Vettel on top again in Barcelona test

2011 F1 testing

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2011

Sebastian Vettel was the fastest driver for the second day running in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Vettel’s best time of 1’23.315 was over a second faster than his best time from yesterday.

Jaime Alguersuari was second-fastest for Toro Rosso ahead of Fernando Alonso.

Rubens Barrichello and Nick Heidfeld moved up to fourth and fifth-fastest with improvements in the last few minutes of the session.

Ricardo Teixeira was given a chance to drive the Lotus T128, taking over the car from Heikki Kovalainen during the day. Kovalainen was delayed by another water leak on the car earlier in the test.

Another face in unfamiliar surroundings was Vitantonio Liuzzi, who drove the HRT for the first time.

Fernando Alonso caused the first of the day’s stoppages when his Ferrari came to a halt at turn four with an electrical problem. He was delayed by a further unspecified technical problem later in the day.

The session was stopped again later due to a problem with a kerb on the track. A third stoppage occured when Paul di Resta’s Force India went into the gravel at turn one.

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault RB7 1’23.315 104
2 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR6 1’23.519 97 0.204
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari F150th Italia 1’23.978 90 0.663
4 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth FW33 1’24.008 118 0.693
5 Nick Heidfeld Renault R31 1’24.242 41 0.927
6 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari C30 1’24.243 125 0.928
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W02 1’24.730 131 1.415
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes MP4-26 1’24.923 54 1.608
9 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes VJM04 1’25.194 80 1.879
10 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault T128 1’26.421 58 3.106
11 Vitaly Petrov Renault R31 1’26.884 61 3.569
12 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth F110 1’27.044 70 3.729
13 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth MVR-02 1’27.242 66 3.927
14 Ricardo Teixeira Lotus-Renault T128 1’31.584 26 8.269

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94 comments on Vettel on top again in Barcelona test

  1. Ezwards said on 19th February 2011, 16:10

    I’m starting to worry about McLaren Slightly, we seen no pace at all, i hope they are hiding it and Lewis cannot contain it tomorrow!

    • If the car has more fuel onboard than other cars, then you will not see “pace” in the car. Hamilton may do low fuel runs in the next couple of days that may put him at the top of the time sheets. But that’s not what testing is about at the moment.

      • Ezwards said on 19th February 2011, 16:22

        I understand that but I still have my doubts, fingers crossed for them, we dont want to see another 24!

        • None of the teams will be doing out-and-out qualifying runs at the moment. They will be concentrating on set-up and tyre evaluation.

          Seeing Hamilton doing a 1.22 doesn’t mean that McLaren have a fast car.

          • None of the teams will be doing out-and-out qualifying runs at the moment.

            Yes, so one could argue that makes it even more worrying. If you are a Mclaren fan I suppose you want to see them up the top end of the time sheets without trying but that just doesn’t happen these days.
            Maybe the flawed thinking is they top 3 days testing last year and had the 3rd best car…. they have not topped any test day so far this year so the most be worse than last year.

          • Lemon (@lemon) said on 19th February 2011, 18:15

            No exactly I think the fact we see a Torro Rosso in second place proves these lap times are absolute nonsense.

          • wasnt really 3rd best was it? up til germany time they were nocking on the door of red bull and were well ahead of ferarri.

            they lost their way with accidents in practice with new upgrades….so they couldnt test them. germany and suzuka spring to mind

            really over the course of the season was comfortably 2nd best car out there.

          • 3rd Macca….Yes it was.
            Ferrari won the first race remember (after the Bull problems) and then was unlucky in the next three races (taken out, bad strat etc.)

          • He said he was worried… He’s allowed to be worried isn’t he?

            I kinda am two, the Mclaren has had as much running. I suspect the start of the season maybe slow for them.

            I respect them so much for doing something different.

      • Younger Hamilton said on 19th February 2011, 19:55

        Exactly i learned that last year,Anything is Possible.I hope thats what Lewis does.Remember McLaren run strict and tight Programmes at Testing so you never really know the car’s true pace.By the Looks of it i think McLaren and Red Bull are identically matched on long Run Pace although lately they have been suffering reliability issues still i hope for the best in the next two days.


    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 19th February 2011, 16:28

      McLaren is having trouble enough with their reliability. Why would they waste laps on setting fastest times?

      I’ll bet they aren’t even running with their final aero package yet.

      • It seems that some don’t get what ‘testing’ is. :)

        • Ezwards said on 19th February 2011, 16:50

          You guys make me laugh, like we all dont know what testing is about, im just saying that I am a little concerned, it didnt say anything about anyone else having to worry, its only an opinion, jeez!!

          • Yeap, and that is fair enough, understand. You’d feel better if they topped the times sheets (or where higher up) but you’d know that it wouldn’t mean alot.

          • I totaly agree with you and I voiced my concernes yesterday about the lack of pace in the McLaren. I hope Lewis pops one in just like Vettel, he was working away at normal pace, then poped a few quick laps in showing us that they have the pace. I was impressed today with the Williams, Rubins poped a very fast lap in and went on to do a long run on the same stint.

      • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 19th February 2011, 17:29

        Actually I’m thinking Button was starting a race simulation. I’ve made a graph comparing his two stints with Rosberg’s and Vettel’s race simulation.

        Button’s lap times are faster (of course that could be due to fuel)

        • Lemon (@lemon) said on 19th February 2011, 18:12

          Yes I suppose that’s quite promising despite the fact we dont know what fuel they are on. What I find interesting is you can see the correlation between the track rubbering in and the laptimes in the pattern of the graph.

          • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 19th February 2011, 21:10

            I think it’s more the effect of the fuel burning off.

            Pirelli said that the tyres didn’t last longer when the track was rubbered in. Which is odd since you’d expect them too last longer.

        • bleeps_and_tweaks said on 19th February 2011, 20:21

          That is actually a very interesting comparison, good stuff. I’m a bit more concerned about the lack of miles, I don’t think Lewis will be doing full race simulations, but I would hope for +90 laps tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere today on the live updates that Vettel did do some qualifying runs, as well as the long stints, so that might be closer to their pace.

        • Awesome work. :)

    • ManjuBoy (@manjuboy) said on 19th February 2011, 16:56

      I would be more concerned with their lack of track time. They seem to be sitting in the box a lot.

    • kowalsky said on 19th February 2011, 17:54

      keep dreaming. They are looking for solutions to some problems “for sure”.

    • Pedal to the Vettel (@pedal-to-the-vettel) said on 19th February 2011, 18:03


      Jenson himself says not to panic since all the upgrades haven’t been added yet.

  2. Pole time for Barcelona last season was below 1.20.

    Rosberg and Vettel did full tank race simulations today, so a proper analysis of those would probably be more enlightening as to who is in what sort of shape at the moment.

    Ferrari, William’s and McLaren also did some shorter runs worthy of comparison.

  3. looks like Red Bull, Ferrari are going to be pretty competitive at the top, Williams is showing some promise but too early to draw any conclusion about them. McLaren is still not getting it’s act together. Renault seems to have too many issues specially when Petrov is on duty. Sauber, Toro Rosso & Lotus look pretty ok in the middle. FI is prolly not looking so good… still early days though. Mercedes pace is also not very promising, but they will have some key updates coming in a few weeks.

    BTW Thanks Keith for the timely updates!!

    • I thought that Rosberg’s race simulation wasn’t too far away from Red Bull’s?

      Button did a run that was quicker than Barrichello’s over a similar distance.

      • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 19th February 2011, 16:38

        Looks like Rosberg was on average about a second a lap slower.

        If you add up Vettel’s 48 laptimes and take Rosbergs fastest 48 laps then Vettel is a minute faster.

        Pretty much the same as last season I guess.

        • But then you would have to assume that they were running the same tyre at each stop. You also have to take into account that track temperature wasn’t too high today.

          • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 19th February 2011, 17:47

            If they were running a race simulation, you’d expect them to use several tyres over the whole distance. Doesn’t matter which ones they were using when. They just need to cover the whole distance.

            Obviously there are plnety of variables that make this comparison unreliable, but they were the only ones to do a proper full race simulation today.

  4. It’s good to see Rubens in fourth with the Cosworth name in there. Sebastien is where he belongs.

    • But they were low fuel times, which were over three seconds slower than last seasons pole postion time at Barcelona.

      • Bigbadderboom said on 19th February 2011, 17:06

        Seb commented yesterday that he was suprised at how much the new regs had slowed the cars. However last year Barcelona pole was set early season with upgrades. By the time we get to Barcelona this season I would bet that the times will be there abouts the same as last season. Remember there is always significant aero packages introduced here.

  5. If I remember correctly, Red Bull did a similar tactic to McLaren last year, not showing their true pace, neither doing many laps, but it is a little concerning with the fact Button only managed another handful of laps, while the Red Bulls and Ferraris are lapping nearly double the amount and a number of seconds quicker…

    • luigismen said on 19th February 2011, 17:29

      Maybe you are seeing it from the wrong way, maybe if they do so many laps, is because they have more issues to resolve.
      Is a possibility that Mclaren is pretty confident with their car so they don’t have to do so many laps, just a few to solve minor tweaks.

      Or… maybe I’m being extremely optimistic

  6. 102930 said on 19th February 2011, 16:23

    Di Resta has been worryingly prone to spinning off in testing so far.

  7. Here are some run times from today. Look at the difference between the first lap time and the last lap time for each run. From that you may get a truer reading of what each car can do.

    24.4, 25.2, 25.8, 26.2, 28.2, 27.6, 27.0, 27.4, 27.6, 27.9, 28.4, 28.8

    29.4, 28.8, 28.8, 29.4, 29.8, 29.7, 29.8, 30.1, 30.8, 31.0, 31.7, 31.7

    29.6, 29.4, 30.5, 31.0, 30.1, 30.7, 30.9, 31.3, 31.5, 32.2, 32.0, 32.5

  8. Nat Turner said on 19th February 2011, 16:26

    Toro Rosso has twice been quick which is surprising to me. I think mac is having problems because they are relatively slow and doing few laps. Something is wrong in their garage. Ferrari seem to be sure of their pace and working on their long runs and consistency. Red Bull again seem ominously quick. For me Merc and Mac are having issues with pace and are behind the top two!?

  9. I dont think we are in for many suprises this year – Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari up front – Renault, Mercedes Williams fighting – And Toro Rosso, Sauber, Force India and Lotus at the back – Oh, and HRT if they show up.

  10. JustAnF1Fanatic (@justanf1fanatic) said on 19th February 2011, 16:35

    hey Keith, how many laps did they complete today??

  11. snowman said on 19th February 2011, 16:38

    I’ve a bad feeling Redbull are going to be untouchable this year.

  12. I just hope that the top teams are much closer this year, but I’m guessing redbull will be comfortably the quickest again

    • Sorry, mate, but I’ve been the Damon of this forum for 3 years now.
      Can you change your nickname, please?

  13. Gaston said on 19th February 2011, 17:15

    I’m looking forward on some analysis of Vettel’s race simulation. Too bad it was interrupted by a red flag and then the car had some trouble.

  14. iceshiel said on 19th February 2011, 17:32

    New teams still look too slow. Hopefully it is not representative of their real speed.

  15. I am quite surprised with the pace of the Mclaren, but its just testing so anything can change. It would be quite interesting to see two world champions in the middle of the pack if the car was just average.

    I will admit I dont really like the fact that redbull are dominant so far. I would really like to see how Vettel does in a so-so car and having to battle his way through the pack.

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