The Rainmasters of Formula 1

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F1Tyrant
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The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by F1Tyrant »

Rain and wet tracks have long been the nemesis of F1 drivers. However, three drivers across history have won disproportionately many wet races. I'd like to break each down and finish with and honourable mention.

For reference, a 'wet race' is a Grand Prix where any part of the track was wet at the start or at any point throughout.

Ayrton Senna
Wet starts: 22, Wet wins: 14 (66%), Wet Podiums: 16 (73%)

The original rainmaster, only one man in F1 history has as higher percentage of wet wins to total wins with 34% (minimum 5 wet wins). The Brazilian also broke Ascari's long standing record of 4 consecutive wet race wins by taking a clean sweep of all 6 wet races between 1985 and 1988.

Senna's streak was ended by an engine failure (his only mechanical failure in the wet) while leading, 3 laps from the checkered flag during the 1989 Canadian Grand Prix. Such a feat of rain dominance would only be matched once and not surpassed for 30 years.

It was a sequence that could have extended to 12 wins had he avoided the engine failure and his crash with Martin Brundle while leading the 1989 Australian Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher
Wet starts 54, Wet wins 19 (37%), Wet Podiums 26 (50%)
Excluding comeback - Wet starts 42, Wet wins 19 (46%), Wet Podiums 26 (63%)


Schumacher's wet career started erratically with crashes or spins in 6 of first 8 wet starts. However, his 2nd place in the 1992 Spanish Grand Prix and maiden win at the 1992 Belgian Grand Prix demonstrated prodigious talent.

By 1995, that potential was reached. The German would match Senna's six consecutive wins between the 1996 Spanish Grand Prix and 1998 British Grand Prix and over his distinguised career would win the most wet races of any driver.

Remarkably, Schumacher only suffered two mechanical failure in the wet at the 2006 and 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix with all of his other non-finishes due to crashes and spins.

Lewis Hamilton
Wet starts 37, Wet wins 17 (46%), Wet Podiums 24 (65%)

The 2008 British Grand Prix will be forever etched into the memory of British fans as one of the greatest wet weather wins of all time. The driver that day would demonstrate outstanding wet weather driving throughout his career.

Hamilton has proved to be one of the strongest drivers in heavy rain as his teammates and rivals such as Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Valterri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa struggled.

In 2016, Hamilton matched Senna's record of 6 consecutive wins at Interlagos in the pouring rain an apt tribute to his hero. He would extend this run to 9 consecutive wins between 2014 and 2018, a run only ended by his crash at Hockenheim in 2019 that would have extended his own run to 12.

Honorable mention: Jenson Button
Wet starts 50, Wet wins 7 (17%), Wet Podiums 12 (29%)
The only man with 44% of his wins coming in the wet. A special talent who rarely had the machinery to fulfil it througout his career while being unlucky enough to be teamed up with Hamilton while driving for McLaren.

While Hamilton held the advantage in heavy rain, Button was imperious in changable conditions. While teammates, Button won 5 wet races to Hamilton's 3 victories, however, Button crashed Hamilton out of his most famous win at the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix and inherited another when Hulkenberg took out Hamilton from the lead at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. On the other hand, Button had mechanical failures in the wet at the 2011 British and German Grand Prix that would have suited him well although he was only running strongly in the latter.

Unsuprisingly, Button had the worst mechanical reliability of the four suffering 8 retirements in conditions that were clearly his forte.

I hope this comparison has piqued some interest. I'm happy to share the wet race record of any driver for 1980-2020 as I have the data between those dates.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by mikeyg123 »

This is really odd I was just coming on here to make a similar (although much lower effort) post.

I think Hamilton has become the best wet weather driver of all time. I think he's won every rain effected race since 2012 apart from Germany 2019 when he was miles ahead before crashing?

Senna would be the only competition but I feel he benefits from his rivals being generally quite poor n the wet.

I think the 96-98 Ferrari's must have had some characteristics that made them great in the wet as pretty much all the major dominant wet weather races Schumacher had was in that era and he looked less remarkable after it.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Harpo »

Is this a thread about rainmasters of your generation, because forgetting Jacky Ickx looks to me almost unforgivable. He should top the list.
And I'm not going to make new friends, but Schumacher had for years a team mate who I think was better than him in the wet : Barrichello.
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Fiki »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:32 pm
This is really odd I was just coming on here to make a similar (although much lower effort) post.

I think Hamilton has become the best wet weather driver of all time. I think he's won every rain effected race since 2012 apart from Germany 2019 when he was miles ahead before crashing?

Senna would be the only competition but I feel he benefits from his rivals being generally quite poor n the wet.

I think the 96-98 Ferrari's must have had some characteristics that made them great in the wet as pretty much all the major dominant wet weather races Schumacher had was in that era and he looked less remarkable after it.
I have never felt I could make comments like "best of all time", for the simple reason I never saw a number of drivers who impressed connaisseurs fortunate enough to see them in action. Jim Clark was killed when I was a young boy, and even Jackie Ickx's career largely passed me by. Coverage was poor, and commentator knowledgeability even poorer on the stations available.

I don't know why you think Senna's competitors were poor in the rain; Prost certainly wasn't poor in the rain. He didn't accept the lottery that driving in the rain represented, and was unwilling to accept the heightened risk level. Seeing what happened to Didier Pironi explains everything, ecxept the fact that it takes as much courage to refuse to race, as it does to accept the risks.
But Senna was impressive, and two of his races stand out for me personally. The first was his first victory, Portugal 1985 which I saw on the telly. Fans who believe Donnington 1993 was more impressive have to take a better look at the cars he drove on those occasions.
But I was present at Francorchamps 1992 when he gambled on staying out on slicks and only lost 1 second a lap to those on wets. The gamble didn't pay off in the end, but that is beside the point. (That performance on slicks is what I remember best about that race, not Schumacher's lucky win.)

I'm not sure whether the 96-98 Ferraris were better suited in the wet, but I seem to recall Schumacher had the choice between two cars with different set-ups, until the pitlane was closed prior the race. Clearly, besides being a Regenmeister, chosing the car with the proper set-up was also a gamble. When were T-cars banned? Perhaps this was a factor in what you noticed.
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by mikeyg123 »

Fiki wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:49 pm
mikeyg123 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:32 pm
This is really odd I was just coming on here to make a similar (although much lower effort) post.

I think Hamilton has become the best wet weather driver of all time. I think he's won every rain effected race since 2012 apart from Germany 2019 when he was miles ahead before crashing?

Senna would be the only competition but I feel he benefits from his rivals being generally quite poor n the wet.

I think the 96-98 Ferrari's must have had some characteristics that made them great in the wet as pretty much all the major dominant wet weather races Schumacher had was in that era and he looked less remarkable after it.
I have never felt I could make comments like "best of all time", for the simple reason I never saw a number of drivers who impressed connaisseurs fortunate enough to see them in action. Jim Clark was killed when I was a young boy, and even Jackie Ickx's career largely passed me by. Coverage was poor, and commentator knowledgeability even poorer on the stations available.

I don't know why you think Senna's competitors were poor in the rain; Prost certainly wasn't poor in the rain. He didn't accept the lottery that driving in the rain represented, and was unwilling to accept the heightened risk level. Seeing what happened to Didier Pironi explains everything, ecxept the fact that it takes as much courage to refuse to race, as it does to accept the risks.
But Senna was impressive, and two of his races stand out for me personally. The first was his first victory, Portugal 1985 which I saw on the telly. Fans who believe Donnington 1993 was more impressive have to take a better look at the cars he drove on those occasions.
But I was present at Francorchamps 1992 when he gambled on staying out on slicks and only lost 1 second a lap to those on wets. The gamble didn't pay off in the end, but that is beside the point. (That performance on slicks is what I remember best about that race, not Schumacher's lucky win.)

I'm not sure whether the 96-98 Ferraris were better suited in the wet, but I seem to recall Schumacher had the choice between two cars with different set-ups, until the pitlane was closed prior the race. Clearly, besides being a Regenmeister, chosing the car with the proper set-up was also a gamble. When were T-cars banned? Perhaps this was a factor in what you noticed.
Prost was poor in the wet. Just because there may be reasons for the poor performances doesn't mean they didn't exist. Very frequent crashes in the wet and rarely quick.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by j man »

A "wet" race can be difficult to define as the conditions will often vary wildly throughout. The Hungarian Grand Prix this year for instance probably counts as a wet race as the cars all started on intermediate tyres, but given that they all swapped to slicks in the opening laps Hamilton's win had little to do with his wet-weather ability.

I wonder if wet qualifying may be a better measure. Though that is prone to freak results as qualifying can be decided on very small margins and a well-timed tyre change, or even just being the last over the line, can be the decisive factor.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by F1Tyrant »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:32 pm
I think Hamilton has become the best wet weather driver of all time. I think he's won every rain effected race since 2012 apart from Germany 2019 when he was miles ahead before crashing?
The 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix started on a wet track and was won by Vettel but from then until Verstappen's win at the 2019 German Grand Prix, Hamilton swept everything. It's also amazing that Hamilton has only crashed out of 3 in 37 wet races (5 if you include 2007 European and 2019 German Grand Prix).
mikeyg123 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:32 pm
Senna would be the only competition but I feel he benefits from his rivals being generally quite poor n the wet.
You say this but Prost's record is remarkably similar to Vettel's and neither are considered terrible in the wet and both have famous victories in those conditions.
mikeyg123 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:32 pm
I think the 96-98 Ferrari's must have had some characteristics that made them great in the wet as pretty much all the major dominant wet weather races Schumacher had was in that era and he looked less remarkable after it.
Schumacher was defintely an exceptional wet weather driver but also the most crash prone of all the three rainmasters.
Harpo wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:55 pm
Is this a thread about rainmasters of your generation, because forgetting Jacky Ickx looks to me almost unforgivable. He should top the list.
I've only built my database back to 1980 but the work that is the basis of my word suggests that Ickx is not a statistical outlier on the wins front but he may suffer from a much smaller sample size that Senna, Schumacher or Hamilton.
Harpo wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:55 pm
And I'm not going to make new friends, but Schumacher had for years a team mate who I think was better than him in the wet : Barrichello.
My statistical analysis doesn't really reflect the anecdotal memories of him being great in the wet.

Rubens Barrichello
Wet starts: 38, Wet Wins: 2 (8%), Wet Podiums: 8 (31%)

I was not expecting his reliability to be so terrible with 11 mechanical retirements in wet races. However, his record really doesn't match anecdotal accounts of his ability.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Exediron »

Nice thread, and I appreciate the effort you obviously put into it!

I have two comments, one of which is basically a pure nitpick and one of which isn't... First, the nitpick:
F1Tyrant wrote:The 2008 British Grand Prix will be forever etched into the memory of British fans as one of the greatest wet weather wins of all time.
It's not just British fans who remember it that way. I think pretty much everyone who was watching will admit that was a special and unforgettable performance. British fans might have been a little happier about it, however... ;)

My other comment would be that, while I think this is a decent way of comparing Senna v. Schumacher v. Hamilton, it breaks down on anyone who wasn't in at least podium-capable machinery for a similar span of their career.

All three of those legendary drivers were able to win races for the vast majority of their careers, but if we look at a midfielder in many eras of F1, they could be an exceptional wet weather talent and have 0 wins and 0 podiums.
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by F1Tyrant »

Exediron wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:54 pm
Nice thread, and I appreciate the effort you obviously put into it!
Cheers!
Exediron wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:54 pm
My other comment would be that, while I think this is a decent way of comparing Senna v. Schumacher v. Hamilton, it breaks down on anyone who wasn't in at least podium-capable machinery for a similar span of their career.
My analysis has a major limitation that you touch on here:

Dominant machinery helps quite a bit in the wet but isn't definitive.
  • All the rainmasters enjoyed dominant machinery and that combination made them unstoppable.
  • Damon Hill has a very good record in the wet in terms of wins (4) and percentage terms (20%) but few would argue he was better in the wet then Schumacher.
  • Bad wet weather drivers don't win many wet races in dominant machinery. Hakkinen won only 1 wet race and Nico Rosberg won 0!
  • Some good wet weather drivers with good cars get very unlucky. Mark Webber has 0 wins but 9 podiums. More that Rubens Barrichello and Damon Hill!

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by wire2004 »

You really cant judge this on just wins and podiums. You have to
actually watch the races.

For example.
Schumacher in canada 2011. You know. The one button was applauded for his great comeback. Sorry. If Charlie had not been a pu$$¥ and restarted the race an hour before the race was actually restarted. (Martin brundle on commentary was saying the same thing) schumi would of won that race handedly as he was coming through the field at 2 seconds a lap faster than anyone else and catching vettel at the same rate before having to come in for the slicks that ultimately cost him the race and podium. You want some of Schumis excellence in the wet. Spa 95, spain 96. Monaco 97 (6 seconds faster than anyone else) spa 97. (10 seconds faster than anyone else) europe 2000. Silverstone 98. Spa 98 until coulthard took him out. Malaysia 2001. And finally. His last win in china 2006.

Jean Alesi.
Like schumacher. He had a nack for knowing when the right time to change and how to balance speed and control in the difficult conditions. Spain 1991, france 1993 instantly come to mind. As does qualifying in austria 1998. 1995 japan also springs to mind and Jean Alesi was fairly Handy in the changeable conditions.

Stefan Bellof.
People forget Bellof. Better than senna. He was not only catching Prost. BUT also senna in the 1984 Monaco gp. 2 more laps. And it was not senna who would of won. But Bellof.

Rubins Barrichello.
He has been mentioned. But it doesnt do him justice. 1993 donington would of been a podium but for a mechanical failure. There was spa Qualifiying in 1994. Brazil 96. Monaco 97. Then his first win in Germany 2000. But dont forget his comeback drive at the nurburgring in 2000 as well.

Max Verstappen.
You would not bet against max In the wet. He is there. Or there abouts in the wet and changeable conditions. Yes. He can be erratic at times as he was in Turkey this year. But that race was a anomaly with the track surface.

Sebastian Vettel.
I dont rate him. I never have. But seb is handy in the wet. He kept it on the black stuff in Turkey this year. There was the chaotic Brazilian go of 2012. Korea 2010. China 2009 and of course monza and brazil 2008.
Sebs wet weather results are not to be sniffed at.


I think I've given 2 for the 80s, 90s, 00s and current crop.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Schumacher forever#1 »

Schumi the rain meister

No I am not biased
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by mikeyg123 »

wire2004 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 8:39 pm
You really cant judge this on just wins and podiums. You have to
actually watch the races.

For example.
Schumacher in canada 2011. You know. The one button was applauded for his great comeback. Sorry. If Charlie had not been a pu$$¥ and restarted the race an hour before the race was actually restarted. (Martin brundle on commentary was saying the same thing) schumi would of won that race handedly as he was coming through the field at 2 seconds a lap faster than anyone else and catching vettel at the same rate before having to come in for the slicks that ultimately cost him the race and podium. You want some of Schumis excellence in the wet. Spa 95, spain 96. Monaco 97 (6 seconds faster than anyone else) spa 97. (10 seconds faster than anyone else) europe 2000. Silverstone 98. Spa 98 until coulthard took him out. Malaysia 2001. And finally. His last win in china 2006.

Jean Alesi.
Like schumacher. He had a nack for knowing when the right time to change and how to balance speed and control in the difficult conditions. Spain 1991, france 1993 instantly come to mind. As does qualifying in austria 1998. 1995 japan also springs to mind and Jean Alesi was fairly Handy in the changeable conditions.
A few more worth mentioning for Alesi - Nurbergring 95, Monaco 96, Spa 98 and France 99 quali and the race (at least before he spun)

Stefan Bellof.
People forget Bellof. Better than senna. He was not only catching Prost. BUT also senna in the 1984 Monaco gp. 2 more laps. And it was not senna who would of won. But Bellof.

Rubins Barrichello.
He has been mentioned. But it doesnt do him justice. 1993 donington would of been a podium but for a mechanical failure. There was spa Qualifiying in 1994. Brazil 96. Monaco 97. Then his first win in Germany 2000. But dont forget his comeback drive at the nurburgring in 2000 as well.

Barrichello was also fantastic in France 99, Brazil 2003 and Silverstone 2008.

Max Verstappen.
You would not bet against max In the wet. He is there. Or there abouts in the wet and changeable conditions. Yes. He can be erratic at times as he was in Turkey this year. But that race was a anomaly with the track surface.

Sebastian Vettel.
I dont rate him. I never have. But seb is handy in the wet. He kept it on the black stuff in Turkey this year. There was the chaotic Brazilian go of 2012. Korea 2010. China 2009 and of course monza and brazil 2008.
Sebs wet weather results are not to be sniffed at.


I think I've given 2 for the 80s, 90s, 00s and current crop.
Just added a few more good examples on to your less well established nominees.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by wire2004 »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:07 pm
wire2004 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 8:39 pm
You really cant judge this on just wins and podiums. You have to
actually watch the races.

For example.
Schumacher in canada 2011. You know. The one button was applauded for his great comeback. Sorry. If Charlie had not been a pu$$¥ and restarted the race an hour before the race was actually restarted. (Martin brundle on commentary was saying the same thing) schumi would of won that race handedly as he was coming through the field at 2 seconds a lap faster than anyone else and catching vettel at the same rate before having to come in for the slicks that ultimately cost him the race and podium. You want some of Schumis excellence in the wet. Spa 95, spain 96. Monaco 97 (6 seconds faster than anyone else) spa 97. (10 seconds faster than anyone else) europe 2000. Silverstone 98. Spa 98 until coulthard took him out. Malaysia 2001. And finally. His last win in china 2006.

Jean Alesi.
Like schumacher. He had a nack for knowing when the right time to change and how to balance speed and control in the difficult conditions. Spain 1991, france 1993 instantly come to mind. As does qualifying in austria 1998. 1995 japan also springs to mind and Jean Alesi was fairly Handy in the changeable conditions.
A few more worth mentioning for Alesi - Nurbergring 95, Monaco 96, Spa 98 and France 99 quali and the race (at least before he spun)

Stefan Bellof.
People forget Bellof. Better than senna. He was not only catching Prost. BUT also senna in the 1984 Monaco gp. 2 more laps. And it was not senna who would of won. But Bellof.

Rubins Barrichello.
He has been mentioned. But it doesnt do him justice. 1993 donington would of been a podium but for a mechanical failure. There was spa Qualifiying in 1994. Brazil 96. Monaco 97. Then his first win in Germany 2000. But dont forget his comeback drive at the nurburgring in 2000 as well.

Barrichello was also fantastic in France 99, Brazil 2003 and Silverstone 2008.

Max Verstappen.
You would not bet against max In the wet. He is there. Or there abouts in the wet and changeable conditions. Yes. He can be erratic at times as he was in Turkey this year. But that race was a anomaly with the track surface.

Sebastian Vettel.
I dont rate him. I never have. But seb is handy in the wet. He kept it on the black stuff in Turkey this year. There was the chaotic Brazilian go of 2012. Korea 2010. China 2009 and of course monza and brazil 2008.
Sebs wet weather results are not to be sniffed at.


I think I've given 2 for the 80s, 90s, 00s and current crop.
Just added a few more good examples on to your less well established nominees.

Again. Some good choices. Working nights sucks I wrote the post still half asleep.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Alienturnedhuman »

I think a more important metric would be to look at their finishing position in the dry versus their finishing position in the wet. Also what proportions of their wins were in the wet versus the dry, and the proportion of wet to dry races. You can then figure out the probability a driver is more likely to benefit from wet conditions.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by F1Tyrant »

Alienturnedhuman wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:49 pm
I think a more important metric would be to look at their finishing position in the dry versus their finishing position in the wet. Also what proportions of their wins were in the wet versus the dry, and the proportion of wet to dry races. You can then figure out the probability a driver is more likely to benefit from wet conditions.
Only issue with that metric is that it penalised drivers who are exceptional in the dry and wet and leans toward wet weather experts who underperform in the dry for whatever reason.

All statistical models are flawed I just thought this was good as it aligns with the popular perception of wet weather experts.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by DOLOMITE »

F1Tyrant wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:07 pm


Michael Schumacher
Wet starts 54, Wet wins 19 (37%), Wet Podiums 26 (50%)

Excluding comeback - Wet starts 42, Wet wins 19 (46%), Wet Podiums 26 (63%)


Schumacher's wet career started erratically with crashes or spins in 6 of first 8 wet starts.
That's interesting, thanks for that!

Don't agree with excluding his comeback races but I'll ignore that for now.

An interesting piece of analysis. Button was indeed the man for such condition. "Old Twinkletoes" Brundle called him. Such feel and control.

Verstappen at Brazil in '16 was one of the most breathtaking things I've witnessed in F1. That must have been quite a shock to some of the more experienced drivers even though he was already very much on the radar.
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by F1Tyrant »

DOLOMITE wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:58 pm
Don't agree with excluding his comeback races but I'll ignore that for now.
I only put it in for flavour because of how little he achieved after his first retirement.
DOLOMITE wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:58 pm
Verstappen at Brazil in '16 was one of the most breathtaking things I've witnessed in F1. That must have been quite a shock to some of the more experienced drivers even though he was already very much on the radar.
Verstappen's record in the wet is very Schumacher-esque, lots of errors with the occasional flawless drive. I'm certain that he will take Hamilton's mantle as I'm not convinced by Leclerc in the wet and there is an unknown over Russell's ability.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Fiki »

wire2004 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 8:39 pm
Stefan Bellof.
People forget Bellof. Better than senna. He was not only catching Prost. BUT also senna in the 1984 Monaco gp. 2 more laps. And it was not senna who would of won. But Bellof.
I haven't forgotten about Bellof. And he drove fantastically at the Monaco GP that year. But had he won, his win would have been taken away later, as his team were cheating. What influence their underweight car would have had at Monaco, I have no way of knowing. But his win would not have stood.

Great driver though. I was reminded of him when Alesi got into F1.
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by tootsie323 »

Chiming in as Jenson Button fan - I don't think that he was a particularly great wet weather driver or, more to the point, rainmaster. Button's wins in 'wet' races were largely in changeable conditions and reflected more his feel for evolving grip levels.
Canada 2011 is probably his most famous win and also a prime example. He was nowhere (relatively speaking!) for the first half of the race and came to life as the track started to dry out. Korea 2010 is another example I'd probably use -he had a 'mare!
I'd agree with Senna, Schumacher and Hamilton as those who have stood out. As I only started watching F1 in the 80s I can't comment before then.
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Harpo »

As Mr Wire 2004 wrote "You really can't judge this on just wins and podiums. You have to actually watch the races."
Jean Alesi was one of the best in the wet (and even more in changing weather), and his only win was not exactly a wet race.

Besides, when did they stop racing on really wet tracks (SC, starts and first laps behind SC, red flags and all) and started calling "wet race" a humid one ?
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Alienturnedhuman »

F1Tyrant wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:54 pm
Alienturnedhuman wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:49 pm
I think a more important metric would be to look at their finishing position in the dry versus their finishing position in the wet. Also what proportions of their wins were in the wet versus the dry, and the proportion of wet to dry races. You can then figure out the probability a driver is more likely to benefit from wet conditions.
Only issue with that metric is that it penalised drivers who are exceptional in the dry and wet and leans toward wet weather experts who underperform in the dry for whatever reason.

All statistical models are flawed I just thought this was good as it aligns with the popular perception of wet weather experts.
If you get P(wins in dry) and P(wins in wet) then you have a metric as to whether the wet race improves or hinders their ability to win. P(wins in dry) is the baseline for a driver's performance - as these are the stable conditions where drivers should be most equal. Of course, there could be a driver who for some reason is terrible in the dry but in the wet is a genius - but I don't think such a driver would make it to F1. However the ratio needs to consider the ratio of dry to wet races in a driver's career, because as the stats show - wet races were far more common in Senna's day.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Harpo »

Fiki wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:49 pm
Jim Clark was killed when I was a young boy, and even Jackie Ickx's career largely passed me by.
It's not surprising you didn't notice Jackie Ickx's career, I didn't either. But I remember well Jacky Ickx.
As my brother said : "I've got the brain of a four year old. I'll bet he was glad to be rid of it".

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Invade »

Is Verstappen next up?

Most seem to think he's quite extraordinary in the wet but there are also a healthy amount of sceptics. Casual readthroughs of infamous Youtube or Reddit comments already often suppose Max to be a better wet weather driver than Lewis.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Alienturnedhuman »

Invade wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:03 am
Is Verstappen next up?

Most seem to think he's quite extraordinary in the wet but there are also a healthy amount of sceptics. Casual readthroughs of infamous Youtube or Reddit comments already often suppose Max to be a better wet weather driver than Lewis.
I think that Hamilton and Verstappen are probably equal on skill at wet weather driving - but Hamilton's experience and temperament and judgement puts him a level above. Turkey being a good example - Max's spin may have been affected by the wing setting error, but he was still trying too hard, too early. Hamilton knew to be patient. While at Abu Dhabi the race is usually won in the first corner, in a wet weather race it can change at a moment's notice. When in the cockpit, Max is always 'sending it' as he likes to put it. Natural skill is only part of the equation of being a racing driver - and even more so in the wet. At at the moment - I would put Hamilton a class apart from anyone else in the field for the complete package for driving in the wet. Although Max is the same distance as Hamilton is from the rest in terms of skill, based on what we have seen so far.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by mikeyg123 »

Alienturnedhuman wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:17 am
Invade wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:03 am
Is Verstappen next up?

Most seem to think he's quite extraordinary in the wet but there are also a healthy amount of sceptics. Casual readthroughs of infamous Youtube or Reddit comments already often suppose Max to be a better wet weather driver than Lewis.
I think that Hamilton and Verstappen are probably equal on skill at wet weather driving - but Hamilton's experience and temperament and judgement puts him a level above. Turkey being a good example - Max's spin may have been affected by the wing setting error, but he was still trying too hard, too early. Hamilton knew to be patient. While at Abu Dhabi the race is usually won in the first corner, in a wet weather race it can change at a moment's notice. When in the cockpit, Max is always 'sending it' as he likes to put it. Natural skill is only part of the equation of being a racing driver - and even more so in the wet. At at the moment - I would put Hamilton a class apart from anyone else in the field for the complete package for driving in the wet. Although Max is the same distance as Hamilton is from the rest in terms of skill, based on what we have seen so far.
If you watch China 2009 you will see Hamilton driving exactly like Max did in Turkey 2020.

I think both times the desperation to snatch a win in a season that they knew would yield limited opportunities to do so overtook them.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Schumacher forever#1 »

Harpo wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:21 am
As Mr Wire 2004 wrote "You really can't judge this on just wins and podiums. You have to actually watch the races."
Jean Alesi was one of the best in the wet (and even more in changing weather), and his only win was not exactly a wet race.

Besides, when did they stop racing on really wet tracks (SC, starts and first laps behind SC, red flags and all) and started calling "wet race" a humid one ?
True, and I agree with Mr Wire's POV as well.

In order to make an inference on their performance based on their win ratios, I think we'd need a much larger data set to cover this. Wet races are inherently unpredictable. Moreover, the concept of a wet race, and how drivers and cars have evolved their behaviour, has changed a lot since 1980.
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Invade »

Alienturnedhuman wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:17 am
Invade wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:03 am
Is Verstappen next up?

Most seem to think he's quite extraordinary in the wet but there are also a healthy amount of sceptics. Casual readthroughs of infamous Youtube or Reddit comments already often suppose Max to be a better wet weather driver than Lewis.
I think that Hamilton and Verstappen are probably equal on skill at wet weather driving - but Hamilton's experience and temperament and judgement puts him a level above. Turkey being a good example - Max's spin may have been affected by the wing setting error, but he was still trying too hard, too early. Hamilton knew to be patient. While at Abu Dhabi the race is usually won in the first corner, in a wet weather race it can change at a moment's notice. When in the cockpit, Max is always 'sending it' as he likes to put it. Natural skill is only part of the equation of being a racing driver - and even more so in the wet. At at the moment - I would put Hamilton a class apart from anyone else in the field for the complete package for driving in the wet. Although Max is the same distance as Hamilton is from the rest in terms of skill, based on what we have seen so far.

Yeah that seems about right. Similar talent but Hamilton's more refined. I think we're only really at the beginning of seeing Verstappen show mastery in the wet, and with Hamilton likely to hang around for a couple more years yet, hopefully there will be oppurtunities to see these two battle in the wet while they're both at their peaks (or at least in their prime).

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by tootsie323 »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:31 am
Alienturnedhuman wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:17 am
Invade wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:03 am
Is Verstappen next up?

Most seem to think he's quite extraordinary in the wet but there are also a healthy amount of sceptics. Casual readthroughs of infamous Youtube or Reddit comments already often suppose Max to be a better wet weather driver than Lewis.
I think that Hamilton and Verstappen are probably equal on skill at wet weather driving - but Hamilton's experience and temperament and judgement puts him a level above. Turkey being a good example - Max's spin may have been affected by the wing setting error, but he was still trying too hard, too early. Hamilton knew to be patient. While at Abu Dhabi the race is usually won in the first corner, in a wet weather race it can change at a moment's notice. When in the cockpit, Max is always 'sending it' as he likes to put it. Natural skill is only part of the equation of being a racing driver - and even more so in the wet. At at the moment - I would put Hamilton a class apart from anyone else in the field for the complete package for driving in the wet. Although Max is the same distance as Hamilton is from the rest in terms of skill, based on what we have seen so far.
If you watch China 2009 you will see Hamilton driving exactly like Max did in Turkey 2020.

I think both times the desperation to snatch a win in a season that they knew would yield limited opportunities to do so overtook them.
That's a good example. I remember that - some great driving, compromised by a number of spins.
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by F1Tyrant »

Alienturnedhuman wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:22 am
If you get P(wins in dry) and P(wins in wet) then you have a metric as to whether the wet race improves or hinders their ability to win.
I've quickly run the numbers for the three rainmasters and Button:

Ayrton Senna
Dry Starts: 139, Dry wins: 27 (26%), Dry Podiums: 64 (63%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: +40%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: +13%


Michael Schumacher
Dry Starts: 253, Dry wins: 72 (33%), Dry Podiums: 129 (59%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: +2%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: -10%


Lewis Hamilton
Dry Starts: 229, Dry wins: 78 (36%), Dry Podiums: 150 (65%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: +10%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: 0%


Jenson Button
Dry Starts: 256, Dry wins: 8 (4%), Dry Podiums: 38 (18%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: +10%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: +6%

Invade wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:03 am
Is Verstappen next up?
Early signs are that he's underdelivering a touch short of his wet weather potential. Very reminiscent of early Schumacher.

Max Verstappen
Wet Starts: 11, Wet Wins: 1 (9%), Wet Podiums 5 (45%)
Dry Starts: 108, Dry wins: 9 (10%), Dry Podiums: 37 (40%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: -1%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: +5%

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by DOLOMITE »

F1Tyrant wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 6:52 pm

I've only built my database back to 1980 but the work that is the basis of my word suggests that Ickx is not a statistical outlier on the wins front but he may suffer from a much smaller sample size that Senna, Schumacher or Hamilton.
just out of interest where did you get the confirmation of which races were classified wet/mixed etc?
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by F1Tyrant »

DOLOMITE wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 12:01 pm
just out of interest where did you get the confirmation of which races were classified wet/mixed etc?
My pre-2014 race list is taken from the end of this article. It serves as the inspiration and I've merely updated the data for the 6 seasons to the end of 2020.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Battle Far »

As an elderly gentleman today, I was blessed to watch Jacky Ickx race on numerous occasions, his relative competitiveness between dry & wet conditions was my standout memory.

In the same cars in both conditions he could not beat his rivals in the dry, they could not beat him in the wet.

One of my most iconic memories is of Ickx racing in the rain at Brands Hatch overtaking three rivals at the same time on the outside of Paddock Bend... He was completely untouchable that day.

Two other drivers I would add whose relative performances were much stronger in the rain, Jean-Pierre Beltoise (who can forget Monaco...) and Pedro Rodriguez.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Harpo »

Battle Far wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:23 pm
As an elderly gentleman today, I was blessed to watch Jacky Ickx race on numerous occasions, his relative competitiveness between dry & wet conditions was my standout memory.

In the same cars in both conditions he could not beat his rivals in the dry, they could not beat him in the wet.

One of my most iconic memories is of Ickx racing in the rain at Brands Hatch overtaking three rivals at the same time on the outside of Paddock Bend... He was completely untouchable that day.

Two other drivers I would add whose relative performances were much stronger in the rain, Jean-Pierre Beltoise (who can forget Monaco...) and Pedro Rodriguez.
Race of Champions 1974 ?
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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Battle Far »

It was certainly in the mid 70s, I remember he beat Lauda & Fittipaldi while Hunt crashed out...

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by F1Tyrant »

Battle Far wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:23 pm
As an elderly gentleman today, I was blessed to watch Jacky Ickx race on numerous occasions, his relative competitiveness between dry & wet conditions was my standout memory.
By popular demand, and you have no idea how painful it was given Ickx's knack to not even enter into wet Grand Prix in the mid-70s.

Jacky Ickx
Wet Starts: 15, Wet Wins: 2 (15%), Wet Podiums: 5 (38%)
Dry Starts: 101, Dry Wins: 6 (11%), Dry Podiums: 20 (35%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: +4%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: +3%


The data just doesn't seem to support truly exceptional wet weather talent but he is certainly better in the wet.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Harpo »

F1Tyrant wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:51 pm
Battle Far wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:23 pm
As an elderly gentleman today, I was blessed to watch Jacky Ickx race on numerous occasions, his relative competitiveness between dry & wet conditions was my standout memory.
By popular demand, and you have no idea how painful it was given Ickx's knack to not even enter into wet Grand Prix in the mid-70s.

Jacky Ickx
Wet Starts: 15, Wet Wins: 2 (15%), Wet Podiums: 5 (38%)
Dry Starts: 101, Dry Wins: 6 (11%), Dry Podiums: 20 (35%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: +4%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: +3%


The data just doesn't seem to support truly exceptional wet weather talent but he is certainly better in the wet.
From 1967 to 1972 (he won the F2 - then European - championship in 1967 and entered his first F1 race the same year at Monza where he finished 6th and thus got his first point at his first GP, driving a Cooper Maserati, that was not quite the best car) you wouldn't have ranked Ickx out of the top five on dry tracks (top 3 for me), whatever the cars and racing series, and easily alone at the top on wet to soaked tracks.
His last season, 1973, at Ferrari took most of his "F1 grit" from him.
And he was the true Spa and Nurburgring specialist of his time, to boot.

Edited to add : His last F1 win was the 1974 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, driving a Lotus 72, a wetter than wet race. It was then an annual event, but was never included in the championship. It's the race Battle Far attended (Lauda second, Fittipaldi third, and Hunt in the ditch...).
As my brother said : "I've got the brain of a four year old. I'll bet he was glad to be rid of it".

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by wire2004 »

F1Tyrant wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:02 am
Alienturnedhuman wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:22 am
If you get P(wins in dry) and P(wins in wet) then you have a metric as to whether the wet race improves or hinders their ability to win.
I've quickly run the numbers for the three rainmasters and Button:

Ayrton Senna
Dry Starts: 139, Dry wins: 27 (26%), Dry Podiums: 64 (63%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: +40%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: +13%


Michael Schumacher
Dry Starts: 253, Dry wins: 72 (33%), Dry Podiums: 129 (59%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: +2%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: -10%


Lewis Hamilton
Dry Starts: 229, Dry wins: 78 (36%), Dry Podiums: 150 (65%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: +10%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: 0%


Jenson Button
Dry Starts: 256, Dry wins: 8 (4%), Dry Podiums: 38 (18%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: +10%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: +6%

Invade wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:03 am
Is Verstappen next up?
Early signs are that he's underdelivering a touch short of his wet weather potential. Very reminiscent of early Schumacher.

Max Verstappen
Wet Starts: 11, Wet Wins: 1 (9%), Wet Podiums 5 (45%)
Dry Starts: 108, Dry wins: 9 (10%), Dry Podiums: 37 (40%)
Wet-Dry Win % Difference: -1%
Wet-Dry Podium % Difference: +5%

Why I certainly understand your metric for wet weather prowess. I do want to add in 1 metric into early Schumacher wet weather races compared to hamilton and button.
I dont know which races they classed as wet. But off the top of my head I can think of. Australia 1991. Spain 1992. Belgium 1992. Donnington 1993. Certainly every race he raced in 1991, 1992 and the first half of 1993. Schumacher had the disadvantage compared to senna. And mansell in Spain 92 that the benetton was not equipped with traction control until the latter half of 1993. Whereas only William's had tc in 1992, and McLaren only developing it for 1993. I know schumacher spun twice in spain 1992. But he was catching mansell. Or atleast trying to catch mansell. I think the traction control system helped mansell in 1992 in that regard. And Schumacher was in his what. 8th gp and favourite to win due to the rain. (James hunt prediction pre race I believe) so the skills in the wet were evident from day 1. Even to james hunt.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by wire2004 »

Schumacher forever#1 wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:31 am
Harpo wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:21 am
As Mr Wire 2004 wrote "You really can't judge this on just wins and podiums. You have to actually watch the races."
Jean Alesi was one of the best in the wet (and even more in changing weather), and his only win was not exactly a wet race.

Besides, when did they stop racing on really wet tracks (SC, starts and first laps behind SC, red flags and all) and started calling "wet race" a humid one ?
True, and I agree with Mr Wire's POV as well.

In order to make an inference on their performance based on their win ratios, I think we'd need a much larger data set to cover this. Wet races are inherently unpredictable. Moreover, the concept of a wet race, and how drivers and cars have evolved their behaviour, has changed a lot since 1980.
Wet weather. The first instance of a safety car start would be the Belgium gp in 1997. But was that more to how quick the rain dumped itself on the track. And take the pictures pre race. The bus stop was flooded. Although they started the race on time.

Whilst I agree that 1991 Australia and maybe 2009 Malaysia were maybe too Extream in terms of rain. We had raced in monaco 1997 where it was standing water. As we did in spa when they got the race going on lap 3/4. We raced in bad conditions no problem in spain 1996. And they were worse than britain 2008 as a reference.

We raced with a river round the 3rd corner. Which yes did catch schumi out in 2003. And dont forget the race was only stopped due to Fernando Alonso being a idiot and going full pace in a double yellow flag zone upto the pit straight.

The first instance I would personally say. FFS. Get the race going. The track is wet. But raceable would be the Canadian gp in 2011. As I've mentioned on this. The track was ready to go a hour before the race got under way. With Charlie being a pu$$¥ over the conditions.

I think after Bridgestone left the sport at the end of 2009. Pirelli have not had the right wet weather tyres. Whereas Bridgestone and Goodyear had a good wet tyre. And in some cases also had a monsoon/extreme wet tyre as well as the intermediate tyre.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by Banana Man »

I think it depends too much on the tyres and the setup to say much conclusively. People talk a lot about Schumi at Spain in ‘96 but don’t mention Damon either side of that in Brazil and Monaco, leading both races by about 45 seconds.

My gut instinct is that these days if you put them all in equal machinery on a wet track, Max would come out on top. From the OP I’d probably go with Senna.
I remember when this website was all fields.

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Re: The Rainmasters of Formula 1

Post by F1Tyrant »

Banana Man wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:26 am
People talk a lot about Schumi at Spain in ‘96 but don’t mention Damon either side of that in Brazil and Monaco, leading both races by about 45 seconds

Hill is an odd one that greatly benefitted from dominant cars but was hardly consistent in the wet.
Banana Man wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:26 am
My gut instinct is that these days if you put them all in equal machinery on a wet track, Max would come out on top. From the OP I’d probably go with Senna.
My money would be Hamilton (surprise, surprise) purely because of his consistency and speed.

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