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)

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