AWS claims Senna faster than Schumacher, Hamilton

Date published: August 18 2020

Remembering Ayrton Senna: Five great stories.

AWS’ data has raised a lot of eyebrows again with their list of the top 20 fastest drivers of the last 40 years in Formula 1.

When AWS are not dishing out high-speed performance scores and ‘tyre wear percentages’ on a race weekend, they are answering the big questions: who is the fastest driver of all-time?

We will overlook the fact that the data used to answer this question has been taken from 1983 to 2019 and crack on with how the super computer crunched the numbers.

AWS took the data from every qualifying session since 1983, getting rid of any outliers ‘to create a complex network of drivers’ performance relative to their team mates’.

‘The complex network’ also took into account a number of variables. For instance, team-mates had to have faced each other in at least five qualifying sessions to be compared. Age was also considered a factor, as well as any driver returning to Formula 1 after three or more seasons away.

Drivers who dominated their team-mates in qualifying were also given higher rankings.

Amazon ML Solutions Lab’s Principal Scientist and Senior Manager, Dr Priya Ponnapalli, said the AWS super computer hopes to ‘answer complex problems, and in this case, hope to help settle age-old disputes with fans by using data to inform decision’.

Well, we’re not sure the following top 20 is going to be settling any ‘age-old disputes’ any time soon.

1 Ayrton Senna 0.000s
2 Michael Schumacher 0.114s
3 Lewis Hamilton 0.275s
4 Max Verstappen 0.280s
5 Fernando Alonso 0.309s
6 Nico Rosberg 0.374s
7 Charles Leclerc 0.376s
8 Heikki Kovalainen 0.378s
9 Jarno Trulli 0.409s
10 Sebastian Vettel 0.435s
11 Rubens Barrichello 0.445s
12 Nico Hulkenberg 0.456s
13 Valtteri Bottas 0.457s
14 Carlos Sainz 0.457s
15 Lando Norris 0.459s
16 Daniel Ricciardo 0.461s
17 Jenson Button 0.462s
18 Robert Kubica 0.463s
19 Giancarlo Fisichella 0.469s
20 Alain Prost 0.514s

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, Heikki Kovalainen is the eighth quickest Formula 1 driver in the last 40 years. Who knew?

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