Australian GP 2018

Australian GP 2018

The new season is finally starting and I can’t wait to watch the Australian GP. The new cars are an evolution of the previous ones since there was no major change in the rules. The most visible changes are the introduction of the much debated Halo device – which I’m not fan of although it doesn’t look as bad as I expected – and the removal of the shark fin and the T-wing. Of course, McLaren has switched engines with Toro Rosso and it remains to be seen if Alonso can get back to his winning days.

The winter testing in Barcelona has showed that the pecking order might have some changes from 2017. Mercedes and Ferrari keep looking the teams to beat with Red Bull coming third. It will be difficult for Force India to keep their 4th position in the constructors championship given that both Renault and McLaren are looking strong. Williams will also try to gain something, however it’ll be difficult with two junior drivers. I’m looking forward to seeing Leclerc’s progress and whether he’ll jump to a Ferrari seat next year. Note that the predictive model has not seen data from winter testing, so all predictions are based on past years’ results. I expect the model to start capturing any new patterns within the first 3-4 races.

The world champion, Lewis Hamilton, is predicted to qualify 1st with Bottas 2nd. Behind them, the two Ferraris and the two Red Bulls. Personally, I expect a Renault or a McLaren to come 7th despite the model voting for the Force India drivers. Race predictions will be updated after the qualifying session.

Driver Qualifying Prediction Actual Qualifying Result Race Prediction Actual Race Result
Vettel 3 3 2 1
Hamilton 1 1 1 2
Raikkonen 4 2 3 3
Ricciardo 9 8 6 4
Alonso 11 10 12 5
Verstappen 5 4 4 6
Hulkenberg 8 7 7 7
Bottas 2 15 5 8
Vandoorne 15 11 14 9
Sainz 10 9 8 10
Perez 6 12 11 11
Ocon 7 14 13 12
Leclerc 20 18 18 13
Stroll 12 13 15 14
Hartley 19 16 17 15
Grosjean 13 6 10 R
Magnussen 16 5 9 R
Gasly 18 20 20 R
Ericsson 17 17 19 R
Sirotkin 14 19 16 R
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10 thoughts on “Australian GP 2018

  1. Hello! Nice to see the new post about new championship! Little strange that Ham should come second in the race. And I think winter tests doesn’t affect real results at all.

    1. Hi Bogdan! As always, race predictions will be updated after the qualifying session results. I think Ham is expected to drop some places due to his not-so-good appearances in the last 2-3 races of 2017.

      I agree that winter tests don’t tell that much. Especially, the fastest lap time of each team is almost irrelevant. However, the long-run pace of each team does reveal some insights. There’s some interesting analysis in this page.

      1. Thank you very much for analysis – the’re really interesting.
        From my side I can say that I decided so far try to predict qualification with all the available models (trained on the 100% results from previous season) and leave only one or few models, which will show best results. And after that I will go further.

  2. Hey,

    Great article! I am curious how the model went about choosing Stroll and Sirotkin as P12 and P14, respectively?

    1. Hi Blazej,

      What would you expect? Personally, I would predict both of them occupying position further down the grid.
      I guess the model just captured the strong-ish performance of Williams last year (they finished in P5 anyway).

      1. Interesting thoughts. They didn’t seem strong in pre-season practice, indeed.

        Does your model recognize that Stroll is now the main driver for Williams, hence it’s higher up on the grid than Sirotkin? I am just curious about the order.

        1. There’s no feature showing the main driver of each team since this is sometimes subjective. However, there are some features favouring Stroll over Sirotkin like experience (i.e. races participated), championship standings in previous season etc.

          The model gives 63% chance of Stroll qualifying ahead of Sirotkin and 57% of finishing ahead of him in the race. And I think this is normal and expected. Don’t forget that Stroll reached the podium last year.

  3. I predict Hamilton to win the Australian grandprix next week with Vettel coming second. That’s what I dreamed of… dreams are always accurate…

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