I think there are a few conclusions to draw from the results:
1. Kovalainen is in a different class to the other five/seven drivers. I reckon he’s worth between one and three tenths of a second per lap. I know Trulli has out-qualified him on occasions but Kov is just so consistent.
2. The problems with the Xtrac transmission and hydraulics have hampered progress with all the cars.
3. Chandock and di Grassi have not received the recognition they deserve.
4. The Lotus has been the better car this season, but it’s marginal. Despite the prophets of doom predicting that VR and its CFD approach would fail the VR-01 has remained in the mix with the T127.
5. Lotus quali and race strategy has been better than VR and HRT.
I’d also be interested to see an objective view of relative performance. It seemed (and this is just an impression) that the new teams were closing on the back of the pack but not improving against the front. If so, that would indicate that the gap is being affected by problems at Force India and Toro Rosso rather than progress in general.