McLaren half a second off Red Bull

Brazilian Grand Prix first practice analysis

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Interlagos, 2010

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Interlagos, 2010

The first practice session in Brazil brought few surprises. Red Bull look fast, with a healthy half-a-second advantage over McLaren.

Ferrari kept a low profile in the first session as usual – there’s no way they’re really the best part of two seconds off the pace, even though Felipe Massa was complaining about understeer during the session.

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The gap between the two Red Bull drivers is eye-catching given they set them at similar times with a similar amount of tyre wear. And there’s no consolation for Mark Webber in the ultimate lap times (see below) either.

Once again, it seems Vettel has the upper hand, and at McLaren it was the same story for Lewis Hamilton.

As expected the McLarens are the fastest thing in a straight line, Jenson Button clocking 318.4kph through the speed trap.

But even so, the Red Bulls were quickest through every sector. Let me correct that: Sebastian Vettel was quickest through every sector.

Vettel’s 1’12.328 beat the best time seen in last year’s first practice by a tenth of a second.

But it remains to be seen how quick the cars will go when they switch to the super-soft tyre – which could have a significant bearing on strategy for the race.

A final note on today’s first practice session: Vitaly Petrov’s crash was reportedly caused by an F-duct problem and not driver error.

Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Lap At time Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’12.328 13 70 23
2 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’12.810 0.482 18 65 28
3 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’12.845 0.517 14 82 24
4 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’13.267 0.939 10 73 24
5 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’13.370 1.042 14 74 24
6 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’13.516 1.188 17 72 26
7 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’13.546 1.218 6 50 26
8 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’13.643 1.315 6 66 25
9 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’13.918 1.590 23 63 26
10 22 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’14.000 1.672 11 39 23
11 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’14.004 1.676 10 91 22
12 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’14.155 1.827 13 73 29
13 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’14.246 1.918 7 61 19
14 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’14.267 1.939 17 73 26
15 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’14.370 2.042 10 46 22
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’14.487 2.159 8 52 26
17 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’14.618 2.290 18 75 30
18 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’14.734 2.406 18 53 29
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’15.603 3.275 17 63 25
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’15.860 3.532 13 69 20
21 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’16.057 3.729 9 67 26
22 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’16.707 4.379 18 53 28
23 20 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1’16.839 4.511 15 47 18
24 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’17.360 5.032 25 89 30

Ultimate laps

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

Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’12.185 0.143
2 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’12.628 0.443 0.182
3 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’12.760 0.575 0.085
4 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’13.034 0.849 0.233
5 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’13.347 1.162 0.023
6 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’13.375 1.190 0.171
7 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’13.422 1.237 0.094
8 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’13.551 1.366 0.092
9 22 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’13.852 1.667 0.148
10 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’13.918 1.733 0.000
11 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’13.969 1.784 0.035
12 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’14.028 1.843 0.127
13 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’14.097 1.912 0.170
14 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’14.113 1.928 0.133
15 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’14.253 2.068 0.117
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’14.344 2.159 0.143
17 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’14.580 2.395 0.038
18 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’14.596 2.411 0.138
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’15.396 3.211 0.207
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’15.860 3.675 0.000
21 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’15.953 3.768 0.104
22 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’16.483 4.298 0.224
23 20 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1’16.578 4.393 0.261
24 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’17.232 5.047 0.128

2010 Brazilian Grand Prix

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41 comments on McLaren half a second off Red Bull

  1. CapeFear said on 6th November 2010, 0:10

    They need a brand new designer who thinks outside the box. Maybe they should look at how LMP1 cars are designed the exhaust system used on those cars are similar to the RB6

  2. 9ija4life said on 6th November 2010, 23:29

    Some engines may not last this cercuit. I wonder who’s?

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