Alonso’s ultimate lap time reveals Ferrari’s true performance (FP2 analysis)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Singapore, 2010

The key question after second practice is how close would Fernando Alonso have been to the two Red Bulls if he hadn’t gone off during his first lap on super-soft tyres?

Combining their best sector times from the session shows there would have been very little in it.

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

Alonso’s ‘ultimate lap’ based on his best sector times was around four-tenths of a second shy of Vettel’s.

We can knock a few more tenths off in the expectation that Alonso would have found more time in the third sector.

However remember that Alonso did his soft-tyre lap later in session when the track would have been in better condition – and track evolution is especially pronounced on Singapore’s temporary street circuit.

The likelihood is that on the same tyres at the same time Alonso is still a couple of tenths off the Red Bull’s pace. But he’s certainly close enough to be competitive and remember the RB6’s race pace has never lived up to its one-lap qualifying speed.

The picture is far less rosy at McLaren. Jenson Button and Vettel were on-track on super-soft tyres at the same time (see the 50-53 minute mark on the interactive chart).

Vettel was almost eight-tenths of a second quicker. Button aborted his second effort after a slight mistake, but he was never going to find that amount of time.

And Red Bull aren’t in the habit of running their car light in practice. If anything they’ve tended to look better on Saturday than on Friday.

Despite the deficit, Lewis Hamilton reckons he still has the Red Bulls in sight:

The Red Bulls definitely aren?t unbeatable here. Okay, they?re very quick in the second and third sectors, so we?ll have to work hard to try to make up time there, but I?m pretty confident we can do it.
Lewis Hamilton

Here’s how their best sector times compared:

Team Sector one Sector two Sector three
Red Bull 29.005 41.423 36.192
Ferrari 28.957 41.599 36.51
McLaren 29.085 41.709 36.729

Mark Webber, meanwhile, insisted the team’s pace has not been compromised by the more stringent floor flexibility tests introduced after its dominant win in Hungary:

We knew nothing would change with our car before we came here; we?ve passed all the new FIA tests and we weren?t coming here expecting to be slower than we were in Budapest.

Other people had their ideas how to improve their car and we have continued to improve our car too. Ferrari still look quick and anyone can be on pole tomorrow, us, Ferrari or McLaren, we just keep trying to do our best.
Mark Webber

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Lap At time Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’46.660 14 57 29
2 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’47.287 0.627 18 64 27
3 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’47.690 1.030 13 50 28
4 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’47.718 1.058 15 50 19
5 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’47.818 1.158 17 59 28
6 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’48.302 1.642 16 51 30
7 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’48.341 1.681 19 68 28
8 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’48.679 2.019 12 51 26
9 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’48.855 2.195 10 34 15
10 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’48.889 2.229 14 53 31
11 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’49.153 2.493 14 47 32
12 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’49.438 2.778 23 67 30
13 22 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’49.558 2.898 15 63 25
14 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’49.608 2.948 14 49 30
15 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’49.896 3.236 13 35 28
16 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’49.984 3.324 6 16 10
17 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’50.191 3.531 7 19 31
18 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’50.896 4.236 7 16 35
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’51.878 5.218 16 61 30
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’52.150 5.490 14 54 22
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’53.431 6.771 21 84 25
22 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’53.526 6.866 24 89 27
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’54.725 8.065 15 61 27
24 20 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1’55.542 8.882 15 59 24

Ultimate laps

An ultimate lap is a drivers’ best three sector times added together:

Pos. Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’46.620 0.040
2 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’47.066 0.446 0.652
3 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’47.215 0.595 0.072
4 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’47.595 0.975 0.223
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’47.611 0.991 0.079
6 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’47.945 1.325 0.357
7 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’48.100 1.480 0.241
8 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’48.649 2.029 0.030
9 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’48.710 2.090 0.443
10 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’48.767 2.147 0.122
11 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’48.807 2.187 0.048
12 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’49.180 2.560 0.258
13 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’49.261 2.641 0.723
14 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’49.536 2.916 0.072
15 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’49.540 2.920 0.356
16 22 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’49.543 2.923 0.015
17 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’49.943 3.323 0.248
18 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’50.581 3.961 0.315
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’51.685 5.065 0.193
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’51.812 5.192 0.338
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’53.029 6.409 0.402
22 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’53.526 6.906 0.000
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’54.668 8.048 0.057
24 20 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1’55.218 8.598 0.324

2010 Singapore Grand Prix

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Images ?? Ferrari spa, Red Bull/Getty Images