I always like to look at the fastest race laps, it tells you a lot about the relative pace of the cars and as this is the first ‘normal’ race on a ‘normal’ track it is quite instructive.
The fastest car in qualifying and race was the Toyota. They should have won their first victory today, but they made the wrong tyre choice at the first stop and it left both drivers vulnerable.
McLaren will be hugely encouraged by their performance here. From being over 2 seconds off the pace of Brawn when I first saw this car on the same track at the Barcelona test, they have closed the gap to a few tenths and must fancy their chances of competing for the world championship. If I were a betting man I’d slide down the bookies and put a few quid on Hamilton to win the title.
1. Trulli (Toyota) 1m 34.556
2. Button (Brawn) 1m 34.588
3. Vettel (Red Bull) 1m 34.756
4. Hamilton (McLaren) 1m 34.915
5. Massa (Ferrari) 1m 35.065
6. Bourdais (Toro Rosso)1m 35.410
7. Piquet (Renault) 1m 35.410
8. Kubica (BMW) 1m 35.706
9. Rosberg (Williams) 1m 35.816
10. Sutil (Force India) 1m36.219
So the whole field is covered by 1.7 seconds, which is about the same amount of time it takes to say “Giancarlo Fisichella” – imagine that; after a lap of 95 seconds, 10 cars flashing across the line in that brief window of time, that is how close it is in F1 at the moment.
And the exciting thing is that the updates coming to the car in Barcelona will move the order around. I fear a bit for Williams, who have not capitalised on their advantage with the double diffuser. They will be swallowed up if they are not careful.