Atlas F1 is going to keep an eye on the battle between team mates throughout the season by race and overall averages (again). The measurement is simple. We compare the intra-team difference in seconds on Saturday. Some may say compensation must be given in the favouritism between the number one and two seats within the team. We, on the other hand, do not grant that pardon. For better or worse, our analyses will be on the perfect world of egalitarian status in intra-team rivalry.
With five qualifying sessions completed for 1999, the differentials are on a roll. Let's see which drivers deserve bragging rights.
- Zonta. To some extent, Ricardo Zonta should be given a gold star for his weekend's work at Montreal. Having not driven since April, along with no experience whatsoever on the Canadian track, would have been valid reasons for Zonta to be outclassed by teammate Jacques Villeneuve, much in the same way that he was in Australia, where Villeneuve outqualified Zonta by over 1.5 seconds. However, the young Brazilian impressively placed himself a mere 0.165s behind Villeneuve. Ok, so one could argue that maybe this is due to a poor performance on the Canadian's side, rather than a good performance on the Brazilian's - but we'll give them both the benefit of the doubt.
- The Arrows Pair. Tora Takagi must have read the previous Qualifying Differentials, after the Spanish Grand Prix, and decided to do something about his equation with teammate Pedro de la Rosa. After the two have evened out, Takagi now opens a significant gap from the Spaniard, having outqualified him by almost a second. Pedro - we're awaiting your serve now.
- Zanardi. Are we seeing Zanardi's luck slowly changing? If it is, then slow is definitely the right word for it. Nonetheless, it cannot be overlooked that the reigning CART champion is catching up on his teammate, Ralf Schumacher, at least where qualifying is concerned. A mere 0.005s separated the two in Canada, so it might not be far fetched to hope that Zanardi is settling down back in Formula One.
The average gap between teammates has slightly increased this weekend, to 0.588. This, compared with Spain's average of 0.471sec; 0.671sec in Monaco; 0.601sec in San Marino; 0.446sec in Brazil; and 0.922sec in Australia.