^ Love it!
I disagree that they are “that far” ahead.
In Melbourne Q3 Hamilton’s KERS went, about halfway around the lap I think. Whitmarsh said it cost him half a second, I think closer to 0.3-0.4s personally. So the gap was really 3 or 4 tenths to a car that had very little testing.
In Malaysia the advantage was virtually nothing, 0.104s
The gap was back up to 0.715s on Saturday, but you get the impression from Button that he didn’t try his hardest and they were happy to accept 2nd and 3rd instead of wasting tyres to still be 0.3s behind again.
And this is qualifying pace which always magnifies the performance gap. In all 3 races Mclaren were easily in range of Red Bull’s pace. People said after the first two races that Vettel was holding back, yet if he had been pushing his tyres would have gone earlier and probably made his race pace much the same. What’s more, in those two races he “allowed” Hamilton to close up to him and had he had the dodgy stops instead of Hamilton it would have relegated him to 2nd – that doesn’t sound very smart or plausible to me.
And yesterday, you can say bout the tyres, but he was the only one to lose out to Hamilton and Massa finished where he started which would indicate the strategy was actually pretty decent. If you imagine Webber had not finished the race, the top 7 from qualifying wpuld have been the top 7 in the race, just jumbled up a little.
Red Bull have the luxury all teams do with fairly stable rules: if you’re ahead, you just need to improve a little bit each time and you will keep ahead. the problem is McLaren have their own radical approach that cannot be copied due to homologation rules. If McLaren have found the same speed through a different approach, it could be the end of their dominance and relegate them “merely” to being the fastest.