How many meters?

The Monza circuit is one of the few historic circuits in F1 that was not substantially altered in modern times. So, it’s a perfect circuit for conducting this data visualization experiment: The fastest lap in 2016 was set by Hamilton at 1:21.135. If all the drivers of the fastest laps (considering qualifying and race) of previous years started their laps together with Hamilton, how many meters ahead or behind they'd be at the exact moment that Hamilton complete his lap?


Supposing the cars maintain their average speeds (actually, the speed varies), here's what we would have: Barrichello, in 2004, already completed his lap and would be 75 meters ahead. But Peterson, in 1976, would be more than 1 kilometer behind Hamilton, still coming into the Parabolica. Of the 40 “historical” drivers, 5 would be ahead of Hamilton.

Of course, this is not a very precise comparison: despite the fact that I’m correcting the lap times for small changes in the circuit’s length, the big change in Retifillo (from two to just one chicane) and other small changes since 1976 probably had effects in the lap times.

Source of the data: Wikipedia