Just 0.009s in it between Webber and Vettel

Brazilian Grand Prix second practice analysis

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2010

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2010

There’s hardly anything to choose between the two Red Bull drivers in their battle for supremacy in Brazil.

Sebastian Vettel may have topped both sessions but Mark Webber’s faster sector times put him ahead by just nine thousandths of a second around a 4.3km lap of Interlagos.

Closest rivals Ferrari showed their hand in the second session but were over three tenths of a second slower than the RB6s.

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

The two Red Bull drivers were fastest in first and second practice on Friday at Interlagos.

But although Sebastian Vettel headed both timed sessions, Mark Webber has got the pace to challenge for pole position.

At Korea Vettel took pole position by less than a tenth of a second. Today just 0.009s separated their best ‘ultimate laps’ of the Interlagos track (see below).

Ferrari showed their hand in second practice. Interestingly, Felipe Massa was faster than Fernando Alonso up until his clutch problem halfway through the session.

But McLaren looked out of sorts, Jenson Button complaining about poor rear grip and ending the session 1.2s slower than Vettel. Lewis Hamilton fared slightly better but was still well off the pace.

These three cars look more closely matched on race pace. The front runners’ lap times much more closely matched at the end of the session when they were running higher fuel loads (zoom in to the last 12 minutes’ of the session on the chart above to see).

The super-soft tyre appears to give its best on its first lap – few drivers found an improvement on a later lap. An exception was Alonso, but that could be related to the timing of the yellow flags following Massa’s stoppage.

However with rain expected to fall ahead of final practice and qualifying tomorrow, the grid for Sunday’s race may yet become even harder to predict.

As ever, it’s hard to guess exactly what fuel levels the teams will have been using in this session and a true picture won’t emerge until qualifying.

One driver who was particularly happy with his performance is Nick Heidfeld:

I am quite satisfied because I didn?t expect us to be that strong here, and the lap time isn?t on the edge yet. The long runs were even better than eighth fastest. I feel here I made a step forward with the set up of the car.
Nick Heidfeld

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Lap At time Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’11.968 17 73 28
2 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’12.072 0.104 16 64 34
3 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’12.328 0.360 23 70 36
4 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’12.656 0.688 21 68 33
5 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’12.677 0.709 18 63 18
6 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’12.882 0.914 20 64 37
7 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’13.206 1.238 21 68 33
8 22 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’13.222 1.254 23 59 40
9 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’13.333 1.365 23 80 34
10 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’13.346 1.378 22 70 36
11 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’13.520 1.552 24 71 37
12 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’13.610 1.642 22 61 41
13 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’13.725 1.757 20 64 39
14 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’13.741 1.773 20 68 32
15 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’13.818 1.850 11 52 26
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’14.045 2.077 22 63 37
17 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’14.304 2.336 16 63 33
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’14.578 2.610 14 47 37
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’14.984 3.016 21 53 47
20 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’15.101 3.133 13 48 43
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’15.433 3.465 28 76 35
22 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’16.070 4.102 25 59 42
23 20 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1’16.082 4.114 23 60 38
24 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’16.150 4.182 26 73 35

Ultimate laps

An ultimate lap is a drivers’ best three times in each sector added together.

Pos. Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’11.955 0.117
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’11.964 0.009 0.004
3 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’12.328 0.373 0.000
4 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’12.600 0.645 0.056
5 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’12.663 0.708 0.219
6 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’12.677 0.722 0.000
7 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’13.115 1.160 0.091
8 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’13.138 1.183 0.208
9 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’13.148 1.193 0.185
10 22 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’13.152 1.197 0.070
11 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’13.412 1.457 0.108
12 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’13.485 1.530 0.240
13 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’13.610 1.655 0.000
14 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’13.651 1.696 0.090
15 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’13.754 1.799 0.291
16 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’13.768 1.813 0.050
17 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’14.082 2.127 0.222
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’14.187 2.232 0.391
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’14.966 3.011 0.018
20 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’15.101 3.146 0.000
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’15.336 3.381 0.097
22 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’15.971 4.016 0.099
23 20 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1’16.033 4.078 0.049
24 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’16.042 4.087 0.108

2010 Brazilian Grand Prix

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47 comments on Just 0.009s in it between Webber and Vettel

  1. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 6th November 2010, 9:27

    Mark has had tough career and proved in the last few years that with a decent car he can deliver, he comments are honest and the media puts there own swings on things. As I stated earlier, Incredulous should win comment of the year as his words explain it all. Helmut Marko controls the strings attached to Christian Horner who in effect runs the team. Helmut himself shouldn’t even be in the pits, yet he is at most races, making sure Vettel is looked after. As much as Horner is team principal it seems he only controls the staff, not the teams decisions.
    Nothing against Vettel he is great talent, but the favoritism is blantantly obvious???

  2. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 6th November 2010, 9:28

    I just hope to God McLaren don’t persist with their “best of all worlds” policy and crank up the downforce on their car. Yes it will nullify their speed advantage on the straights but even at Interlagos the corners matter more. And with the possibility of rain coming but a dry race, higher downforce will help them through qualifying.

  3. Look at webbers achievements before F1. And what vettel has. Vettel is much more talented as webber. He is still young. He will be WC in a few years.

    Respect for every F1 driver.

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