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Posted by Craig Woollard

It has been a very long time since a driver who has tasted major national success in the United States has jumped ship to Formula 1. It is almost 10 years since Sebastien Bourdais lined up against Sebastian Vettel for the first time at Toro Rosso, in what became a brief F1 career for the four-time Champ Car champion. Since reunification, Indycar drivers have opted not to try their hands at F1, for whatever reason. Only Simona de Silvestro’s aborted attempt has come close. It seems to be more a trend of drivers from F1 heading over to the series – Max Chilton, Rubens Barrichello, Takuma Sato, Alexander Rossi, Esteban Gutierrez and of course – Fernando Alonso, than drivers heading over to F1 from Indycar racing. However, the IndyCar series’ newest champion – 26-year-old Josef Newgarden, would be a fine fit to the current F1 grid.

Newgarden’s rise to the top has been a long time coming, while his talent has rarely been questioned. He was strong in the entry-level Skip Barber class, losing out on the national championship to fellow IndyCar driver Conor Daly in 2008. He then went to pursue a F1 career, embarking on the road to that level on a limited budget. First came Formula Ford 1600 in the United Kingdom, finishing second in his first season at that level on a lot of tracks he had little prior knowledge of.

Then Newgarden made the rather substantial jump to GP3. It was a tricky season – again, on unfamiliar circuits. Driving for Carlin – a team expected to jump to IndyCar next year, Newgarden was bettered by team-mates more familiar with the circuits being used. A GP3 seat also proved expensive, and a second season was impossible to budget for.

However, an opportunity arose back in the US in 2011. Newgarden stepped into Indy Lights, the immediate level below IndyCar, and stormed to the championship at the first time of asking. Then came his big break – a full-time seat with Sarah Fisher Hartman racing. His first season was tough, but the breakthrough performances came in 2013 and 2014 at Houston and Iowa respectively. He missed out on the win on both occasions, but the speed was shown.

Fisher and Ed Carpenter merged teams for 2015, and Newgarden’s talent shone through. He won in Alabama, and followed that up with another win in Toronto, before taking his maiden pole in Milwaukee. He finished a strong seventh in the championship, before joining Carpenter’s team as the lead driver for 2016.

Newgarden’s form in 2016 would finally be enough to show the big teams that he was hot property. Weeks after a massive, hand-injuring crash between himself and Daly in Texas, Newgarden crushed the opposition to storm to (so far) his finest win, in Iowa. It was his only win of the season, but he finished fourth in the championship, ahead of the likes of Scott Dixon and Juan Pablo Montoya.

Then came the call from the great Roger Penske. Montoya was replaced by Newgarden, and unlike the slow starts to life at the team experienced by the Colombian and 2016 champion Simon Pagenaud, Newgarden’s results came almost instantly. Admittedly, his crew was not built from the ground up, but to slot in that way was very impressive. He inherited his first win, which came in Alabama, but his late-season form included three wins and two second places from the final six races, which was enough to overhaul his three illustrious team-mates as well as Dixon to take the title.

Newgarden has the potential to be fighting with the likes of Rossi over Indycar championships for at least another decade to come. But why stay there, when he should be in the shop windows for F1 teams?

Admittedly, on paper, a single IndyCar series title doesn’t look particularly impressive. Especially when Bourdais took four successive championships and flopped in F1. Alex Zanardi is another driver with masses of success in CART, but achieved very little during his F1 career. But that does not necessarily imply that Newgarden would be the same.

Firstly, Newgarden achieved this championship against some of Indycar’s greatest drivers. Dixon is a driver who requires little introduction, with four championships, a few near-misses (including 2017) and is one of the most successful Indycar drivers of all time. Two of Newgarden’s Penske team-mates are also champions – 2014 champion Will Power and 2016 champion Pagenaud. Other champions in the field include Bourdais, Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay. This is arguably the strongest field IndyCar has had since the CART-IRL split, so to come out on top is very impressive. Alonso claimed that the series is host to some of ‘the best drivers in the world’ and I think that says it all.

There appears to have been flirtation with F1 already, and perhaps that will become even more likely now that Newgarden has enough FIA Superlicence points to race in F1. It was revealed on NBCSN’s broadcast during the season finale that Gene Haas’s F1 team was looking at Newgarden as a possible driver. A future move would be perfect for the sport in America. There is a real desire for F1 to finally break America, and a home-grown talent such as Newgarden, with an American team, would be perfect for this.

But Newgarden should get there on talent, not through a PR stunt. He sure does have the talent, but as his IndyCar career has shown, he would need likely need a few seasons to find his feet – something very few in F1 get given the opportunity to have. However, there’s a lot in Newgarden’s armoury which he could bring to F1. Winning an IndyCar championship requires mastering all sorts of circuit – from road courses to street courses and of course, the short and superspeedway ovals. Newgarden has come within striking distance at the Indianapolis 500 before, but otherwise has won at least once on all type of circuit.

Just as Montoya did in his (disappointingly short) stint in F1, there’s a lot of feisty, aggressive, exciting things a driver such as Newgarden could bring to F1. And in an era where too many drivers are unbelievably bland in and out of the cockpit, Newgarden would bring something fresh.

Newgarden isn’t joining F1 for 2018 – that’s not difficult to work out. However, in what is already shaping up to be a truly exceptional driver market for 2019, there’s no reason why champions from high-level categories away from the F1 ladder should not be considered.

The post Josef Newgarden deserves a shot at Formula 1 appeared first on The F1 Stat Blog.

Earthquake will not stop Mexico GP

Sep. 22nd, 2017 01:00 pm
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Next month's grand prix in Mexico City looks set to go ahead, despite a devastating earthquake whose death toll is approaching 300.
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Honda rejected a proposal whereby it would take a "sabbatical" and return to McLaren at a later date.

Sainz unsure of early Renault debut

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:40 pm
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Carlos Sainz says he still doesn't know which car he will be racing in Malaysia next week.

Vettel engine not damaged in crash

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:30 pm
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Sebastian Vettel's engine was not damaged in his first-lap Singapore crash last weekend.

Renault will part with Red Bull

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:20 pm
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Cyril Abiteboul has all but confirmed reports Renault and Red Bull will split after next season.
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Gerhard Berger has hit back at rumours Red Bull is getting "tired" of formula one.

Error'd: Choose Wisely

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:30 am
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Posted by Mark Bowytz

"I'm not sure how I can give feedback on this course, unless, figuring out this matrix is actually a final exam," wrote Mads.


Brian W. writes, "Sorry that you're not happy with our spam, but before you go...just one more."


"I was looking forward to getting this Gerber Dime, but I guess I'll have to wait till they port it to OS X," wrote Peter G.


"Deleting 7 MB frees up 6.66 GB? I smell a possible unholy alliance," Mike W. writes.


Bill W. wrote, "I wonder if they're wanting to know to what degree I'm 'not at all likely' to recommend Best Buy to friends and family?"


"So, is this a new way for the folks at WebEx to make sure that you don't get bad answers?" writes Andy B.


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How to Pose a Photo

Sep. 22nd, 2017 01:00 am
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Posted by Scott Meyer


This comic was inspired by the official portrait of Steve Jobs, in which he holds his hand in a way no human ever does unless they’re getting their official portrait taken.


I think it’s meant to look like he’s thinking deep thoughts, but to me it looks more like he’s deriving pleasure from tugging his own beard hairs. Or, it kind of looks like he’s smelling his own fist, and he recognizes the smell.

This is why I’ve always related more with Bill Gates. In every Picture of Bill Gates, especially the official pictures he posed for, he looks self-conscious and uncomfortable. I suspect he’s often self-conscious and uncomfortable in real life, so the pictures look more genuine. They look bad and awkward, but genuinely bad and awkward.


As always, thanks for using my Amazon Affiliate links (USUKCanada).

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Posted by Charles Robinson

James was getting anxious to land a job that would put his newly-minted Computer Science degree to use. Six months had come to pass since he graduated and being a barista barely paid the bills. Living in a small town didn't afford him many local opportunities, so when he saw a developer job posting for an upstart telecom company, he decided to give it a shot.

Lincoln Log Cabin 2

We do everything in-house! the posting for CallCom emphasized, piquing James' interest. He hoped that meant there would be a small in-house development team that built their systems from the ground up. Surely he could learn the ropes from them before becoming a key contributor. He filled out the online application and happily clicked Submit.

Not 15 minutes later, his phone rang with a number he didn't recognize. Usually he just ignored those calls but he decided to answer. "Hi, is James available?" a nasally female voice asked, almost sounding disinterested. "This is Janine with CallCom, you applied for the developer position."

Caught off guard by the suddenness of their response, James wasn't quite ready for a phone screening. "Oh, yeah, of course I did! Just now. I am very interested."

"Great. Louis, the owner, would like to meet with you," Janine informed him.

"Ok, sure. I'm pretty open, I usually work in the evenings so I can make most days work," he replied, checking his calendar.

"Can you be here in an hour?" she asked. James managed to hide the fact he was freaking out about how to make it in time while assuring her he could be.

He arrived at the address Janine provided after a dangerous mid-drive shave. He felt unprepared but eager to rock the interview. The front door of their suite gave way to a lobby that seemed more like a walk-in closet. Janine was sitting behind a small desk reading a trashy tabloid and barely looked up to greet him. "Louis will see you now," she motioned toward a door behind the desk and went back to reading barely plausible celebrity rumors.

James stepped through the door into what could have been a walk-in closet for the first walk-in closet. A portly, sweaty man presumed to be Louis jumped up to greet him. "John! Glad you could make it on short notice. Have a seat!"

"Actually, it's James..." he corrected Louis, while also forgiving the mixup. "Nice to meet you. I was eager to get here to learn about this opportunity."

"Well James, you were right to apply! We are a fast growing company here at CallCom and I need eager young talent like you to really drive it home!" Louis was clearly excited about his company, growing sweatier by the minute.

"That sounds good to me! I may not have any real-world experience yet, but I assure you that I am eager to learn from your more senior members," James replied, trying to sell his potential.

Louis let out a hefty chuckle at James' mention of senior members. "Oh you mean stubborn old developers who are set in their ways? You won't be finding those around here! I believe in fresh young minds like yours, unmolded and ready to take the world by storm."

"I see..." James said, growing uneasy. "I suppose then I could at least learn how your code is structured from your junior developers? The ones who do your in-house development?"

Louis wiped his glistening brow with his suit coat before making the big revelation. "There are no other developers, James. It would just be you, building our fantastic new computer system from scratch! I have all the confidence in the world that you are the man for the job!"

James sat for a moment and pondered what he had just heard. "I'm sorry but I don't feel comfortable with that arrangement, Louis. I thought that by saying you do everything in-house, that implied there was already a development team."

"What? Oh, heavens no! In-house development means we let you work from home. Surely you can tell we don't have much office space here. So that's what it means. In. House. Got it?

James quickly thanked Louis for his time and left the interconnected series of closets. In a way, James was glad for the experience. It motivated him to move out of his one horse town to a bigger city where he eventually found employment with a real in-house dev team.

[Advertisement] Otter, ProGet, BuildMaster – robust, powerful, scalable, and reliable additions to your existing DevOps toolchain.

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F1 boss Ross Brawn has backed Sebastian Vettel to bounce back and continue to fight for the 2017 title.
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A dark cloud has moved above Mexico, just over a month before the country is scheduled to host its grand prix.

My Reddit AMA for r/dataisbeautiful

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:11 pm
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Posted by Andy Kirk

I was delighted to be invited (thank you Martin) to do a Reddit AMA – “Ask Me Anything” – session on the r/dataisbeautiful subreddit. As the name implies, this is a chance for people to ask me any questions they wish but recommended to be mainly about data visualisation!

The session took place today and you can see the full account of questions and answers here.

The post My Reddit AMA for r/dataisbeautiful appeared first on Visualising Data.

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Posted by Andy Kirk

At the end of each month I pull together a collection of links to some of the most relevant, interesting or thought-provoking web content I’ve come across during the previous month. Here’s the latest collection from July 2017.

Visualisations & Infographics

Includes static and interactive visualisation examples, infographics and galleries/collections of relevant imagery.

SCMP | ‘Welcome to the South China Morning Post’s collection of infographics made for print. ‘

FT | …And here’s a place for all the FT’s visual journalism

Datavis Club | ‘A small visual exploration of the episodes and guests of the Data Stories podcast’

New York Times | ‘110 NFL Brains – A neuropathologist has examined the brains of 111 N.F.L. players – 110 were found to have C.T.E’

ABC | ‘Census 2016: This is Australia as 100 people’

Tableau | ‘Daylight duration’ (+checkout the rest of Yvan’s excellent gallery of Tableau work)

RP Online | ‘Our life as a commuter’ showing the in- and out-flow of commuters around the cities of Germany

New York Times | ‘Baseball’s Upward Trend Is Leaving Some Players Grounded’ (perfect use-case of a polar chart)

Core77 | ‘Clever Designs for Perpetual Calendars… that all have one glaring design flaw’

dwtkns | Speaking of portfolios, Derek Watkins’ really is something else

Trump in One Word | ‘Describe Donald Trump in one word’, love the map of where words were submitted from

Flowing Data | ‘Divorce and Occupation: Some jobs tend towards higher divorce rates. Some towards lower.’

Hindustan Times | ‘Find the perfect run or walk, anywhere in the world’

The Pudding | ‘Free Willy and Flipper by the Numbers’

SBS | ‘Interactive: How diverse is my suburb?’

New York Times | ‘It’s Not Your Imagination. Summers Are Getting Hotter.’

Ito World | ‘Airspace of the #TourdeFrance!’

FT | ‘London’s ‘regeneration’: the backdrop to Grenfell rage’ (featuring swarm plot action)

Penalty | ‘An Alternatve to Radars for Visualisng Football Data’ (featuring yet more swarm plot action)

YouTube | ‘Off the Staff: An experiment in visualizing notes from music scores.’ by Nicholas Rougeux

Washington Post | ‘Here’s what we know so far about Team Trump’s ties to Russian interests’

Vimeo | ‘Red Bull at Night x ByBORRE: The Sixth Sense – Case movie’ by Clever Franke

Twitter | ‘A Voronoi diagram of people enjoying the sun in Bryant Park.’

Earth Observatory | ‘Sea Level Rise Hits Home at NASA: Watching Waters Rise Right Outside the Front Door’

Morgenpost | ‘In the West Antarctic, a gigantic iceberg has broken down from the ice shelf… Move it on the map and transfer the dimensions to your area.’

Xocas | and here’s another similar piece ‘How big is the iceberg?’

Tableau | ‘Does your MP represent your views?’

Washington Post | ‘Why so many NHL and NBA teams have won back-to-back championships’

Flowing Data | ‘Summary Statistics Tell You Little About the Big Picture’

ProPublica | ‘The Immigration Effect: There’s a Way for President Trump to Boost the Economy by Four Percent, But He Probably Won’t Like It.’

The Upshot | ‘The Word Choices That Explain Why Jane Austen Endures’

Washington Post | ‘Here’s every total solar eclipse happening in your lifetime’

FiveThirtyEight | ‘Two Minutes Of Darkness With 20,000 Strangers’

New York Times | ‘Two Weeks on Ice in McMurdo Station, Antarctica’

Via Velox | ‘Visualizing GPS-tracked bike rides to better understand cycling behaviour’

Webkid | ‘Visualization of data along public transportation lines in Berlin’

Stamen | ‘Visualizing infant vaccination rates for the World Health Organization’

Quartz | ‘Watch this extorted money get lost in the expanse of the blockchain’

SB Nation | Don’t quite know how to describe it, just experience it


The emphasis on these items is that they are less about visualisation images and are more article-focused, so includes discussion, discourse, interviews and videos

Medium | ‘Explaining the Gap: Visualizing One’s Predictions Improves Recall and Comprehension of Data’

Tin Lizzie | ‘Exploring Histograms, an essay by Aran Lunzer and Amelia McNamar’

Facets | ‘Know your data: Better data leads to better models.’

Medium | ‘Here’s what I learned from writing, coding and designing my own longform data-driven feature story’

Eager Eyes | ‘Joy Plots’

Questions in Data Viz | ‘Where is the joy?’ – more about Joy Plots, so hot right now

Intuity | ‘Lab Talk with Prof. Dr. Till Nagel: Meandering along the way’

CJR | ‘Q&A: ProPublica’s Lena Groeger on data visualization and writing about design’

DC Rainmaker | ‘Tour de France Behind the Scenes: How Dimension Data Rider Live Tracking Works’

Clearly and Simply | ‘Variations of Alternative Bullet Graphs in Excel’

Hackernoon | ‘You Say Data, I Say System’

Learning & Development

These links cover presentations, tutorials, academic papers, development opportunities, case-studies, how-tos etc.

VizWiz | ‘A New Way to Visualize an Income Statement’

Data Camp | ‘DataCamp for the classroom, a new free plan for Academics.’

GIJN | ‘How To Create a Data Journalism Team’

TEDEd | ‘How to spot a misleading graph’, TEDEd talk by Lea Gaslowitz

Flowing Data | …and on the same note ‘How to Spot Visualization Lies’

Slides | ‘Interactive Maps created with d3.js’, presentation by Lucia Kocincova

Skillshare | ‘Programming Data Visualizations: A Coding Toolkit for Processing by Nicholas Felton’

Pixelmap | ‘Pixel Map Generator’

PythonPlot | ‘Python Plotting for Exploratory Data Analysis’

Google Drive | ‘R-Studio Tutorials’

Interaction Design Foundation | ‘Online UX design courses by experts. At a low, nonprofit-level fee.’

Subject News

Includes announcements within the field, brand new/new-to-me sites, new books and generally interesting developments.

Rock the VizComm | ‘Charting the Chartists: A 2016 Survey of Data Visualization Professionals’

Amazon | New Book: ‘Data Visualization for Success: Interviews with 40 Experienced Designers’, by Steven Braun

John Grimwade | Profiling ‘InGraphics’ issue ten

The Noun Project | ‘Add icons without leaving your workflow’ – integration with office applications


Any other items that may or may not be directly linked to data visualisation but might have a data/technology focus or just seem worthy of sharing

Library Innovation Lab | ‘A Million Squandered: The “Million Dollar Homepage” as a Decaying Digital Artifact’

Comedy Central | ‘British Chainstores You Never Noticed In Sci-Fi Classics’

Wired | ‘Google Glass 2.0 is a startling second act’

Twitter | ‘This [a missing map] is ridiculous’

Livecodelab | ‘Livecodelab is a special secret place where you can make fancy “on-the-fly” 3d visuals and play awesomely offbeat (literally) sounds.’

Twitter | ‘Behold: The depecheplot #dataviz!’

hwkn | ‘New(er) York’

Medium | ‘On my second birthday we landed on the moon: A fifty year retrospective of trying to live with all of you on this goddamn planet.’

Ncase | ‘The evolution of trust’

Boredpanda | ‘This Cambodian Artist Is Taking Doodling To Another Level’

Time | ‘Quiz: See How Well You Can Draw All 50 States’

Behance | ‘Illustrations for Bird Handbook, a leaflet introducing birds of Tokyo.’

The post Best of the visualisation web… July 2017 appeared first on Visualising Data.

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Eric Boullier insists the long-running 'will they or won't they?' McLaren-Honda divorce saga has only slightly delayed the British team's preparations for 2018.

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