For the first Formula One Grand Prix of the year, I put together a spreadsheet that would let you play the role of a pit stop fuel strategist (F1 Pit Stop Strategist – Fuel Stop Spreadsheet).
I missed the last couple of races, but I did get to see today’s, so whilst I was watching I also made a few tweaks to the spreadsheet.
First thing was to tweak the first pit stop estimator, by adding an offset that factors in a 3 lap fuel penalty to account for the procession lap, the formation lap, and some slack!
Secondly, I added a new sheet that allows you to play along with the race so that you can try to work out when all the other cars are likely to be pitting throughout the race.
This is very much the first pass of this spreadsheet – I’m not sure how the BBC calculate or guess at the amount of fuel added on the few occasions they do pop up an info bar, although they do show quite a few of the pit stop timings. So over the next few races (or maybe by watching replays – and with knowledge of when all the stops were actually taken) I’ll try to work on the formula that takes the pit stop time – or an estimate of how long the fuel hose was attached – and calculates the fuel loaded (and hence number of extra laps that car can complete).
The other thing I added to the strategist spreadsheet was a display of the best sector times from each driver in Q3, charted relative to the best sector times of a nominated driver:
(Obviously, a similar chart could also be used to display the best sector times for each driver during the race.)
You can find the race day strategist spreadsheet here: Race Day Strategist Spreadsheet.
As far as post-race stats go, I was intrigued as to whether lap times show any benefit to decreasing car weight as fuel is used up each lap – so here are the time differences between consecutive laps for Button:
(For the pit stops, I limited the time to 3s.)
I’m not sure whether an improvement in lap time should be shown above the line, or below the line?