I see what you’re trying to do, but in reality I imagine swapping the drivers around would do very little to change form. The difference between good and bad cars is seconds- the difference between good and bad drivers, I imagine, is only a few tenths.
But it is an interesting thought. I suppose the closest we got to finding the answer was the 2009 season, when lots of the best drivers were in the midefield or lower. Remember Silverstone, with Hamilton, Alonso and Kubica fighting over about 14th! That was for the most part a tepid race, yet I have fond memories of it for that one battle!
Anyway, I’m going off topic. I suspect if you put Maldonado and Ambrosia in a Red Bull they’d be winning races by the mid season, and if you put Hamilton and Vettel in a Lotus they’d struggle to score points
I agree with Ned. Afterall, these are world class drivers. Even a ‘bad’ driver, say, Luca Bodoer is a phenomenal talent if up against a layman. So the difference between a Red Bull and an HRT may be 6/7 seconds. However, the difference between Vettel and Karthikeyan may be only a second. Swapping around the grid and there might be a difference, but it probably wouldn’t be too obvious.
This would be the 2011 entry list if after 2010 the drivers re-arranged in the teams that are listed in the order of the 2010 Championship but the teams’ strength is the one I think is the one of 2011 (Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault, Sauber, Force India, Toro Rosso, Williams, Lotus, Virgin, HRT).