You really shouldn't praise the in-game planes when only testing against the AI. Everybody knows the AI in the game is a joke and has to rely on cheats such as no overheat, zero Gs, and player inexperience in order to actually pose any threat at all. I mean, I could say "P-40; holy shit" because I bring down 109Fs, 190 A6s, and fancy new Italian planes with it all the time...but we all know that it's not the best plane to grace the war.
B&Z is the safer and smarter way to fight. You are at much less risk because you have both the speed and altitude advantages; that means you can decide when the fight begins and when it ends because your opponent can't hope to catch you unless you were at a serious technological disadvantage in the first place; a Yak-3 is NOT going to catch a 109 that has altitude advantage and is running away in a shallow dive. I never enter into turn battles. It's stupid. That's why I prefer the LA-series and MiG-3; they are much better suited to B&Z than the Yak...especially the LA with its dual 20mm. Drop in, quick shot to the wing or engine, and you are finished. That's also why I generally hate American fighters (fucking anemic .50s) and why I think the German mentality in the design of their planes is generally superior. Unfortunately for them, they also had a bad habit of engineering to a fault and Hitler's shitty choices prevented them from having the resources necessary to sustain their precision-engineered equipment.
Also...it's a 1944 aircraft versus a 1937 one...and if we want to "play fair" and call out earliest versions, it's still a 1941 design versus a 1935 one. The Yak is an admirable aircraft, but it doesn't really deserve "God Plane" status, which you seem to be really liberal in doling out.