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Mathematics in Formula 1


People in Formula 1 are always talking about working at 110% in order to be successful. This, as we all know, is impossible but the point they are making is that they are trying to do better than the best and so catch up with the people who are doing the perfect job.

History relates that progress in modern F1 is not about sudden leaps forward but rather about continuity and chipping away at all aspects of a team until success is obtained. The cars that a season fast are usually the same as those that end the season running quickly and all the development work that goes on ultimately counts for very little - which is a strong argument in favor of banning testing.

We have worked out a complicated mathematical formula for those who want to know how to work at more than 100%. One numbers the alphabet from 1 to 26:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Then, one does some basic mathematics using elements which one would think would be needed for success and adding up the value of each letter.

D E D I C A T I O N  
4 5 4 9 3 1 20 9 15 13 = 83 %

B R I L L I A N C E  
2 18 9 12 12 9 1 14 3 5 = 85 %

K N O W L E D G E  
11 14 15 23 12 5 4 7 5 = 96 %

H A R D W O R K  
8 1 18 4 23 15 18 11 = 98 %

A T T I T U D E  
1 20 20 9 20 21 4 5 = 100 %

This proves that neither dedication nor brilliance is not enough but that knowledge and hard work will get you close and attitude will get you there. However when one considers a number of other elements that one could use one gets a more truthful answer about working at more than 100%:

B U L L S H I T  
2 21 12 12 19 8 9 20 = 103 %

A S S - K I S S I N G  
1 19 19   11 9 19 19 9 14 7 = 118 %

So the next time you hear someone trotting out the old cliche, remember that 100% is as good as it gets. And that, in the words of Benjamin Disraeli, "there are three kinds of lies; lies, damned lies and statistics".

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