Australian GP team-by-team analysis

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Alonso couldn't find a way past Massa
Alonso couldn't find a way past Massa

Fernando Alonso comfortably out-qualified Felipe Massa on Saturday but never looked likely to beat his team mate on race day.

And while Vitantonio Liuzzi scored point for Force India for the second race in a row, Adrian Sutil seems to have better pace so far.

Take a closer look at how each of the team mates compared in the Australian Grand Prix.

Compare the performances of the drivers in each team. You can get a more detailed breakdown of their qualifying and race statistics including a graph of their lap times by following the ‘Compare…’ links below.


Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren, Melbourne, 2010

At first Button thought his early switch to slicks had been a mistake. It turned out to be the decision that put him in a position to win the race. On lap eight he was over two seconds faster than any other car on track and he was 4.3s faster on lap nine.

It was a necessary move to pit for slicks. I was struggling for grip on the inters, and the rears were destroying themselves very quickly, so we figured it must be time for dries. As I drove down the pitlane, I could see it was soaking wet and I feared it was a massive mistake on my part. When I left the pits, I went off the circuit and just thought, ??Oh no!?
Jenson Button

Compare Jenson Button’s form against his team mate in 2010

Lewis Hamilton

Much has already been written about McLaren’s decision to bring Lewis Hamilton in for a second pit stop which almost certainly cost him a podium finish.

Although the gamble to bring him in didn’t pay off it did look as though he’d finally found a way past Fernando Alonso when Webber took the McLaren driver out with two laps to go.

Hamilton had made life difficult for himself by failing to reach Q3 on Saturday – he was over six tenths of a second slower than Button in Q2. And he lost precious time immediately after his second stop by running off the track, without which he could have attacked Alonso sooner and with fresher tyres.

Despite all that, he’s right to be proud of a performance which featured several well-judged passes on other front-runners:

This was probably one of the drives of my life.
Lewis Hamilton

Compare Lewis Hamilton’s form against his team mate in 2010


Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2010

Michael Schumacher

Much closer to Nico Rosberg in qualifying than he had been in Bahrain. But made surprisingly little progress after falling down the field early on after being hit at the first corner.

Read more: Alonso fourth, Schumacher tenth in their battle from the back in Melbourne

Compare Michael Schumacher’s form against his team mate in 2010

Nico Rosberg

A solid run to fifth, much like his racat Bahrain. But getting passed around the outside of turn 11 by Hamilton must have hurt his pride. Kept his nose clean, though, and was the highest-placed two-stopper in the race.

I had a bad start in the wet and after that we lacked pace and I struggled with the option tyre. The rear degradation was pretty bad so we decided to go for a second stop and get some fresh tyres to try to attack the group ahead. Even with the tyre advantage, it would have been difficult to pass once we caught up and therefore it was good to make up a couple of places when Mark and Lewis had an incident, so I’m pleased with that.
Nico Rosberg

Compare Nico Rosberg’s form against his team mate in 2010

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel

He took pole position and led comfortably until a wheel problem threw him into a high-speed slide at turn 13. You couldn’t have asked much more of him, though it was odd he waited a lap longer than everybody else to change to slick tyres.

I felt that something was wrong one lap earlier than I went off. I had some sparks coming up from the front left wheel; we didn?t know what it was and so wanted to pit. Then, a couple of corners before, I had huge vibrations building up and as soon as I touched the brakes, I had some sort of failure going in to Turn 13 and ended up in the gravel. There was nothing I could have done, I lost the car and that was it. It?s a shame as I think we had the race in total control at every stage, even though the conditions were difficult. But to win you have to finish. It breaks my balls not to get the win, but there?s still a long way to go in this championship.
Sebastian Vettel

Compare Sebastian Vettel’s form against his team mate in 2010

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2010

Mark Webber

His race started promisingly. Despite losing a position to Felipe Massa at the start he soon passed the Ferrari driver and caught his team mate.

But it started to go wrong when he delayed his switch to slick tyres until lap ten. He then went off, letting Fernando Alonso past, and ran wide at turn 13 as well losing a position to Hamilton.

Webber was another driver who took an extra pit stop later in the race. This allowed him to jump past Rosberg, who also pitted, but left him behind the Ferraris.

He was on course for at least sixth place when he ran into Hamilton, earning an official reprimand from the stewards.

Leaving the pits I couldn?t get second gear and went wide. I knew I had to make the moves on track. We then decided to pit which worked out okay. At the end of the race we caught the leading guys, but then we had the incident. I apologise to Lewis about that. I lost all down-force in the front of the car when I got close to them, the car lifted and I slid into the back of him.
Mark Webber

Compare Mark Webber’s form against his team mate in 2010


Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Melbourne, 2010

Felipe Massa

Alonso out-qualified Massa by over seven-tenths of a second – the biggest gap between any pair of team mates apart from the Renaults.

Despite that Massa was able to keep Alonso behind for much of the race. However he wasn’t able to do anything about Robert Kubica.

I was able to close on Kubica but I never had a real chance of passing him, while behind me Fernando got very close on more than one occasion, making the most of a few errors.
Felipe Massa

Compare Felipe Massa’s form against his team mate in 2010

Fernando Alonso

Having comfortably beaten his team mate in qualifying Alonso collided with Button at the first corner, falling to the back of the field. It was a strange incident which made you wonder if Alonso couldn’t see Button in his mirrors, or thought he could intimidate him into backing down.

In his recovery drive he picked off the new cars then passed Pedro de la Rosa and Rubens Barrichello.

Although he’d been much quicker than Massa on Saturday he couldn’t find a way past in the race, but acknowledged he’d been keen not to crash into his team mate. He defended his position from Hamilton very carefully at the end of the race – though without Webber’s intervention it looks like Hamilton was poised to get by after Alonso locked up at turn 13.

When I found myself behind Felipe, maybe I could have gone a bit quicker, but we know it?s very hard to pass in Formula 1 and between team-mates, one should not take any unnecessary risks. If we had managed to get past Kubica, then it might have been a different story, but it wasn?t possible, apart from the fact I also had to defend my position against Hamilton and Webber, who were on fresher tyres than us.
Fernando Alonso

Read more: Alonso fourth, Schumacher tenth in their battle from the back in Melbourne

Compare Fernando Alonso’s form against his team mate in 2010


Rubens Barrichello

Barrichello also lost places with an extra second pit stop. Although he recovered the place lost to de la Rosa he wasn’t able to recover the position lost to Vitantonio Liuzzi.

It was a good race, but we should have finished in seventh really. We took the chance to change tyres when we did and go for it. I thought everyone else would also come in, which is why I went for that route.
Rubens Barrichello

Compare Rubens Barrichello’s form against his team mate in 2010

Nico H???lkenberg, Williams, Melbourne, 2010

Nico H???lkenberg

Taken out of the race by Kamui Kobayashi on lap one. H???lkenberg was very enthusiastic about the Melbourne circuit which he hadn’t raced at before this weekend.

Compare Nico H???lkenberg’s form against his team mate in 2010


Robert Kubica in the pits

Robert Kubica

Steered clear of the lap one mayhem to take fourth, and gained another place during the pit stops to run third. Vettel’s retirement put him second.

Kubica lapped consistently in his long stint on soft tyres and neither Hamilton nor Massa were able to pass him.

This was a classic example of a driver getting the most out of inferior equipment and coming home ahead of several better-equipped drivers who should have been in front of him.

I managed to jump Massa in the pits and I came out ahead of Button, but it was my first lap on slicks so I could not hold him off. I thought I would pit again later in the race, but the team said we didn?t need to if I could look after the tyres until the end of the race. I tried to take care of them as much as I could, which wasn?t easy because I had Hamilton behind me and then Massa, but in the end my tyres lasted and we managed to get this great result.
Robert Kubica

Compare Robert Kubica’s form against his team mate in 2010

Vitaly Petrov

It was Petrov’s turn to fall into the Q1 trap, being eliminated along with the cars from the three new teams.

But as in Bahrain he stayed out of trouble at the start and picked up a lot of places. That was all for nothing when he spun off shortly after swapping his intermediates for slicks, while the track was still damp.

We made a change to slick tyres at the same time as most of the field, but when I was on the slicks I got caught out in the braking zone for turn three and got stuck in the gravel.
Vitaly Petrov

Compare Vitaly Petrov’s form against his team mate in 2010

Force India

Adrian Sutil

Comfortably out-qualified his team mate but retired early on with engine failure.

Compare Adrian Sutil’s form against his team mate in 2010

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, Melbourne, 2010

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Scored points for the second week in a row but the signs are Sutil has better pace.

Compare Vitantonio Liuzzi’s form against his team mate in 2010

Toro Rosso

Sebastien Buemi

Taken out of the race on lap one by Kamui Kobayashi.

Compare Sebastien Buemi’s form against his team mate in 2010

Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Melbourne, 2010

Jaime Alguersuari

Did a remarkable job keeping Michael Schumacher behind but finally cracked a few laps from home. If it hadn’t been for that he’d have scored his first ever point.

I think on the one hand I?m quite happy as I had a long fight with Michael (Schumacher) which was nice. I was under a lot of pressure, but I was able to keep him behind me for many laps until I made a small mistake at Turn 13 with a few laps to go and he managed to pass me.
Jaime Alguersuari

Compare Jaime Alguersuari’s form against his team mate in 2010


Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Melbourne, 2010

Jarno Trulli

Did not start the race after a hydraulic power pack failed on the grid and the team were unable to replace it in time.

Compare Jarno Trulli’s form against his team mate in 2010

Heikki Kovalainen

Led the Virgins before they dropped out and brought the car home for the second race in a row, two laps down.

Compare Heikki Kovalainen’s form against his team mate in 2010


Karun Chandhok, HRT, Melbourne, 2010

Karun Chandhok

Gave the HRT F110 its first race finish, five laps down.

Compare Karun Chandhok’s form against his team mate in 2010

Bruno Senna

Covered four laps before retiring with a hydraulic problem.

Compare Bruno Senna’s form against his team mate in 2010


Pedro de la Rosa, Sauber, Melbourne, 2010

Pedro de la Rosa

The Sauber’s kindness to its tyres had been talked up by some pre-season but its performance at Melbourne suggested this claim was wide of the mark. De la Rosa dropped out of the points two laps from home as tyre wear became a serious problem. Like the top four finishers, he made only one stop.

We underestimated the tyre degradation. In the end I really had no rear tyres left. For the last 15 laps it was just a question of how to keep the car on the track. I was absolutely helpless when Michael and Jaime came in the end to overtake me.
Pedro de la Rosa

Compare Pedro de la Rosa’s form against his team mate in 2010

Kamui Kobayashi

Suffered a huge crash on the first lap when his front wing came off and lodged beneath his front tyres. He ricocheted off the turn six barrier and ploughed into Buemi and H???lkenberg, eliminating both.

He believes the wing failed of its own accord but it was his third such failure during the weekend. The first occurred when he hit a cone, the second appeared to fail of its own accord. FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer inspected the car during practice.

It looks as if I touched a kerb or another car in turn three. Everything was very close and I don?t really remember anything major, but on the data it looks like there was something. I had no worries about the front wing, but a few corners later it went off and got stuck under the car. At first I had no idea what had happened. I had no control any more.
Kamui Kobayashi

Compare Kamui Kobayashi’s form against his team mate in 2010


Timo Glock, Fernando Alonso, Melbourne, 2010

Timo Glock

Made it as far as a pit stop this time, but didn’t get to the end of the race:

It was a real shame that we had a problem just 15 laps from the end of the race when I started to feel that there was something wrong with the way the car was feeling. I came in and we found a problem which we now know to be a camber shim having worked loose, and this was causing the suspension to move around on the left rear. Had we not had the suspension issue I think we would have been looking good for our first chequered flag.
Timo Glock

Compare Timo Glock’s form against his team mate in 2010

Lucas di Grassi

Stopped with a hydraulic problem.

Compare Lucas di Grassi’s form against his team mate in 2010


TeamDriverLap timeGapLap timeDriverRound
McLarenJenson Button1’24.531-0.6531’25.184Lewis HamiltonQ2
MercedesMichael Schumacher1’24.927+0.0431’24.884Nico RosbergQ3
Red BullSebastian Vettel1’23.919-0.1161’24.035Mark WebberQ3
FerrariFelipe Massa1’24.837+0.7261’24.111Fernando AlonsoQ3
WilliamsRubens Barrichello1’25.085-0.6631’25.748Nico H???lkenbergQ2
RenaultRobert Kubica1’25.588-0.8831’26.471Vitaly PetrovQ1
Force IndiaAdrian Sutil1’25.046-0.6971’25.743Vitantonio LiuzziQ2
Toro RossoSebastien Buemi1’25.638-0.4511’26.089Jaime AlguersuariQ2
LotusJarno Trulli1’29.111+0.3141’28.797Heikki KovalainenQ1
HRTKarun Chandhok1’30.613+0.0871’30.526Bruno SennaQ1
SauberPedro de la Rosa1’25.747-0.0301’25.777Kamui KobayashiQ2
VirginTimo Glock1’29.592-0.5931’30.185Lucas di GrassiQ1

This table compares the best lap times achieved by each teams’ drivers in the latest stage of qualifying both their drivers reached.

Race – fastest laps

TeamDriverFastest lapGapFastest lapDriver
McLarenJenson Button1’29.291+0.7851’28.506Lewis Hamilton
MercedesMichael Schumacher1’29.185+0.6961’28.489Nico Rosberg
Red BullSebastian Vettel1’31.556+3.1981’28.358Mark Webber
FerrariFelipe Massa1’29.537-0.1701’29.707Fernando Alonso
WilliamsRubens Barrichello1’29.210No timeNico H???lkenberg
RenaultRobert Kubica1’29.570-13.5621’43.132Vitaly Petrov
Force IndiaAdrian Sutil1’43.223+13.5381’29.685Vitantonio Liuzzi
Toro RossoSebastien BuemiNo time1’29.713Jaime Alguersuari
LotusJarno TrulliNo time1’33.638Heikki Kovalainen
HRTKarun Chandhok1’35.045-46.1952’21.240Bruno Senna
SauberPedro de la Rosa1’30.587No timeKamui Kobayashi
VirginTimo Glock1’34.230-2.3771’36.607Lucas di Grassi

NB. Drivers in italics were not classified finishers (did not complete 90% of the race distance or more)

Race – average laps

TeamDriverAverage lapGapAverage lapDriver
McLarenJenson Button1’36.837-0.5151’37.352Lewis Hamilton
MercedesMichael Schumacher1’38.033+0.9091’37.124Nico Rosberg
Red BullSebastian Vettel1’44.770+6.7731’37.997Mark Webber
FerrariFelipe Massa1’37.087-0.0311’37.118Fernando Alonso
WilliamsRubens Barrichello1’37.880No timeNico H???lkenberg
RenaultRobert Kubica1’37.044-31.3772’08.421Vitaly Petrov
Force IndiaAdrian Sutil2’05.632+27.7631’37.869Vitantonio Liuzzi
Toro RossoSebastien BuemiNo time1’38.066Jaime Alguersuari
LotusJarno TrulliNo time1’41.592Heikki Kovalainen
HRTKarun Chandhok1’46.003-46.4582’32.462Bruno Senna
SauberPedro de la Rosa1’38.114No timeKamui Kobayashi
VirginTimo Glock1’44.031-46.3982’30.429Lucas di Grassi

NB. Drivers in italics were not classified finishers (did not complete 90% of the race distance or more)

Over to you

What’s your take on how the team mates compared in Melbourne? Who impressed and who disappointed? Have your say in the comments.

2010 Australian Grand Prix

    Images (C) Ferrari spa, Renault/LAT, Williams/LAT, Bridgestone,, Getty Images/Red Bull, Force India F1 Team, Lotus F1, Virgin Racing, BMW Sauber F1 Team, Motioncompany

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  • 102 comments on “Australian GP team-by-team analysis”

    1. Yeah Alonso had a bad start and if it were any other driver than Massa he probably went for it and got to second position, he seemed a lot faster than the Brazilian who was struggling throughout the race making multiple little errors (including the one where he almost crashed into Alonso, who wisely slowed down a bit). But Massa beat him here, good team effort. Weird thing is that although Massa ended up before Alonso, Alonso is the one that had the best race IMO. Same with Button and Hamilton. I think Hamilton drove a great race where Button took a risk that worked out well, still amazing effort though. Bad luck for the Hulk too but Rubens is still too quick for him, lets see in 5 races!

      1. I agree about Massa I thought that apart from his great start he had a shocker. His rear end was sliding around so much at times I’m surprised he wasn’t arrested for ‘hooning’

        1. If Massa can put the fact that Alonso went from the back to right on his gearbox in well under half race distance out of his mind, then he’ll be very happy to have finished third even though he wasn’t happy with the car and has never really enjoyed Albert Park.

          1. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion
            30th March 2010, 8:18

            Absolutely agree. The fact that your teanmate is last at the first lap and behind your rear wing after half race distance…. mmmmmm.. it looks weird to me… I mean, if I were Massa I wouldn’t feel much of a truly winner here. Don’t you think?

            1. Well he is not the winner. He had a bad race, and its all about making the most out of a bad weekend. I dont see anything worrying in that, I rather think he should be pleased that with his pace and errors he was able to score a podium!

      2. I’d really like to know what Alonso’s thoughts were on the first corner collision. Button was half way down his inside and Schumacher was level alongside on the outside. Was Alonso busy looking at Schumacher on the outside? Was it the mirrors? Or was it the fact that even if Alonso had seen Button he couldn’t move over to allow him a little space because Schumacher was on the outside. You can’t really blame any of those three drivers really, it was just a racing incident 3 into 1 didn’t go on that occasion.

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      30th March 2010, 0:10

      But as in Bahrain he stayed out of trouble at the start and picked up a lot of places. That was all for nothing when he spun off shortly after swapping his intermediates for slicks, while the track was still damp.

      Petrov, I think, is the only rookie driver who has really shown any flashes of inspiration – he’s easily the best starter. In two races, he’s picked up more places and anyone else off the line. His error at turn three was the same as the one Button made. Give him a bit of time, and I think he’ll do well.

      1. Is he doing anything special at the starts, though, or is he just qualifying poorly and then driving past wrecks?

        1. Petrov started 18th but was 11th after the 1st corner, passing De la Rosa, Liuzzi, Hülkenberg, Buemi, Kobayashi, Alguersuari, Alonso and later on moved to 10th because Schumacher had to pit (new frontwing).

          So I’d not call it wrecks and he already passed Kobayashi, Buemi, Hülkenberg before they crashed.

          I have to add, Petrov is driving a Renault, not the slowest car to start (or race) with. If he would finish he should be in the points or just outside on 11, 12th position normally.

          1. Well that depends. Petrov may start well but he made a mistake this race and last race was just bad luck/taking the curbs too hard. Also, he got stuck in Q1 whilst Kubica made it to Q1. About his start, Alonso spun and took Schumacher with him in his fall, Hülkenberg got crashed into by Kobayashi and went out with Buemi too so those 5 places are not that surprising. It’s too early to judge, I don’t think we can really blame Petrov for his mistake during this race. It was slippery and he’s a rooky driver. Also Kubica is known to be one of the fastest drivers in the field so it’s not easy for him.

        2. polishboy808
          30th March 2010, 1:43

          I think that actually he has had some good starts, sure he started behind a few slow cars, and he had a quite good car so it should have been easy to have a good start, but in Bahrain, he started in a decent position and, without any accidents, still gained positions, if he could finish races, he could get points after china (because of experiance), mostly because of his starts. So yes, I think his starts are something special.

      2. Of course he’s ruined his qualifying in both events. Sitting very far down the grid in what is essentially a fast car is a very easy recipe for having a good start …

    3. Interesting that many people claimed Massa as going kind of slow, when his fastest lap and his average lap time were both faster than those of his team mate.

      1. yes, but it would be hard for alonso to set the fastest time between the two, as when he was lighter, he was stuck behind him. But good start to the season for massa though.

        1. Don’t forget that Alonso also spent 15 or so seconds facing the wrong way at turn 1, which is a pretty big outlier.

          1. Not when you have a safety car right after that.

            1. That allowed Alonso to get back on the back of the pack, but it doesn’t nullify the lost time.

      2. According to the teamboss Stefano Dominicali Ferrari has a rule that the 2 team members can’t pass each other in the final stint. Enough said :)

        1. Do you have a source for that info Dennis? If it’s true and the teams continue on the 15ish laps, change tyres, drive to finish routine that’s expected, then they are bound to hold each other up. I can’t see it happening myself.

          1. “During the final stint, we have a certain internal code of practice that unless there is an obvious situation, then the situation has to be respected,” said Domenicali.


            He might mean that during the final laps or something. It’s a bit amiguous, what does he mean with the “final stages of the race” or “final stint”?

    4. I say give Rosberg another shot with Hamilton when the mercedes car is equal to the mclaren because that car is far from 100% complete. Rosbergs gamble did pay off though letting hamilton charge off and stopping him getting involved in any “shunting”.

      I still think Lewis would not have been able to get past Alonso even if the shunt never happend because Alonso was defending him so well. It might of resulted hamilton shunting into Alonso at some stage with him being over aggressive in every part of the track. it wasn’t like his tyres were that good nere the end to outbrake Alonso every corner…., Monza 09 all over for hamilton.

      1. Yeah I agree, Hamilton was faster, but it’s been said you need 3 seconds to pass, and Alonso, I think he is a stubborn driver.
        Hamilton probably would’ve had a crash anyway but with Alonso instead…

      2. Hamilton had realisticly passed Alonso when Webber rammed hamilton off. Alonso really lost the corner and was standing almost still.

    5. Hello Keith,

      I have been reading your blog for quite a while and it is always a splendid work from you. This is the first time I’m giving my comment.

      I being a Melburnian (a F1 fanatic too), was there at Albert Park and was sitting at the Pit Exit stand. My heart broke when I saw Fernando chuckesd out to the very end of the Grid. I would say Ferando was more cautious in his driving not attacking too much.
      From his driving,it was clear that he was not struggling to go past Felipe, instead he was keen on getting as much points as possible ( His post qualifying interview he did mention that his main aim was to finish the race with points and not have a DNF). But Felipe was making more mistakes and also almost collided with Ferando more than once.

      Fernando aggression was evident when he was attacking others and defending his position when Lewis attacked.

      Sympathy to Vettel – This guy is going to be the challenge for all other Champions in the coming races.

      Great Drive by Jenson & Lewis too

      Aus GP for a thrilling fun.

      1. Thanks Govin :-)

    6. Rosberg “was the highest-placed two-stopper in the race”… Yeah! But thanks to Webbo. He would´ve been the third best placed two-stopper actually…

      1. he was the highest-placed three-stopper in the race 8)

    7. José Baudaier
      30th March 2010, 4:50

      Barrichello said he should have finished 7th and if he had a few more laps we would.

    8. I am becoming more impressed with Rosberg. In the past he was rather an unknown – we had an idea of his talent but he was overshadowed by the faster teams. Now he is partnered with the greatest racer ever to live, and he seems to be doing quite well so far.

      1. I must disagree with you. Schumacher hasn’t been driving for three years and yet he’s only 0.1-0.2 seconds or something slower than Rosberg in the first two races. I’m expecting hard times for Rosberg this season (at least compared to his team mate).

        1. Are you only looking at fastest lap times or something?

          Schumacher was over 50 seconds behind Rosberg on the finish. That’s almost a second per lap on average.

          You could argue that he was set back by the first corner incident, but so was Alonso and he was right behind Massa.

          1. Yes, he was set back by the first corner. In Bahrain Schumacher was one second behind Rosberg on the finish. Maybe the gap is a bit more than 0.1-0.2 seconds, but my point is that Schumacher is almsot as fast as Rosberg already in the first two races.

            I don’t really understand what you are trying to say with your Alonso-Massa comparison. Alonso was set back by the first corner incident also and he was behing Massa on the finnish, but doesn’t that only implicate Alonso was a lot better and faster than Massa?

            I never said Schumacher was faster or even as fast as Rosberg in Australian GP.

            1. Alonso managed t escape Jaime after the pits though I thnik whereas Schumi got stuck.

            2. “I never said Schumacher was faster or even as fast as Rosberg in Australian GP.”

              I’m just saying that 0.1 to 0.2 is nonsense. In Bahrain it was, but in Australie it was more like up to a second per lap.

              The Alonso example should be obvious. They were both at the back. Alonso gets to the front Schumacher doesn’t.

              Most of their initial loss was recovered by the safety car anyway.

            3. “The Alonso example should be obvious. They were both at the back. Alonso gets to the front Schumacher doesn’t.”

              It’s just silly to compare drivers from different teams just by looking at their lap times and how many points they scored and ignoring everything else in the race like the fact that they had different cars and the other one got stuck behing the slower car, the other didn’t.

              That’s like saying “Jenson Button is better driver than Sebastian Vettel because he won the race, Vettel didn’t”.

              As steph said, I believe Schumi got stuck behind Jaime. Should he have managed to overtake Alguersuari whereas Alonso didn’t? Maybe. But the fact he was behind a slower driver makes plain lap time comparison useless.

              You admitted 0.1 to 0.2 was true in Bahrain. Should we now assume that in one race Schumacher has become 0.8 to 0.9 slower (than Rosberg) or that Alguersuari had a big effect on his race?

            4. The point is that Schumacher was struggling all through the race to overtake even the slowest backmarkers.

              It also shows that the track did certainly lend itself to overtaking.

              Schumacher’s car was plenty fast since his fastest lap was plenty fast.

            5. I believe nowadays fast car isn’t necessarily the same as a car that is good at overtaking. How many cars did Rosberg overtake?

              My guess is that if Schumacher wasn’t set back in the first corner, he’d been 6th in the race and about 1-2 seconds behind Rosberg, which was kind of my original point. Do you disagree?

    9. Over here in the colonies, we heard that Red Bull were expecting more rain as Button pitted. AS I recall. This explains why they were relatively late to pit, and when they eventually did, Vettel got first dibs followed by Mr. Webber.

      1. Yep. I remember SPEED playing that radio transmission just about while the other teams were all pitting. Something like “We’re expecting more rain in ten minutes, so make the tires last.” or something to that effect. Needless to say it didn’t take them long to figure out they’d made the wrong call.

    10. bear in mind that Fernando is the cleverest of the lot. In all his interviews he hints at scoring points regularly as its a long season and by jolly he has ..

      He is a true champion who will maintain his point scoring momentum and turn on the heat when it really matters.. It was also important to allow/protect Massa to score points for the constructors..

      He did not even once hassle Massa for the 3rd position (+2 points)

      1. Umar Farooq Khawaja
        30th March 2010, 12:17

        Totally agree there U2. Alonso was covering Massa’s rear after he got behind him. You could tell he was way quicker but never tried to make a move on Massa.

        I figure if Alonso had passed Massa, Hamilton would have passed Massa too.

        I think it was probably a case of Alonso tempering his natural aggression… probably because he wants to show Ferrari that he puts the team ahead of himself. I doubt he would do the same thing at the sharp end of the season if he’s fighting for the championship.

    11. totally agree with GOVIN .. well said mate !

    12. Let me just say that I love this site :) One of the first to be checked by me daily for the F1 info. Keep up the good work !!

      1. Thanks Zatarra, always nice to hear :-)

    13. Kubica got a bit of luck in the pits when massa was stuck there.
      Massa was only a 7/10 and made too many mistakes particularly defending…again. However, I don’t think he deserves so much stick for his race when he had issues all weekend and by the time he caught Robert the track was drier. He done alright considering he wasn’t happy. Yes, Fernando completely outclassed him on this GP but he hung on to 3rd and Massa has made a charge through the field before :P
      Petrov is a good starter but as much as I like him, it has only been two races.
      Senna did climb to 14th in the early stages but wish I had seen that rather than just taking Brundle and Legard’s word for it.
      As it seems popular to compare Lewis to Senna (something I hate as a driver should be known in their own right) I don’t think the comparison is that close as Lewis seems unable to think things through with tyres etc. He isn’t one of the smartest drivers on the grid which I don’t especially care about but it is his big flaw. He complains at the team which is fair but he is dependent on them and they have saved him before- Monaco 08 for example. I’m bored of the whole row issue but it does show an area Lewis is possibly lacking.

    14. webber has always been under-rated, in my opinion.

      1. Agreed, much like Nick Heidefld. And look where he ended up… :(

      2. Webber has always been underperforming though.

        He seems to be close to Vettel’s speed, but he still is slower. The only thing that kept him in front of Vettel for most of the 2009 season was his consistency. With his absurdly erratic drive in Australia, he obviously lost that too.

    15. “Hamilton had made life difficult for himself by failing to reach Q3 on Saturday – he was over six tenths of a second slower than Button in Q2. And he lost precious time immediately after his second stop by running off the track, without which he could have attacked Alonso sooner and with fresher tyres.”

      What a load of -ve spin and nonsense. Anyone who watched Q2 knows Hamilton was sent out on the wrong tyre pressures and that cost him Q1 and even with that and being sent out again on fuel for only one run and encountering traffic Hamilton was only six tenths behind golden boy Button.

      Interesting to see Button at the top of all your tables ;) Fans or honest pundits who know their F1, as I suspect you do, will tell you that given this year’s driver line up, Button wouldn’t be ranked higher than six, if that, among the talent on the grid. Having a load of ppl propagating a distorted version is very damaging to the credibility of F1, even if you feel really clever while doing it. Try some honest sport reporting please and leave empire building to the politicians

      1. Try some honest sport reporting please

        That’s exactly what you’ve got here. Everything above is based on solid facts.

        You just don’t like certain facts and your criticism of what I’ve written is limited only to the negative comments regarding a driver you like, while you’ve ignored the positive comments about him I made.

        For example:

        Interesting to see Button at the top of all your tables

        The tables are in car number order. Button has car number one.

        1. Well handled Keith!

          1. Yep….some people really do live in a house full of distorting mirrors don’t they ?

            No other rational explanation.

            Hey ho Keith, that’s what you get for telling it like it is, eh ?

      2. The sixth best driver won the race. Meanwhile, in another silver car at the back of the field, seven times world champion……

        I personally don’t pay too much attention to so called driver rankings, whether they come from so called ‘fans’ or so called ‘pundits’. The fractions that a driver can bring to the speed of his car from a ‘talent’ point of view, pale into insignificance when it comes to what actually happens out on track. One wrong decision and all your ‘talent’ means nothing. 2010 will be the season where decision makers come to the fore. So maybe the ‘seven time world champion’ isn’t out of it yet.

      3. you make me LOL

    16. Hey probably not the place to mention this but I just remembered something I saw before the race started,

      I don’t know what they are called, the devices they use to cool the engine by putting them into the side pods, I’ll call them the giant hair dryers for now…

      Anyway, I saw some of the Ferrari crew (not sure which car) using these things to dry the track under the car when it was on the grid before the warm up lap,
      Are they allowed to do this, and would it make much difference anyway?

      Can someone smarter than me clarify this please? ^^ thanks.

    17. “it looks like Hamilton was poised to get by after Alonso locked up at turn 13.”

      Spot on Keith.

      A number of people seem to be a bit blind to the fact that Alonso badly locked his wheels and ran wide while Hamilton was being punted off by Webber (anyone that missed this watch Alonso and Rosberg not the cars spinning off)

      Alonso was extremely slow out of that corner so much so that Rosberg came from miles back and nearly got him.

      Hamilton was also a good 1/4 of a car up (but you can’t got around the outside there) on Alonso which is why Alonso had to go so late and deep, had Hamilton not been taken out he would of simply cut back inside he was in perfect position.

      Excellent drive by both of them. I wouldn’t pick one as better than the other. Equal IMO.

      1. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion
        30th March 2010, 9:06

        I’m afraid you’re worng. Keeping the inside line was the right choice here. Next turn was right hand, then a left, and then again final right turn, so, keeping in the right side was perfect to maintain position…..

        1. It would have been the right thing to do but I think Alonso had out-braked himself and was going to get stuck on the left side of the track. Hamilton was preparing to cut across behind him and take the inside line for the following corner.

          And then he got Webbered.

          1. Webbered LOL, just like at the Nurburgring last year.

          2. I LOL’d at Webbered, top marks Keith, once again! :-D

          3. i lost a tiny bit of respect for webber’s driving skill after that crash.

        2. It doesn’t matter which side. Alonso was standing practically still after going so wide. Hamilton did make the corner and was already moving the inside. With his kept momentum he would have just breezed by.

          Indeed look at Rosberg. He practically has to stand on the brakes not to ram into the back of Alonso.

    18. It was a faulty wheelnut that caused Vettel’s retirement. Someone screwed up badly (sorry for pun) at the pit stop maybe?

    19. Keith, could you make the drivers comparison tables so that the faster driver of a team is always on the left?
      It would be much clearer to see everything on first glance.
      It’d be also beneficial not to have the teams put in a fix order, but sorted vertically by who had the fastest driver.

      I like the fact that Massa is equal to Alonso, and often faster. This tells how quick Schumi must’ve been when he drove with Massa at Ferrari.

      1. “Fastest driver”? Is that fastest in qualifying? Fastest lap? Fastest race? Or just who everyone perceives to be “fastest driver”?

        Rosberg was miles ahead of Schumacher in 2010 who, in recent times, was well behind Webber in another team. Does that make Webber better than Schumacher?

      2. As VXR says, who was the fastest driver is a judgement call, you can’t say that sort of thing objectively.

        I like the idea about putting the faster driver on the left though.

        1. OMG, you guys completely didn’t get what I was saying :)
          I try to be clearer:
          Let’s take the “Race – fastest laps” table.
          From the top, the team list goes the same in all tables, namely:
          McLaren |driver|
          Mercedes |driver|
          Red Bull |driver|
          Ferrari |driver|
          … etc.

          But it wasn’t Mclaren who had the fastest-race-lap driver, and it wasn’t Mercedes who had the second-fastest-race-lap driver. The team order is fixed on that list (McLaren always first, Merc. second etc.), whereas it’d be better if it was consistent with the “race – fastest laps” that the table represents.
          So it should be:
          Mercedes |Michael Schumacher| 1′29.185
          Williams |Rubens Barrichello| 1′29.210
          McLaren |Jenson Button| 1′29.291
          Ferrari |Felipe Massa| 1′29.537


          1. Ah, OK. Yeah I like that idea.

        2. yeah i asked to have the fastest drivers on the same side in the last ‘team mate analysis’ article. but got no reply! :(

          it’d make it much less confusing to read. cheers!

    20. Alonso and Hamilton indeed drove fantastic races.
      My favourit Massa, was not fast enough. But hell, if you are not fast enough all weekend just make a fantastic start and in normal conditions nobody will overtake you.

      If his pitstop was not screwed up, he was stationary for around 6 seconds in regards with the new pitlane rule, he would have come out ahead of Button and Kubica.

      Now this is a big if but, when he was released in front of button and kubica he would have won this race!!
      All in all, a bad weekend resulting in a good points scoring, if has been worse in his past.

      1. Good to c someone else in defence of Massa. I think that boy gets a lot of unnecessary criticisms! If this was someone else, i’m sure everyone would have mentioned how the driver lost time in pits, how he wasnt at his best in this race etc etc. But all Massa gets is, “oh he wasnt good enough and should think long and hard!”.

      2. Now this is a big if but, when he was released in front of button and kubica he would have won this race!!

        Now there’s an interesting ‘what if’…

        Would Button have passed Massa? Well, Hamilton in the other McLaren managed it twice.

        I think if Alonso was a bit restrained in trying to pass Massa, Button wouldn’t have been. And the MP4-25 had terrific straight line speed on Sunday. Here are the top three from the speed trap:

        1. Hamilton 310.3kph
        2. Button 305kph
        3. Alonso 303kph

        (Even with the F-duct Hamilton must have had quite a tow to go 5kph faster than anyone else!)

        I can’t say for sure if Button would have got past, or if they would have ended up in a gravel trap, but it would have been fun to watch.

        Actually one other thing on Massa which I didn’t mention in the article. Alonso spent a lot of time right behind him but on one of the few laps where Massa had a bit of a gap over Alonso he made a big mistake at turn seven. If he hadn’t had that gap on that lap Alonso would have been through. Can’t imagine Alonso was too happy with how that worked out!

        1. Ya I agree, I’m just trying to say what I said in the earlier comment, he had a bad weekend but made the most of it.

          I dont think he could have won the race if he was released in front of button but he would have surely had a easier time and may be even able to get a second place instead of third. I’m sure he would have been able to keep the Renault behind.

    21. Hi there,

      Got one suggestion Keith – I was wondering if it would be possible to compare lap times of drivers from different teams? For example choosing names from a drop-down menu and the application would overlay the graphs.

      Nevertheless the team-mate comparison feature you’re doing is great and quite extensive! Where did you get the lap data? Would you be able to share your spreadsheet so that we could compare laps from different teams ourselves?


      1. Oddly, I just went over to the FIA site to get the link and I can’t access the page any more. They’re usually here:

        I’m looking into a funky interactive chart thing, haven’t got it working yet.

    22. Keith,

      Could we have an average of the top ten, or twenty lap times? I think this would give a better picture of the true pace of a driver as it would eliminate pit lap times and (some) lap times stuck behind other drivers/safety cars.


      1. I’ve been looking into something similar but there are two tricky things to consider:

        1. Lap times come down so much during the course of a race.

        2. As you say, drivers stuck behind other drivers.

        I’m trying to think of a good way to approach this and get some representative data but haven’t cracked it yet. Any ideas?

        1. The more processional races with fastest drivers higher up the grid and a minimal overtaking at the start should give a better idea. But hopefully that never happens as I’d rather have rubbish stats and great races than vice versa.

        2. I think that there are far too many variables to even consider who is the fastest driver in any race. For all we know Karun Chandhok may have driven better than anyone else, but it would have largely gone unnoticed simply because of the pace of his car.

        3. Umar Farooq Khawaja
          30th March 2010, 12:27


          When comparing drivers of the same team relative to each other, if one of them has not finished the race, it makes sense to compare them only up to the lap (or point in time) which both drivers completed.

          This would correct for the fact that lap times come down a lot towards the end of the race, and therefore, the fastest of, say, the first 20 laps has no meaningful comparison to the fastest of the entire race.

    23. I really think Ferrari should let Alonso past Massa… that way Alonso would have been probably at least second, while Massa would probably lost his position to Lewis and Mark…

      1. I’m glad they didn’t. If Alonso wanted to get past Massa he should have passed him. Hamilton did it to Button.

        1. Alonso was much faster than Kubica and Button. I’d rather have seen Alonso battle with Kubica for 2nd or even with Button for first than see him dangle behind Massa. Massa mad one or two half hearted attempts of following Kubica and then gave up.

          There is no way that Ferrari would let them fight for position. So realisticly, Alonso was never going to get passed.

          Only when Massa had one of his many mishaps perhaps, but even then Massa could just defend hard and Alonso would have to yield.

          I can understand why Ferrari opted to keep Alonso behind Massa, but it sure cost us overtaking opportunities.

          1. I dont think Ferrari opted to keep Alonso behind Massa, I dont think Alonso could get past him. Alonso’s tyres were not the best, plus its difficult to overtake when u r behind another car anyways. But ya I dont think Alonso tried very hard, because he also had to defend the two guys overtaking him from behind.

            1. Well the news is that it’s a policy at Ferrari not to pass on the last stint.

              Of course for 2010 “the last stint” is practically the whole race …

      2. Quite weird how on one hand you want racing and on other you want the team to let one driver pass the other!

        1. Because drivers of the same team are practically unable to overtake one another.

          Button ruined his inters and made a driving error so that Hamilton could pass him. Massa made plenty errors too, but apparently not big enough for Alonso to easily breeze past.

          Anything but an “easy breeze” is not going to happen between team mates.

    24. just thinking if HRT actually had a non rookie driver they could be right up just behind Virgin/Lotus…. perhaps at least

    25. Well I think if Alonso really wanted to pass Massa he would’ve done it. Perhaps he was just thinking my tyres are on my car from lap 8, so hopefully I can force Massa into a mistake and pass him. If not, than I’ll spare my tyres and have my own battle with the guys behind me with fresher softs in the final laps of the race.

      I don’t think Ferrari should’ve let Alonso pass Massa, its just the 2nd Grand Prix of the year and still 17 to go. I think (after Alonso’s spin) Ferrari must have been very happy with 3rd and 4th. They should send Webber some gifts, because without the collision with Hamilton I don’t think they’d have finished at those positions.

      There are predicitons of rain (t-storms) for the Malaysian Grand Prix next weekend, I don’t want another ‘half points awarded’-race like last year! Perhaps they should reconsider the 5PM local time start, because Sepang is going from (one of) the hottest race (1999-2008) to the wettest race on the calender (2009-2010?). :-(

      1. Maybe Alonso should next time ask Smedley to keep his trap shut. Massa was obviously saved by Smedley’s exasperated advice to stop the pointless burn-outs at the last corner so “people will pass you less easily.” It worked, and it spared Massa having to chop Alonso going into turn one as he did with Hamilton, in vain.

        And yes, if not for Webber, Hamilton would either have passed them both or taken at least one red car into the gravel with him.

    26. spare? I meant save

    27. About Virgin:
      Both times Glock had suspension problem, but di Grassi both times Hydraulics prblem. So myb they wanna change with cars ?:D

    28. Glock had a Gearbox problem in Bahrain, Kovalainen finished both GP’s and Chandhok brought his HRT home by finishing in Australia. Not bad for the new teams if you ask me, I think one of the new teams will get some points this year.

      1. If u ask me- terrible. I cant remember when last time teams were so happy only about finishing… Its ridiculous. No points this year to HRT, VRG and LOT, or ill be running nude around the Big Ben

        1. Please don’t…

          1. Ok, if u dont want it, then i wont do it

    29. If Hamilton and Webber would’ve retired after there crash, Kovalainen would’ve finished 11th and Chandhok 12th… so I think you’ll have a big chance to run around the Big Ben this year. Lmao!

    30. think u will be running round big ben bob,when lotus get there new suspention and aero package

    31. Don’t know you but by the looks of how this season may pan out, i can tell that your not a betting man and i may see you at Big Ben in November. In all honesty, i would love to at least one of the new teams score a point, and ‘when’ it rains in Maylasia, i wouldn’t bet against it..good luck Bob!(great name btw)….

    32. I like the way Massa always tries to improve. His biggest mistake in Bahrain was a bad start, and now in Australia starting was his best moment of the weekend! He started so brilliantly that he managed to score a podium and stayed ahead of Alonso, despite being much slower than him…

    33. @ Daniel

      I think Alonso was the better driver, being 19th after the 1st lap and finishing 4th.

      Even more surprised about the soft tyres, I didn’t expect that they were made to last for 53 laps, I suppose the harder compound can last over 150 laps.

    34. Comprehensive , thanks…

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