You have to go back to 2004, though, to discover the fastest F1 lap we have seen around the current configuration. That was in Q1 for qualifying that year when Takuma Sato delivered a 1m27.691s in his BAR-Honda.
Current team predictions, based on the various simulations they have run, vary from a time very close to Sato's record all the way to F1's 2020 machinery being up to two-seconds per lap faster.
BAR 006 side view
The comparisons between the two years give us a fascinating opportunity to look at how, despite what may be similar lap times, the machinery has changed completely.
So how does the most dominant driver and car combination of 2020, which is Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes, compare to the leading package back then of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari?
The Ferrari F2004 wielded by Schumacher took 15 wins in total, with 12 pole positions and 14 fastest laps from a 20 race season. The W11 already has 8 race wins, 10 pole positions and 6 fastest laps from just beyond the halfway point of a 17 race calendar.
Ferrari F2004 gearbox and rear wing assembly
The F2004 introduced a gearbox concept that utilised a titanium casing with a carbon skin, a feature that's now almost universally interwoven with the DNA of the designs seen today.
The now eight speed gearboxes generally feature a cassette-style design that allows it to be slotted within the casing, in order that if damage were to occur they can still complete seven grands prix without fear of picking up a grid penalty for having to change a gearbox. No such restraints existed in 2004 though and the gearbox, like the engine, merely had to last a race weekend.
The FIA had just banned pre-programmed downshifts controlled from a button in 2004 too, a feature that had meant drivers had to use the paddle shift on the steering wheel.
Launch control, which had become a feature, was also banned by the FIA meaning the driver had less software assistance off the one. However, in 2004, drivers still had more than the current drivers have, who have to manually find the bite point and release the clutch.
The F2004 was shod with grooved Bridgestone tyres that year, although Michelin also supplied some of their competitors too, which forced the two manufacturers to compete with one another for superiority.
Bridgestone also supplied Ferrari with its own specific compounds at each track, giving them a competitive advantage over the other teams supplied by the Japanese manufacturer.
In comparison we now have a single supplier who gives all the teams the same three compounds during a race weekend. For 2020, Pirelli has also taken control of the allocations too, giving every team the same tyre choice, whereas previously this was decided upon by the teams and drivers themselves.
As you can see, the F2004 and W11 designs could not be more dissimilar to one another, with each taking the technology and regulations of the time to the maximum.
But, with Sato's track record already etched in history, it will be interesting to see if the current batch of cars are quicker this weekend, especially as the weather could yet play its part too.