> > I agree that Mika has to show what he's made of this coming season.
This is a rare occasion -- everybody agrees on this statement. Hurrah!
> The principle criterion for performance is points, and
> this season DC beat Mika hands down.
While the ex post evaluation of performance is based on points, the
qualifying performance have a much better predictive ability. So, yes, DC
scored more last year, but in my opinion a better prediction based on
points and qualifyings indicates that Hakkinen is likely to be better next
year. Not by much, though. My conjecture is supported by the British odds
-- while DC scored more last year, MH is expected to do better than DC
> Incidentally, DC lost at least one more win in Canada, and his car
> failed when he was in the points once or twice (Austrian?)
If we actually calculate the points lost due to retirement (only
mechanical failures, assuming the position could've been held 'till the
end), Hakkinen lost about 35 points more than DC due to such misfortunes.
I did that calculation once, but I don't remember the exact figure. The
above calculation doesn't adjust for Canada, so something like 25 would
probably be a better estimate.
> After having already had a season in the car - DC was new.
You deliberately ignore two things. Hakkinen was badly injured late '95
and could not participate in testing the '96 car. First, a recovery from
such an accident takes anything from months to years. Second, Coulthard
had much more experience in the '96 car when the season started.
> So Hakkinen has got 1 more point and 1 more podium position in 38 more
> GPs. In every other statistic, Coulthard has beaten him.
Coulthard drove a Williams. Pretty much everybody *must* agree that since
the second half of '91, Williams has been the best car -- over whole
season, of course in some tracks Benetton, Ferrari, or McLaren has been
more competitive. So, if you would really like to know whose better, you
would compare how they did in McLaren.
> I like Mika, I just think that DC beat him last season, and will do it
> again in the coming season (he'd better, I've got a tenner on him to win
> the Championship)
If you're right and the bookies are wrong, you should bet 10k instead of
10. I think
> Time to sit back and wait for the flames.
Napalm to the balls! ;-) Seriously, during the last season, Hakkinen
clearly upgraded his opinion on Coulthard. Hakkinen clearly admitted that
he had problems during the first half of the season, and when paired with
a driver as talented as Coulthard, it showed.