Vettel quickest as rain hits testing in Barcelona

2011 F1 testing

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2011

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time on the first day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The Red Bull driver only did 37 laps on the first day of the four-day test.

The Ferrari of Fernando Alonso was second-fastest in front of fans at the home of the Spanish Grand Prix.

The test began on a wet track following overnight rain, which dried during the course of the day.

That gave teams the opportunity to assess the wet weather tyres supplied by Pirelli.

Michael Schumacher was eighth-fastest after completing a race simulation in his Mercedes.

Heikki Kovalainen’s session was cut short by a gearbox problem. He was also delayed by a water leak early on in the day.

The session was interrupted by red flags caused by technical problems Kamui Kobayashi and Rubens Barrichello’s cars. Barrichello had to have an engine change.

A spin for Jaime Alguersuari caused another interruption.

Renault had a KERS problem on their car which kept Vitaly Petrov from doing the running they had planned for the afternoon.

Jenson Button and Paul di Resta also spent a long time in the pits.

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault RB7 1’24.374 37
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari F150th Italia 1’25.485 101 1.111
3 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR6 1’25.638 57 1.264
4 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari C30 1’25.641 78 1.267
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes MP4-26 1’26.365 77 1.991
6 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes VJM04 1’26.575 26 2.201
7 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth FW33 1’26.912 52 2.538
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes W02 1’27.512 90 3.138
9 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth F110 1’28.393 116 4.019
10 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault T128 1’30.065 54 5.691
11 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth MVR-02 1’30.950 116 6.576
12 Vitaly Petrov Renault R31 1’35.174 20 10.800
13 Nick Heidfeld Renault R31 1’44.324 27 19.950

2011 F1 testing

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38 comments on Vettel quickest as rain hits testing in Barcelona

  1. Eggry (@eggry) said on 18th February 2011, 16:28

    Hmm…there’s speculation Vettel used Super-soft tyre, but it’s not good feeling to me. I want more tight competition rather than Redbull dominant.

    • Larcem (@) said on 18th February 2011, 16:29

      I feel the same. I want Mclaren to pick up the pace!

    • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 18th February 2011, 16:32

      Don’t get carried away, last year’s pole time was a 1.19.995 – no-one has done a representative time at this test so far.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th February 2011, 16:39

        The track was drying, so not rubbered in very much, and the cars are still a bit slower than last year. But certainly some fuel left in those cars. Nice Seb showed a bit of courage to show their hand today.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 18th February 2011, 16:40

      yeah. it’s just a testing. it does not mean Ferrari or Mclaren is uncompetitive. but you know, there’s some trend in testings and it usually repeat in the race. that’s why I’m worried.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 18th February 2011, 20:06

      I wouldn’t say anyone is dominant. Schumacher has topped a test thus far for example. Tests aren’t really indicative of performance.

  2. richevans123 (@richevans123) said on 18th February 2011, 16:33

    Wow ferrari are racking up some serious mileage, I hope mclarens recent trend of near impeccable reliability isn’t about to come to an end.

    Keith, any official reason why Vettel only did 37 laps??

  3. Williams4Ever said on 18th February 2011, 16:37

    That pesky F110 still hanging on eh….

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 18th February 2011, 16:42

      but it’s faster than All New Lotus and Marusia-Virgin! I wish it was just an exception or they completely fail to build cars.

  4. BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th February 2011, 16:42

    That race simulation by Schu looks pretty good. Not too much degradation and pretty good times.

  5. Wouldn’t be surprise if come the start of the season a second a lap wasn’t the real gap between RBR and the rest.

  6. Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 18th February 2011, 16:48

    I’m impressed HRT managed to do the most laps right out of the box. I would have bet for them having all kind of issues.

  7. WOW just seen the long ‘ish stints Ferrari put in… looking good. Of the times shown they look the best but still think RBR are at least 1/2 second per lap faster than anyone else, just hiding it a bit.

    Unless Mclaren are ultra confident and hiding their pace very well they seem a distant 3rd, verdict still out but not looking great.

    Come the end of this test I think the pecking order will become more clear with the 4th test that might not happen around the corner.

  8. driftin said on 18th February 2011, 17:01

    I sure hope McLaren are just keeping themselves quiet for now and that this isn’t their true pace. Getting outdone by Saubers and Toro Rossos?

    • It definitely not their true pace but the gap to RBR and Ferrari on 10+ runs is large.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th February 2011, 18:02

      I get the feeling it might be a bit like last year. Red Bull clearly ahead at least on pure speed. Ferrari good on the tyres and very solid for race trim.

      McLaren a bit up and down depending on the track and current state of gizmo’s making it. As for Mercedes, who knows. And Renault is also thereabouts I suppose, but hard to tell really with them and the midfield.

      • US_Peter said on 18th February 2011, 19:46

        I get the same feeling.

        • tharris19 said on 18th February 2011, 20:12

          I do too. This appears more like 2009 testing to me. Something is not right with the car. We are likely to find out more about it when Lewis test on Sunday and Monday. He is not adverse to complaining in public if the car is not up to his expectations.

  9. Bigbadderboom said on 18th February 2011, 17:07

    However much fun we have speculating on form, I don’t think any team is niaive enough to show their hand at this point. I though RBR were being cautious and checking over Sebs car for much of the day. The fact he came out with 20 mins or so remaining and put a quick one leads me to think he was just making waves, i both hope and pray that this is no real reflection on form. The last thing I want to be watching is battles for the 3rd step on the podium!

  10. I’m certain every team with the exception of Virgin can do a sub 1:24.3.

    So Vettel went off a couple of times in the morning.

  11. SundarF1 (@sundarf1) said on 18th February 2011, 17:22

    Ferrari’s mileage is impressive, and I find it remarkable that HRT was able to rack up 116 laps without troubles. But looking at the times in relation to last year’s pole lap, we still can’t make a definitive judgement on who’s quick and who’s not.

    And I don’t see how it is possible to have the test session in Bahrain after this. Maybe they could shift the venue to Abu Dhabi?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th February 2011, 18:04

      With the old car, it would be rather sad if they were not at least reliable.

      And the car is relatively fast as the others are somewhat slower now without DDD and F-ducts.

  12. Also, what i meant to say is that doing over 100 laps in every test is all well and good, however, these laps must be productive. I’ll take 20 productive laps over 100 laps with no conclusive result or meaningful lesson.

  13. Rucknar (@superted666) said on 18th February 2011, 17:47

    Interesting… I sure hope that Mclaren shows its pace soon!

  14. i am waiting for tomoro’s testing with Liuzzi in HRT

    i hope that will give us a good benchmark of Narain’s ability in the car and that I am sure will make a lot of you eat your words abt Narain..

  15. Johnny86 said on 18th February 2011, 18:37

    Someone on autosport forum commented that the ferrari set its fastest time on hard sets but vettel did his on super softs. I dont have any source but if its true then ferrari for sure can be apretty competitive car.

  16. SeattleChris said on 18th February 2011, 18:59


    I doubt the team with the largest budget doesn’t have the appropriate engineers monitoring everthing from wind conditions to the amount of perspiration coming from the driver. Ferrari definitely did 100 productive laps.

  17. i think its pointless to draw any conclusion about cars before the end of first GP’s Q3!
    they’re surely running different program!

    • People keep saying that but main knew the order of the top six after the 3rd test last year. And it wasn’t hard to work out as long as you don’t look at the headline fastest times.

  18. Hmmm have we taken a backward step? Last years pole time in GP2 was a 1:27.727 by Jules Bianchi, almost 8 seconds slower than Mark Webber’s pole time… Looks like we’ve almost halved the difference between the two categories :(

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