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The Value of Pole Position in Formula 1 History

Dennis Wesselbaum and Dorian Owen ()

Australian Economic Review, 2021, vol. 54, issue 1, 164-173

Abstract: In this article, we study the effect of the Pole Position in Formula 1 history on the outcome of the race. Using data for every race between 1950 and 2013, we use two approaches to quantify the effect of being on Pole. First, we estimate the effect on the probability of winning the race using a logit model. Second, we estimate a Poisson model to express the effect in terms of finishing positions. We find that the Pole sitter does have a significant advantage over the other drivers on the grid: two positions at the finish line or about a 10 percentage point higher probability of winning the race. These estimates capture the effect controlling for various confounding factors and a rich set of fixed effects, including driver ability, track characteristics and constructor performance. We also document that the effect varies over seasons.

Date: 2021
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https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8462.12401

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Australian Economic Review is currently edited by Ross Williams, Ian McDonald and Mark Wooden

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