Vettel’s late lap reveals Red Bull’s potential (Practice one interactive chart)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Liuzzi's F-duct helped him to the second-fastest straight line speed
Liuzzi's F-duct helped him to the second-fastest straight line speed

McLaren grabbed the headlines with the fastest time in first practice at Turkey but there’s no missing the potential of Red Bull either.

Take a closer look at the data from first practice below.

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Tick/untick drivers’ names to show their laps, click and drag to zoom

The typical Friday pattern of little action early in the session was exaggerated as the Istanbul Park circuit sees little running outside of F1 weekends and so was particularly dirty.

That led most drivers to venture out even later than usual which is clear to see from the interactive chart above.

Lewis Hamilton put the best lap in on the fifth lap of a six-lap stint, impressively almost a second quicker than his team mate.

McLaren have tended to look good on Fridays this year, particularly as they’re chasing better performance in qualifying. This is the seventh time they’ve topped a Friday practice session this year.

The fastest Red Bull was Sebastian Vettel’s in fifth place, but look at when he set his best time for a clue to the RB6’s real potential here.

He set his fastest time on tyres that were 25 laps old (teams tend to use just one set of tyres in FP1). His sector two time, which includes the fast turn eight, was almost a match for Hamilton’s.

There was some encouragement for Force India with their trial of a new F-duct in practice. Vitantonio Liuzzi was the second fastest driver through the speed trap at 311.5kph.

The VJM03 seems to hare some of the low-drag characteristics of its predecessor, and of course it benefits from having the Mercedes engine. They may choose to trade off some of that top speed by running a little more downforce, making them quicker through the corners.

As ever it’s tempting to read too much into these early times but the second practice session coming up shortly should give us more of an insight.

Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Lap At time Laps
1 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’28.653 7 54 20
2 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’29.615 0.962 6 53 21
3 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’29.750 1.097 19 80 24
4 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’29.855 1.202 12 68 25
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’29.867 1.214 25 85 30
6 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’30.061 1.408 18 78 23
7 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’30.065 1.412 10 57 24
8 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’30.097 1.444 9 54 26
9 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’30.294 1.641 10 62 20
10 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’30.501 1.848 15 85 16
11 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’30.615 1.962 9 54 20
12 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’30.853 2.200 15 84 21
13 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’30.867 2.214 7 52 22
14 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’31.011 2.358 12 65 24
15 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’31.238 2.585 7 56 18
16 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’31.355 2.702 8 51 23
17 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’31.464 2.811 12 74 19
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’31.735 3.082 14 61 27
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’32.161 3.508 8 42 24
20 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’32.990 4.337 7 40 23
21 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1’34.876 6.223 6 82 13
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’35.137 6.484 16 87 21
23 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’35.583 6.930 10 79 15
24 21 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’36.137 7.484 19 83 26

2010 Turkish Grand Prix

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