F1 Study Surprisingly Ranks Kovalainen & Trulli As Top 10 Fastest Drivers Ever

Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli are among the top 10 fastest F1 drivers of all time, according to an official study carried out by the Formula One Group in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The two drivers only managed one Grand Prix victory each, but they were nevertheless ranked higher than several F1 World Champions, including Nigel Mansell, Kimi Raikkonen and Alain Prost.

Utilising cloud technology and “machine learning”, the study determined that F1 legend Ayrton Senna is the fastest driver to ever race a Formula 1 car.

Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton were ranked second and third, respectively.

AWS said it used machine learning to formulate “a cross-era, objective, complex, data-driven ranking of driver speed.”

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AWS and Formula 1 determined the relative speed of the drivers by comparing them to their teammates:

“By comparing teammates in qualifying sessions, the machine learning-based tool focuses on a driver’s performance output, building a network of teammates across the time-range, all interlinked, and therefore comparable,” they said in a press release.

“By comparing lap times between teammates only, the Fastest Driver algorithm effectively normalises for car and the team performance.”

Continuing, they said, “Overall, this builds up a picture of how drivers from different generations compare, by analysing the purest indication of raw speed – the qualifying lap.”

1. Ayrton Senna – 0.000

2. Michael Schumacher – +0.114

3. Lewis Hamilton – +0.275

4. Max Verstappen – +0.280

5. Fernando Alonso – +0.309

6. Nico Rosberg – +0.374

7. Charles Leclerc – +0.376

8. Heikki Kovalainen – +0.378

9. Jarno Trulli – +0.409

10. Sebastian Vettel – +0.435

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