But things are rarely as simple as that, and I spent a long time after the race discussing the events of a race that, in the end, covered just three laps more than the six hour WEC race last August.
But the most significant aspect of the weekend, to my mind, was the fact that the works Audis pitted after just 22 laps of the race. Thereafter, the longest Audi stint was 25 laps, but this was only achieved when laps completed under “Full Course Yellow” conditions (and rain) slowed the pace dramatically - generally, the ‘standard’ Audi stint was 24 laps.
This compares to last year’s race, in which the Audi R18 could manage 28 or 29 laps on its 58 litres of diesel. Indeed, a comparison of the amount of fuel used by the winning Audi last year and this year’s winner shows that McNish, Duval and Kristensen used 22% more fuel this year than Tréluyer, Fässler and Lotterer did to win last year's race.
When Allan McNish was asked about this during the race, he explained: “More downforce equals more drag equals more fuel,” which sounds reasonable enough, given the new aero package on this year’s R18 e-tron quattro, but even so, the amount of extra fuel used is still somewhat astonishing (and came as a surprise even to Toyota).
An analysis of the fastest 50 laps achieved by the two Audis reveals that the average lap time improved by nearly two seconds, compared to last year, an indication that the 2013 car is an improvement over last year’s model. This contrasts with Sebring, where the 2012 car actually beat the new car in a straight fight.
However, the fact that a front driveshaft failed on the number 1 Audi, and it was still able to finish a few yards behind the winner, indicates that the hybrid system, while improved (we are told) from last year, still does not contribute very much to the performance of the V6 turbodiesel internal combustion engine. This surely must be the aspect that Audi has to improve if it is to stand any chance of continuing its winning ways once the 2013 revision of the Toyota TS030 Hybrid appears at Spa.
And what any of this means for the low-downforce requirements of the 24-hour race at Le Mans is another matter altogether.