From early stage of the weekend in India the Red Bull looked by far the most nailed-on thing out there, just as it has everywhere in recent weeks, and that continued into today's qualifying session. And has also been the case in recent times Seb seemed to have the crucial edge on his team mate Mark Webber.
|Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull look dominant again|
Credit: Ryan Bayona / CC
Even better for Seb is that in addition to his stable mate he's got two McLarens lined up conveniently between him and his championship rival Fernando Alonso on tomorrow's grid. As promised, the Scuderia brought a few upgrades to India, and indeed they appear to have brought the red cars closer to the charging Bulls. But as yet it's not close enough, and Alonso admitted that fifth place on a Saturday is their par score right now.
Indeed, the grid is a model of predictability, the top six in a perfect Noah's Ark formation of two Red Bulls, two McLarens, two Ferraris. If prior to qualifying you'd been asked for a pecking order it probably wouldn't have been far off that. It's not quite formation dancing, but it appears pretty close.
And we're reminded with galling regularity that if there's any driver on the grid you'd select to win a race from pole to save your life then it's Seb. And while both McLaren and Ferrari appear to, relativity speaking, be much stronger on race pace than in qualifying, as we saw in Korea if you're at the front from the start it's a massive advantage as it allows you to control the race.
|Will tomorrow be another case of |
damage limitation for Fernando Alonso?
Credit: Ryan Bayona / CC
And a point of interest further back is that it's reckoned that one-stop strategies may just about be on for those prepared to chance it. The usual suspect in that regard, Sergio Perez, may have been a victim of his own success as he starts eighth and will have to start on the soft tyres he qualified on. But his team mate, Kamui Kobayashi, is down in P17 and thus may be tempted to try it (particularly given he needs a strong result pronto for his future), as might Bruno Senna and Nico Hulkenberg who appear a little out of position in midfield.
Yet all of this is likely to be a side show. In the title battle, races are running out and the momentum looks more and more set. Of course, no points have been handed out from India yet. But you'd be forgiven for expecting the latest in a line of Red Bull demonstration runs tomorrow.