It don't see how that matters. Both drivers had the same tires and in a hot track the tires should have been up to temperature, so no heating issues should be expected. What is it now about the Bridgestones tires that made difficult for Kimi to show how much faster was than Massa in a hot track?
It's not only about the tire temp of a tire but also about the temp differential with the track itself and how the compound performs given this differential. A hard bridgestone compound will, traditionally, tend to suck at high track temps and this means less grip, which means the driver may not be able to generate the necessary friction to make the tire work - unless he's hard on the tire. And that's where the driving style comes into play. A softer bridgestone may not have the same problem (grip + tire warming).
So while the track temp may be +10C, the grip levels may be low (as a consequence of the higher temp), leading a "soft" driver outside the window because he's not stressing the tires enough.
This might not happen with a different brand or a softer bridgestone compound.
IMO, this is going further and further in the direction of Kimi needing a car with rails to be able to go fast, which I think it is a bit of a disservice to him. Wouldn't be easier to think than Massa was just as fast over one lap?
That wouldn't adequately explain the performance variations betweeen 2007+9 vs 2008.
The difference where? I am talking about Q2s, where they should be running all out in practically identical conditions.
I'm taking Q3 results because Q2 results are simply to be in the top-10, so they could be less than optimal if a driver believes they can get through with not doing a second attempt for example. Yes, fuel adjusted it's better, but it's too much waste of time in performing data analysis of this sort, when 2007 had the same qualify format (q2 no fuel / q3 fuel). So why would the performance be so different between Kimi/Massa in 2007 compared to 2008? It's not like in 2007 fuel didn't play a role.
You said that the problem was heating the tires. I said to take the hot tracks and see, in average, if that gave you a considerable difference in their laptimes in the three years they were together.
A sound plan but you also have to factor in the "bridgestones-that-slide-too-much-on-hot-track" effect. In the Michelin/Bridgestone era the gap in FP3 and Q was considerably narrowed (if Bridgestone runners were ahead in FP3) or extended (if Michelin runners were ahead in FP3) when track temps went up in Q.
And then you'd also have to account for the mid-season changes in 2008 to the car, which had a significant impact on how Kimi drives, which co-incides with the summer period which we are talking about. So in spring and autumn the car was more to Kimi's preference while in the summer period it had the developments that didn't really work for Kimi.
So when you compile the data (after spending a significant amount of time to do this), you end up with so many extra variables that isolating tire warming issues becomes problematic.
Assuming Kimi's driving style is the best, it would still have a very marginal effect compare to doing a clean lap, without errors, entering at the right speed and angle, applying brake, etc. IMO, saying Kimi is potentially better than X or Y or Z driver because he has an awesome driving style and that difference in performance is down to the level of peachiness is simply wrong.
It's more of a soft vs hard approach. The "best" label is only reserved for when drivers can actually pick their tires from a large variety of tires so that a soft driver can pick the soft tire and "kill it" performance wise.
Example: Barichello 2003. He does a test in the spring for new Bridgestone tires. He likes them and Bridgestone brings them for the next races in the summer. These tires were soft and Schumi was destroying them / couldn't race with them. Barichello was doing great but Schumi with the hard tire + his aggressive approach was slower than Bari with the soft tire + his softer approach. Schumi struggled for a couple of races, Ferrari spotted the "problem" and Bridgestone reverted to harder rubbers that suited Schumi. (hint: Nobody complained back then for Schumi not being a top driver because he had a problem adapting to the soft tires with which Barichello was performing much better)
If a driver can make a soft tire that gives like 0.5 - 0.7s/lap last for the race he's good. A hard driver which will be unable to drive the softer tire (because he's destroying it) will be at a significant handicap compared to him. Even if the style of the hard driver can "squeeze" another 2 tenths per lap from the harder tire due to abusing it, it'll still be problematic compared to the softer driver. The only way the hard driver can come on top is if the soft driver doesn't have access to soft tires. Otherwise the inefficiency of the hard style + hard tire combo will show.
As a rule of thumb, the optimum is to have the softest possible tyre that can last you for the race because that's the fastest approach. Lap time differences in going -1 softer compound are too big. A driver with clean lines who does not stress his tires much will then be able not only to qualify good (as the tires will be up to temp easily) but also do a great race.
In the pirelli era this clear-cut relation has become "weirder" by introducing tires that were on an accelerating degradation curve, thus confusing teams with their strategies*. And now it's becoming even more weird due to the fact that the harder a tire is, the more it slides, thus having the potential to degrade faster. Recent tires have messed up the, otherwise, straightforward modus operandi of the teams. Lack of proper testing hasn't allowed the teams to understand their issues either.
* With hindsight, Kimi should run more sets of soft tires instead of mediums in China. The mediums didn't work except for a couple laps. The gains of having a faster compound that actually works would negate the extra pitstop. However that was impossible to know without Kimi doing long runs in Friday and taking Alonso's data as the optimal for Kimi's strategy (didn't work).
Edited by Alexandros, 24 April 2014 - 09:07.