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Analysis: Williams most improved Formula 1 team in 2012

Williams F1 2012Williams is the Formula 1 season's most improved team, based upon a comparison of points scored in 2012 so far relative to last year.

AUTOSPORT's comparison shows that Williams, which returned to winning ways for the first time since 2004 at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, has achieved 1325 per cent of its 2011 points tally this year.

Inevitably, this type of comparison favours teams that underachieved last year, meaning that the Lotus team, which competed as Renault last year, is second in AUTOSPORT's ranking at 290 per cent.

Scuderia Toro Rosso is at the other end of the spectrum, with its haul of six points compared to 27 at this stage of 2011 representing the worst relative performance of any team.

The figures also show that the points have been shared around more evenly in 2012. Red Bull and McLaren, which hold first and second positions respectively in the constructors' championship - as they also did last year - have both scored around two-thirds of their 2011 points totals.

While it is inevitable that last year's high-achieving teams will struggle to match their totals, the fact both Red Bull and McLaren have significantly fewer points supports the belief that this season is much closer.

Conversely, several midfield teams have not benefitted from their improved points scoring. Force India (177 per cent) and Mercedes (133 per cent) are both ranked one position lower in the constructors' championship despite having improved their points haul.

Sauber, too, has taken a big step forward (229 per cent), but is in the same sixth position that it held this time last year.

Team Performance 2011 v 2012*

Based upon each team's performance after the first races in 2011 
compared to the first 11 races of this season. All figures rounded to
the nearest whole number. 1. Williams Points scored 2011: 4 (9th) Points scored 2012: 53 (7th) Relative performance: 1325% 2. Renault/Lotus Points scored 2011: 66 (5th) Points scored 2012: 192 (3rd) Relative performance: 290% 3. Sauber Points scored 2011: 35 (6th) Points scored 2012: 80 (6th) Relative performance: 229% 4. Force India Points scored 2011: 26 (7th) Points scored 2012: 46 (8th) Relative performance: 177% 5. Mercedes Points scored 2011: 80 (4th) Points scored 2012: 106 (5th) Relative performance: 133% 6. Ferrari Points scored 2011: 215 (3rd) Points scored 2012: 189 (4th) Relative performance: 88% 7. McLaren Points scored 2011: 280 (2nd) Points scored 2012: 193 (2nd) Relative performance: 69% 8. Red Bull Points scored 2011: 383 (1st) Points scored 2012: 246 (1st) Relative performance: 64% 9. Scuderia Toro Rosso Points scored 2011: 22 (8th) Points scored 2012: 6 (9th) Relative performance: 27% *Lotus/Caterham, HRT and Virgin/Marussia failed to score in 2011 and
have yet to do so in 2012, giving each a relative performance figure of
100 per cent. This is why they have been left out of the comparison.
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