Monte Carlo Meets Simulation

Latest to be touched by a greening of consciousness is the Formula One race crowd.  Race fan and Bleacher Report columnist Long John Silver has set himself the ambitious goal of specifying the carbon footprint of an F1 car on a single race day.  He is going to include data from all the major European races.  Although he doesn’t specify all the statistical analysis techniques he will use, he does mention “sensitivity analysis,” and I assume, given that this is a fairly straightforward operation research problem, he will make his projections using some kind of(pardon the pun) Monte Carlo software.

Okay, so he projects the carbon dioxide emissions of one car in a typical race.  This single-car footprint, multiplied by 20 or 22, the customary number of starters, can be extrapolated to form a little stampede–forgive the mixed metaphor–of carbon clouds that hover over an entire race day.  These pile up on a pretty gloomy horizon because, as Long John reveals, while even the most common common gas guzzler gets only 13 miles per gallon, the typical F1 gets 1.5 miles per gallon.

It’s enough to chill the thrills.  But that doesn’t seem to trouble Long John Silver as much as one discovery made in the course of his analysis: the Monte Carlo–the race of races–is an outlier.

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