The F1 2021 season has been one heck of a ride. Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been swapping the leading position in the drivers world championship multiple times, and in the end it all came down to a one lap shootout in the last lap of the Abu Dhabi GP! With both drivers equal on points, Max overtaking Lewis in the final lap of the season got him crowned a Formula 1 World Champion for the first time of his career.
But… What if F1 would ditch its regular points scoring system, and use iRacing’s (in)famous rating system instead?
In iRacing, every driver who participates in official races has a so called ‘iRating’. Roughly speaking, this number tells others how quick you are. Perform well, and you gain iRating. Get a beating or crash out of a race, and see it plummet. There is a complicated formula behind it all that also takes into account where a driver is expected to finish. A high rated driver in a low rated grid should be expected to finish on the podium. This sometimes means that the driver finishing P1 gets less iRating than the one in P2. And if you’re the one with a low rating, but you’re dodging everyone in that first lap mayhem, you’ll see it rise with great amounts. This also means that a DNF in the first race will hurt the quick guys less than in the last race, because at the end they are expected to be up front.
Every driver starts at 1350 iRating, and the average iRating of all drivers at the end of the race should roughly stay the same. Racers who lose rating give their points to those who finish up front.
F1 in 2021
So, what would happen when all F1 drivers started this season with 1350 iRating? We crammed all race results into our computer, and the championship would look like this:
- 2406 – L. Hamilton
- 2299 – M. Verstappen
- 1914 – C. Sainz
- 1862 – S. Perez
- 1784 – V. Bottas
- 1776 – L. Norris
- 1741 – C. Leclerc
- 1563 – D. Ricciardo
- 1530 – P. Gasly
- 1449 – F. Alonso
That’s right. Max Verstappen would lose out to Lewis Hamilton with 107 iRating after all 22 races. They end the season on 2406 and 2299 points respectively. Max takes big hits at Baku (tyre blowout) and Silverstone (the clash with Lewis). In both races he was expected to finish high up the field, and thus a bad results hurt him extra. In the Monza crash, they both lose almost 100 points. After the Silverstone crash Max would never regain the lead again. The full championship chart looks like this:
The first driver to dip below the 1000 rating is Nikita Mazepin. He ends the season at 457 points, 55 points shy of his teammate Schumacher. Mazepin is also the only driver this season who never obtains any plus rating, while Mick gets +12 for his efforts at Hungary.
Sainz vs. Bottas
Sainz finishes comfortably in 3rd place, while Bottas gets no further than 5th. Bad results hurt your standings much more with iRating (minus points) than in real life (zero points). Sainz has been a very consistent finisher with no drops or DNF’s, while Bottas has taken a lot of minus points in Hungary, Mexico and Qatar. Tsunoda gets a huge gain at the end with his 4th place at Abu Dhabi to beat both the Alfa drivers and George Russell in the final standings.
SoF (Strength of Field)
The SoF indicates the strength of the field, and until Zandvoort it averages around the 1350 they started with. But in the Dutch Grand Prix, Raikkonen (1058 iRating) gets hit with COVID and is replaced by Kubica, who’s starts with a fresh iRating of 1350. The SoF gets raised with 15 points because of this.
Here are all the drivers iRating after every F1 race in 2021:
Real iRating of F1 drivers
Because of its realism, iRacing is the preferred sim under many F1 drivers. At the time of writing, Max Verstappen has a win percentage of over 60% and an iRating of 8754. This puts him 2nd on the standings of Dutch drivers, and 49th overall in the world.
Here is a list of the iRatings from some past and current F1 drivers:
- 8754 – Max Verstappen
- 5579 – Lando Norris
- 4148 – Romain Grosjean
- 4104 – Rubens Barrichello
- 3932 – Fernando Alonso
- 3378 – Alexander Albon
- 2401 – Carlos Sainz
While Mercedes has a cool collaboration with iRacing, which saw their 2021 AMG W12 make its debut on the sim this month, Lewis Hamilton, as far as we know, doesn’t use iRacing. He does have a partnership with PlayStation’s Gran Turismo series, where you have the ability to race against his ghost car.