@freelittlebirds mate – he dominated F BMW, so that’s a factual error in your recap.
Also I think the methodology isn’t necessarily the best to compare “speed.” Qualifying would be a better measure of that. Take McLaren’s drivers in 2011, for example, and you’ll see what I mean about this point.
A somewhat-missing point is that on qualifying gaps IMO. For example (arbitrary numbers and example only, this is just to illustrate a point – ie I didn’t check to see if it really happened) if Vettel outqualified Liuzzi by a second, that in my book would be more impressive than outqualifying Liuzzi by 2 tenths.
4 VERY underrated issues when it comes to comparing drivers (in the speed column) are:
To be fair, to a certain point – setup doesn’t matter, because if you have Driver A constantly outpacing Driver B in equal machinery, it doesn’t matter whether that came from setup or driving – it just is!
Experience and suitability are almost hand in hand. Put an experienced driver and a rookie driver in the same car (one that both have never driven before) and his experience is guaranteed to give a bit of an edge. The rookie might have more “speed,” but it remains to be seen whether that is enough to counter the old head’s wisdom. And yes this is still on speed, and not racecraft.
Experience also counts in terms of the package. If you were to put two rookies into the same car at qualifying at Melbourne, but one did preseason testing and the other didn’t – I can guarantee you that the guy that did preseason will, 9 times out of 10, have the edge.
Suitability, look at Webber v Vettel 2009 – 2011. Characteristics of the 2009 and 2011 cars suited Vettel more, and some characteristics of the 2010 car brought Webber into the fold too.
Finally development. This is something a lot of people don’t think about. Different drivers (like people) mature at different rates. Some, in a way, never do. Di Resta beat Vettel in their F3 teammate year. That is a fact. But if you put them in those F3 cars again today, things might pan out differently.
IMO Vettel’s speed is not something that is of doubt. I’m not sure who tells you that his speed in F1 circles is in doubt – but whenever I am in the paddock everyone I talk to certainly doesn’t doubt his speed in the slightest.
I hope that the discussion in this thread can be conducted in a civil manner, and let’s keep fanboy drivel away from the thread.