17 December 2010

How to visualize a Formula 1 race

UPDATE: This image was promoted to the Hall of Fame on www.3delavnica.com

I am not a big fan of Formula 1, but I was curious how a race visualization would look like. So I went through these steps to find out:

1. Watch the recorded race
2. Write down lap positions and other events
3. Explore visual style
4. Turn data into graph
5. Add finishing touches

I wanted to make a visualization that everyone could understand who has ever seen a race. It had to be simple enough to understand, but still give enough accurate information to study the race (strategy, cause and effect). Although it may not look like much, but there are a few days of work in this image. Hope you will enjoy it. Your comments are welcome :)
(click on image to enlarge)

Here are some details (original size):


  1. Hi
    I love this visualisation and I think it's going to show up in textbooks on the subject! I appreciate the background being asphalt - a nice link to the actual event. I found I wanted to know more about the yellow banding that seemed to represent cars pitting, or flags being out - I'm not sure. Also where two cars are linked by a fine white line was that indicating a collision? Presumably javascript popups clarify these. Most of all I want to encourage you to keep up your workrate - you are coming out with fantastic insights and thankyou for sharing it with us.

  2. Hello

    The yellow circles and lines are yellow flags, the yellow blocks mean that the safety car was out. The small white circles represent the cars pitting. Yes, the two cars linked by a fine line means a collision between them.

    I am very happy that someone appreciates my work some much. Thank you, I will give my best in the projects to come.