F1 Reveals the Fastest Driver Over the Past 40 Years

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August 18, 2020 2:37 pm

Normally, the debate that polarizes the F1 world is ‘Who’s the greatest driver of all time?’. Some swear by Michael Schumacher, others look to Lewis Hamilton, while some fans say its Ayrton Senna. But one other interesting factor is which driver is the fastest?

F1 ran the numbers and revealed the fastest driver over a single lap as Ayrton Senna. While not many may agree with machine derived results, Ayrton Senna simply had a magical influence over the car during one flying lap.

Ayrton Senna crowned the ‘quickest’ driver in F1

The Brazilian great beat the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher to pole position. Hamilton, who currently holds the F1 record for most poles, sits third in the rankings.

According to machine learning, the 6-time World Champion is approximately just over 2 tenths slower than Senna over one ‘full-beans’ lap.

Michael Schumacher, whom many fans regard as F1’s GOAT, is a mere tenth off of Senna’s pace according to the numbers. The F1 great edging Hamilton by a tiny margin to steal second place is likely to ruffle a few feathers and reignite the GOAT debate yet again.

Other notable entrants in the list are Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, and Charles Leclerc. The Dutchman slots behind Hamilton, followed by Alonso.

Interestingly, Charles Leclerc pips his Ferrari teammate. The Monegasque sits behind Former World Champion Nico Rosberg in seventh.

Sadly, Sebastian Vettel, much like his recent qualifying form, barely made it into the Top-10. Machine learning reckons the 4-time World Champion is nearly half a second slower than Senna on a hot lap.

AWS’s machine learning software combed through the timesheets from every qualifying session since 1983″ read a statement on F1.com, explaining how the drivers were classified.

“Banishing outliers and normalising the data to create a complex network of drivers’ performance relative to their team mates (and those team mates’ team mates and so on).

“A few rules had to be followed to create meaningful data. Team mates had to have completed at least five qualifying sessions against one another before they were compared. Age was also factored in, while if a driver was coming back to the sport after three or more seasons out of F1, that was also considered.

There you have it, folks, Ayrton Senna is Formula 1’s quickest driver!

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