Download the NewsOnF1.com
Comparing qualifying results from Melbourne to Sepang showed 7 of the 11 teams reverse their driver's relative grid positions.
Who are the Alpha Males in the pack? M Schumacher (despite Melbourne), that's a given. Analysis of the comparative gaps in qualifying over the first two rounds shows an interesting situation. Those players that, at first thought, are the team leaders haven't delivered the goods. Fisichella has convincingly out qualified Sato. Salo has beaten McNish. No other lead driver has asserted any real dominance over his team mate. Trulli, a brilliant qualifier, holds an average advantage of just 100th of a second over Button. Only three drivers achieved an average advantage over their second driver of more than 0.4 seconds. Fisichella (even discounting Sato's Melbourne time) and Salo have asserted themselves. Coulthard has been given the wake-up call by the junior burger Flying Finn (mark II), he better answer it pretty quickly if he doesn't want to become the near-rookies number two.
Discounting the Sato Melbourne result the greatest differential between drivers comes not at the front or middle of the pack, but at the tail end. The most significant qualifying performer this year has been Mark Webber! Where both drivers have qualified within the 107% range only Webber has averaged more than 1 second advantage over his team mate. Given the hype of the Frentzen's and Heidfeld's etc, both quality drivers not withstanding, it is a little surprising that they have been unable to convincingly outpace their less experienced partners.
And the Also Ran award goes to: Eddie Irvine
Your a legend in your own mind, you are the PR king of the circus, damn shame your cars so slow. Its also a shame that your opponent just shuts up and gets the job done with what he has. Ahh well, what's 0.85 seconds between team mates.
Introducing Eddie Irvine, Malaysian GP 'Also Ran' winner.
1. Mika Salo, 2. Nick Heidfeld, 3. Pedro de la Rosa
Want to send a comment to the Quali-flyer ? Click here
QualiPoints are awarded in the same way points are awarded to the top 6 drivers in a race. (i.e. 10, 6, 4, 3, 2,1)