Jerez test times show Red Bull are still ahead

2011 F1 testing

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Jerez, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Jerez, 2011

Reigning champions Red Bull were not fastest on any of the four days of testing at Jerez last week.

But the lap times from long runs during the test indicate the team have held on to their performance advantage over the winter.

Stint times

The following times are taken from day three of last week’s test. On Saturday the track was the warmest, consistently above 30C, and had been run on for two days, giving a good approximation of typical Grand Prix conditions.

Several teams including Red Bull and Ferrari ran long stints of around one-third of a race distance.

Here are the longest runs by the teams that did stints of at least ten laps:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Sebastian Vettel 81.999 89.51 87.721 82.877 82.852 82.892 82.866 82.939 83.048 83.569 82.947 83.226 83.523 83.424 83.45 96.007 84.003 83.902 84.324 85.19
Fernando Alonso 84.939 85.155 85.435 85.646 85.418 85.468 85.543 85.818 85.885 85.873 91.346 86.535 86.248 86.314 86.604 86.702 86.639 88.223 87.423
Michael Schumacher 84.49 84.432 84.696 84.83 85.247 85.292 85.505 85.819 88.795 85.158 85.35 85.682 85.779 86.27 86.712 86.672 87.234 87.728
Kamui Kobayashi 84.997 85.232 85.038 85.566 85.474 85.61 86.123 86.7 88.095 86.421 86.055 86.204 86.467 86.33 86.683 87.469 87.789 87.516
Rubens Barrichello 88.636 87.436 86.696 86.592 86.75 87.194 87.018 87.305 87.163 87.463 87.767
Jerome dAmbrosio 88.593 87.793 87.695 87.921 88.03 88.216 88.133 88.556 88.166 88.056 88.862 88.749 88.548 89.278 89.017 89.534 88.937 88.928 89.604

As we don’t know their fuel loads and what tyre compounds they were using, there’s a limit to the information we can glean from this.

It seems likely Red Bull were running lighter on these stints than their rivals. But even so their tyre management looked strong. On a shorter, 14-lap stint Sebastian Vettel’s times slowed by just 1.5 seconds.

Tyre performance started to drop off for all the cars around lap ten of their stint. The loss of performance was more severe for Sauber and Mercedes than Red Bull.

Ferrari also seemed to look after their tyres as well, given their likely heavier fuel load.

These teams had all run their cars in Valencia and were at a more advanced stage of testing their cars than McLaren with their MP4-26. Lewis Hamilton never did more than five consecutive laps all day, so it’s too soon to draw conclusions on the pace of that car.

Renault, too, did not do any long runs as Nick Heidfeld tested with them on Saturday.

Testing mileage

With seven of the 15 allotted days of pre-season testing completed, Ferrari have covered the most ground so far.

This table does not include laps done in separate ‘filming’ days, which many of the teams including Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Sauber and Lotus have all done.

HRT are the only team not to have run their new car so far.

Model Total laps Total distance (km)
Ferrari F150th Italia 774 3295.719
Red Bull RB7 652 2777.922
Mercedes W02 542 2313.684
Sauber C30 534 2274.03
Toro Rosso STR6 530 2260.971
Renault R31 521 2202.93
Williams FW33 511 2153.574
Force India VJM04 359 1549.467
McLaren MP4-25 291 1165.455
Lotus T128 252 1093.014
McLaren MP4-26 233 1031.724
Virgin MVR-02 216 956.448
Force India VJM03 210 841.05
HRT F110 188 752.94
Virgin VR-01 185 740.925

2011 F1 testing

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73 comments on Jerez test times show Red Bull are still ahead

  1. hmm will HRT ever run their new car?

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th February 2011, 13:42

    I was wondering about those slow laps during most of the longer stints.

    Most cars seemed to have something like that (Kobayashi and Schu in their 9th lap, Alonso in his 11th) where the times seemed to get a bit better and stabalize after this.
    Do you think this was done on purpose, to mend the tyres, or just coincidence interacting with other cars on track?

    • I think the answer is simple – the driver just slowed down deliberately, just to talk to the radio with the team. However, if there’s such a spike or drop, whatever you going to call it, in tires’ performance, that would make a lot of people angry. I just imagine Massa’s engineer cursing in the paddock.

  3. Gaston said on 16th February 2011, 13:54

    Just a little correction: it says “were not have been” ;)

    I am quite pleased by the results of this analysis. Go RBR.

  4. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 16th February 2011, 14:07

    Remarkable consistency from Vettel on laps 4 to 7…

  5. I wonder where McLaren are on this list. They had little running time with the MP4-26 as they were trying different exhaust systems etc. I hope they have not built another MP4-24!! I’m looking for many more laps from them at this weekends test (Test #3)

    Never mind, only 21 days to the real thing. Even that is under threat with rioting!

    • haven’t any of you read the news about the mcclaren??
      I read that the team, the engineers and the drivers don’t have the slightest idea about how to understand or develop a set up for that car. Seems he made a huge mistake build in it. I wonder if they lready are working on a b version!

  6. Franton said on 16th February 2011, 14:24

    It’s a bit early to be predicting anything surely? HRT doesn’t have their new car out. McLaren has only just started shaking their car down and the others are at different stages of development.

    I’m holding back on this unless someone starts doing a McLaren MP4-24 with the 23’s rear wing on it.

    • I’ll get realy worried if they slap that ‘green paint’ on it like they did on the 24.

      • Franton said on 16th February 2011, 14:41

        All the teams have been doing that so far. McLaren interestingly have been slapping it on the various diffusors they’ve been trying.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th February 2011, 14:43

        Lots of the teams use flow vis – I remember seeing it on the Red Bull and Virgin at Jerez.

      • Flow viz isn’t a bad sign anymore- these test dates are like gold for the teams, extremely valuable – flow viz is just another way to obtain data.

      • Andy W said on 16th February 2011, 20:27

        So what does that say about last years Red Bull ;-) They slapped green paint on that for any number of practice sessions.

        Its another tool that all the teams use, yes McLaren did it out of desperation with the 24 but they and the other teams tried it and it gives useful data. Anyway here is hoping the 26 is a great car.

  7. Troid91 (@troid91) said on 16th February 2011, 14:27

    I hope ferrari can with both title this year.

  8. compiled a spreadsheet on testing, but the figures i get differ from yours kieth on most but not all figures!

    My stats
    Lap data taken from tsl-timing

    Total 5998 laps
    for total distance, using Valencia = 4.005km, Jerez = 4.428km

    Model Total laps Total distance (km)
    Ferrari F150th Italia -749- 3195.594
    Red Bull RB7 -653- 2782.350-
    Mercedes W02 -541- 2309.679
    Sauber C30 -534- 2274.030-
    Toro Rosso STR6 -530- 2260.971-
    Renault R31 -744- 2131.263-
    Williams FW33 -512- 2158.002-
    Force India VJM04 -264- 1168.992-
    McLaren MP4-25 -279- 1117.395-
    Lotus T128 -251- 1089.009-
    McLaren MP4-26 -233- 1031.724-
    Virgin MVR-02 -215- 952.020-
    Force India VJM03 -327- 1309.635-
    HRT F110 -188- 752.940-
    Virgin VR-01 -219- 877.095-

    • Does this include in laps and out laps?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th February 2011, 21:45

      Hi CC – yes I had made a mistake in one of the columns, thanks for pointing that out. Have fixed the table now.

      • SeattleChris said on 16th February 2011, 22:13

        What about the English in the first sentence?

        Reigning champions Red Bull were not have been fastest on any of the four days of testing at Jerez last week.

    • slight mistake in above, Renault should read 503 laps / 2131.263 km

      Kieth, can i ask where do you get the data for number of laps each drivers completes… differ by l lap on some teams, but for the following teams, a larger gap in laps completed…

      Ferrari 774 vs 749 laps
      Renault 521 vs 503
      Force india VJM04 359 vs 264 (Jerez)
      McLaren Mp4-25 291 vs 279 (Valencia)
      Force india VJM03 210 vs 327 (Valencia)
      Virgin VR01 185 vs 219 (Valencia)

      Yes, includes out / in laps, it is the teams total laps completed on the 7 days of testing this year…

      • checked the relevant teams laps completed against mclaren (where available) and Mercedes end of day test reports for Valencia and Jerez, and my figures agreed with the teams figures…!

  9. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 16th February 2011, 15:06

    The title is a bit overly definitive isn’t it?

    I know the article says that obviously one cannot take much for granted from test times, but why make the title so black and white then?

    • Sure enough a title such as ‘there is a reason to assume Red Bull might still have a (significant?) advantage over its competition based on inconclusive data based on variable stint lengths, unknown weight and unknown tyre choices’ might be more accurate considering the contents.

      But that’s basically an article. :)

      The publicly available data is limited, looking at average times of longer runs is the best gauge to go by and does show a clear trend towards the Red Bull being quicker. It the clearest prediction one can make from the data as it is the most isolated trend of the lot. Sure it’s still speculative and we’ll have to ‘wait until Bahrain’ to see it, but where’s the fun in that. :D

      • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 16th February 2011, 15:42

        So the title should be “Jerez test times show no conclusive leaders”.

        The only thing the laptimes show is a rate of degradation. Without knowing the used compounds and fuel loads, even that is meaningless.

        The laptimes can vary by massively this year based on fuel load (up to 6s), tyres (easily up to 5s), KERS use (half a second) and DSR use (another half second)

        Add all that up and there could be a 12s variation between a “Q3 lap” and a slow race lap.

        • I don’t actually disagree with you as much as it seems. This site generally seems to have an educated enough audience to get the bias out of the title by stating this preliminary conclusion is derived from test data.

          ‘Red Bull still the fastest team’ as opposed to ‘Test data shows Red Bull to be the fastest team’, the test data part would imply it to be speculative, but that may be just me.

          But, although I disagree with your title suggestion, I have to agree the title could be improved by wording it slightly more definitive.

        • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 16th February 2011, 18:33

          No, the test times do show that Red Bull may have an advantage, even though as the article says its unknown how much you can trust those times. But there is a trend. So to write a title like yours would be misleading IMO.

          • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 16th February 2011, 21:50

            The point is, even something as simple as 20 extra laps worth of fuel already explains the difference away. It ads 2 about seconds to the time and increases the tyre degradation.

            Anyway, I didn’t intend this as some crusade against the title. Indeed Keith does try to keep his titles really honest.

            It’s just that people seem to put way to much importance on testing lap times.

            Apparently it even goes so far that people accuse Williams of cheating and running an underweight car to get on top of the chart.

            I guess I hold Keith to an even higher standard since he sets the bar so high himself :)

            You have to admit that Keith using bold titles like this is out of character a little.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 16th February 2011, 17:30

      The url ends in ‘jerez-stint-times-indicate-red-bull-have-not-lost-their-edge/’ which we can assume once was/going to be the title. I agree this would be less ‘definitive’.

  10. NOOOO! If they are too quick its gonna be boring :/

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 16th February 2011, 15:14

      Not if they screw up so much like last year ;)

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th February 2011, 17:09

        I dont think Seb is gonna screw up as much as he did last year. So if Red Bull are dominating, it could be a very boring season.

        • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 16th February 2011, 21:54

          People said Seb wouldn’t screw up as much in 2009 as he did in 2008. Yet he did.

          Then they assumed that he wouldn’t screw up so much in 2010 as he did in 2009. Yet, again he did.

          It’s not just Seb either. The team failing to fasten some screws leading to his DNF in Australia, bad strategy calls (Canada as the prime example) etc etc etc, shows the team still keeps making a lot of mistakes.

  11. Coefficient said on 16th February 2011, 15:24

    Early days yet. Being quick at Jerez is pointless, better to get your systems reliable and go for representative times at a track that forms part of the calendar.

    Barcelona will start to reveal the truth about the form of each team. I think we will have 5 teams all within grasp of each other so errors will be punished severely this season.

    Add to that a very strong Mid Field contingent and the top teams will definitely have to pray that their strategies are good and their drivers don’t bin it.

    Then by the time the final few hours of testing are under way at Bahrain, the gloves will be off and everyone will be doing performance tests with their definitive spec cars.

    Reading into performance now is ill advised and sensationalist.

  12. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 16th February 2011, 15:43


    “Reigning champions Red Bull were not have been fastest”

    …erm, what?

  13. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 16th February 2011, 15:46

    Fuel loads, early days and all granted, but that Sauber isn’t looking horrendously shabby. Kamui might be able to do something more this season.

  14. PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 16th February 2011, 16:35

    Oh no. Not more Red Bull potential domination. Ban Adrian Newey! :D

  15. bleeps_and_tweaks said on 16th February 2011, 16:36

    Great article. I’m really looking forward to see this kind of analysis from Barcelona, particularly with Mclaren having so few miles on the MP4-26 at the moment. Hopefully we’ll get some good warm weather and long stints to compare, as these are really the only useful benchmarks, but then again at Jerez last year RBR were about 1.5 seconds slower than Button in the MP4-25…and look what happened after that!

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