Polished performance

Robert KubicaI’m going to spit some numbers at you and I hope you enjoy them. They are Robert Kubica’s lap times from the Malaysian Grand Prix, from lap 2 to lap 20, his first stint.

He’s a Polish BMW F1 driver, for those who don’t follow the sport, and he’s also one of the very best we’ve seen.

Here is a man who is absolutely at the top of his game. He is driving a very powerful and complicated car that’s getting lighter as the fuel is used up.

He has a million opportunities to make mistakes around the Malaysian track, but it doesn’t look like he’s making any. He’s just pushing as hard as the car will go, to the very limit of what’s possible, with unbelievable consistency and speed.

This is what F1 is all about – getting so much performance out of the car on every lap that it’s obvious he’s pushing it as hard as it will go, that it wouldn’t be physically capable of going any faster.

Here we go. Have a close look at them, look at the way his times drop as the car gets slightly lighter after each lap, look at the consistency measured in brief tenths and then know that we me mortals just aren’t capable of this kind of work.

I look at these numbers and I am utterly overawed. They are so evocative to me, they almost bring a tear to my eye. I said almost. This is just wonderful driving. Look closely, now. Enjoy…

1:38.763, 1:38.518, 1:38.197, 1:38.136, 1:37.828, 1:37.705, 1:37.569, 1:37.452, 1:36.989, 1:36.957, 1:36.841, 1:36.770, 1:36.700, 1:36.576, 1:36.709, 1:36.258, 1:36.200, 1:36.103, 1:36.239.

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