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Can you add a link to the original article that described how this graph was created? I'm struggling a little to work out what the times are relative to. I can understand that the points in the last lap are relative to Alonso's final lap, or whole race and I can see that at the start there was very little difference as few laps had passed, but I'm confused about the dip in the middle:
If the difference is relative to Alonso's final lap time then I would have expected that the initial laps would have been much slower than the final lap. If the difference is relative to the fastest time each lap (or the lead drivers lap) then one of the drivers should be on the zero difference point.
Its an interesting way of looking at the race, but I think I've missed something in understanding how the graph was produced.
Sorry if I'm being stupid.
It's relative to the average pace of the winner. So in the early stages the laps are slower, because it was wet and the upward curve is the laps that were faster than the average.
OK, after staring at it a bit more I think I've understood. The Y axis (time difference in seconds) is the accumulative difference, not the difference for each lap, so as they go faster than average they move up, while slower than average moves down.
Thanks for that.