Ray. Vettel's victory in the Torro Rosso was really not much different to the performances of the Force India's and Monza and Spa the following year. Given the right conditions a mid field car can be a front runner. The real trick is to make your car competitive for a whole season. Vettel made the most of his opportunity, but the opportunity was not of his making.
The conditions were not normal. Button also did that. In the same situation the evidence suggests that both along with a few others would do the same. Many drivers win in unfancied cars in abnormal circumstances. Johnny Herbert springs to mind
Now Kimi didnt win a race in a mid table car, does this mean Seb is better, smarter and faster than Kimi?
Although I agree that Vettel did a stunning job in the Torro Rosso one thing we all know we will never know is how another driver would do in the same car so I would appreciate if we didn't go down the road of this hoary old chestnut.
According to Martin Whitmarsh and all the pundits in F1, the McLaren MP4-26 was the fastest racing car at Spain-Monaco-Canada this year. So, do you think Hamilton made the most of "his opportunity" over those three consecutive races...an opportunity that was just as much as "his making" as Vettel's at Monza in 2008?
What about Hungary 2003? One thing I remember about Hungary 2003 is Michelin destroying Bridgestone, specifically Bridgestone's main team Ferrari. The Bridgestones were so poor at that circuit that Schumacher was lapped in the Ferrari. It prompted the purge of that spec Michelin tyre by FIA/Ferrari/Bridgestone.
Renault were a Michelin team and they were far from having the pace of a mid field car. That day they were just as good as the other two main Michelin cars of Williams and McLaren. The Renaults started well up. Pole and 6th. The two Renaults started ahead of both the McLarens in fact.
Compare that to the Ferrari F60 at Spa in 2009 and the Ferrari qualified 6th and 24th and at that stage of the season - with the F60's development fully frozen since late June - McLaren, RBR, Brawn, Toyota and BMW had superior packages. Indeed even Force India was faster at that stage on those fast circuits of Spa/Monza than the Ferrari.
Big difference between the 2003 Hungaroring Renault on competitive Michelins and the 2009 Spa Ferrari on control Bridgestones.
Ferrari wasn't a midfield team in 2009, stop kidding yourself. Qualifying 6th hardly counts as 'midfield' and the other Ferrari only qualified 24th because Badoer was driving it, and he couldn't drive that car any better than my cat could. It wasn't the best car on the grid but it definitely wasn't a midfield car.
The Renault of the Summer of 2003 was hardly 'mid field'. It was a Top 4 car all year and on that day it was the fastest or 2nd fastest Michelin car ... and Michelins were the dominant tyre to have at Hungaroring..
Although Ferrari were not a mid field "team", The Ferrari of the Autumn of 2009 was a mid field car...it was no longer being developed. McLaren, RBR, Brawn, Toyota, BMW and Force India were all faster at that stage on faster circuits. Tester Badoer qualified it 24th at Spa and was a poor substitute...but Fisichella qualified it at the bottom of the pack in the 5 races following his Pole that weekend for Force India. So Fisi - who finished a very close 2nd at Belgium that day - could not do much better than Badoer with that car in the remaining handful of races of 2009.
The Toro Rosso and the Red Bull of 2008 - effectively the same car but with two different customer engines - was most definitely a mid field car. There's little doubt about that.