Red Bull to the fore as McLaren vary set-ups (FP2 interactive data)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Monza, 2010

There may have been just five hundredths of a second between Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button’s lap times in second practice – but Hamilton’s car was almost 12kph faster in a straight line.

Encouragingly, the top three teams are very evenly matched – their best ultimate laps covered by just 0.076 seconds. Here’s the data from second practice.

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

McLaren conducted side-by-side tests of their steep and low rear wings in the second session and found they produced similar lap times – Lewis Hamilton just a few hundredths quicker than Jenson Button.

But the difference was clear to see in the speed trap. Hamilton was fourth-quickest, clocking 341.2kph, Button 21st, at 329.3kph.

The track was much hotter come the second session, surface temperature up from 21C into the high 30s. Teams began the session on the hard tyres before switching to the softs – and at that point McLaren’s 0.7s per lap advantage was overturned by Red Bull and Ferrari.

This was over half an hour after the McLaren drivers set their best laps, so it’s safe to assume the track was in a better condition by that time.

The McLaren drivers did go out on soft tyres but couldn’t find much of an improvement – whether that’s because the time wasn’t there or they had more fuel in remains to be seen.

Button said the pair may choose to go different ways on set-up for the race:

We have a lot of data to go through, so it will be a busy night tonight. But we?re pretty competitive with both packages, which is positive because it means the car is working efficiently. Our car is mechanically strong, so we just need to confirm what downforce level to run.

The team are very open to the decisions the drivers take, and Lewis and I will be able to choose the package that we feel is right for us ?ǣ but it won?t just be a driver decision, it will be made with our engineers and the team management.
Jenson Button

Ferrari may also have been trying difference aero parts on their two cars as Fernando Alonso’s best straight-line speed was 8.2kph faster than Felipe Massa’s.

Vettel set the fastest lap time but as he was only 17th fastest through the speed traps he may have to take a little more wing off to avoid being overtaken in the race. He admitted he’s wary of the competition:

McLaren is extremely quick and their cars went off a couple of times, so I don’t know if they had a clean afternoon. Ferrari was quick in the afternoon too, it will be tight.
Sebastian Vettel

It’s fair to say that more was expected from Renault and Force India – instead the midfield team that’s looking conspicuously strong at the moment is Williams.

The new teams are their customary second off the midfield. Virgin had some demon low-downforce kit on their car helping their drivers to the two fastest straight-line speeds in the second session.

Timo Glock was quickest of all, hitting, 345.9kph in the speed trap. But he thinks the set-up was a mistake:

We made an aero change, which was really low downforce and not the right way to go, so unfortunately we lost some time.
Timo Glock

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Lap At time Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’22.839 20 70 27
2 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’22.915 0.076 21 70 32
3 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’23.061 0.222 17 65 20
4 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’23.154 0.315 8 35 22
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’23.210 0.371 14 36 38
6 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’23.415 0.576 21 71 22
7 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’23.708 0.869 23 70 31
8 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’23.709 0.870 28 81 32
9 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’23.852 1.013 22 73 30
10 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’23.857 1.018 17 70 29
11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’24.181 1.342 23 63 35
12 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’24.380 1.541 21 62 36
13 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’24.407 1.568 14 46 21
14 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’24.448 1.609 14 52 29
15 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.517 1.678 14 34 35
16 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.547 1.708 25 76 32
17 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.785 1.946 10 17 31
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’25.106 2.267 19 53 23
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’26.204 3.365 21 61 38
20 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’26.306 3.467 20 50 41
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’26.631 3.792 26 83 31
22 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’26.676 3.837 24 93 25
23 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’29.498 6.659 3 6 5
24 21 Bruno Senna No time

Ultimate laps times

A driver’s ultimate lap is his three fastest sectors added together.

Pos. Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’22.839 0.000
2 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’22.876 0.037 0.278
3 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’22.915 0.076 0.000
4 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’22.925 0.086 0.136
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’23.070 0.231 0.140
6 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’23.315 0.476 0.100
7 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’23.653 0.814 0.056
8 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’23.708 0.869 0.000
9 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’23.780 0.941 0.072
10 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’23.821 0.982 0.036
11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’24.101 1.262 0.080
12 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.235 1.396 0.282
13 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’24.258 1.419 0.122
14 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’24.302 1.463 0.105
15 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’24.310 1.471 0.138
16 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.547 1.708 0.000
17 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.704 1.865 0.081
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.964 2.125 0.142
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’26.098 3.259 0.208
20 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’26.123 3.284 0.081
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’26.468 3.629 0.163
22 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’26.551 3.712 0.125
23 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’29.498 6.659 0.000

2010 Italian Grand Prix

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