Featured image of post 2024 Japanese GP: Tire degradation (top 4 teams)

2024 Japanese GP: Tire degradation (top 4 teams)

This is the latest analysis I just came up with. I’ve been doing some charts that use a fairly complex model to analyze tire degradation, but unfortunately it’s a hard to modify for each race and I think it’s taking too much of my time. Because of this, I decided to create a simpler model to analyze tire degradation.


The chart is quite simple. I created two regressions for each stint for each driver that took part in the previous race. The first regression is a robust regression which is fairly insensitive to outliers, which means that it should give us more accurate results if the data is not very linear. The second regression is a traditional linear regression which is not good at handling outliers. The only reason I added the linear regression is to show that it will produce unreliable results under certain situations.

In the chart, I added both regression lines, the average lap time for each stint for each driver, as well as the average delta per lap as calculated by the robust regression. If both lines overlap, then the delta per lap will be pretty much the same. If both lines do not overlap, then it is better to trust the results of the robust regression.

This model is fairly simple to interpret, but less complex than the model that creates wiggly lines. I’m hoping it’ll be enough for this type of analysis but we’ll see as time goes on.


Tire degradation trend for top 4 teams

Charles Leclerc had very good tire degradation during the 2024 Japanese GP. Both of his stints were getting faster as the race went on, meaning that he was able to keep the tires in their operating window throughout the race. Lando Norris had a similar 3rd stint to Charles’s 2nd stint, with an average lap time just slightly slower than Leclerc’s (1:35.941 vs 1:35.889). However, Norris’s first stint was among the worst for the top 4 teams, which might have cost him 4th place.

It’s evident that Oscar Piastri currently isn’t as good at tire management as Lando Norris. Although Piastri seems to have the pace, his overall tire degradation appears to be worse than Norris’s. Piastri had the worst first stint among the drivers shown in this chart, with an average lap time increase of 0.263 seconds per lap.

Mercedes seems to be struggling in the tire management department, although it’s plausible that they’re also having issues with general temperature management. Neither George Russell nor Lewis Hamilton were able to keep their tires alive for an extended period during the race. While Russell had a decent first stint, Hamilton was losing time rapidly despite being on the hard compound. Hamilton said that he most likely picked up damage early in the race, which may explain his lack of pace and tire conservation. Even George struggled to preserve the tires, especially during his 3rd stint. Although his pace was good (1:35.206), it seems like his degradation was higher than expected. It’s possible that he was struggling with brake or engine temperatures since his last lap was still fast, showing that there was still life in the medium compound.

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