Mark Webber, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011

Final sector key to Red Bull’s advantage

Australian GP qualifying analysisPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

Qualifying showed Red Bull have found a huge performance advantage over their rivals in the final sector of the lap at Melbourne.

But Mark Webber was not able to find the same size of advantage as team mate Sebastian Vettel.

The final sector begins with the high speed turns 11 and 12 – exactly the kind of corners that Red Bull thrived on last year.

Neither of their drivers used KERS during their lap. When asked about it Vettel joked that he “couldn’t find the button”. They were ranked 17th and 18th through the speed trap with only the HRTs, Virgins and Lotuses behind them.

There are now rumours the team have a special, smaller KERS, designed only to be used at the start of a race, which allows them to package their car more tightly at the rear and generate more downforce.

Qualifying times in full

  • Sebastien Buemi put Toro Rosso in Q3 for the first time since 2009 but he didn’t have any new soft tyres left, which is why his Q3 lap was slower.
  • He was aided by Rubens Barrichello and Adrian Sutil losing time with spins
Driver Car Q1 Q2 (vs Q1) Q3 (vs Q2)
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’25.296 1’24.090 (-1.206) 1’23.529 (-0.561)
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.384 1’24.595 (-0.789) 1’24.307 (-0.288)
3 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’25.900 1’24.658 (-1.242) 1’24.395 (-0.263)
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.886 1’24.957 (-0.929) 1’24.779 (-0.178)
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’25.707 1’25.242 (-0.465) 1’24.974 (-0.268)
6 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’25.543 1’25.582 (+0.039) 1’25.247 (-0.335)
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’25.856 1’25.606 (-0.250) 1’25.421 (-0.185)
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’26.031 1’25.611 (-0.420) 1’25.599 (-0.012)
9 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’25.717 1’25.405 (-0.312) 1’25.626 (+0.221)
10 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.232 1’25.882 (-0.350) 1’27.066 (+1.184)
11 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’25.962 1’25.971 (+0.009)
12 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.620 1’26.103 (-0.517)
13 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’25.812 1’26.108 (+0.296)
14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’27.222 1’26.739 (-0.483)
15 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’26.298 1’26.768 (+0.470)
16 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’26.245 1’31.407 (+5.162)
17 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’26.270
18 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’27.239
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’29.254
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’29.342
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’29.858
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’30.822
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’32.978
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’34.293

Driver comparisons

Compare the best times of each drivers in the last of part of qualifying in which they both set a time.

  • Sebastian Vettel had a particularly large margin over Mark Webber, who said he was “mystified” by the gap.
  • The extent of Nick Heidfeld’s problems in Q1 are clear from his 1.6s deficit to team mate Vitaly Petrov
Team Driver Lap time Gap Lap time Driver Round
Red Bull Sebastian Vettel 1’23.529 -0.866 1’24.395 Mark Webber Q3
McLaren Lewis Hamilton 1’24.307 -0.472 1’24.779 Jenson Button Q3
Ferrari Fernando Alonso 1’24.974 -0.625 1’25.599 Felipe Massa Q3
Mercedes Michael Schumacher 1’25.971 +0.365 1’25.606 Nico Rosberg Q2
Renault Nick Heidfeld 1’27.239 +1.696 1’25.543 Vitaly Petrov Q1
Williams Rubens Barrichello 1’26.270 -0.028 1’26.298 Pastor Maldonado Q1
Force India Adrian Sutil 1’31.407 +4.668 1’26.739 Paul di Resta Q2
Sauber Kamui Kobayashi 1’25.405 -0.703 1’26.108 Sergio Perez Q2
Toro Rosso Sebastien Buemi 1’25.882 -0.221 1’26.103 Jaime Alguersuari Q2
Lotus Heikki Kovalainen 1’29.254 -0.088 1’29.342 Jarno Trulli Q1
HRT Narain Karthikeyan 1’34.293 +1.315 1’32.978 Vitantonio Liuzzi Q1
Virgin Timo Glock 1’29.858 -0.964 1’30.822 Jerome d’Ambrosio Q1

Ultimate laps

An ultimate lap is a driver’s best time in each of the three sectors that make up a lap combined.

  • Both Mercedes drivers had the performance in hand to qualify better
  • Four drivers did all their best sectors in one lap, including Vitantonio Liuzzi in his effort to break the 107% barrier.
  • Vettel was more than half a second faster than any non-Red Bull driver in the final sector.
Pos # Driver Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best Actual position
1 1 Sebastian Vettel 1’23.453 0.076 1
2 3 Lewis Hamilton 1’24.157 0.704 0.150 2
3 2 Mark Webber 1’24.240 0.787 0.155 3
4 4 Jenson Button 1’24.570 1.117 0.209 4
5 5 Fernando Alonso 1’24.974 1.521 0.000 5
6 8 Nico Rosberg 1’25.103 1.650 0.318 7
7 10 Vitaly Petrov 1’25.247 1.794 0.000 6
8 16 Kamui Kobayashi 1’25.351 1.898 0.275 9
9 6 Felipe Massa 1’25.527 2.074 0.072 8
10 7 Michael Schumacher 1’25.712 2.259 0.259 11
11 17 Sergio Perez 1’25.714 2.261 0.394 13
12 18 Sebastien Buemi 1’25.882 2.429 1.184 10
13 19 Jaime Alguersuari 1’26.010 2.557 0.093 12
14 11 Rubens Barrichello 1’26.115 2.662 0.155 17
15 14 Adrian Sutil 1’26.180 2.727 5.227 16
16 12 Pastor Maldonado 1’26.282 2.829 0.486 15
17 15 Paul di Resta 1’26.739 3.286 0.000 14
18 9 Nick Heidfeld 1’27.077 3.624 0.162 18
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen 1’29.156 5.703 0.098 19
20 21 Jarno Trulli 1’29.262 5.809 0.080 20
21 24 Timo Glock 1’29.829 6.376 0.029 21
22 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio 1’30.582 7.129 0.240 22
23 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi 1’32.978 9.525 0.000 23
24 22 Narain Karthikeyan 1’33.540 10.087 0.753 24

Sector times

Here are the drivers’ best times in each sector.

Driver Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3
Sebastian Vettel 28.088 (1) 22.320 (1) 33.045 (1)
Lewis Hamilton 28.149 (2) 22.399 (2) 33.609 (3)
Mark Webber 28.197 (3) 22.643 (6) 33.400 (2)
Jenson Button 28.237 (4) 22.556 (4) 33.777 (4)
Fernando Alonso 28.427 (5) 22.549 (3) 33.998 (6)
Vitaly Petrov 28.443 (6) 22.662 (7) 34.142 (8)
Nico Rosberg 28.499 (7) 22.563 (5) 34.041 (7)
Felipe Massa 28.561 (9) 22.764 (8) 34.202 (11)
Kamui Kobayashi 28.619 (10) 22.828 (11) 33.904 (5)
Sebastien Buemi 28.727 (12) 22.983 (15) 34.172 (10)
Michael Schumacher 28.548 (8) 22.815 (10) 34.349 (14)
Jaime Alguersuari 28.809 (14) 23.030 (18) 34.171 (9)
Sergio Perez 28.635 (11) 22.833 (12) 34.246 (12)
Paul di Resta 29.108 (18) 22.968 (14) 34.663 (17)
Pastor Maldonado 28.787 (13) 23.013 (17) 34.482 (16)
Adrian Sutil 28.902 (17) 22.803 (9) 34.475 (15)
Rubens Barrichello 28.842 (15) 22.998 (16) 34.275 (13)
Nick Heidfeld 28.883 (16) 22.866 (13) 35.328 (18)
Heikki Kovalainen 29.947 (20) 23.586 (19) 35.623 (19)
Jarno Trulli 29.645 (19) 23.754 (20) 35.863 (20)
Timo Glock 30.023 (21) 23.853 (21) 35.953 (21)
Jerome d’Ambrosio 30.169 (22) 24.048 (22) 36.365 (22)
Vitantonio Liuzzi 31.250 (24) 24.577 (23) 37.151 (23)
Narain Karthikeyan 30.991 (23) 24.740 (24) 37.809 (24)

Speed trap

Each drivers’ highest speed through the speed trap.

Pos Driver Car Max speed (kph) Gap
1 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 314.2
2 Sergio Perez Sauber 313.5 -0.7
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 313.4 -0.8
4 Jenson Button McLaren 312.8 -1.4
5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 312.7 -1.5
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 312.6 -1.6
7 Adrian Sutil Force India 311.7 -2.5
8 Pastor Maldonado Williams 311.7 -2.5
9 Paul di Resta Force India 311.4 -2.8
10 Rubens Barrichello Williams 311.3 -2.9
11 Vitaly Petrov Renault 311.1 -3.1
12 Nick Heidfeld Renault 311.0 -3.2
13 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 309.7 -4.5
14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 309.7 -4.5
15 Felipe Massa Ferrari 309.5 -4.7
16 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 309.5 -4.7
17 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 308.3 -5.9
18 Mark Webber Red Bull 308.3 -5.9
19 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 305.1 -9.1
20 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT 304.3 -9.9
21 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 303.5 -10.7
22 Jarno Trulli Lotus 303.4 -10.8
23 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin 301.6 -12.6
24 Timo Glock Virgin 301.1 -13.1

2011 Australian Grand Prix


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