Friday, 24 April 2009

As close as you like

Today's Free Practice sessions threw up something rather amazing. Not the fact that Force India's on the rise, or that Alonso once again decided FP2 was a good time to put his Renault near the top of the timesheets, but something else. As those of you who follow my blog will know, I have started conducting a Super Season Grid, tracking the progress of the 20 drivers in the F1 championship and seeing who is fastest on average throughout the season. I decided to save myself some time after the GP to enter the Free Practice times into the spreadsheet I use and see where everyone stood after the first day of on-track action.

Now, we all know that the form book from 2008 has been torn up for 2009 and completely rewritten and that everything has closed up that little bit more, but just take a look at the average order of the field after FP1 and 2:

  1. Rosberg - 1′33.783
  2. Hamilton - 1′33.821
  3. Button - 1′34.064
  4. Barrichello - 1′34.208
  5. Webber - 1′34.252
  6. Kubica - 1′34.272
  7. Vettel - 1′34.300
  8. Trulli - 1′34.326
  9. Heidfeld - 1′34.349
  10. Nakajima - 1′34.390
  11. Sutil - 1′34.392
  12. Alonso - 1′34.439
  13. Fisichella - 1′34.534
  14. Glock - 1′34.549
  15. Massa - 1′34.577
  16. Kovalainen - 1′34.633
  17. Piquet - 1′34.693
  18. Buemi - 1′34.748
  19. Raikkonen - 1′34.749
  20. Bourdais - 1′34.860
Wanna know the gap between Rosberg and Bourdais right there? You ready?

1.077 seconds.

That's how close it is on average. Believe it or not, this is what came out as the result when I entered the times into the spreadsheet this morning. Just think - back in 1992 the field gap was some 6 seconds. Now, according to this it's closed up by 5 seconds. Who said these new rules weren't going to work? After 3 weekends full of brilliant racing, it just goes to show that, no matter how they look, these new cars ARE making the difference they were intended to. I for one am thrilled at that and can only hope it gets better and better.