@Nicholas Sunderland – Well, any lap time is a benchmark but it has to be taken in context. Things may have changed to make the car or track faster. I read Car and Driver a lot and I am always surprised that a car’s performance in long term test which is 40,000 miles can drop or go up by 0.5 seconds to 60 mph.
And yes, you are correct you don’t win any titles without possessing any skill – especially in F1 where your teammate would win them instead:-) Then again, even when comparing Vettel and Webber you must take other factors into consideration. It’s not as cut and dry as Vettel is much better than Webber because he has won 3 WDCs and Webber none. You look at the seasons and you see that Webber is 10 years older and within a heartbeat of Vettel’s performance especially when the car is made to suit him. And 2 of the 3 championships were decided with the dice rolling in Vettel’s favor so he could have been a 1 time champion very easily just as Hamilton could have been a 0 time champion had things not worked out in his benefit in 2008.