The underlying race pace of the cars has been calculated for the Korean Grand Prix using the intelligentF1 model. The new graphical representation of the underlying pace is shown below:
The first thing that stands out is that some cars are faster on the option tyres, and some on the prime tyres, but in all cases the difference is not large. Vettel is much slower on the primes, but given the fastest lap he recorded on the last lap, we can be pretty safe in assuming he had plenty in hand. The largest differences in tyre performance between prime and option compounds came from Ferrari and HRT (primes faster), and McLaren and Mercedes (options faster – based on Rosberg).
Alonso comes out the same speed as Massa, although Massa was slower in the final stint. In fact Rosberg and Alguersuari are both faster than the Ferraris on the option tyre, which is surprising. Petrov, Alguersuari, Ricciardo and Glock are significantly faster than their respective team mates.
I’ve also added a chart giving the pace deficit in percent from fastest pace (which is Vettel on option tyres in this race). This shows that the field spread was very small in Korea – with many of the cars inside 2% of the fastest car, and even Lotus inside 3%. This is much less than at some of the other races.