Ferrari & Red Bull lead the way (German GP practice two interactive data)

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2010

Red Bull and Ferrari look very closely matched after the second practice session at the Hockenheimring – Sebastian Vettel described the red cars as “extremely competitive”.

But question marks remain over McLaren’s pace following a disrupted session, with the team yet to decide whether they will run their new exhaust-blown diffuser during the rest of the weekend.

Update: McLaren will use their blown diffuser for the rest of the weekend.

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

The second session was largely dry – the track was damp to begin with and a light shower fell around half an hour into the session which is reflected in a rise in the lap times in the graph above.

Comparing the ultimate lap times for both Ferrari and Red Bull drivers (see below) puts the gap covering all four of them at just 0.107 seconds.

Based on today’s times, with unknown fuel loads, the two cars seem quite evenly matched around the Hockenheimring.

On the face of it McLaren appear to be struggling. But the shape of their session was determined by Lewis Hamilton missing all but the last ten minutes of it as the team repaired his car following his crash in first practice.

That left Jenson Button to shoulder the bulk of the workload and he ran a 19-lap stint at the end of the session. He suffered no apparent problems with tyre degradation – his best lap time at the end of the stint was 1.3s faster than that at the start of it.

Hamilton vaulted up to seventh with his final lap. Curiously, he was 16th fastest in the first sector, fastest of all in the middle sector, then 14th fastest in the final sector.

It remains to be seen whether the exhaust-blown diffuser will stay on the MP4-25. Button’s complaints of rear-end instability in the first session could be another indication he’s not yet happy with it, as was the case in Silverstone.

McLaren’s pace notwithstanding, Mercedes look to be solidly the best of the rest, with Renault needing to make some progress with their set-up overnight to challenge them. Robert Kubica said the car felt “strange”:

The super-soft compound actually performed quite well, possibly helped by the low temperatures, but it was more difficult to judge the hard compound because the track was still a bit damp when I ran with it.

In terms of the balance, the car felt a little bit strange today, so we will investigate to find out what the cause might have been, and we will be hoping for more stable conditions tomorrow.
Robert Kubica

Further down the grid, Timo Glock was encouraged by the form of his Virgin as he came out on top among the new teams:

This afternoon, we improved the car some more to end the day ahead of Lotus as the best of the new teams and within 0.2sec of Toro Rosso. History has shown that we are strong at improving the car from Friday to Saturday and so I think we have a lot more to look forward to yet this weekend.

It feels like the latest updates have given us another positive step forward for sure, so I?m optimistic about a good performance in front of my home crowd.
Timo Glock

All the teams will have been relieved to get some data on how the two dry-weather compounds perform after early forecasts suggested the entire day’s running would be rain-affected. Bridgestone’s director of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima explained what they discovered:

This afternoon we saw graining of all types on the super soft tyres, on the front and the rear. Interestingly, the front graining did not affect lap time so much today for some drivers. The hard tyre proved very durable, and warm-up was not as challenging as it could have been.
Hirohide Hamashima

But with more rain expected tomorrow and the possibility of a drier, warmer race on Sunday, there’s still plenty that could catch them out this weekend.

Drivers’ fastest laps

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Lap At time Laps
1 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’16.265 16 54 35
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’16.294 0.029 13 60 26
3 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’16.438 0.173 20 58 37
4 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’16.585 0.320 17 45 39
5 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’16.827 0.562 16 63 32
6 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’16.971 0.706 12 56 20
7 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.004 0.739 9 92 9
8 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’17.009 0.744 25 63 37
9 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’17.056 0.791 18 56 37
10 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’17.204 0.939 25 59 44
11 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.336 1.071 43 92 44
12 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’17.547 1.282 17 52 35
13 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.573 1.308 26 68 39
14 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’17.701 1.436 18 49 38
15 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.739 1.474 14 47 36
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’17.871 1.606 16 47 33
17 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’18.147 1.882 26 54 45
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’19.327 3.062 23 46 48
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’19.553 3.288 29 92 30
20 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’20.008 3.743 33 85 33
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’20.106 3.841 24 77 31
22 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’20.377 4.112 26 71 37
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’21.988 5.723 14 39 37
24 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’23.066 6.801 18 43 37

Drivers’ ultimate laps

Pos. Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’16.220 0.045
2 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’16.224 0.004 0.361
3 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’16.294 0.074 0.000
4 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’16.327 0.107 0.111
5 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’16.770 0.550 0.201
6 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’16.796 0.576 0.031
7 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’16.880 0.660 0.129
8 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’16.932 0.712 0.124
9 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.004 0.784 0.000
10 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.176 0.956 0.160
11 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’17.204 0.984 0.000
12 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’17.305 1.085 0.396
13 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.526 1.306 0.047
14 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’17.537 1.317 0.010
15 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.608 1.388 0.131
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’17.794 1.574 0.077
17 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’18.118 1.898 0.029
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’19.273 3.053 0.054
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’19.387 3.167 0.166
20 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’19.668 3.448 0.340
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’20.106 3.886 0.000
22 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’20.217 3.997 0.160
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’21.053 4.833 0.935
24 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’22.712 6.492 0.354

2010 German Grand Prix

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39 comments on Ferrari & Red Bull lead the way (German GP practice two interactive data)

  1. Cacarella said on 23rd July 2010, 16:56

    Very Interesting, the position of the two Mercedes cars
    compared to Renault on the ‘Ultimate’ lap.

    • Victor. said on 23rd July 2010, 16:58

      Why? They’re pretty much in the same positions relative to the Renaults as on their fastest laps…

  2. David BR said on 23rd July 2010, 17:35

    If Button is unhappy with the blown diffuser, McLaren should split their options this time and let Hamilton run it. The issue at Silverstone – why they dropped it from both cars – seemed to be the risk of a DNF from overheating, which has apparently been solved. As long as both drivers are happy with their choice, can’t see any real problem in letting them go different ways.

    • US_Peter said on 23rd July 2010, 20:41

      I think Whitmarsh said they’d do that if the drivers wanted it. They’ll have to decide tonight though as the change takes more time than they have between P3 and quali…

    • miguelF1O (@) said on 23rd July 2010, 21:32

      i bet that on sunday will be 32ºc anyway im not seeing mclaren jeopordizing points for the champ i tottally support their decision and im very impressed with ferraris pace and karun chandoks expertise really professional and accurate no commetator bloopers making better job than croft davidson finally someone that watches the same as the enthusiasts painfull accent apart good future to chandok.again this weekend we see redbull 1st and ferrari second which isnt very surprising it has been the same on the last 3 races

  3. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd July 2010, 17:37

    McLaren have said they will continue to run the blown diffuser this weekend.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 24th July 2010, 9:56

      It seems Button has been able to get to grips with it in FP2.

      Maybe the cooler weather helped a bit with the temperature issues as well. The car is water cooled in the back ;-)

  4. zecks said on 23rd July 2010, 17:37

    I reckon rosberg should make the top 5 this weekend to follow up he strong showing at silverstone

  5. Todfod said on 23rd July 2010, 18:32

    Judging by these charts, it seems like Ferrari have the pace to match Red Bull in qualifying and the race. I expect Mclaren to be pretty close as well. I really dont think Jenson’s lap times do justice to the competitiveness of the Mclaren. Hamilton will extract more from the car tomorrow.

    Im guessing another Q2 exit for our defending WDC tomorrow, with the Red Bulls and Alonso fighting for pole, just followed by Hamilton and Massa.

    • BBT said on 23rd July 2010, 18:41

      I don’t think you’ve consider the most relevant factors.

      Jenson was on a long run and Hamilton has’t run the softer tyre.

      Red Bull will be much quicker, the Ferrari pace was good but close to there limit, IMO.

      You can’t tell a thing from today.

      • Todfod said on 24th July 2010, 0:22

        I agree that reading too much into practice times could be deceptive. However, I’m assuming that different teams test similar fuel loads and tyre combinations, in practice sessions. By staring long enough at those charts, you make an educated guess. :)

        There is the occasional sand bagging, but most of the time it paints a pretty accurate picture.

  6. sumedh said on 23rd July 2010, 18:34

    So Lewis was fastest of all when the F-duct was required (sector 2) and was no better than 14th when the blown diffuser was required, sector 1 and 3. I think this might be a very amateur and blunt conclusion from just 1 lap. But the truth can’t be too far off from this.

    The blown diffuser is perhaps still causing some troubles for Mclaren, for sure. Hopefully they can iron out the flaws by Sunday, or pray for rain which will neutralize the performance advantage any team may have over the other.

    • DaveW said on 23rd July 2010, 20:26

      That was strange to see him so far down in S3. But, obviously the car was not “set up” for this ten lap run, other than by having by being fueled. So there is not much to know about the car’s characteristics or its speed. The fact that Hamilton can jump into a car that had been rebuilt minutes before, that has not been set up in the dry at all, that has never been run in a race, and go 7th within 10 minutes, is pretty strong. After setting up the car tomorrow morning, Hamilton could lay a shock on RBR. However, if they can’t find a new sweet spot in what appears to be knife-edge car, then it may be a disaster.

      Agree with Keith that Button provides questionable data about McLaren. If he is still having trouble with the EBD he needs to pull up his socks or he could find himself starting 7th or 8th tomorrow.

    • Alder said on 23rd July 2010, 21:15

      I wouldn’t read too much into the F-duct factor. Both Force India cars have recorded the highest speeds through the traps so far, & through sector 2 they are running 13th & 14th. Meanwhile, both Ferraris, Both Red Bulls, Kubica & Hamilton make up the top six through sector 2. Only Hamilton & Vettel are in the top six through the speed traps (3rd & 6th respectively) so I think it’s pretty obvious that sector 2 isn’t all about straight line speed & F-duct advantages. Besides, both Red Bull & Ferrari have been running their own versions of the F-duct for a couple races now.

      • John H said on 23rd July 2010, 23:10

        The speed traps do not really give an accurate picture in terms of how effective a decent f-duct is, because McLaren may be running more wing than the Force Indias anyway (hence why they have been quite quick at pointy tracks this season).

        This is why they were quicker than the red bulls in S3 of Turkey, even though through S2 and turn 8 they were much slower.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 24th July 2010, 9:57

      But Lewis was on the prime tyres, and they should make a big difference in sector 3, as well as maybe fuel load making some difference.

      I think Lewis will be close to the front again, Button might be as well, he did get quite a lot of running with the updated car.

  7. BreezyRacer said on 23rd July 2010, 18:34

    OK, I’m an idiot .. what’s the difference between fastest and ultimate laps?

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 23rd July 2010, 18:57

      ultimate laps are a combination of the fastest sectors for each driver, which are not necesarily those from the fastest lap of the session…

    • Patrickl said on 23rd July 2010, 19:32

      The ultimate lap tries to find the fastest possible lap, from the fastest sector times.

      This is a bit “unfair” too since drivers can change their setup and change the distribution of the sector times quite a lot.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd July 2010, 19:39

        I see your reasoning, but from the data I’ve seen that tends not to be the case. A driver’s best sectors are usually set in the same stint.

        I suspect it’s because they’re generally not making the kind of significant changes to their set-ups that mean they’re sacrificing performance in one area to gain it in another. They’re just fine-tuning a set-up that was decided on by simulation and experience before they’ve even left the factory.

        • US_Peter said on 23rd July 2010, 20:44

          … and in the case of Vettel it looks like his best lap WAS his ultimate lap. Great job linking all his best sector times together! This is probably one of the main reasons he’s one of the best qualifiers on the grid.

          • David BR said on 23rd July 2010, 22:31

            Very true. Maybe it has something to do with his prior mental projection of the lap he’s going to do (apparently he runs through the lap with eyes closed, linking all the bits up in his mind, just before leaving the garage). And if so, maybe (wild speculation warning!) that also makes him more vulnerable during unpredictable race incidents, including at the grid start where he frequently seems to lose his composure. Massa seems a bit like this too.

  8. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 23rd July 2010, 18:59

    Felipe congratulated Sauber for its 40 years racing…

    Congrats to them if so! i didn’t know that they were celebrating that today…!

  9. Eddie Irvine said on 23rd July 2010, 19:51

    keep up the good work keith!

  10. Icthyes said on 23rd July 2010, 20:04

    I guess another way of looking at the situation is that with minimal running Hamilton was only 0.8 seconds off of the fastest time. I see no real cause for concern just yet.

    It will be interesting to see if Ferrari’s pace follows into Q1, too. If McLaren only have a podium at best this weekend, Red Bull still don’t want to be beat.

    • Icthyes said on 23rd July 2010, 20:07

      I guess Gravatar can’t tell that gmail = googlemail and I’ll have to change the settings…

      • qazuhb said on 24th July 2010, 1:14

        I am really tired of my old Gravatar but can’t figure out how to change it. Help would be greatly appreciated!

        • Just login to gravatar (or request a new password if you forgot it) and change it there.

          • qazuhb said on 24th July 2010, 14:23

            Thanks Enigma, I tried many times before but I couldn’t change it, now it seems there’s no problem. Just to show I’m an idiot I suppose…

  11. Younger Hamilton said on 23rd July 2010, 23:07

    ‘Ferrari & Red Bull lead the way’ i wouldnt say that i would say ‘set the pace’ instead of ‘lead the way’ McLaren are not out of the hunt this weekend,Lewis being 0.784 secs off the pace was due to him having limited running and the fact that he was on the prime tyre when he was popping in laps and Jenson being 1.4 secs off the pace was because he spent virtually all of the session focusing on race pace with heavy fuel loads,so Everyone here are your questions answer Alonso,Webber and Vettel are not taking the McLaren pace in friday practice seriously(Massa Maybe)

  12. F1Fan said on 24th July 2010, 1:33

    Should be a private affair between Alonso and Vettel. Why do I have this feeling that Nico is going to spring a podium surprise ?

  13. F1Fan said on 24th July 2010, 1:35

    Also, note the huge gap in sector-2 for the RBR. That’s where that looong wide turn is and that explains it. Ferrari seems a tad faster in sectors 1 & 3, just a tad. If the RBR doesn’t break down or damage its tires, Vettel should be able to win this, otherwise it will be Alonso.

  14. Mosh said on 24th July 2010, 1:59

    Did anybody notice Kobayashi’s long runs?
    Probably on low fuel, nevertheless the lap times are pretty impressive.

  15. Dev said on 24th July 2010, 3:03

    teams that made impression – Ferrari, Williams & Virgin.
    teams which struggled – McLaren, Force India & Toro Rosso.

    rest were pretty much were on their regular pace…

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