Two days ago, F1’s official partner Amazon Web Services (AWS) put out a list of the Top-20 fastest drivers in the history of the sport. To say that the list caused outrage among the fans of the sport would be a massive understatement.
Fans lost their cool upon seeing the likes of Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen rank in the Top-10. They were astoundingly placed ahead of world champions like Sebastian Vettel, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen.
Many questioned the algorithm used to determine this seemingly flawed list. However, F1 Managing Director Ross Brawn leaped to the list’s defense.
Speaking in an interview, Brawn said, “What we set out to do here was just to try and identify who we thought was the fastest driver. A driver who has demonstrated his speed over one lap and not necessarily his racing prowess or results.
“There’s been one or two surprises. But when you delve into it, there’s a certain amount of sense. Someone who worked with Jarno, who I know very well, said that if Grand Prix races were five laps long, he’d win every race.
“His speed was phenomenal over a short period of time.”
Brawn revealed that he was actually quite happy with the rankings. Obviously, comparing drivers from different eras isn’t a small ask. But Brawn is quite satisfied with the list and doesn’t mind the controversy generated by it.
He said, “We’ve extrapolated this and we’re quite proud of it. I don’t think people are laughing at it. I think it’s caused plenty of debate (But) once you understand the methodology then people will start to understand.”
Whether accurate or not, it is good to see that they are open to refining the list in the future. No list will ever truly satisfy every single F1 fan, but this one will certainly face a lot of heat in the coming days.