Mark Webber, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011

Webber snatches fastest time from Vettel

2011 Australian Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011
Mark Webber, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011

Mark Webber set the fastest time in the dying moments of the first practice session in Melbourne.

The Red Bull driver hit the top of the times early in the session but was overhauled by Sebastian Vettel shortly afterwards. Vettel posted a 1’27.739 but by the end of his stint his tyres had visibly deteriorated.

The Ferrari of Fernando Alonso split the pair of them later in the session, falling short of the fastest time by just a hundredth of a second.

In the final minutes the Red Bulls took to the track again and Webber briefly saw the top of the times again – only to be pegged back by his team mate once more.

But Webber had a little more in hand and with his final lap of the session lowered the best time to a 1’26.831.

The two Mercedes also showed some potential – at one point Nico Rosberg did the fastest time over the first two sectors before backing off in the third.

Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were sixth and seventh having made an early start to the session in the revised McLaren.

But Karun Chandhok had a disastrous return to F1 with Lotus as he crashed on his first lap. The T128 snapped right as he accelerated out of turn three, putting him in the barrier.

He at least got further than F1’s other Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan. He and team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi spent the session in the pits while the HRT mechanics scrambled to get their cars finished.

Several drivers had off-track moments during the session including Felipe Massa, who had a particularly large lock-up at the first corner.

Virgin were well off the pace in the first session and failed to lap within 7% of the fastest time by 2.3 seconds.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’26.831 20
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’27.158 0.327 19
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’27.749 0.918 20
4 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’28.152 1.321 16
5 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’28.430 1.599 24
6 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’28.440 1.609 29
7 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’28.483 1.652 26
8 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’28.690 1.859 14
9 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’28.725 1.894 13
10 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’28.765 1.934 15
11 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’28.842 2.011 20
12 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’28.928 2.097 14
13 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’29.314 2.483 19
14 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’29.328 2.497 21
15 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’29.403 2.572 24
16 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’29.468 2.637 23
17 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’29.643 2.812 18
18 15 Nico H?â??lkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’31.002 4.171 20
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’32.428 5.597 13
20 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’35.282 8.451 17
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’35.289 8.458 15

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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77 comments on “Webber snatches fastest time from Vettel”

  1. Business as usual for RBR and Alonso but really great to see:

    1. McLarens getting up to speed.
    2. Rosberg and Barrichello in the top 5.
    2. Kobayashi in the top 10.

      1. HRT NO miles.
        I doubt they or Virgin will qualify. For Virgin this is a shame, for HRT, well, come on people, you’ve had months now. If you can’t put your car together in time, how are your drivers suposed to a) drive it and b) set anywhere near a competitive time

    1. I know right. It was up barely a minute I think after the BBC live coverage ended their broadcast. How does he type that fast, yet alone get all the stats and then post it up all formatted correctly?

      Keith rules.

          1. Yeah, more great work Keith.

            I really hope the Virgin cars can get within the 107% rule, I think it would go a long way to dampen the event if they can’t compete.

          2. You’re right, Keith, it’s the wording that caught me out, I expected to see ‘failed to lap within 107% of the fastest time by 2.3 seconds.’

      1. It doesn’t matter anyway as Red BUll, Ferrair etc… are all close to their Q1 pace in comparison to Virin who will turn the engine up etc…

        All the times will improve becasue the track is green, but Red BUll will make sure they aern’t going to run out of fuel and their engines wont be turned up to max. HRT, Virign etc.. will do all of that and hence they will be comparitively faster in Q1, then once it gets to Q3 Ferrari, Red BUll etc.. will all set faster times thatn their Q1 pace while HRT and Virgin will have set their max pace in Q1.

        Makes sense? In Short if they make a hot lap in Q1 then they shouldn’t fall below the 7% simply because those that race the benchmark time aren’t racing anywhere near full speed hence making it easier to reach

        1. Maybe, but given all the new variables and regulations, I don’t think any midfield team is going to want to risk getting caught out in Q1, which means that in turn, no top team will want to be caught out by the midfield cars. In future races once the pecking order is essentially established, I think you’re right, but with the uncertainty of pace this weekend, I think the top teams will be giving it their best to make sure they get into Q2.

  2. Ricciardo’s name is invisible … anyway glad to see him ahead of Buemi. I hope he can keep that up all year.

    Webber’s time is good, but I don’t think we have seen top speed for any driver yet.

  3. On the 5Live coverage, they first had Liuzzi commenting that his car should be ready during FP1 and both for FP2. Later they commented on him sitting on the pitwall in jeans and the team not even working on the car.

    Customs again?

    Mclaren seem to have got reliability fixed with the new parts. Never saw a complete diffusor covered in heat resistant coating before. Speed looks a bit better than might be expected from them as well. And first strike for Webber in the battle of the Bulls.

    Great to have the season starting again.

  4. Those Red Bull fast laps were using the actuated rear wing to full capacity. I didn’t see Alonso’s lap but the McLaren and Mercedes laps were not actuating the rear wings at all, it appeared.

    1. McLaren and Mercedes may not have the downforce to be able to run the wing open nearly as frequently as Red Bull, which if that’s true, I think we’ll see lots of Red Bull poles again this year…

  5. 4 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes-Ferrari 1’28.152 1.321
    5 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’28.430 1.599
    6 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’28.440 1.609
    7 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’28.483 1.652
    8 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes-Ferrari 1’28.690 1.859

    Glad to see Rosberg’s Ferrari up there!

  6. It was interesting watching Alonso’s onboards with that red light on the wheel to show when FFW is activated, also looked like Macca did a lot of laps without FFW, suggesting they were more concentrated of learning race setup, which is what you would expect in FP1, although looked like all the other teams were using the FFW for most of the time, I guess to give the drivers some more practice with it.

          1. Yes, in Mercedes its Rear Flap Adjuster (probably for radio clearance, as is ‘A-firm’ and other of their radio slang), but Flippy Flappy Wing is funnier. :D

  7. Mercedes again running thAT Brawn wing, and Rosberg again faster than Michael. Also i couldn.t clearly see the silver paint on pirelli tyres. Massa what the hell was doing? he made more mistakes than Perez did.

    1. I could see the paint fine from track side cameras but onboard it is hard to see.

      It really doesn’t matter that much though. If we can’t see the yellow paint then there’s a problem.

    1. It’s weird, though. The reverse angle of the accident shows Chandhok clearing the corner and then the car just snaps to one side without warning, which is usually a sign of a mechanical failure.

      Then again the T128 hasn’t exactly had bombproof reliability in testing. Maybe they’re just trying to save face.

  8. I don’t understand Force India’s approachh. Paul di Resta has never been the Melbourne, and needs to learn the circuit; simulators can only teach you so much. Force India’s briliant solution was to put him on the sidelines and stick Nico Hulkenberg in the car.

    In Force India’s position, I wouldn’t go putting Hulkenberg into a car until the European season and circuits di Resta knows.

      1. Possibly, but common sense dictates that when your rookie doesn’t know the circuit, you give him as much track time as possible. Adrian Sutil is in his fifth season now, so he knows Albert Park. He can afford to skip a session or two. But at the same time, FP1 is usaully about evaluating new parts and the condition of the circuit, so Sutil will be able to provide so much more feedback than di Resta could.

        So at the end of the day, putting Hulkenberg in the car is fairly useless.

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