Racermetrics race-database.com

The Postwar Open Wheel Model

by Sean Wrona

As you may recall from previous columns, my ultimate long-term goal for my Racermetrics research has been to release a book ranking the top 1000 drivers in the history of motorsports. I intend to include drivers from all disciplines of car racing including open wheel, rally cars, stock cars, touring cars, sports cars, and even sprint cars, drag racing, and grassroots racing (although I will likely choose drivers sparingly from those last forms.) The exception is motorcycle racing: although some people would say MotoGP shares more in common with formula-style road racing than many of these other forms, the participants are technically classed as "riders" and not "drivers" so I will be excluding motorcyclists unless they had significant careers in car racing (as John Surtees and Jimmie Johnson did; there are also a few others like Mike Hailwood who might be worthy of consideration but Hailwood is obviously far more debatable than Surtees and Johnson.)

In order to identify drivers worthy of consideration for this list, I decided to develop my own statistical model for comparing drivers historically based on head-to-head teammate records. The roots of this began in 2019 when I calculated the head-to-head teammate records for both NASCAR drivers and IndyCar drivers. In 2021, I expanded upon these data to create my first open-wheel driver rating, which ranked all drivers having five or more teammate comparisons who made a start in any of the four major league open wheel racing series (Formula One, IndyCar, Formula E, and Super Formula) from 2000 to 2020, although I did include a handful of drivers who were announced for the 2021 season who hadn't made a start yet. Later that year, I did the same thing for stock car racing and conducted an even more expansive model that included all the stock car drivers who had ten or more teammate comparisons. I knew eventually I wanted to expand my open wheel model to cover all the races since the end of World War II and now I have done that. I was particularly interested in comparing drivers who primarily competed in different series since there is a contingent of fans who act like the best drivers are all in one series and would argue that the top fifteen open wheel drivers are all presently racing in F1, even though some of the F1 to IndyCar crossovers like Romain Grosjean right now haven't been exactly electrifying. I particularly thought Formula E drivers were significantly underrated because the series has stars from many other disciplines, including a lot of supposed F1 washouts like Stoffel Vandoorne who probably shouldn't have lost their rides in the first place. All of my observations were correct. Although the top F1 drivers are usually better than the top IndyCar and Formula E drivers, the top IndyCar and Formula E drivers are usually better than everybody except the actual stars of F1, which is exactly what I was expecting.

I have been collecting data for this list for a very, very long time: on and off for most of the last seven months. Just as before, I included any drivers who made starts in Formula One, IndyCar, Formula E, or Super Formula (along with any of their predecessor series including Champ Car, Japanese Formula 2, and so on.) However, I did not merely include major league races. Although most such models do not include minor league races, I felt it was essential to do so for a number of reasons. First off, many drivers (especially Formula One drivers from the '50s and '60s) frequently entered Formula 2 races as well as non-championship Formula One races very often and they tended to take these races just as seriously as the actual points Formula One races. Non-championship events were considered hugely important in the legacies of drivers such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Dan Gurney, and even more recent drivers like Danny Sullivan (who originally got hyped solely because he finished second in the 1983 Race of Champions.) To act like the F2 races and non-championship F1 races did not exist as most models do when the World Championship wasn't as important as it is today seems historically inaccurate to me. Admittedly, this gets murkier in recent years as obviously Formula 2 and Formula 3 races are nowhere near as important as major league races today, but I still found it useful to include these races because the graduates of these series end up in all kinds of major-league open wheel series, and I figured one of the best ways to successfully compare drivers who eventually ended up in F1 against the IndyCar, Formula E, and Super Formula drivers would be to compare what these drivers did in the minor leagues against each other since they rarely ended up competing at the major league level where most of these series are ghettoized from each other. Especially useful were the races like the Masters of Formula 3, Macau Grand Prix, and Korean Super Prix, where junior open wheel drivers from various backgrounds across the world all came together to compete. Especially because so many drivers have relatively small sample sizes, there was too much valuable information here to exclude minor-league races. Having said that, there were a handful of races I did exclude. The Marlboro Challenge CART all-star race that was briefly held in the late '80s and early '90s didn't seem too relevant to me since that races tended to have ten or fewer cars in it. There were some races like the aforementioned Macau Grand Prix that held two races: a qualification race and a championship race; I included only performances in the championship race (except for the rare occasions where the qualification race actually counted towards some minor-league championship.) Similarly I did not include results in the Formula One sprint races or in IndyCar qualifying races unless they counted for championship points (as a few of the IndyCar qualifying races in the '70s actually did.) There were a handful of series like the MRF Challenge and the short lived Formula 2 series from 2009 to 2012 that had nothing to do with the lineage of the current Formula 2 (which evolved from GP2 and Formula 3000) that I did not include because all drivers had theoretically the same equipment and there were no "teammates" when I intended this to be a teammate model. Aside from that, any open wheel races were fair game to me as long as I could identify two teammates who both competed in any of the four major league levels - I was broad enough to even include hillclimbs, sprint and midget cars here (that's why J.J. Yeley and Steve Kinser are now on the list with positive ratings and why Tony Stewart shot up quite a bit... Stewart is still surprisingly in the negative range though.)

Obviously no single source gave me all the information I needed, so I used a wide range of sites all over the place. For anything modern or major league, I usually used either Wikipedia or racing-reference. Wikipedia really is the best source to find finishing positions for current series quickly, and that's what I used most of the time for 21st century Formula 2 and Formula 3 races as well as Indy Lights, Atlantics, and so on. However, to dig deeper and collect data from minor-league open wheel races from the 20th century, I had to scout out a lot of much more obscure sites such as The Formula 2 Register (the best source for historical minor-league open wheel racing in Europe), oldracingcars.com (which tends to have the best coverage for minor-league open wheel racing in North America and Australia), Racing Years (which was very helpful especially for minor league races in the '90s, where the F2 Register and Wikipedia are both somewhat lacking), Stats F1, which offered slightly better coverage of the non-championship Formula One races than what you will find on Wikipedia, Motorsport Magazine, which was especially helpful in finding teammate comparisons for Formula 5000 races from the '70s (a very important formula in its heyday that probably came close to rivaling IndyCar in prestige but now seems curiously forgotten), and Ultimate Racing History, which I mainly used to find sprint and midget car comparisons for the relatively few drivers on this list who competed in those sorts of races. All these sites are highly recommended (but pay no attention to Racing Years's driver rankings... they're not good.)

For more details about how the calculations were obtained, consult my earlier articles, but to summarize briefly, I started out by calculating each driver's winning percentage against all their teammates across all open wheel series I included. I then subtracted the winning percentage from 1 to determine how much each driver should be expected to win. If a driver (Alain Prost for example) outfinished their teammates 60% of the time, I set all of Prost's teammates to have the expectation to beat him 40% of the time. I took the average difference between the actual performance and the expected performance across all teammates to calculate initial ratings for each driver, then reiterated the model 30 times by using the drivers' ratings in the previous iteration in place of the actual teammate winning percentages to account for the fact that dominating a bunch of awful teammates (as for instance Gualter Salles did) is not necessarily as good as being blown out by a bunch of great teammates (like for instance Felipe Massa was.) The ratings you see below are the ratings after thirty iterations.

When considering which races to include, I decided to only include races where both drivers finished. Conventionally, most models like this tend to exclude mechanical DNFs but do include races where one of the drivers crashed. I did not do that. First of all, the assumption of many previous teammate models (and many pundits like David Smith) is that "if you're in the crash, it's your fault." I have never bought this. Maybe it's because I grew up a NASCAR fan first, but when you've seen enough 20-car pileups at Talladega, you know that a lot of crashes when cars are bunched up are difficult to avoid. Sure, you can intentionally ride in the back (as many NASCAR drivers did in later years) but even that is no guarantee that you will actually avoid a crash. Certain experienced drivers can definitely do things to increase the odds that they will not crash, but I think "if you're in the crash, it's your fault" is putting it a bit too neatly. More to the point here, these models are conventionally designed to predict how drivers would fare in the same equipment, as is mine. But it is simply a fact that weaker teams tend to have less reliable equipment, and it is also a fact that teams with less reliable equipment are more likely to have mechanical failures and that teams that are more likely to have mechanical failures are more likely to have these failures result in a crash. Should a driver really be blamed for a crash that results from a mechanical failure? This even happens to drivers on top teams. Josef Newgarden is by any measure the greatest driver in Iowa Speedway history. If he couldn't save his car after his suspension failure in the second Iowa race, could anyone have done it? I kind of doubt it. Maybe Simon Pagenaud. Although he is not and has never been as fast as Newgarden, he is arguably the least crash-prone driver in IndyCar history. But honestly, I don't think he'd have saved it either.

Personally, I think consistency and crash avoidance is an entirely different evaluation of a driver than raw speed and the two should not be conflated. Yes, consistency and crash avoidance are important, but I feel those criteria should be evaluated separately from this sort of list that should be more about raw pace. As a competitive typing legend, it's easy for me to see the obvious comparisons between typing speed and driving speed as well as typing accuracy and crash avoidance. I know from the research in my typing book that typing speed and accuracy don't tend to have a lot to do with each other. As August Dvorak, who invented the most popular alternative keyboard layout, wrote in his book Typewriting Behavior: "[T]he fast typist tends to be either accurate or inaccurate. The inaccurate typist tends to be either fast or slow. The utmost hint that it is possible to give you is that the very slow typist tends to be inaccurate while the very accurate typist tends to be fast." I honestly would say the exact same thing for race car drivers, where fast drivers can be frequent or infrequent crashers, while frequent crashers could be fast or slow, but slow drivers are more likely to be frequent crashers and infrequent crashers are more likely to be fast. I suspect this likely applies to a wide range of mechanical activities as well. All in all, this is enough for me to convinced that crash DNFs should be excluded from this sort of model, but I do understand if you disagree. This is not to say that crash avoidance is not important but it should be considered as part of a different category. So if there are two drivers in relatively the same range on this list and one of them crashes substantially more, you could choose to mentally downgrade them accordingly if you like.

What's cool about the model is that it is defined so that the average driver has a 0 rating and you can theoretically use it to predict what percentage of the time any driver on this list would be expected to beat any other driver on this list if they had the same equipment. If you subtract the difference between the rating of the higher-rated driver and the lower-rated driver, the probability that the higher-rated driver will beat the lower-rated driver in a given race where both drivers finish is exactly equal to .5 plus that difference. For example, if you want to compare Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, Senna's rating is .516 and Prost's is .298. This means that in the average race, Senna would be expected to beat Prost 71.8% of the time since the difference between their ratings is .218, which when added to .5, results in a .718 probability that Senna would finish higher. These probabilities often come close to the actual performance. In this specific case, Senna had a 14-6 record against Prost in shared finishes (although that would certainly be closer if you account for the fact that Senna was more crash-prone), which corresponds to a winning percentage of 70.0%. Very close to what the model predicted, huh? Hence each driver's rating is simply by definition the percentage of the time over 50% that a driver will beat an average driver; a driver with a rating of .1 would beat an average driver about 60% of the time, while a driver with a rating of -.1 would beat an average driver 40% of the time, and so on. I did make one slight adjustment to this when it came to drivers who had ratings either > .5 or < -.5. The model was designed so that almost all drivers would fall in the range of -.5 to .5 forming a complete probability distribution, but there were some drivers so good that they ended up having ratings > .5 and some drivers so bad that they ended up having ratings < .5. I did not want to reward drivers for getting swept by a > .5 driver (such as Michael Andretti getting swept by Ayrton Senna in 1993) so I simply reset the ratings to 0 for anyone who got swept by Senna and Fangio rather than giving any driver a positive rating for getting swept, but obviously drivers who did beat Senna were justly rewarded for it. Similarly, I didn't want to penalize anyone for sweeping drivers who had ratings below -.5 so again, I reset the ratings for these pairs of teammates (such as Scott Goodyear and Hiro Matsushita in 1993) to 0 likewise. However, drivers who actually lost to Matsushita were justly penalized for it. You shouldn't be rewarded for getting swept by a great teammate and you shouldn't be penalized for sweeping an awful one, but I don't think this had much of an overall impact on the model at all.

Perhaps the most controversial judgment call I had to make for this model is what to do when two teammates had different chassis or engines, and one was grossly superior to the other. One of the most obvious relatively recent examples was in 1990 when Arie Luyendyk and Scott Goodyear were teammates at Doug Shierson Racing. That year, Luyendyk had the dominant Chevy engine and won the Indy 500 while Goodyear was burdened with the grossly inferior Judd engine so Luyendyk blew out Goodyear 8-1. The obvious question is whether Goodyear would have done better against Luyendyk if he had the Chevy engine. In this particular case, my guess is he would have done a little better but not much better. Luyendyk and Goodyear were once again teammates in 1997 at Treadway Racing in the IRL, where Luyendyk swept Goodyear 2-0 (the early IRL equipment was so unreliable for everyone that many of the teammate comparisons for even full-time IRL drivers were hilariously paltry like this.) He also passed Goodyear to win the Indy 500 that year, and this time they had exactly the same equipment package. This leads me to believe that Luyendyk was always substantially better than Goodyear and it doesn't really matter that Luyendyk was given faster cars in 1990. To be quite pithy, if a team gives one of its drivers better equipment than its other drivers, it has to be doing so for a reason. A team with unequal equipment that chose to not give its faster cars to its better drivers would likely eventually lose its sponsorship money and not be a team for much longer. Admittedly, there are some weird exceptions to this. Somehow both Greg Moore and Patrick Carpentier had positive records against Tony Kanaan in 1999 even though Moore and Carpentier had the inferior Mercedes engines while Kanaan had the superior Honda engine. That continues to baffle me, but maybe that is backed up by both Moore and Carpentier having substantially higher ratings than both you and I likely expected. This is also how I feel about team orders, by the way. If a Formula One team decides to invoke team orders, they do so to support the better driver anyway, so chances are that the driver who finishes higher most likely would have finished higher regardless. I actually think all these things have little effect on the bigger picture.

I fully admit the model has its drawbacks. Although I stand by my decision to also include minor-league races in my model because it provides so many more data points particularly for drivers with short careers or few teammate comparisons in major league series, it does have the effect of underrating drivers who were significantly better in major league series than they were in minor league series (such as Carlos Sainz, Jr., Jake Dennis, Carlos Muñoz, and Nick Cassidy who should all be significantly higher than they are) while overrating drivers who were great in the minor leagues but arguably busts later in their careers (most notably Mark Taylor, who curiously continues to lead my model solely on the basis of a good British Formula Three season even though his IndyCar rookie campaign was not good, but also Roberto Merhi and Antonio Giovinazzi among others.) Having said that, most drivers' minor league performance actually did pretty solidly predict their major league performance in my opinion and there aren't that many drivers who had such a huge disparity between their minor league and major league performance like these, so I think it does have validity even though there are certain ratings that need to be taken with a grain of salt for this reason.

Another issue is my decision to base this model entirely on finishes. I recently appeared on The TRC Podcast, which spun off from a Discord group of members who used to post on the comments sections at racing-reference before they were deleted. Ryan McCafferty of RJMAnalytics, who hosts the podcast, has been especially adamant that a driver's performance matters more than the actual finishing result, viewing the finishing result as essentially the last in a sequence of data points albeit the most important one. Although I ascribe somewhat more value to finishes than he does, I do tend to agree that in the long run dominance has more value than consistency and that passing on the track has more value than passing in the pits when evaluating the strength of drivers separate from their teams. However, he tends to focus on the relatively recent past in his analytics when there is a lot more statistical information available. If I am attempting to do a historical survey of the last 75 years, there often won't be much more than finishing positions available (especially for minor league series which I am including) and if anything else is available it will probably only be laps led. I considered doing this model where I judged the "winner" as whoever led more laps in a race and someday I may do that and it might favor hard-chargers even more (although I think my decision to remove crash DNFs does a fine enough job of that by itself) but if I truly want to identify genuinely strong drivers who did not have or almost never had equipment capable of winning in open wheel series (your Timo Glocks and Oliver Turveys, although I admit even I'm suspicious of some of Turvey's ratings), there's probably no way I could do this historically except by using race finishes. Don't get me wrong: when I do my year-by-year surveys like my top 200 list last year, I definitely integrate many other things besides my teammate models, such as on-track passing for the lead, lead shares, speed percentiles, and things like that, but I couldn't build a model based on anything like that and go back much further than the year 2010, and if I am trying to do a ranking across all of racing history, that won't cut it. Just because this model is entirely focused on finishes doesn't mean that's all I care about.

The other main issue with the model is my decision to judge things based on average performance. For drivers who had full careers and typical career arcs, this is usually fine. However, drivers who died in their prime and thereby didn't have a period of decline (such as Greg Moore, Gonzalo Rodriguez, and Dan Wheldon) may be higher than they should be, while drivers who raced well into their post-prime periods took a significant hit. As you can see below, Fernando Alonso was originally the highest rated F1 driver in the model at .513 (before I added in all the pre-21st century drivers) but after he returned to F1, he has been basically equivalent to Esteban Ocon the whole time and has taken significant hits accordingly, dropping from .513 to .473 in 2021 and from .473 to .433 so far this year (Max Verstappen should overtake him to become the highest-rated active F1 driver any day now.) However, the biggest victim of this was Mario Andretti. While Formula One drivers on the elite teams have pretty much always had teammates, the same did not hold true for most IndyCar drivers until the '90s, so a lot of IndyCar drivers from the '60s, '70s, and '80s have wildly inaccurate ratings. Mario in particular is significantly weighted down because he tended to most consistently have teammates in his decline period from 1989-94 when he was 49-54 years old. Similarly to how Darrell Waltrip had an absurdly low rating in my NASCAR model because he was dragged down by his late-career years when he was beaten badly by Jimmy Spencer, Mario is being dragged down here by losing to his son Michael 30-3 from 1989-92 (surprisingly, he actually did better against Nigel Mansell in 1993-94 even though he was even older and Mansell was better than Michael.) This is a statistical model that does not consider narratives like "the legend Mario Andretti" but merely views him for these purposes as "the guy who got beaten by Michael Andretti 30-3." Unfortunately, these things have downstream effects so a lot of F1 drivers (including almost anybody Alonso was ever teammates with) has declined right alongside Alonso, and the Andretti effects end up underrating a lot of the major IndyCar drivers of the '70s and '80s. Andretti beat IndyCar legends like Joe Leonard, Al Unser, and Gordon Johncock pretty badly in his head-to-heads when he was good, but all those drivers (and I would say most IndyCar drivers of the '70s and '80s except Bobby Unser) are significantly lower than they should be because they are viewed as "the driver who was badly beaten by a driver who was badly beaten by Michael Andretti." Things like the Alonso and Andretti effects suggest the need for an age curve to account for the fact that drivers' abilities do not remain constant throughout their careers, and I do eventually plan on doing that. However, I do still overall like the model for evaluating F1 drivers (who usually had teammates for their entire careers) and any drivers who peaked after around 1990 (who usually seem to be in reasonable positions unless they were significantly better or worse in the majors than they were in the minors.)

Data on open wheel races (particularly determining car owners) becomes scarce once you go back to the years before World War II, so I thought starting the model at 1946 and including in effect the last three-quarters of the century was a good cutoff point to determine which races to include. I included any driver who started a points race in Formula One, IndyCar (including all sanctioning bodies), Formula E, and Super Formula (including all sanctioning bodies) from 1946 to last weekend (which includes everything through the Super Formula doubleheader at Motegi and the IndyCar race at Gateway.) One may quibble about me including Super Formula and not including Formula 2 when many people would consider Formula 2 more prestigious and Super Formula was literally called Japanese Formula 2 and Japanese Formula 3000 in its earlier iterations. My justification for that is that Super Formula is and for many decades has been the most prestigious open wheel series in Asia. By including Formula One, IndyCar, and Super Formula, I thereby am reflecting a truly global motorsports perspective by including the most important European-based, American-based, and Asian-based auto racing series. Additionally, Super Formula is a destination series that many drivers (especially but not only Japanese drivers) want to remain in for the rest of their careers, while Formula 2 is not. Granted, most of the F2 drivers who were good ended up making major league starts anyway, although I know there were some who were really good who did not like Jörg Müler and Oscar Piastri (although I expect the latter to change soon.) These drivers were not considered eligible for this list, though Piastri will be if he does land an F1 ride next year as many people expect. I did not include drivers who attempted races in any of these series but failed to qualify (unless they did start races in one of the other three series, like Kevin Cogan DNQing in all his Formula One attempts but making a lot of IndyCar starts.) Additionally, I excluded drivers from the model if they only appeared in non-championship events. I realize the 1946 cutoff is a little awkward considering Formula One itself started in 1950, but I did want to include the Grand Prix and Formula 2 starts for F1 drivers prior to 1950, since a lot of the original Formula One drivers were pretty old when the World Championship started and dated back to the pre-World War II epoch. However, the awkward part here is that some of the all-time Grand Prix legends from the pre-war years like Tazio Nuvolari, Achille Varzi, and Jean-Pierre Wimille continued to race after the war ended and they were all linked with several drivers who made Formula One starts, but they either retired or died before official Formula One racing began in 1950. I decided not to include these drivers (along with any later drivers who only made starts in non-championship events.) I didn't really think Nuvolari, Varzi, and Wimille made sense in a post-war model even though some of them (especially Wimille) had great accomplishments in the years after the war but before 1950. If I had included them, they would have likely rated very highly though.

I admit there have been other open wheel racing leagues over the years that have been considered major leagues, most notably the Tasman Series, an Australian-based series where many of the Formula One championship contenders also competed in the '60s, the American F5000 Series, where a variety of Formula One and IndyCar championship contenders like Jody Scheckter, Mario Andretti, and Al Unser competed before usually losing to Brian Redman (whose rating is not spurious in my opinion despite having very few teammate comparisons at all), and A1GP and Superleague Formula, which in the late 2000s looked like they could eventually become major league series. However, the fact that these series didn't have staying power was enough reason for me to decide against automatically including every driver who competed in those series. If I'm not going to automatically include all Formula 2 drivers, should I really include all A1GP drivers when that was basically likewise a series for emerging open wheel talent, albeit one with a silly nation-based gimmick? I certainly included any teammate comparisons within these series, but I didn't automatically include drivers if they didn't make major league starts even though these series were considered fairly prestigious in their heyday.

A whopping 1,224 drivers had at least one teammate comparison, but I only listed the drivers who had at least five teammate comparisons throughout their career, resulting in an overall list of 883 drivers. Generally speaking, it seems like drivers who peaked in the '50s, '60s, or from the '90s to the present generally do very well while drivers who peaked in the '70s and '80s tend to struggle. Part of it is simply that the late '70s and early '80s had absurd parity in Formula One with seven consecutive unique champions from 1976-1982 (something even NASCAR in all its championship gimmickry has not yet managed to equal) and part of it is probably the Andretti effect. He really got around hopping back and forth from Formula One, IndyCar, and Formula 5000 over the years, and likely dragged down a lot of his teammates and a lot of his teammates' teammates and so on and that probably played a role here also. Most of the seeming anomalies like Chris Bristow, Peter Dumbreck, Thiago Medeiros, Dennis Poore, etc... had extremely small sample sizes and perhaps many would argue I should have chosen a larger minimum sample size. I definitely didn't want to do that though because in so doing I would have also excluded some inarguable legends like Redman and I didn't want to do that. Some of the other seeming anomalies I've already discussed. Darren Manning on the surface seems like a strange driver to be the 3rd-highest rated in postwar IndyCar history (behind Greg Moore and Rodger Ward), but when you realize he was the last driver to post a winning record of Scott Dixon and then he entirely disappeared before he ever had a bad season, it makes sense. The same goes for Franck Montagny, who posted some insane results against some great teammates, such as beating Sébastien Bourdais 16-1 in French Formula Three and Heikki Kovalainen 11-1 in the World Series of Nissan (a greater margin than even Lewis Hamilton beat Kovalainen by in the year he won his first F1 championship.) In addition to being one of the best sports car drivers in the world for a while, Montagny also finished second on his IndyCar debut in the Champ Car finale at Long Beach and also finished second in the first ever Formula E race before his career was derailed by a failed drug test at the very next Formula E event after which he subsequently retired. Manning and Montagny's results aren't spurious and do make sense: clearly they are two of the biggest "what could have been" open wheel drivers of this century.

While the top-tier Formula One drivers generally do have higher ratings than everybody else, once you start getting below .25 and especially below .2, there is a wild and diverse mix of drivers from every series and few really obvious patterns except that these are all drivers who beat their teammates badly (or at least did better against extremely good teammates than others did.) There are obviously surprises throughout the list and I don't want to just rattle all of them off, but I would like to spotlight the fact that not every Formula One champion is elite, not even relative to the top drivers from the other divisions. I would generally say a rating of >= .1 or so over an extended career is necessary for greatness, although there are certainly drivers above that threshold who I do not think are great and drivers below that threshold who are. A larger number of Formula One champions do not meet this threshold than you might expect. These included some that are not really a surprise (Damon Hill at .078, Keke Rosberg at .058, Jacques Villeneuve at .043, and Phil Hill at .030), but several of the others are surprises as they are usually substantially higher rated than that in addition to Andretti, especially Emerson Fittipaldi (.096, who is probably dragged down because he competed into his late 40s in IndyCar), Alan Jones (.065, who usually does great in models like this but not this time), Graham Hill at .054 (surprisingly below his son, a result that I have also seen in other models), Jody Scheckter at .047 (also behind his son Tomas, which I was not expecting), and most shockingly Denny Hulme.

If you asked most people who the worst Formula One champion was, you'd likely get one of four answers: Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, Keke Rosberg, or Jacques Villeneuve. None of these drivers did exceptionally well with the exception of Hawthorn who seems to be genuinely better than his reputation, but they were all above average in the model. No, the two drivers who appeared below average were Andretti (who was badly affected by his late career years carrying too much weight), and much more shockingly Denny Hulme at -.046. Hulme is considered one of the biggest legends of the '60s but from my understanding that is mostly because of what he did in Can-Am, where he became the all-time winningest driver in that series's golden age. That isn't open wheel though. Hulme did win the World Championship in 1967 the year after his teammate and car owner Jack Brabham did but Brabham did outperform him. However, Hulme is the driver who is most significantly affected by my decision to include all the non-championship and Formula 2 events. If I included only points Formula 1 races, Hulme did okay and only lost to Brabham 4-7. When I add in all the non-championship races, it becomes a stark difference as Brabham beat Hulme 32-8 overall when considering all races. They competed together a lot and Brabham usually destroyed Hulme. However, a lot of Brabham's legacy came in the non-championship races that previous analysts have ignored even though the drivers of this era took them just as seriously as the points races (perhaps Hulme did not and is being harshly penalized for that here.) Previous models have underrated Brabham and overrated Hulme because they only included points Formula One races while I think the number of points Formula One races they competed against each other wasn't nearly a large enough sample size to understand the proper relationship between the two. Hulme seems to be generally overrated for this reason. Without question he's a sports car legend, but Mike Hawthorn and especially Phil Hill were sports car legends too and people still criticize them as Formula One drivers in spite of that. You'll likely be surprised to see some of the drivers who are rated over Hulme here.

I'm not going to discuss most of the IndyCar, Formula E, and Super Formula drivers here because I already discussed them in articles about the previous model and I don't think most of the IndyCar drivers newly added to the model from the '60s, '70s, and '80s have very accurate ratings. I think the vast majority of these drivers (except for Bobby Unser who seems about right) should be inflated considerably from where they are. I would like to draw your attention to Kazuyoshi Hoshino though. Hoshino is without question one of the greatest drivers who is obscure to most racing fans because he never left his native Japan. However, he was almost without question the greatest driver in Japanese history. From 1975 to 1996, he won 39 races and six championships in Japanese Formula 2/Formula 3000/Formula Nippon (now Super Formula.) Additionally, he won 21 races and one championship in what is now Super GT, the most prestigious sports car series in Japan. He became the first driver to win both championships in the same season in addition to becoming the first Japanese driver to win a World Sports Car race and crossing over to win the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1992. Clearly he is one of the most legendary racing drivers of the second half of the 20th century but it isn't acknowledged because he seldom competed internationally, unlike some of the other multi-time champions of that series like Satoru Nakajima that weren't anywhere near as good (Hoshino beat Nakajima 8-1 by the way, which is even worse than Nelson Piquet beat him in F1.) I do like that the model is identifying some of the now more obscure but just as legendary drivers like Hoshino and Brian Redman as it should be, as well as people who proved greatness primarily in other disciplines like James Courtney, André Lotterer, Jan Lammers, and Jan Magnussen.

The highest-rated Formula One driver overall was Ayrton Senna at .516 (he and Juan Manuel Fangio have been flipping back and forth almost every time I reiterate the model, but both of them are substantially higher-rated than anyone else.) The highest-rated current one is still Fernando Alonso, but I'm guessing Max Verstappen will have overtaken him by this time next year (and likely sooner.) The highest-rated IndyCar driver was Greg Moore at .483 (I'm not going to count Mark Taylor, who didn't even have any IndyCar teammate comparisons) and the highest current one is Josef Newgarden at .252, who narrowly overtook Scott Dixon in 2021 and has held on ever since. The highest-rated Formula E driver has been Mitch Evans since I started this and I like that my model did predict his success before he really became a star and won a series-high four races this year. Indeed, the top three highest-rated current Formula E drivers (Evans, Edoardo Mortara, and Stoffel Vandoorne) were the top three finishers in this year's points standings, albeit in a different order. The highest-rated Super Formula driver overall is technically Peter Dumbreck but more realistically Hoshino when you account for his greater sample size; the highest-rated current driver is the current perennial championship contender Tomoki Nojiri, but even though the series recently introduced new racing stars like Álex Palou, Stoffel Vandoorne, Pierre Gasly, Felix Rosenqvist, and Nick Cassidy (and even Pato O'Ward made a few starts there a few years ago), it seemed to lose a lot of its status after the COVID pandemic started and made international travel more difficult, and the talent pool there seems to have plummeted.

Below, you will see all 883 drivers with 5 or more teammate comparisons since 1946 ranked in order from the highest-rated Mark Taylor to the lowest-rated Laurent Redon. I listed each driver's rating in the original March 2021 model (which included only races through the end of the 2020; I have marked it 2020 here), the model I completed at the end of 2021 but never published in preparation for my top 200 list last year, and the current 2022 model through the August 20-21 racing weekend. For the first time, I even made little up and down arrows to track each driver's progress from year to year. You can pretty easily identify which drivers are hot by reviewing which drivers have positive ratings and also green up arrows between all three iterations of the model (it's not a long list: Pascal Wehrlein, Lando Norris, Nyck de Vries, George Russell, Esteban Ocon, Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz, Jr., Graham Rahal, Scott McLaughlin, Alex Albon, Lance Stroll, J.R. Hildebrand, Jordan King, Marcus Ericsson, Santino Ferrucci, Jake Dennis, Oliver Rowland, Lucas Auer, Sergey Sirotkin, and Sacha Fenestraz are the only ones and most of those are extremely obvious.) However, a substantially greater number of drivers went down from one year to the next, which seems a lot more common. Finally, for each driver, I list their career teammate record across all series, the number of shared teammate finishes each driver has, and their career winning percentage against those teammates. The latter can provide a different perspective that can properly identify (for instance) some of the truly dominant IndyCar drivers from the '70s and '80s who were penalized because of the Andretti effect, like Gordon Johncock, who ended up with a negative rating despite beating his teammates more than 2-1.

The Model

Driver202020212022Teammate RecordShared RacesTeammate Winning %
Mark Taylor0.5290.5200.52025-42986.21
Ayrton Senna0.51653-106384.13
Juan Manuel Fangio0.51486-129887.76
Greg Moore0.5060.4930.48319-42382.61
Alfonso de Portago0.4624-1580.00
Gonzalo Rodriguez0.4600.4520.4468-08100.00
Fernando Alonso0.5130.4730.433183-5323677.54
Max Verstappen0.3900.4260.42374-239776.29
John Surtees0.41733-33691.67
Alberto Ascari0.41567-239074.44
Franck Montagny0.4330.4240.41464-107486.49
Michael Schumacher0.4030.3950.394130-4617673.86
Peter Dumbreck0.4160.4080.3917-07100.00
Jim Clark0.37273-209378.49
Lewis Hamilton0.4080.4010.367187-9127867.27
Jose Froilan Gonzalez0.36339-175669.64
Jackie Stewart0.35868-138183.95
Chris Bristow0.3554-1580.00
Hermano da Silva Ramos0.3526-06100.00
Rodger Ward0.33320-62676.92
Nino Farina0.32450-308062.50
Alex Caffi0.32419-102965.52
Oscar Larrauri0.32013-31681.25
Stirling Moss0.31747-166374.60
Darren Manning0.3370.3230.31428-63482.35
Sebastian Vettel0.3510.3200.306182-9727965.23
Thiago Medeiros0.3280.3140.3025-05100.00
Dennis Poore0.3017-1887.50
Charles Leclerc0.3170.3240.30080-3911967.23
John Rhodes0.3005-2771.43
Alain Prost0.29847-317860.26
Nico Rosberg0.3240.3140.29774-6614052.86
Mitch Evans0.2890.2940.29289-2611577.39
Kazuyoshi Hoshino0.28222-52781.48
Raymond Sommer0.27913-61968.42
Nigel Mansell0.27647-267364.38
Stefano Modena0.27512-31580.00
Jochen Rindt0.27340-74785.11
Daniel Ricciardo0.3160.2880.271150-9124162.24
James Courtney0.3040.2870.26932-104276.19
Jules Bianchi0.2860.2790.26897-3413174.05
Elio de Angelis0.26718-153354.55
Robert Manzon0.26433-154868.75
Jenson Button0.2900.2810.261100-7217258.14
Tom Blomqvist0.2600.2560.257103-3714073.57
Franck Perera0.2820.2690.25640-165671.43
Jan Lammers0.25529-73680.56
Josef Newgarden0.2240.2610.252148-8523363.52
Edoardo Mortara0.2680.2470.25154-288265.85
Jean-Marc Gounon0.24910-41471.43
Scott Dixon0.2750.2550.248356-15551169.67
Oscar Galvez0.2472-3540.00
Enrico Bertaggia0.24612-61866.67
Arnd Meier0.2630.2520.2457-51258.33
Ross Cheever0.24419-62576.00
Brian Redman0.2406-1785.71
Timo Glock0.2500.2390.23154-318563.53
Stoffel Vandoorne0.2550.2320.22953-379058.89
Jean Behra0.22859-288767.82
Jack Brabham0.22883-3311671.55
Nelson Piquet0.21943-196269.35
Jan Magnussen0.2470.2340.21914-82263.64
Luigi Musso0.21625-174259.52
Rickard Rydell0.1690.1640.2154-2666.67
Jean Alesi0.1310.1280.21337-246160.66
Mika Salo0.2140.2080.21338-94780.85
Gil de Ferran0.2290.2100.21142-206267.74
Chuck Hulse0.2117-31070.00
Mika Hakkinen0.1960.1830.21062-228473.81
Archie Scott Brown0.2106-1785.71
Tony Brooks0.20816-92564.00
Roy Salvadori0.20521-183953.85
Colton Herta0.1270.2190.205146-5520172.64
Peter Collins0.20426-184459.09
Antonio Felix da Costa0.2530.2520.20191-5314463.19
Bobby Unser0.20152-197173.24
Juichi Wakisaka0.2380.2260.20118-52378.26
Gerhard Berger0.1130.1120.20028-366443.75
Ronnie Bremer0.2080.2000.20026-265250.00
Scott Sharp0.2070.1990.19956-258169.14
Luigi Villoresi0.19939-488744.83
Ronnie Peterson0.19940-175770.18
Mike Hawthorn0.19830-295950.85
Kimi Raikkonen0.2260.2080.196118-10522352.91
Pato O'Ward0.1400.2140.19568-279571.58
Yannick Dalmas-0.449-0.4530.1939-41369.23
Al Unser, Jr.0.1780.1730.19275-4411963.03
James Hunt0.19217-62373.91
Pascal Wehrlein0.1550.1830.19152-338561.18
Maro Engel0.1680.1590.19044-256963.77
Norberto Fontana0.2150.2050.19015-82365.22
Jose Maria Lopez0.1980.1950.18913-82161.90
Justin Wilson0.1970.1880.18788-4713565.19
Lando Norris0.0220.1360.18677-5413158.78
Chris Amon0.18626-113770.27
Jarno Trulli0.2130.2000.18562-6112350.41
Paul di Resta0.2120.1980.18455-4510055.00
Nicola Larini0.18419-173652.78
David Brabham0.1849-31275.00
Will Power0.2160.1820.184239-19042955.71
Innes Ireland0.18322-163857.89
Hermann Lang0.1812-3540.00
Jean-Eric Vergne0.1960.1800.180103-8318655.38
Valtteri Bottas0.2150.2030.180117-12524248.35
Trevor Taylor0.17917-244141.46
Prince Bira0.17912-92157.14
Alex Sperafico0.1783-3650.00
Michael Andretti0.1780.1200.17796-4914566.21
Claude Bourbonnais0.1840.1760.1755-51050.00
Nick Heidfeld0.1890.1780.17292-6715957.86
Nyck de Vries0.1530.1710.17175-5212759.06
Lucas di Grassi0.1940.1850.17071-4111263.39
Sebastien Bourdais0.1710.1630.168150-6821868.81
Piercarlo Ghinzani0.16512-82060.00
Cristiano da Matta0.1810.1640.16464-279170.33
Bjorn Wirdheim0.1960.1850.16332-104276.19
Tom Pryce0.16212-51770.59
Ralf Schumacher0.1900.1730.16148-429053.33
Joao Paulo de Oliveira0.2110.1890.16164-188278.05
Alessandro Nannini0.16017-102762.96
Marco Apicella0.15932-144669.57
Giancarlo Fisichella0.2000.1830.15853-5911247.32
Patrick Carpentier0.1830.1720.15758-419958.59
George Russell0.1040.1310.156162-6122372.65
Nelson Piquet, Jr.0.2120.2060.15622-285044.00
J.J. Yeley0.1555-2771.43
Roberto Streit0.1810.1680.15530-235356.60
Dan Wheldon0.1810.1660.15577-6113855.80
Felice Bonetto0.15311-132445.83
Frank Gardner0.15324-63080.00
Tony Kanaan0.1770.1600.152359-19355265.04
Warwick Brown0.1526-1785.71
Kenny Brack0.1770.1670.15231-154667.39
Koudai Tsukakoshi0.1660.1550.15250-287864.10
Alex Palou-0.0230.2070.15259-359462.77
Charles Pic0.1680.1600.15043-347755.84
Olivier Beretta0.0990.0950.1495-2771.43
Eugenio Castellotti0.14810-142441.67
Nico Hulkenberg0.1630.1570.147125-9221757.60
Andreas Wirth0.1670.1460.14716-183447.06
Sam Bird0.1490.1490.147103-7718057.22
Eddie Irvine0.1480.1410.14727-366342.86
Ralph Firman0.1590.1450.14534-114575.56
Simon Pagenaud0.1580.1420.144174-15633052.73
Pierluigi Martini0.14326-133966.67
Dan Gurney0.14232-195162.75
A.J. Foyt0.13919-52479.17
Robert Kubica0.1560.1400.13850-449453.19
Heikki Kovalainen0.1910.1800.13855-5210751.40
Juan Pablo Montoya0.1700.1430.137104-9419852.53
Esteban Ocon0.0300.0910.13768-5912753.54
Paul Tracy0.1400.1250.13791-7316455.49
Oliver Turvey0.1500.1770.13595-6215760.51
Thierry Boutsen0.13557-379460.64
Andrea Montermini0.1348-51361.54
Johnny Claes0.1343-3650.00
Mark Webber0.1650.1410.13373-6714052.14
Sam Hornish, Jr.0.1440.1210.13324-204454.55
Daniil Kvyat0.1090.1270.133109-8519456.19
Stefan Johansson0.13230-205060.00
Niki Lauda0.13145-287361.64
Stuart Lewis-Evans0.1316-61250.00
Louis Rosier0.13015-92462.50
Sergio Perez0.1340.1270.12997-10720447.55
Felipe Giaffone0.1520.1460.12823-52882.14
Andre Lotterer0.1670.1460.127105-7718257.69
Reg Parnell0.1276-61250.00
Karl Kling0.1274-111526.67
Marc Goossens0.1760.1630.12610-51566.67
Karl Wendlinger0.0370.0370.1237-31070.00
Robin Frijns0.2480.1610.12342-266861.76
Rubens Barrichello0.1380.1300.12376-11719339.38
Dario Franchitti0.1410.1250.122169-15732651.84
Sebastien Buemi0.1020.0990.12173-4111464.04
Richard Antinucci0.1300.1200.12157-4610355.34
Michele Alboreto0.12049-398855.68
Eric Bernard0.0800.0760.12016-132955.17
David Malukas0.1207-31070.00
Gilles Villeneuve0.12019-133259.38
Rene Rast-0.0440.1320.1168-91747.06
Carlos Sainz, Jr.0.0830.1090.114112-10822050.91
Felix Rosenqvist0.1100.1170.113109-9720652.91
Felipe Massa0.1460.1310.11273-13620934.93
Luigi Fagioli0.1104-71136.36
Loic Duval0.1290.1130.11064-4210660.38
Erik Comas0.10919-173652.78
Johnny Herbert0.0950.0880.10829-305949.15
Heinz-Harald Frentzen0.1180.1120.10734-266056.67
Tomoki Nojiri0.1150.1220.10741-175870.69
Romain Grosjean0.1350.1240.105132-9522758.15
Rick Mears0.10477-5913656.62
Alex Tagliani0.1370.1230.10448-338159.26
Satoshi Motoyama0.1310.1250.10433-154868.75
Roberto Merhi0.1690.1750.10446-307660.53
Jo Bonnier0.10332-205261.54
Don Branson0.10323-264946.94
Alex Lloyd0.1390.1340.10210-11190.91
Antonio Giovinazzi0.0750.1100.101176-10327963.08
Alexander Rossi0.1100.1100.101212-12233463.47
Adrian Sutil0.1320.1200.10044-479148.35
Takashi Kogure0.1340.1190.10047-307761.04
Michael Chandler0.1002-3540.00
Ren Sato0.1003-2560.00
Felipe Nasr0.1160.1240.099103-6116462.80
Emerson Fittipaldi0.09673-5713056.15
Martin Donnelly0.09521-163756.76
Peter Arundell0.09124-224652.17
Robert Wickens0.1260.1120.09039-317055.71
Graham Rahal0.0690.0760.090118-8820657.28
Scott McLaughlin0.0050.09028-447238.89
Tom Coronel0.0920.0810.08713-92259.09
James Calado0.1060.1010.08768-5312156.20
Jonathan Williams0.0866-51154.55
Helio Castroneves0.0960.0720.085190-24143144.08
Giedo van der Garde0.1050.0920.08579-7014953.02
Pastor Maldonado0.1070.0970.08244-388253.66
Rinus VeeKay0.2110.1160.08243-145775.44
Richard Lyons0.1480.1410.08220-82871.43
Tomas Scheckter0.1040.1030.08255-278267.07
Roger McCluskey0.08235-114676.09
Ivan Capelli0.0816-51154.55
Pierre Gasly0.0750.0880.08174-5913355.64
Alexander Albon0.0590.0750.08155-5511050.00
Andre Simon0.08118-224045.00
Jerome d'Ambrosio0.0960.0830.07965-5512054.17
Billy Vukovich0.0798-41266.67
Wolfgang von Trips0.07819-173652.78
Damon Hill0.0560.0520.07834-336750.75
Jim McElreath0.0783-4742.86
Josele Garza0.0776-51154.55
Martin Brundle0.07631-255655.36
Olivier Grouillard0.07610-41471.43
Brendon Hartley0.0810.0860.07651-5110250.00
Lance Stroll0.0240.0630.07590-8817850.56
Corrado Fabi0.07521-133461.76
Bruno Giacomelli0.07435-155070.00
Christijan Albers0.1190.1060.07412-82060.00
Maurice Trintignant0.07245-5810343.69
J.R. Hildebrand0.0210.0540.07023-143762.16
Adam Carroll0.1090.1000.07030-306050.00
Francois Cevert0.06915-243938.46
Kyle Kirkwood0.06924-63080.00
Piers Courage0.06715-82365.22
Jonathan Palmer0.06722-133562.86
Jacky Ickx0.06737-316854.41
Ingo Hoffmann0.0678-51361.54
Masten Gregory0.06619-133259.38
Giorgio Pantano0.0930.0830.06522-204252.38
Alan Jones0.06529-164564.44
Alex Zanardi0.0870.0730.06431-265754.39
Vitor Meira0.0860.0770.06122-123464.71
Roberto Mieres0.06010-122245.45
Jordan King0.0370.0530.060140-9723759.07
Allan McNish0.0280.0230.0606-71346.15
Marcus Ericsson0.0330.0540.059127-12625350.20
Paul Frere0.0598-61457.14
Keke Rosberg0.05824-184257.14
Stefano Coletti0.0370.0330.05831-296051.67
Bruno Junqueira0.0680.0580.05838-397749.35
Willy Mairesse0.0575-3862.50
Andrea Caldarelli0.0860.0680.05736-468243.90
Olivier Panis0.0590.0500.05727-275450.00
Alexander Wurz0.0900.0750.05711-203135.48
Pedro Rodriguez0.05715-82365.22
Martin Plowman0.0760.0590.05735-346950.72
Jeff Simmons0.0740.0650.05611-92055.00
Bill Holland0.0563-2560.00
Andrea Chiesa0.05512-21485.71
Dave Scott0.0545-3862.50
Graham Hill0.05463-5712052.50
Akira Ishikawa0.0537-2977.78
Ryan Briscoe0.0680.0470.05299-11521446.26
Aguri Suzuki0.0519-101947.37
Brian Henton0.04913-102356.52
Mario Haberfeld0.0380.0260.0489-81752.94
Jody Scheckter0.04723-234650.00
Richard Attwood0.04721-173855.26
Santino Ferrucci0.0020.0340.04653-358860.23
Beppe Gabbiani0.04618-123060.00
Vitantonio Liuzzi0.0720.0580.04630-295950.85
Jaime Alguersuari0.0450.0530.04449-6111044.55
Danny Sullivan0.04443-519445.74
Jacques Villeneuve0.0490.0410.04339-458446.43
Toshio Suzuki0.0438-132138.10
Dan Clarke0.0640.0500.04123-133663.89
Len Sutton0.0415-71241.67
Bobby Rahal0.04144-327657.89
Ryan Hunter-Reay0.0630.0490.040274-19647058.30
Stefan Bellof0.0397-51258.33
Masanori Sekiya0.0399-41369.23
Walt Ader0.0383-2560.00
Jean-Pierre Beltoise0.03753-328562.35
James Rossiter0.0540.0440.03739-246361.90
Keiji Matsumoto0.03718-173551.43
Takuya Izawa0.0450.0330.03741-539443.62
JJ Lehto0.0356-91540.00
Andrea de Cesaris0.03518-133158.06
Lance Macklin0.03413-122552.00
Jo Siffert0.03423-113467.65
Steve Kinser0.03318-123060.00
Alexander Sims0.0420.0560.03333-427544.00
A.J. Allmendinger0.0450.0320.03213-152846.43
Joel Eriksson-0.0440.03224-123666.67
Michael Bleekemolen0.0328-71553.33
Cliff Allison0.0319-101947.37
Philippe Alliot0.03134-306453.13
Phil Hill0.03027-235054.00
Spencer Pigot0.0190.0320.02970-3310367.96
Mark Blundell0.0280.0170.02826-255150.98
Jake Dennis-0.0170.0010.028125-10923453.42
Harry Schell0.02824-315543.64
Ken Downing0.0284-4850.00
Donnie Beechler0.0273-3650.00
Yuji Tachikawa0.0650.0550.02228-103873.68
Derek Warwick0.02221-224348.84
Jos Verstappen0.0390.0310.02212-122450.00
Kamui Kobayashi0.0450.0340.02187-10619345.08
Fabio Leimer0.0490.0580.01936-397548.00
Consalvo Sanesi0.0183-101323.08
Onofre Marimon0.0182-5728.57
Oliver Rowland-0.0180.0000.01863-4911256.25
Patrick Friesacher0.0380.0200.01513-162944.83
Carlos Menditeguy0.0155-91435.71
Lucas Auer0.0030.0140.01566-4911557.39
Raphael Matos0.0420.0260.01418-112962.07
Nicolas Minassian0.0290.0190.01410-112147.62
Eje Elgh0.01328-174562.22
Scott Speed0.0370.0220.0125-61145.45
Kevin Magnussen0.0610.0640.012110-11122149.77
Buddy Lazier0.0320.0300.0116-2875.00
Riccardo Patrese0.01026-406639.39
Sergey Sirotkin-0.0200.0010.01021-214250.00
Tomas Enge0.0310.0220.00918-284639.13
Vittorio Brambilla0.00911-61764.71
Mark Dismore0.000-0.0080.0096-131931.58
Alex Barron0.0600.0570.00921-183953.85
Emanuele Pirro0.00819-244344.19
Kohei Hirate0.0350.0250.00836-458144.44
Nello Pagani0.0064-4850.00
Patrick Depailler0.00533-346749.25
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Yuji Kunimoto-0.080-0.071-0.09445-5610144.55
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Naoki Hattori-0.109-0.115-0.17821-507129.58
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Rio Haryanto-0.175-0.173-0.18016-345032.00
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Tristan Gommendy-0.117-0.128-0.20019-375633.93
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Bobby Olivero-0.2012-3540.00
Giorgio Scarlatti-0.2021-12137.69
Zhou Guanyu-0.20520-315139.22
Simona de Silvestro-0.142-0.169-0.20611-374822.92
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Howdy Holmes-0.2106-91540.00
Osamu Nakajima-0.198-0.202-0.2105-71241.67
Emanuele Naspetti-0.2104-131723.53
Anthony Davidson-0.218-0.225-0.21013-223537.14
David Hobbs-0.21010-152540.00
Les Leston-0.2122-4633.33
Dan Ticktum-0.328-0.289-0.21628-305848.28
Franco Forini-0.2195-51050.00
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Ricardo Zonta-0.216-0.220-0.2208-81650.00
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Antonio Garcia-0.184-0.203-0.2262-161811.11
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Paul Hawkins-0.2763-172015.00
Luis Diaz-0.253-0.267-0.2763-81127.27
Tadasuke Makino-0.385-0.339-0.27721-385935.59
Dick Simon-0.2783-5837.50
Christian Danner-0.27910-324223.81
Dalton Kellett-0.260-0.265-0.28021-10212317.07
Scott Brayton-0.28121-264744.68
R.C. Enerson-0.245-0.227-0.2816-101637.50
Mick Schumacher-0.391-0.350-0.28252-6812043.33
Pietro Fittipaldi-0.289-0.275-0.2829-202931.03
Jean-Louis Schlesser-0.2824-172119.05
Markus Winkelhock-0.270-0.287-0.2856-71346.15
Art Pollard-0.2854-71136.36
Pippa Mann-0.283-0.294-0.2856-243020.00
Marcus Marshall-0.311-0.323-0.2873-172015.00
Mark Smith-0.289-0.298-0.2886-81442.86
Hideki Noda-0.283-0.290-0.29111-243531.43
Matthew Brabham-0.294-0.285-0.2919-213030.00
George Abecassis-0.2921-6714.29
Didier Theys-0.2944-61040.00
Carlos Guerrero-0.255-0.257-0.2944-61040.00
Helmut Marko-0.2965-91435.71
Reine Wisell-0.2963-101323.08
P.J. Jones-0.116-0.118-0.29714-294332.56
Jimmie Johnson-0.326-0.2993-60634.76
Yuhki Nakayama-0.243-0.280-0.3005-212619.23
George Snider-0.3004-182218.18
Manfred Winkelhock-0.3029-283724.32
Gunnar Nilsson-0.3026-121833.33
Andrea de Adamich-0.3056-202623.08
Mario de Araujo Cabral-0.3092-81020.00
Peter Westbury-0.3114-101428.57
Ken Nichols-0.3133-6933.33
Chico Serra-0.3131-5616.67
Jo Schlesser-0.3134-5944.44
Jim Hall-0.3170-550.00
Tetsuji Tamanaka-0.169-0.171-0.3193-3650.00
Pierre Levegh-0.3212-3540.00
Hans Stuck-0.3231-4520.00
Ricardo Rosset-0.188-0.191-0.3253-6933.33
Alex Figge-0.303-0.314-0.3272-6825.00
Jimmy Caruthers-0.3282-5728.57
Boy Hayje-0.3291-6714.29
Ian Ashley-0.3318-61457.14
Gabriele Tarquini-0.3326-61250.00
John Jones-0.3323-161915.79
Paco Godia-0.3320-10100.00
Vern Schuppan-0.3324-111526.67
Yukihiro Hane-0.3331-5616.67
Gianni Morbidelli-0.3344-212516.00
Ed Pimm-0.3361-4520.00
Ricardo Zunino-0.3366-263218.75
Patrick Lemarie-0.320-0.336-0.3370-550.00
Jaime Camara-0.313-0.327-0.3372-91118.18
Johnny Parsons-0.3372-4633.33
Andre Pilette-0.3384-141822.22
Kunimitsu Takahashi-0.33913-334628.26
Lamberto Leoni-0.3426-131931.58
Jeret Schroeder-0.318-0.329-0.3440-660.00
Sammy Sessions-0.3474-91330.77
Roger Yasukawa-0.331-0.342-0.3492-81020.00
Teddy Pilette-0.35117-244141.46
Matt Halliday-0.338-0.344-0.3530-770.00
Joe Saldana-0.3552-4633.33
Eddie Lawson-0.3593-71030.00
Jose Dolhem-0.3603-71030.00
Katsumi Yamamoto-0.339-0.341-0.3602-6825.00
Osamu Nakako-0.3603-81127.27
Emilio de Villota-0.307-0.311-0.3631-4520.00
Robby McGehee-0.411-0.415-0.3653-5837.50
Jaroslaw Wierczuk-0.317-0.327-0.3661-5616.67
Allen Berg-0.3661-12137.69
Mel Kenyon-0.3664-151921.05
Graham McRae-0.3691-4520.00
Jeff Krosnoff-0.3713-182114.29
Naohiro Furuya-0.3720-660.00
Chip Mead-0.3731-5616.67
Bryan Clauson-0.278-0.240-0.3730-770.00
Yudai Igarashi-0.350-0.367-0.3787-222924.14
Tom Gloy-0.3790-550.00
Fulvio Ballabio-0.3792-6825.00
Ho-Pin Tung-0.371-0.3814-273112.90
Hiroki Otsu-0.346-0.232-0.3816-243020.00
Arturo Merzario-0.3821-7812.50
Swede Savage-0.3820-660.00
Masahiko Kageyama-0.211-0.214-0.38310-273727.03
Masahiko Kondo-0.345-0.355-0.3872-121414.29
Bob Anderson-0.3942-111315.38
Aldo Gordini-0.3940-660.00
Jean-Christophe Boullion-0.433-0.433-0.3940-550.00
Juri Vips-0.501-0.465-0.39523-456833.82
Kei Cozzolino-0.313-0.313-0.3991-6714.29
Katherine Legge-0.385-0.396-0.3991-16175.88
Hector Rebaque-0.4001-91010.00
Kazuki Hoshino-0.368-0.380-0.4000-14140.00
Tatiana Calderon-0.421-0.401-0.40118-16218010.00
Richard Bradley-0.336-0.372-0.4044-121625.00
Marco Greco-0.4046-283417.65
Ian Burgess-0.4071-91010.00
Harrison Newey-0.430-0.446-0.4089-283724.32
Roberto Gonzalez-0.394-0.408-0.4092-111315.38
Brad Murphey-0.4123-5837.50
Alessandro Zampedri-0.350-0.352-0.4123-121520.00
Naoki Nagasaka-0.4132-4633.33
Gaston Mazzacane-0.383-0.394-0.4131-17185.56
Alfonso Celis, Jr.-0.467-0.435-0.4145-47529.62
Katsumasa Chiyo-0.401-0.413-0.4166-121833.33
Takashi Kobayashi-0.358-0.397-0.4192-171910.53
Dave Kudrave-0.4272-111315.38
Guido Dacco-0.4283-5837.50
Sarah Fisher-0.441-0.448-0.4294-182218.18
Marty Roth-0.293-0.295-0.4302-3540.00
Shigeaki Hattori-0.431-0.434-0.4314-81233.33
Luigi Piotti-0.4320-880.00
Willy T. Ribbs-0.430-0.436-0.43510-233330.30
Edgar Barth-0.4360-16160.00
Harald Ertl-0.4412-6825.00
Milka Duno-0.407-0.414-0.4451-28293.45
Jackie Pretorius-0.4512-7922.22
Masataka Yanagida-0.391-0.405-0.4664-232714.81
George Eaton-0.4691-6714.29
Scott Atchison-0.4741-6714.29
Jack Miller-0.506-0.507-0.4830-770.00
Kota Sasaki-0.435-0.446-0.4860-550.00
John Cannon-0.4891-4520.00
Kazuto Kotaka-0.500-0.4995-394411.36
Peter de Klerk-0.5042-5728.57
Francesco Dracone-0.495-0.502-0.5121-19205.00
Ronnie Bucknum-0.5131-4520.00
Charles Pozzi-0.5131-11128.33
Ross Bentley-0.462-0.466-0.5242-6825.00
Akira Iida-0.475-0.483-0.5301-17185.56
Luiz Garcia, Jr.-0.521-0.532-0.5331-5616.67
Fred Wacker-0.5480-660.00
Gordon Smiley-0.5540-660.00
Lella Lombardi-0.5544-182218.18
Steve Krisiloff-0.5541-16175.88
Phil Giebler-0.526-0.534-0.5560-550.00
Geoff Boss-0.556-0.560-0.5590-550.00
Takao Wada-0.5722-81020.00
Esteban Tuero-0.559-0.566-0.5760-660.00
Hiro Matsushita-0.492-0.496-0.5827-485512.73
Franco Scapini-0.6021-7812.50
Pascal Fabre-0.6031-11128.33
Tony Trimmer-0.6050-550.00
Philippe Favre-0.479-0.483-0.6111-6714.29
Yasutaka Hinoi-0.6182-6825.00
Hideo Fukuyama-0.6270-550.00
Cale Yarborough-0.6390-660.00
Lyn St. James-0.576-0.578-0.6440-880.00
Dean Hall-0.608-0.611-0.6790-660.00
Chris Craft-0.6871-6714.29
Taki Inoue-0.563-0.564-0.6920-660.00
Laurent Redon-0.716-0.720-0.7200-550.00

Best Drivers by Year

In preparation for this article, I also decided I wanted to list the highest-rated driver in each series per season. I decided to start at 1979 because that was the beginning of the USAC/CART split as well as the time when Formula One non-championship races were starting to become a thing of the past, and I will admit that adding in all the non-championship races made calculating teammate counts a lot more confusing, although I did eventually correct my mistakes. Below you will see the highest-rated Formula One, IndyCar (separated into CART/Champ Car and IRL/IndyCar when there were two series), Formula E, and Super Formula driver for those years. I counted only the races in a given calendar year for those seasons like the 1996-97 IndyCar season and the early Formula E seasons that included races in two consecutive years and I only counted drivers who had five or more shared teammate comparisons in those given years. I want to point out that there are a few drivers who would lead certain years if they met the five-race threshold. These include Alain Prost in 1986, Jean Alesi in 1992, and Michael Schumacher in 1996. They were the highest-rated F1 drivers in those years (overwhelmingly in Schumacher's case) but there was much less reliability in those periods and none of them had five shared teammate races as a result. Particularly in the other series like IndyCar and Super Formula, most drivers didn't have teammates in the '80s so those that do appear here are mostly from the same teams (almost every IndyCar driver listed for the '80s was a Penske driver.) In the early IRL years as well as some of the earlier Super Formula years, there were so few drivers who even had five shared teammate races that there are some seasons where the season leader has an embarrassingly low score, especially Eliseo Salazar's -.369 in 1996 (although that also included some CART races; to be fair to Salazar, he did have an exceptionally high-rated year in 2000.)

I was an applied statistics major in college and although I've forgotten a lot of my past training, one thing I do remember is that a sample size of 30 is usually considered the minimum sample size necessary to approximate a normal distribution. Most racing seasons have far fewer than 30 races so while the luck factor may average out in the end, it usually won't average out over a time period as short as a single racing season. As a result, there is tons of randomness and a lot of bizarre surprises in these results. The most obvious one is that neither Lewis Hamilton nor Dario Franchitti was actually ever the highest-rated driver in a year, and I was not expecting that. My model in general gives a far different perspective of the 2010s in Formula One than the actual results do as while Sebastian Vettel dominated the first half of the decade and Hamilton dominated the second half, in my model that decade is judged as being primarily a battle between Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Even with the large decline Alonso had in the model, he still leads a lot of years as he does in most other statistical models. I suppose Alonso v. Hamilton is sort of becoming a Peyton Manning v. Tom Brady sort of thing where the advanced statistics consistently favor one guy while the actual statistics favor the other and you have to decide where you stand. At this point, I admit I'm hesitant to rate Alonso over Hamilton and it's certainly possible if Alonso continues for several more seasons then he will tank hard enough in my overall ratings that he will start appearing worse by all these metrics and then it will be indisputably Hamilton without question. To be fair, Hamilton was a lot more consistent than most of his peers... even though Vettel is the highest-rated F1 driver in six years and Hamilton isn't the highest-rated driver once, Hamilton is still rated higher than Vettel in the model because he had far fewer bad seasons even if his best seasons weren't as great. Franchitti's non-appearance doesn't really surprise me much though. He had losing teammate records to Tony Kanaan and Dan Wheldon and even Scott Dixon. Although it seemed on the surface like Franchitti was outperforming Dixon when they were teammates as he won three titles to Dixon's one and two Indy 500s to Dixon's zero when they were teamed together, Dixon actually won their teammate head-to-head and as a result in most of those seasons neither of them rate the highest.

One obvious trend that tends to overrate most seasons is when a driver competes against either a rookie or second-year teammate or a driver in decline. Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella ended up leading the model in 2000 and 2001 despite not posting the best seasons because they utterly dominated a not-yet-ready-for-primetime Jenson Button. Similarly, Esteban Ocon is the highest-rated driver this year just because he is matching Fernando Alonso right now, which is something that none of Alonso's teammates prior to his hiatus ever did (although Jarno Trulli and Hamilton and Jenson Button admittedly all came somewhat close.) Sebastian Vettel's highest-rated season came not in his most dominant year of 2013 but in 2008 when he swept his first-year F1 teammate Sébastien Bourdais, immediately after his own very inflated 2007 when he led the overall ratings thanks to a sweep of 18-year-old rookie Graham Rahal, who became a very good driver but definitely wasn't one yet.

The results for late-period Champ Car and post-merger IndyCar are downright bizarre. While the Darren Manning rating seems to be mostly legit (he was a truly great driver who beat Jenson Button to win the Macau Grand Prix in 1999, swept Rodolfo Lavin as a rookie in Champ Car in 2003, was the last driver to post a winning record against Scott Dixon, and then gave A.J. Foyt Racing its second and third best championship finishes in the last 20 years as well as tying for its best Indy 500 result in all that time), some of the others are baffling. The very obscure driver Ronnie Bremer is listed as the leader in 2005 because he swept Björn Wirdheim and Ricardo Sperafico in 2005, but he was not retained for 2006. Shockingly, Alex Tagliani leads two years in 2004 and 2006 but the 2006 is explained because he beat Will Power pretty badly in Power's rookie season and Power became a great driver, while in 2004 he swept a rotating cast of mostly rookies 9-0, beating Guy Smith 3-0, the teenage Nelson Philippe 5-0, and Memo Gidley 1-0, so these results aren't really spurious. Maybe I did underestimate Tagliani somewhat, but I still think the triumvirate of him, Greg Moore, and Patrick Carpentier is overrated by my model, although probably not by as much as the triumvirate of Mark Taylor, Ronnie Bremer, and Richard Antinucci is. Tomas Scheckter and Mario Moraes being the leaders for 2009 and 2010 is also bizarre, but admittedly both of them swept rookies with Scheckter going 4-0 against Mike Conway and Moraes sweeping Takuma Sato 5-0 (he also swept E.J. Viso 6-0 but was himself swept by Paul Tracy 2-0.) All these things prove that single-season data aren't all that accurate simply because the sample sizes aren't large enough, but if there is a trend it is that every driver who competes against a rookie or a washed-up driver will be overrated for that year. Rinus VeeKay's 2020 rookie season on the other hand seems to be completely legitimate as he swept Conor Daly 7-0 and Ed Carpenter 2-0 when he was a rookie while they were experienced. This looks like a genuinely exceptional season and makes the rest of VeeKay's more mediocre career look puzzling.

While four of the eight Formula E leaders are not surprising (Nelson Piquet, Jr., the two Jean-Éric Vergne seasons, and the Mitch Evans year), the others seem to require explanation. It is strange to me that Oliver Turvey, who has never won a Formula E race, is the highest-rated driver for two different seasons. I didn't even consider him for my top 200 list in 2021, but maybe I should have. However, in 2016 Turvey did post a 5-1 record against his teammate Nelson Piquet, Jr. who had just won the previous season's championship and also posted an undefeated record against his rotating cast of teammates in 2015, so that one makes a little more sense. It is kind of weird that that was enough for him to be the highest-rated driver in the entire model in 2016 though. Sergio Sette Camara is the leading Formula E driver this year because he almost swept the ex-F1 driver Antonio Giovinazzi, who is one of the most overrated drivers in the model because he was a great open wheel driver at the minor league level despite being a disappointment in F1 and an even bigger disappointment in Formula E this season. As for Super Formula, one thing I will say is that the series does seem to do a good job of identifying and developing talents that go on to more success elsewhere, as Thierry Boutsen, Stefan Johansson, Jan Lammers, André Lotterer, Loïc Duval, Felix Rosenqvist, and Nick Cassidy who all were the highest-rated Super Formula drivers in various seasons, eventually went on to win in more famous series in the years afterward, even if Rosenqvist and Cassidy were probably better in those years than they are in IndyCar and Formula E respectively right now (Cassidy even beat Álex Palou to win the 2019 championship, although Palou was a lot faster as I recall.)

However, the biggest surprise to me (maybe of all the surprises) is the astonishingly high placements of Eddie Cheever's little-known brother Ross, both on the overall list and on this list. Ross Cheever, who won the Japanese Formula 3 championship in 1987, eventually spent most of his career racing in the now Super Formula, which at the time was known as Japanese Formula 3000. Although he never won a championship, he did win ten races and set an astonishing 19-6 teammate record. Although mostly he competed against other obscure drivers, he did beat Jan Lammers in a race in 1987 when they were teammates and he did beat both Johnny Herbert and Michael Schumacher in races in 1991 for Team LeMans, winning the race at Sugo, while Schumacher, whose F1 career started less than a month later, finished second. Both Cheever and Herbert competed full-time in 1991 and Cheever finished 2nd in points while Herbert only finished 10th. Admittedly, Cheever had the Reynard chassis while both Herbert and Schumacher had the Ralt, and perhaps his chassis was better (Reynard certainly made a big splash in the late '90s when it was dominating in CART.) But this is still strange. Was Ross Cheever, a guy most people haven't heard of, actually better than his much more heralded brother? He did make a few IndyCar starts and didn't do much so I'm going to say no, but this result doesn't actually seem to be spurious.

There's one other driver you might have heard of in the Super Formula category that probably deserves a little scrutiny. Yuji Ide has the reputation as one of the worst Formula One drivers of all time yet he actually was the highest-rated Super Formula (then Formula Nippon) driver of 2005. While he was overall a below-average driver, if you look at the overall list, there are many, many drivers (even many Japanese drivers) who are rated far below him. In his Japanese starts, he was genuinely very good. In 2003, he posted a 5-1 record against Tsugio Matsuda, who eventually went on to win back-to-back titles in the series, and in 2005 he posted a 5-1 record against eventual 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Benoît Tréluyer, who went on to win the next year's championship. Ide won three races in 2004 and 2005 and finished 3rd and 2nd in the championship. He wasn't great or anything, but he was solid in those years. He got his F1 ride for a reason. Now he was woefully unprepared because he had never seen any of the F1 tracks before and ended up embarrassing himself on the biggest stage, but there have certainly been plenty of F1 drivers who had overall worse credentials than he did (Esteban Tuero comes to mind quickly.) But he wasn't as awful overall as you likely believe he was. Don't confuse him with Taki Inoue, who actually is one of the worst drivers in Formula One history and proud of it. Obviously, Ide is going to be nowhere near my top 1000 drivers list but think a little more broadly before you dunk on him that hard. Michael Andretti and Sébastien Bourdais looked terrible in F1 and obviously they were not even though they might have been in those particular seasons. It can be difficult for people who raced on an entirely different set of tracks to adapt if they did not come up through F1's primary ladder system, which no doubt is why they've largely stopped looking at IndyCar drivers.

It took me a couple weeks to calculate all this, so the 1979-2021 data only include the races through Sunday, August 7, but the differences in yearly ratings probably barely differ between the August 7 model and the current model if they differ at all, particularly for the older drivers who are now inactive. I did recalculate the data for 2022 through last weekend's races after I reiterated the model the final time last night.

YearF1CART/Champ CarIRL/IndyCarFormula ESuper Formula
1979Alan Jones (.268)Rick Mears (.244)
1980Gilles Villeneuve (.540)Mario Andretti (.361)Teo Fabi (-.044)
1981Elio de Angelis (.578)Rick Mears (.399)Thierry Boutsen (.354)
1982Michele Alboreto (.474)Rick Mears (.367)Thierry Boutsen (.253)
1983Alain Prost (.304)Al Unser (.356)Jonathan Palmer (.200)
1984Michele Alboreto (.272)Rick Mears (.157)Stefan Johansson (.196)
1985Ayrton Senna (.601)Rick Mears (.505)Eje Elgh (.170)
1986Nigel Mansell (.277)Rick Mears (.245)Mike Thackwell (.162)
1987Alain Prost (.406)Danny Sullivan (.245)Geoff Lees (-.088)
1988Gerhard Berger (.479)Danny Sullivan (.161)Kunimitsu Takahashi (-.141)
1989Ayrton Senna (.674)Michael Andretti (.354)Ross Cheever (.336)
1990Ayrton Senna (.576)Al Unser, Jr. (.359)Ross Cheever (.346)
1991Ayrton Senna (.558)Michael Andretti (.497)Jan Lammers (.177)
1992Erik Comas (.643)Michael Andretti (.493)Mauro Martini (.126)
1993Ayrton Senna (.684)Paul Tracy (.376)
1994Damon Hill (.541)Michael Andretti (.497)Marco Apicella (.402)
1995Michael Schumacher (.609)Mauricio Gugelmin (.362)Toshio Suzuki (.450)
1996Martin Brundle (.125)Al Unser, Jr. (.304)Eliseo Salazar (-.369)Katsutomo Kaneishi (.606)
1997Michael Schumacher (.648)Paul Tracy (.293)Vincenzo Sospiri (-.143)Pedro de la Rosa (.000)
1998Michael Schumacher (.557)Greg Moore (.658)Kenny Brack (.004)Masami Kageyama (.246)
1999Heinz-Harald Frentzen (.578)Greg Moore (.370)Kenny Brack (.166)Tom Coronel (.394)
2000Ralf Schumacher (.596)Juan Pablo Montoya (.336)Scott Sharp (.510)Michael Krumm (.326)
2001Giancarlo Fisichella (.763)Scott Dixon (.397)Al Unser, Jr. (.350)Yuji Tachikawa (.297)
2002Michael Schumacher (.291)Bruno Junqueira (.332)Scott Sharp (.257)Ralph Firman (.275)
2003Fernando Alonso (.402)Darren Manning (.228)Scott Dixon (.471)James Courtney (.247)
2004Nick Heidfeld (.484)Alex Tagliani (.354)Darren Manning (.464)Andre Lotterer (.319)
2005Michael Schumacher (.534)Ronnie Bremer (.505)Scott Dixon (.419)Yuji Ide (.287)
2006Jenson Button (.534)Alex Tagliani (.465)Dan Wheldon (.417)Andre Lotterer (.402)
2007Fernando Alonso (.470)Sebastien Bourdais (.589)Scott Dixon (.293)Bjorn Wirdheim (.312)
2008Sebastian Vettel (.673)Scott Dixon (.454)Takuya Izawa (.362)
2009Fernando Alonso (.552)Tomas Scheckter (.356)Loic Duval (.438)
2010Nico Rosberg (.753)Mario Moraes (.251)Takashi Kogure (.350)
2011Sebastian Vettel (.515)Will Power (.497)Takashi Kogure (.505)
2012Fernando Alonso (.613)Justin Wilson (.276)Takashi Kogure (.219)
2013Sebastian Vettel (.633)Helio Castroneves (.337)Naoki Yamamoto (.326)
2014Fernando Alonso (.634)Simon Pagenaud (.387)Joao Paulo de Oliveira (.352)
2015Sebastian Vettel (.466)James Hinchcliffe (.419)Nelson Piquet, Jr. (.437)Joao Paulo de Oliveira (.557)
2016Sebastian Vettel (.466)Josef Newgarden (.398)Oliver Turvey (.496)Koudai Tsukakoshi (.396)
2017Sebastian Vettel (.563)Scott Dixon (.461)Jean-Eric Vergne (.449)Felix Rosenqvist (.314)
2018Fernando Alonso (.628)Will Power (.466)Jean-Eric Vergne (.430)Nick Cassidy (.472)
2019George Russell (.529)Scott Dixon (.525)Edoardo Mortara (.470)Nick Cassidy (.294)
2020Max Verstappen (.580)Rinus VeeKay (.393)Mitch Evans (.636)Naoki Yamamoto (.291)
2021Max Verstappen (.631)Josef Newgarden (.500)Oliver Turvey (.457)Kenta Yamashita (.217)
2022Esteban Ocon (.533)Pato O'Ward (.342)Sergio Sette Camara (.464)Toshiki Oyu (.152)

2022 Open Wheel Driver Ratings

The below table displays the driver ratings according to my model for all 86 major league open wheel drivers this year who had five or more teammate comparisons. As revealed above, Esteban Ocon leads the ratings because he is matching if not outrunning Fernando Alonso, who was never bested by any teammate prior to this. Lando Norris has been beating Daniel Ricciardo by a much greater margin than even Max Verstappen did. Sergio Sette Camara was surprisingly the highest-rated driver in Formula E because he nearly swept Antonio Giovinazzi, who I believe my model is drastically overrating because his minor league results were substantially better than anything he did in the major leagues. Although Jean-Éric Vergne and Antônio Félix da Costa have usually been evenly matched in Formula E, Vergne definitely had the measure of him this year beating him 9-3. Jake Dennis swept Oliver Askew in Formula E this year a mere three years after Askew won the Indy Lights title. What George Russell has done should require no explanation. Although I would still say Charles Leclerc has probably outperformed Carlos Sainz, Jr., he hasn't been outperforming him by nearly as much as the difference in their ratings, but that's probably because Sainz is one of the most underrated drivers in the current model. Nobody should be surprised that Pato O'Ward is the highest-rated driver in IndyCar, although he's leading his series by a way huger margin than anyone else, as the second-highest rated driver Scott McLaughlin is 0.107 behind O'Ward. A lot of that is because the Penske drivers have been evenly matched in terms of finishes (certainly not performance) and the top three Ganassi drivers have been pretty evenly matched in performance, although Scott Dixon has a substantial advantage on both Álex Palou and Marcus Ericsson in terms of finishes. After his second-place finish at Gateway, David Malukas took a 7-3 lead in his match with Takuma Sato this year and he ranks highest of all the first-year drivers this year across all four series.

Esteban Ocon0.533
Lando Norris0.498
Sergio Sette Camara0.464
Jean-Eric Vergne0.451
George Russell0.451
Jake Dennis0.432
Max Verstappen0.407
Carlos Sainz, Jr.0.372
Pato O'Ward0.342
Edoardo Mortara0.306
Valtteri Bottas0.295
Mitch Evans0.280
Stoffel Vandoorne0.255
Sebastien Buemi0.252
Pascal Wehrlein0.243
Scott McLaughlin0.235
Graham Rahal0.229
Helio Castroneves0.228
Mick Schumacher0.226
Scott Dixon0.211
Sebastian Vettel0.200
Sam Bird0.192
Lance Stroll0.174
Colton Herta0.170
Josef Newgarden0.157
Toshiki Oyu0.152
Marcus Ericsson0.147
Alexander Albon0.146
Sergio Perez0.146
Nyck de Vries0.145
Tomoki Nojiri0.145
Will Power0.135
Oliver Rowland0.133
Romain Grosjean0.125
David Malukas0.120
Tadasuke Makino0.119
Lucas di Grassi0.114
Sacha Fenestraz0.114
Alexander Rossi0.105
Ryo Hirakawa0.103
Yuji Kunimoto0.092
Ritomo Miyata0.079
Christian Lundgaard0.076
Andre Lotterer0.076
Lewis Hamilton0.073
Robin Frijns0.055
Alex Palou0.053
Felix Rosenqvist0.053
Sho Tsuboi0.044
Charles Leclerc0.042
Fernando Alonso0.037
Oliver Turvey0.034
Rinus VeeKay0.030
Kyle Kirkwood0.026
Nick Cassidy0.008
Simon Pagenaud0.002
Atsushi Miyake0.000
Ren Sato0.000
Daniel Ricciardo-0.041
Ed Carpenter-0.050
Pierre Gasly-0.057
Antonio Felix da Costa-0.070
Takuma Sato-0.080
Alexander Sims-0.082
Conor Daly-0.086
Dan Ticktum-0.115
Sena Sakaguchi-0.121
Yuki Tsunoda-0.133
Devlin DeFrancesco-0.160
Kamui Kobayashi-0.166
Dalton Kellett-0.195
Maximilian Gunther-0.197
Naoki Yamamoto-0.250
Jimmie Johnson-0.261
Ukyo Sasahara-0.268
Nicholas Latifi-0.294
Kenta Yamashita-0.296
Zhou Guanyu-0.320
Jack Harvey-0.388
Giuliano Alesi-0.458
Oliver Askew-0.472
Kevin Magnussen-0.496
Yuhi Sekiguchi-0.505
Tatiana Calderon-0.581
Hiroki Otsu-0.777

Now that I have calculated the driver ratings for all the major league drivers back to 1979, I will eventually try to use that as a baseline to create an aging curve to determine at what age open wheel drivers peak, which I can then use to make adjustments to the year-by-year data points. I don't think I'm in a big rush to adjust the entire average model based on age, as I'm probably going to be more interested in the year-by-year results after this, since I am planning on determining which drivers will make my top 1000 based on the sum of year-by-year statistical evaluations. As I revealed in the earlier column, I am planning to award 100 points to the top driver for each year, 70 points for the 2nd best driver, 50 points for the 3rd best driver, 30 points for the 4th best driver, 20 points for the 5th best driver, 10 points for the Elite (E) tier drivers (6th-25th), 5 points for the Elite Minus (E-) tier drivers (26th-50th), 3 points for the Competitive Plus (C+) tier drivers (51st-100th), 2 points for the Competitive (C) tier drivers (101st-150th), and 1 point for the Competitive Minus (C-) tier drivers (151st-200th) for each year. After that, I was planning on re-ranking the drivers by an entirely different method but I may change my mind about that. I will probably update my stock car model at some point in the next couple months before eventually moving on to adapt this model for touring cars, sports cars, and rally cars as well, but I need a break from this at the moment since this has been one of my main projects for the last seven months and I need to focus on some more important things in my life for a bit. I hope you enjoyed this.

Sean Wrona is the Managing Editor of racermetrics.com, the Webmaster of race-database.com, and the winner of the 2010 Ultimate Typing Championship at the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin. He earned a master's in applied statistics from Cornell University in 2008 and previously digitized several seasons of NBA box scores on basketball-reference.com. He released his first book, Nerds Per Minute: A History of Competitive Typing, in 2021. You may contact him at sean.wrona@gmail.com.