Why F1 Mathematicians Should Be Paid More than Drivers


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On the Formula One circuit, tenths and even hundredths of seconds can be the difference between podium glory and being out of a job. Races are won and lost thanks to the skills of the drivers and the strength of the car, it is true. But as the sheer volume of data available to F1 teams increases, another group of individuals have become key contributors to a team’s success: data analysts. Analysts run countless simulations, incorporating every possible variable, to inform their drivers’ race strategy on Sunday and achieve maximum performance for the driver and the racecar. But while salaries and sponsorships can push a driver’s annual income into the 8-figure range, the mathematical brains in the background make just a fraction of that. If the person analyzing the numbers and making decisions about race strategy is just as important as the person steering the wheel, shouldn’t they also be reaping the financial windfall? James Allen certainly thinks so. The President of Motorsport Network, James has covered Formula 1 as a journalist for over 30 years and has seen firsthand the sport’s data-driven revolution. We asked James to defend his position.

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