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

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?â??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

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

  1. James said on 28th May 2010, 11:19

    Impressive to see that Lotus are now only within a second of the Williams and Toro Rosso cars. Very good effort by Mike Gascoyne and the team. Virgin appear to have gone backwards and why on Earth have Hispania got Sakon Yamomoto in their car? Klien would have been better, unless his fee is too high…

    At the top end of the pecking order, fairly standard mix. Would seem that Mercedes are making baby steps forwards all the time, although I expect it to be a Red Bull 1-2 tomorrow afternoon.

    • Michael said on 28th May 2010, 11:40

      mclaren will be the fastest cars on that weekend i think

    • Sush Meerkat said on 28th May 2010, 13:43

      Virgin have gone backwards because they can now put the correct amount of fuel in the car, they were running light at the start of the year.

      They are also going way over their heads in terms of development, Lotus have gone with tried and tested methods while Virgin have gone the crazy diffuser Fduct combo.

      Which is silly when the base car can barely finish a GP.

      • fyujj said on 28th May 2010, 14:22

        You got quite a few things wrong in your comment:
        – they were running HEAVIER at the start of the season due to the fuel pick-up issue.
        – they don’t have an F-duct, just a shark fin.

        And a general mistake is to put emphasis on lap times at the first Friday practice. Practice times should be looked upon as a whole since the teams schedules are different.
        For the first poster: just look how Lotus runs close to Williams at the practices and then compare with how far they are at the qualifying. It’s because Williams runs its engine in a lmited mode so they won’t get worn too fast.

  2. PeterG said on 28th May 2010, 11:27

    There is nothing to say about these times. As in my prediction I think the cars will be 2 seconds faster tomorrow.

  3. Another congratulations needed to the Lotus team. They’re literally right on the back of the Rosso’s/Williams’. That’s a fine effort.

    Also, a shout out to Kobayashi, some decent pace there.

  4. curedcat said on 28th May 2010, 11:43

    I always chuckle at this out of line headlines “vettel’s late laps reveals *******’* potentials ”

    typical of every press man to over hype little details ,for heavens’s sake this is practice

    tyres have been cleverly analysed but what about fuel loads ?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th May 2010, 11:46

      typical of every press man to over hype little details ,for heavens’s sake this is practice

      I’m well aware of that, indeed I said as much in the article.

    • Patrickl said on 28th May 2010, 12:06

      I think Keith is actually saying that you can’t read too much into practice.

      Most other “press men” will go with “Hamilton dominates practice”. Instead Keith’s analysis shows that you can’t just take the times at face value.

  5. Marc Connell said on 28th May 2010, 11:46

    I think lotus will get some points this year :) maybe this weekend!

  6. M0tion said on 28th May 2010, 12:04

    It all looks pretty tight, those with tricks up their sleave they must be playing their cards carefully for it all to come together so closely. I think Hamilton’s time is a nothing too compared to the other runs.

  7. curedcat said on 28th May 2010, 12:10

    keith could you please post hamilton’s time on lap 25 ,can you? of course you can’t because you don’t have it , lets compare hamilton / alonso/vettels/webbers’ times on laps 25 after similar runs and similar fuel before speculating about potentials . if you don’t have these criteria then the headline is just an headline and has nothing to do with what’s in the story itself .

    I am just always a bit irritated with the way stories are reported .

    • Terry Fabulous said on 28th May 2010, 12:59

      Hi Curedcut

      Relax man! Lewis didn’t even DO 25 laps, he only did 20.

      KC is making a fair point, its not hype at all. Lewis and Jenson both set their hot times on their 6th or 7th lap, Seb did his on old tyres at the end of a long run.

      The guy knows more about F1 then you or I and doesn’t deserve to get second guessed!

    • TommyC said on 28th May 2010, 13:01

      i think you need your own website. then you can do your own analysis. keith’s done an absolutely fantastic job. remember he’s only had 2-3 hours between sessions to publish this. and yes, vettel is showing great potential. i suspect the weekend will follow much the same trend as most races we’ve seen this year where mclaren looks speedy on friday but then get absolutely blown away in qualifying. i think keith is 100% correct

    • Patrickl said on 28th May 2010, 14:41

      Did you miss the interactive chart?

  8. Lachie said on 28th May 2010, 12:35

    Those foolish Red Bull fools! Here we all were thinking McLaren had caught up and Red Bull were lagging. And their sandbagging would have worked too if it wasn’t for those pesky kids….. well one pesky German kid. Just couldn’t keep a lid on it!

    • Patrickl said on 28th May 2010, 14:43

      Which German kid? Vettel? He was 1.2 seconds behind with Webber 2 tenths behond him. Hardly like he alone blew the “cover”.

      • Lachie said on 28th May 2010, 15:11

        I was sorta being facetious :)

        Though I do fully expect a Red Bull front row based on evidence from past practices.

  9. BreezyRacer said on 28th May 2010, 13:02

    Thanks for the really nice chart. Very good to study with ..

  10. the Sri Lankan said on 29th May 2010, 1:32

    i really think that this will be another red-bull walk-over

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