 5 years. From 1998 onwards they became very rare.
Canada 1997.
Monaco 1996.
San marino 1995.
Adelaide 1994 he had ended his own race before hitting Hill.
South Africa 1993.
Europe 1993.


Canada 1997 was Villeneuve.

The cars have become easier to drive and the tracks have so many run-off areas. Pretty much that is the reason for it.

Given a track that isn't stupidly wide like Brazil, and wet conditions, we saw some spin-off DNFs this last race.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:32 pm 
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Bring back manual gearboxes and ban anti-stall :)

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