Anyone who believes that the McLaren is half a second faster per lap than the Ferrari in race conditions needs to get their head checked. It's either that or the timing system the FIA use is bogus.
Buttons second stint on the options lasted 18 laps, from lap 19 - 37, and averaged 1:31.6 excluding out and in laps. He spent 5 laps behind Buemi and Kobayashi after which he was in clear air for the remaining 13 laps, on lap 28 he was 10 seconds behind Webber and 5 seconds behind Alonso. By the time he pitted for the second time the gap to Alonso had increased to some 15 seconds.
Alonso's third stint on the options lasted 15 laps, from lap 27 - 42, and averaged 1:30.5 excluding out and in laps. He spent the entire stint behind Webber who was on the slower primes at the time.
Should we compare Alonso's average lap time over the same period as Button's, lap 19 - 37, which includes 8 laps on used options and 8 laps on new ones excluding his in and out laps he averages 1:31.3
Now I know we are going hear that Button had to conserve his tyres because he was on a two stopper so here is some food for thought.
If driving conservatively loses you 1.1 seconds per lap on average to gain only 3 extra laps then McLaren better think again.
I know Hamilton was the faster of the McLaren drivers but unfortunately a reasonable comparison with him cannot be made because his bib broke and Alonso couldn't fully extend the F150 due to being held up by Petrov for 10 laps during his second stint as well as spending the entire third stint behind Webber on the slower tyres.[/quote]
Look at the first stint - from laps 6-12 Alonso was chasing down Massa and Button. He was a good few seconds behind them for most of this time and only entered their turbulent air around lap ten when his times dropped quite significantly. Here are Alonso's times for this section of the race versus Hamilton.
6 1:33.278 6 1:32.434
7 1:32.903 7 1:32.447
8 1:33.099 8 1:32.310
9 1:33.621 9 1:32.612
10 1:34.053 10 1:33.121
11 1:34.857 11 1:32.737
They don't tell us everything but they do tell us something and it is the most reasonable comparison you can make. It's a fair comparison because they were both in clean air, both on the same fuel load and the tyres had done the same number of laps.
Info of track position came from here:http://live.autosport.com/commentary.php/id/324
I should stress that I personally don't think that times tell the whole story and it would be possible to choose any number of lap times to show whatever you wanted. I do think that there is a significant pace difference between the two cars but likewise understand that others may not agree.