|© AP Photo/John Donegan
Red Bull may have claimed a dominant pole position and Lotus may have clinched the win, but it was Ferrari that was the quickest car at the Australian Grand Prix according to Ross Brawn.
Fernando Alonso finished second in Melbourne while teammate Felipe Massa was just outside the podium in fourth but that hasn’t deterred the observations of the Mercedes team principal.
"If Ferrari had opted for a two-stop race (instead of three), they would have won," Brawn told Auto Motor und Sport. "Ferrari clearly had the best race pace if you take the average of all the lap times without traffic... it was the fastest car in the field."
An analysis on the BBC website - with complex calculations - validated the Briton’s assessment of the scarlet cars being the quickest overall Down Under.
However Gary Anderson, a former Formula 1 car designer and currently a BBC technical analyst, added that the different strategies employed by Lotus and Ferrari meant that the overall picture was a bit skewed.
“Doing one more stop would have meant that Alonso could abuse his tyres more, so the difference in pace should really be bigger than it is when you consider the tyre degradation that (race winner Kimi) Raikkonen should have suffered with his two-stop strategy,” Anderson argued.
Anderson believed that the Finn would have emerged victorious no matter what.
Alonso conceded that the Italian team could have done nothing to trump over Lotus' pace in Australia although the double world champion saw a glimmer of hope ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
"They had a very clean race with no traffic, with very good strategy," he said. "But the pace was nothing out of reach, so here we can fight a little bit closer."