Lack of KERS no problem for Vettel at start

2011 Australian GP analysis

Start, Melbourne, 2011

Start, Melbourne, 2011

Red Bull gambled on racing without KERS in Australia which could have left their drivers vulnerable at the start.

But as their rivals bogged down Sebastian Vettel scampered off into a led he never lost.

See how the start unfolded, compare pit strategies, race pace and more in the Australian Grand Prix analysis.

Lap 1

Lap 1 position change

Lap 1 position change

This is from yesterday’s pre-race analysis:

In theory all 18 cars with KERS on the grid are starting in front of non-KERS cars.

What we didn’t know then was that Red Bull weren’t using KERS at all, and Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber lined up in first and third worried they might be easy prey for the McLarens behind them.

But two things played into their hands. The first of which they’d taken into account to begin with: the run to the first corner at Melbourn is relatively short, just 200m, making KERS less of an advantage at the start.

The second was Lewis Hamilton’s slow get-away from second on the grid. By the time he had enough traction to deploy KERS it was only enough to take back the second place he briefly lost to Webber.

But this races a fascinating prospect for future races: if Red Bull are going to keep running without KERS, they may be more vulnerable at other circuits with longer pit straights.

Vitaly Petrov made several good starts last year, including at Melbourne, and his on in this race was similar excellent.

Pit stops

Pit stops

Pit stops

In the last race we saw 22 pit stops. In Melbourne the drivers did exactly twice as many.

The majority of drivers made two stops but Webber and both Ferraris needed three, while Sauber’s Sergio Perez did just one. Remarkably, given the levels of degradation seen in testing, he managed 35 laps on the soft tyres.

What was also significant is that drivers generally pitted when they had to, instead of waiting for a time when they were able to come out without cars in front of them.

Stint 1 Stint 2 Stint 3 Stint 4
Sebastian Vettel Soft Soft Hard
Lewis Hamilton Soft Soft Hard
Mark Webber Soft Hard Soft Soft
Jenson Button Soft Soft Hard
Fernando Alonso Soft Soft Soft Hard
Vitaly Petrov Soft Soft Hard
Nico Rosberg Soft Hard
Felipe Massa Soft Soft Hard Soft
Kamui Kobayashi Soft Soft Hard
Sebastien Buemi Soft Soft Hard
Michael Schumacher Soft Soft Hard
Jaime Alguersuari Soft Soft Hard Hard
Sergio Perez Hard Soft
Paul di Resta Soft Hard Soft
Pastor Maldonado Soft
Adrian Sutil Soft Hard Hard
Rubens Barrichello Soft Soft Soft Hard
Nick Heidfeld Soft Soft Hard
Heikki Kovalainen Soft Soft
Jarno Trulli Hard Soft Soft
Timo Glock Soft Soft Hard
Jerome d’Ambrosio Soft Hard Hard

Race chart

This graph shows how far each driver was behind the leader on each lap in seconds. Use the controls below to show/hide different drivers:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58
Sebastian Vettel 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17.558 22.757 2.266 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Lewis Hamilton 2.464 3.232 3.419 3.198 3.327 3.156 3.101 2.874 2.246 2.795 2.863 2.756 1.533 0 0 0 6.5 6.513 6.895 7.034 6.958 7.398 7.937 7.261 7.387 7.478 7.42 8.574 9.061 9.156 8.902 11.549 12.276 12.421 12.251 11.812 12.039 9.42 8.753 9.423 9.597 9.599 10.181 11.512 11.554 11.393 11.733 12.047 12.09 12.368 12.807 13.349 14.148 15.281 16.148 17.999 19.667 22.297
Mark Webber 3.358 4.077 4.572 4.702 5.259 5.57 5.968 6.693 6.783 8.459 30.785 38.104 38.067 37.668 38.718 19.176 18.644 19.739 21.451 22.925 23.938 25.196 26.793 27.299 28.52 48.925 55.198 55.433 55.48 55.35 54.439 53.225 52.381 50.984 49.187 25.946 17.252 14.102 13.836 14.976 38.326 45.352 44.535 44.799 44.132 43.267 43.5 43.151 42.154 41.022 40.314 39.052 38.377 37.416 37.641 37.882 37.838 38.171
Jenson Button 6.613 7.746 10.789 11.804 14.74 15.426 16.883 18.367 18.704 20.785 22.512 22.809 22.564 21.662 22.278 5.136 20.979 30.033 53.442 62.298 63.197 64.131 65.962 65.454 65.723 65.568 65.16 65.19 64.647 65.265 64.613 64.267 64.369 64.113 62.904 40.626 51.743 57.737 57.788 57.843 57.946 57.93 57.838 58.222 57.884 57.392 57.631 57.708 56.881 56.794 56.214 55.225 55.283 55.181 54.388 54.715 55.047 54.304
Fernando Alonso 8.035 11.262 13.275 15.827 17.885 18.558 18.959 19.521 19.902 21.383 23.571 43.293 48.407 46.569 45.287 25.537 24.657 24.679 25.619 26.5 27.214 28.466 29.546 29.504 31.28 32.323 54.307 60.094 58.852 57.901 56.275 54.841 53.814 52.299 50.129 26.706 18.124 14.891 15.007 15.571 17.063 36.959 44.201 44.386 43.524 42.695 42.235 41.361 40.138 39.273 38.337 36.907 35.743 35.488 34.118 33.821 33.217 31.772
Vitaly Petrov 4.726 6.083 7.332 8.258 9.641 10.609 11.471 12.249 12.366 13.409 14.351 15.605 15.605 14.24 14.524 16.28 23.077 23.312 24.254 25.413 25.974 27.231 28.278 28.555 30.43 31.031 30.738 30.888 30.656 31.081 31.136 31.785 32.188 31.73 31.083 31.703 32.002 29.635 29.292 29.475 30.202 30.308 30.587 31.599 31.955 32.619 33.018 33.432 33.889 33.828 33.71 32.781 32.765 32.74 31.905 32.135 31.739 30.56
Nico Rosberg 7.231 10.033 12.756 15.763 20.258 22.509 24.626 26.713 28.164 29.613 31.041 33.001 33.71 33.328 34.615 36.815 46.703 49.832 52.825 55.384 57.599 61.115
Felipe Massa 6.087 7.566 10.517 11.614 13.984 15.079 16.581 17.877 18.506 20.424 24.454 26.214 46.576 52.309 52.081 32.791 32.158 33.84 35.653 37.259 38.26 39.497 41.163 41.373 42.528 43.924 45.432 47.233 49.088 51.299 73.332 81.694 82.165 81.938 80.942 59.089 51.027 48.658 49.459 50.22 51.287 51.961 53.098 54.744 55.605 56.314 57.558 80.093 86.296 85.015 84.236 85.605 87.753 87.167 85.215 85.023 85.31 85.186
Kamui Kobayashi 7.787 11.899 14.669 17.514 20.805 23.502 27.681 29.664 30.849 32.768 34.685 36.35 37.499 37.324 40.054 42.834 50.353 51.418 53.491 55.769 59.132 61.898 65.181 65.273 67.066 68.4 69.498 70.758 71.583 72.609 73.325 93.834 101.977 101.845 100.517 78.027 69.787 67.494 67.683 68.099 68.986 70.34 70.978 71.952 72.451 72.482 72.92 73.066 72.976 72.94 72.451 72.496 73.062 74.093 73.972 76.275 76.988 76.872
Sebastien Buemi 13.012 15.405 17.492 19.495 22.585 25.158 28.888 31.504 32.874 34.792 36.602 39.912 41.157 41.016 64.745 52.817 54.674 55.695 58.028 60.373 62.183 64.086 68.492 69.302 69.958 70.799 71.805 72.967 93.044 103.46 104.486 104.782 105.312 105.399 105.243 82.649 74.307 72.014 72.169 72.855 74.121 75.369 76.044 77.036 77.586 77.904 78.758 79.635 81.504 82.865 83.949 85.31 87.538 92.522 94.317 97.402 100.392
Michael Schumacher 63.319 73.34 77.229 80.488 83.985 86.961 90.253 95.398 98.922 104.866 109.68 112.2 113.821 117.158 122.248 107.2 131.347 141.804 146.153
Jaime Alguersuari 35.77 43.423 44.003 44.344 45.322 46.287 49.121 51.185 51.827 53.238 55.63 57.802 59.068 59.469 61.656 45.218 69.865 80.574 83.318 85.465 87.268 88.736 93.471 94.478 96.309 99.982 102.119 104.527 106.871 109.294 111.378 113.543 116.217 118.404 144.327 130.456 124.224 121.752 121.469 121.626 121.953 122.06 122.706 123.606 124.6 125.148 126.121 127.099 128.684 132.25 133.82 134.884 136.529 139.225 141.471 146.648 150.61
Sergio Perez 14.554 19.124 22.627 25.441 29.098 32.662 35.454 38.292 43.22 47.154 49.131 50.975 52.182 54.098 55.779 38.518 40.242 43.321 46.926 50.556 54.413 58.546 82.782 92.712 93.16 93.141 92.88 92.817 92.149 92.338 92.148 92.277 92.177 93.081 92.38 71.212 62.54 59.649 58.606 58.602 59.007 59.309 59.319 59.612 59.461 59.031 59.367 60.893 60.797 60.542 61.212 60.927 61.062 61.807 62.444 64.021 65.214 65.845
Paul di Resta 9.453 12.254 15.282 18.031 21.81 24.428 29.509 32.726 34.531 37.966 39.994 42.083 43.573 66.146 73.208 54.671 55.628 57.254 59.598 63.088 65.972 68.028 71.489 73.316 76.901 78.66 80.015 81.69 83.517 85.128 86.311 87.572 89.364 90.249 90.706 92.071 93.302 93.364 94.781 96.192 98.22 99.978 103.308 105.589 107.508 109.325 111.833 113.998 116.241 118.102 120.208 122.18 125.912 129.756 133.276 139.619 145.453
Pastor Maldonado 15.1 20.547 25.377 29.142 32.704 34.694 36.294 38.798 42.079
Adrian Sutil 13.411 16.232 18.186 19.985 23.217 25.833 29.903 33.169 34.898 36.487 37.879 40.448 41.75 41.628 43.395 46.61 56.74 58.195 60.456 64.151 66.672 68.954 72.136 73.739 75.1 76.484 77.939 79.749 81 82.672 83.743 85.066 86.656 87.588 87.875 66.771 79.42 86.258 87.27 88.7 92.813 94.318 95.786 97.621 99.159 100.736 104.371 105.831 107.069 108.274 109.466 110.06 111.163 112.28 112.907 114.524 116.481
Rubens Barrichello 16.862 20.759 23.969 25.73 29.367 31.289 32.943 35.412 37.969 40.632 42.91 44.722 65.472 69.957 69.283 49.854 50.957 52.058 54.118 56.38 58.462 61.528 115.259 124.129 124.472 125.209 125.217 139.134 148.089 150.741 151.185 151.871 153.018 153.353 153.035 134.465 128.391 127.435 129.306 153.84 167.233 170.302 172.445 174.55 175.77 176.796 177.903 181.049
Nick Heidfeld 13.982 17.481 19.835 22.694 25.757 28.814 32.01 34.836 37.491 39.957 42.126 44.263 47.111 48.186 69.318 56.963 57.604 59.333 61.736 64.503 67.576 70.381 74.241 75.588 78.583 80.8 82.495 84.23 86.173 109.945 118.198 119.463 120.609 121.809 124.389 103.544 96.988 96.349 99.65 104.094 106.98 109.368 111.242 114.017 116.667 118.896 121.701 126.312 129.806 134.776 137.704 142.11 147.028 151.615 157.12 161.016 165.588
Heikki Kovalainen 14.774 20.02 24.685 28.51 33.609 37.516 41.121 44.975 48.087 51.755 54.993 58.589 61.177 62.187 64.922 48.12 75.253 85.225 89.125
Jarno Trulli 16.004 22.873 28.615 33.101 37.994 42.975 47.653 52.847 56.865 61.503 65.537 69.314 72.628 75.815 79.869 86.598 98.128 103.3 108.101 112.903 121.34 125.289 130.327 135.184 138.608 141.716 144.253 150.124 157.69 161.276 164.217 167.13 169.993 172.371 177.343 160.654 180.12 194.377 201.125 205.394 208.952 216.24 219.73 223.009 228.849 231.457 234.392 238.373 244.375 246.672 248.615 250.078 252.635 258.481 260.997 265.739
Timo Glock 16.86 23.953 29.62 34.96 40.255 45.321 51.502 56.105 59.677 64.258 68.195 72.086 75.518 77.728 81.036 65.965 69.467 94.014 711.166 735.321 743.293 750.783 756.535 760.795 766.457 771.327 775.738 780.426 787.218 802.068 810.429 818.842 827.451 833.275 838.096 822.607 820.144 822.621 829.737 835.722 844.456 850.768 861.72 872.972 880.234 885.83 895.388 900.706 909.72
Jerome dAmbrosio 16.532 23.487 29.29 34.542 39.882 44.978 50.492 56.744 61.268 66.638 71.7 77.359 87.729 113.633 128.752 119.032 126.917 132.526 139.178 146.751 156.942 165.085 172.049 177.777 185.84 192.81 199.896 206.443 212.367 219.929 225.833 231.718 239.729 248.116 253.965 238.108 238.007 266.291 283.385 289.518 295.917 300.93 307.073 311.752 319.2 323.348 327.718 335.829 340.293 344.517 350.132 354.269 359.705 367.582
  • Timo Glock had to spend a long time in the pits after a problem with a loose wheel.
  • The quickest of the second year teams (Jarno Trulli) was over a minute and a half behind the next car at the end of the race.
  • Lewis Hamilton dropped back quickly from leader Vettel at the end of the race due to his broken floor.
  • Paul di Resta was also told to slow down towards the end of the race to save fuel.
  • Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber weren’t quick enough on their three-stop strategies to beat two-stopping Vitaly Petrov.

Lap chart

This graph shows each driver’s position on each lap. Use the controls below to show/hide different drivers:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58
Sebastian Vettel 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 4 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Lewis Hamilton 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Mark Webber 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 7 8 7 7 6 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 6 6 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Jenson Button 4 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 4 4 4 3 3 4 6 9 12 12 12 8 8 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
Fernando Alonso 5 9 8 8 8 7 7 7 7 7 7 5 12 13 10 9 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 5 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Vitaly Petrov 6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 4 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 5 5 5 5 5 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Nico Rosberg 7 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 6 5 5 5 8 9 9 8 8 8 8
Felipe Massa 8 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 6 5 11 12 10 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 4 4 4 4 8 7 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 10 10 10 10 10 10 9 9 9 9 9
Kamui Kobayashi 9 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 7 6 6 7 10 10 10 10 9 10 10 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 8 7 11 11 11 11 10 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
Sebastien Buemi 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 9 8 8 13 15 12 12 12 11 11 11 9 9 9 9 9 9 13 12 12 12 12 12 12 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 9 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 10
Michael Schumacher 11 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 21 21 21 21 21 20 20 21 21 20
Jaime Alguersuari 12 21 21 21 21 21 21 19 18 18 17 17 16 15 14 12 11 17 16 16 16 16 16 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 13 13 13 13 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13
Sergio Perez 13 14 14 14 14 14 15 15 15 16 15 15 15 14 13 11 9 8 8 7 7 7 7 13 13 13 13 13 13 12 11 11 10 10 10 10 9 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
Paul di Resta 14 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 12 12 11 10 16 17 16 13 13 13 13 13 13 10 10 11 11 11 11 10 10 10 9 9 9 9 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12
Pastor Maldonado 15 16 16 17 17 16 16 16 16 15
Adrian Sutil 16 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 11 11 10 9 9 8 12 14 14 14 14 14 14 11 11 10 10 10 10 9 9 9 8 8 8 8 8 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11
Rubens Barrichello 17 20 17 15 15 15 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 17 17 15 14 11 11 11 10 9 9 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15
Nick Heidfeld 18 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 12 11 16 17 15 15 15 15 15 15 12 12 12 12 12 12 11 14 14 14 14 14 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
Heikki Kovalainen 19 15 15 16 16 17 17 17 17 17 16 16 17 16 15 14 13 18 17 17
Jarno Trulli 20 17 18 18 18 18 18 18 19 19 18 18 18 18 18 18 19 19 19 18 17 17 17 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15
Timo Glock 21 19 20 20 20 20 20 21 20 20 19 19 19 19 19 19 18 16 18 21 19 19 19 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 17
Jerome d’Ambrosio 22 18 19 19 19 19 19 20 21 21 20 20 20 20 20 21 21 20 20 19 18 18 18 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 17 16 16 16 16 16 16

The Sauber drivers were disqualified after the race.

Fastest laps

The Ferrari drivers set the two fastest lap of the race:

Rank Driver Car Fastest lap Gap On lap
1 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’28.947 55
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’29.487 0.540 49
3 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’29.600 0.653 50
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’29.844 0.897 44
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’29.883 0.936 49
6 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’29.962 1.015 39
7 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’30.064 1.117 55
8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’30.314 1.367 41
9 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’30.384 1.437 51
10 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’30.467 1.520 41
11 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’30.836 1.889 44
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’31.404 2.457 47
13 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’31.526 2.579 55
14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’31.941 2.994 40
15 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’32.377 3.430 43
16 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’32.550 3.603 52
17 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’33.503 4.556 21
18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’34.102 5.155 7
19 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’34.523 5.576 44
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’34.918 5.971 19
21 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’35.319 6.372 13
22 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’35.789 6.842 48

2011 Australian Grand Prix


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103 comments on Lack of KERS no problem for Vettel at start

  1. Mouse_Nightshirt said on 27th March 2011, 18:09

    I wonder what would have happened had Hamilton not bogged down? I suspect that in race trim that McLaren has the Red Bull in check; Hamilton had several periods of catchup during that race and it wasn’t until he tried plank surfing that Vettel became totally uncatchable.

    What exactly was it that cost Glock all that time?

    • Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 27th March 2011, 18:31

      Timo Glock had to spend a long time in the pits after a problem with a loose wheel.

      From the article.

      • Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 27th March 2011, 19:56

        Jeez I’m blind.

        • Henry said on 28th March 2011, 10:47

          Sure Hamilton will have lost some pace with the floor problem, but at the same time it would be foolish to think that we saw seb vettel driving at his most intense, pushing the car as hard as possible the whole time – he probably had some (maybe not huge amounts but some) performance in hand and was just keeping a set distance over hamilton for the second half of the race.

    • Andy W (@andy-w) said on 27th March 2011, 19:33

      I also wonder how much easier life might have been for Webber had he had KERS… There is no taking away the brilliant job Seb did today, but to say that Red Bull did brilliantly without KERS completely ignores the fact that Webber was a country mile behind his team mate…

      • Oliver said on 27th March 2011, 19:44

        We don’t know for sure if Webber is driving the new car or a partially new car. Perhaps Redbull just giving him a car sufficient to get a decent result without challenging the number one.

        • Andy W (@andy-w) said on 27th March 2011, 22:23

          Which would go against the entire ethos of the team…. and everything which everyone tied into the team including Mark himself has stated…. and we know he isn’t shy about dropping hints when he feels (rightly) hard done by.

          I just think Webber’s performance should be taken into consideration of whether Red Bull really scored such a sneaky goal by not running KERS…

          Anyway i look forward to Malaysia and subsequent races to see how the story of KERS unfolds.

  2. Jonathan said on 27th March 2011, 18:11

    Hi Keith — thanks for the great coverage.

    I thought you might take this opportunity to point out that Vettel left the track when overtaking Button and therefore should have received a penalty. It seems the stewards are still failing to enforce this rule.

    • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 27th March 2011, 19:18

      But he still had two wheels on the track which meant the move was legal

    • Mads (@mads) said on 27th March 2011, 19:41

      A few other drivers did the same thing and were not penalized either. And Vettel were ahead of Button when he (Vettel) left the track. It depends on how you define when an overtake is done. After the next corner or when the overtaking driver is clear of the other car.

      • Nitpicker said on 27th March 2011, 19:44

        It was part of the overtake manoeuvre. A driver can pass another car at a higher speed if he chooses a line that goes wide of the track bounds. Whether or not Vettel was already ahead/behind at the time of leaving the track is moot, baby.

      • Bren said on 27th March 2011, 19:45

        im getting a bit sick of this ‘oh but i was ahead before i decided to redesign the circuit’ what does that have to do with anything?

        if vettel had kept to the track he wouldnt of kept ahead of button cos he wouldnt of been able to carry the speed into the corner to get by in first place.

        Button kept saying the same about massa. nose ahead or not they were racing and he left the circuit to gain an advantage.

        • Mads (@mads) said on 27th March 2011, 20:32

          Button were not ahead at any point in the fight against Massa. Vettel had his whole car clear of Button before he left the track. Being in front or not has that to do with it, that it could be seen as an overtake and then after that the overtaking driver has a slight off but rejoins the track and didn’t loose position.
          In this situation it is not that complex, but you could imagine two drivers entering a turn that leads directly into another corner and if one of the drivers overtakes but it not quite clear of the other driver and then he has a small off because he bakes too late and has to take a very wide line though the second corner but without loosing position. What would the call be then?
          It is much easier to define an overtake outside the track when he is cutting the corner, because by cutting a corner you are in most cases gaining time on that lap no matter what.
          I agree that he could not have carried the same speed into the corner, but then again he would have trouble to accelerate out of the corner and compromise his position into the next turn which would slow him down. Other drivers did the same move as Vettel but didn’t have the luxury of being ahead when they left the track and were not punished either.
          In any case though i think that overtaking outside the track is wrong, but i think that rather then being controlled by the stewards it should be the track that physically forced drivers to stay within its limits, not a rulebook.

    • Those people claiming Vettel should be penalised for overtaking Button should watch the manoeuvre again, in slow motion if needed.He first went to the outside of the track behind Jenson and then jumped to the inside coming out of the right hand turn,got next to JB,who instinctively moved about 6-7 feet towards him,still leaving Vettel ample room to not touch the lines.In the left hander SV got over Button and he only moved off track once he was at least 2 cars in front of JB.For me a brilliant pass,which probably won him the race.With fresh rubber, but without KERS !
      An excellent answer to those critisising his overtaking abilities.

      • Leaving the track is illegal at any time let alone when overtaking. It is however often overlooked unless during an overtaking maneuver. Hamilton was punished for leaving the track when overtaking Kimi in that famous incident a few years ago even though he was also ahead at the time. Having said that I have never seen any driver punished for leaving the circuit at that point of the melbourne track which is surprising as using the extra width gives an enormous amount of speed advantage as anyone that watches closely can see (also those that have driven the track on a sim). I honestly wish that they would be consistent with this rule as it does seem unfair that some drivers get punished while others get away with it.

        • LHJBFTW (@lhjbftw) said on 27th March 2011, 21:24

          they should just make that kerb bigger and wider so cars that do go outside lose time. Problem solved :)

        • Kimster said on 27th March 2011, 21:25

          There is a difference between cutting a corner on the inside (Hamilton Spa) and running wide on a corner (Vettel Australia).
          90 times out of 100 u don’t gain any places when running wide as with cutting a corner is 100% guaranteed success.

          • Jonathan said on 27th March 2011, 21:36

            I think you’re right — cutting the inside is worse than leaving the track around the outside.

            Both BOTH are illegal. Keith has consistently complained about this on this blog and today we saw another great example.

        • Mark Hitchcock said on 27th March 2011, 21:37

          Drivers usually seem to be punished for cutting corners rather than running wide to gain speed (see Kimi’s line through turn 1 at Spa).

          It’s certainly easier to prove that a driver deliberately cut a corner on the inside than it is to prove they ran wide deliberately and didn’t just miss their braking point or lose grip and run wide on an exit.

          • Jonathan said on 27th March 2011, 21:43

            Kimi should have been penalized at Spa. It’s a problem that never goes away.

            Basically, run-off areas are there for safety purposes not tactical purposes. When drivers treat the run-off area like an extension of the track, it’s cheating.

        • Jonathan said on 27th March 2011, 21:38

          That’s right — it’s illegal at any time. The punishments come in when a driver gains an advantage, and I’m afraid Vettel clearly did on this occasion.

          • However are things that are deemed to be “lengthening” the track are permitted. Wheres as cutting a corner shortens the track.

            A good example would be running wide at the exit of Variante Ascari is normally fine as it is lengthening the race track not shortening the distance travelled?

          • Jonathan said on 27th March 2011, 21:54

            I think if a driver gains a tactical advantage by going fully off the track at the Variante Ascari, they should get a penalty.

            Why even bother having a white line if it means nothing?

            It’s meant to be there for safety — to leave a run-off area between the track and the wall. When drivers treat the run-off area as an extension of the track it’s potentially unsafe.

          • Realised that I was between asking a question and stating something there. Sorry.

            I was just bringing up that running wide and lengthing the track is generally not frowned on as much as shortening the track.

      • Jake said on 27th March 2011, 22:48

        For me there’s a simple way of looking at it:

        Would Vettel had got past Button if there was a gravel trap or grass there?

        Simple answer: NO

        Therefore he’s gained an place by going off the circuit and should be punished

      • Robert said on 28th March 2011, 4:05

        I fully agree with acclestoned. What a fantastic move. I especially love it because Button was DELIBERATLEY trying to slow him down so that Hamlton gains a place. Surely shut-up so many people here who were saying he can’t overtake. I’d also love to see how many people would be complaining if Ham/But did the overtake and not Vettel. They would be praising it as the pass of the season.. Bias Much?!

        • Jonathan said on 28th March 2011, 9:53

          I’m not a McLaren fan. But remember that this move effectively robbed us of a great race: if Vettel had stayed behind Button, Hamilton would have got out ahead of him and we would have seen a great battle for the lead.

        • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 28th March 2011, 10:47

          Surely shut-up so many people here who were saying he can’t overtake

          - Superior car
          - Superior tyres
          - Button apparently holding him up

          Not the greatest proof. If he continues to do stuff like this though, that would be a sign he's grown as a racing driver.

      • BBT (@bbt) said on 28th March 2011, 8:13

        A brillant pass.. piff. He broke the rules.. fact. All four wheels at least half a car off the track and so did one of the sister cars I forget which driver

        Not that I’m saying that either should be penalised, although they have said they are going to crack down on it this season, but they’ve said that before and never do,.

      • Madman (@madman) said on 28th March 2011, 23:25

        Hamilton in France (I think) a few years ago anyone?

        He was clearly past the driver (can’t remember who but went wide at the next corner (gaining a slight advantage). He got penalised or had to give the place back (I can’t remember all the details exactly, but rightly so either way, even if it was very annoying from my perspective).

        I don’t see how this is different to that; as far as I could see Vettle’s off gained him a slight advantage which kept him ahead even if he was ahead before he went off (although this is subjective)!

        It is like Schumacher in Canada last year cutting chicanes to keep whoever it was behind (although not quite as bad if there was a scale).

        If they can get away with gaining/keeping places by going off the circuit they may as well just do 50 doughnuts over the start/finish line and claim they have done 50 laps!

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 27th March 2011, 23:47

      I think Vettel would have probably made it stick.

      However given how many today have commented on the Sauber disqualification and the possibility of a Hamilton disqualification with a variation of “rules are rules” and the rules clearly say you have to use only the confines of the circuit, how does that stand up?

      I think we should have a clean slate, no more going off the track unless pushed or having a problem.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th March 2011, 9:19

      A very nice link to the ESPN race edit. Shows Vettel was pretty solidly in front before he got off with all wheels.

      Sure, maybe McLaren should have got a go at getting him penalized why not try it. I doubt that would have succeeded though.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 28th March 2011, 10:44

        Looks clear that he could have stayed on track and kept ahead. So why didn’t he? Robbed momentum into the next corner, leaving him vulnerable to a counter-pass, or at the least, losing a bit of time?

        This is why I say the rule should be enforced, so we don’t have this silly speculation every time. Better yet, a car’s width of gravel at each side of the track.

  3. sato113 (@sato113) said on 27th March 2011, 18:12

    great analysis! i love these articles the most.

    i’ve had no internet for the last few days so here’s my analysis: i thought it was a good race and without the ker and DRS it would have been a bit boring. the great thing about the DRS, is it meant drivers could catch up not just overtake…
    One problem we see with the tyres is that when a driver comes under pressure, he can just pit to avoid being overtaken. (note how HAM closed up on VET, and VET simply pitted straight away)
    this won’t be the case towards the end of races though.

    Good:PET, VET, ALO
    Bad:WEB, MAS, HEI
    bring on round 2.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2011, 18:17

      Actually it was not all bad for Massa. I would rather say Ferrari missed a trick here, they definetily needed more temperature to make the tyres work. Massa did a great start and very solid defence against Button in the first stint.

    • Nitpicker said on 27th March 2011, 19:46

      I don’t think drivers can pit willy-nilly. They have less tyres this year and at other tracks we may see higher wear rates — so choosing when to pit is a more measured decision.

  4. danielbts said on 27th March 2011, 18:14

    Is this article right? Mclaren used some sort of KERS back in 98?

    http://grandprix.com/ns/ns01518.html

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2011, 18:14

    It promised a pretty interesting race and gave us nice thing to speculate about for the next race.

    Will Red Bull use KERS in Malaysia, will it be good if they do, will they lose a lot without. And what about KERS on the other cars?

    Will Webber / Massa keep up with their team mates, or is this year going to mark them down as 2nd drivers for good.
    Is Heidfeld already rife to be exchanged for Senna, will Renault give Bruno some FP running now just to prepare?
    What about Mercedes, they never really had a chance of showing what the car can do. And what about Williams, Rubens showed good speed before he speared Rosberg. But the car does have reliability problems.

    And last but not least, will HRT get to participate in the race next time round? If they do, will they be faster than Virgin.

    • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 27th March 2011, 18:20

      Red Bull will surely have to use KERS in Malaysia, they’ll be losing loads of places on the long straight down to turn 1 otherwise

      As for Heidfeld people are being far too harsh on him, he did suffer significant damage at turn 1 and his KERS wasn’t working. http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/110930477/AFP

      • Wow, I never noticed that. I feel sorry for Heidfeld, he’s had no luck this weekend.

        • RIISE (@riise) said on 27th March 2011, 18:46

          I wish they would’ve shown that in the coverage, I was cursing how terrible Nick was in that race.

          • Guilherme (@the_philosopher) said on 27th March 2011, 21:24

            I know that FOM didn’t give any attention to Heidfeld’s problems today, but at least I did notice the damage on his car during the race, about two or three times during the whole thing (probably the number of times he acutally appeared during the race!).

            But yeah, I agree, the coverage today was ridiculous. I think that in the beginning of the race Rubens was setting up an overtake on Perez, but yet when he was going to overtake him, the TV didn’t show. Also, it may be just me, but I think there were too few onboard moments.

          • Mike said on 28th March 2011, 1:13

            It wasn’t that bad was it? I mean, when covering an event live you have to realise it’s hard to show all the right things.

            They did swap over to lots of key moments in time, and followed most of the battles that were taking place.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 28th March 2011, 9:04

            Talking about bad tv coverage… did anyone see how Alonso got past Rosberg? I know he overtook Kobayashi, and after that was Rosberg… but absolutely no footage of that pass.

      • bosyber said on 27th March 2011, 18:46

        Wow, that picture shows two things:

        1) Heidfeld and Renault did pretty well keeping the car going with that damage (with exhaust now being deflected differently, and potentially into the sidepod) must have caused badly unbalanced car; and

        2) once again, the people directing the camera’s could improve our sense of how action-packed a race is by just showing more of what happens on track, especially with the people in and behind the midfield, I can’t recall having seen clear shots of Heidfeld ever during the race.

        • Nitpicker said on 27th March 2011, 19:49

          There’s been a lot of aero optimisation around these fancy-shaped sidepods over the last few years. That big hole would have made quite a difference in downforce and stability.

      • james_mc said on 27th March 2011, 18:46

        Neither did I, I assume that no-one saw it because of FOM’s selective feeding. :-(

        I wonder who did it because they wouldn’t have come off of it particularly well either!

        • After looking at the start again, it seems that a Williams hit Heidfeld at turn 1. FOM’s feed was rubbish, I’ve heard about plenty of passes that we didn’t see.

      • james_mc said on 27th March 2011, 18:50

        And shame on FOM for not letting that gem get to the world feed – I checked on LRGP’s website and they made reference to the fact that it wasn’t shown on TV. Raging

      • disjunto (@disjunto) said on 27th March 2011, 19:07

        People base their opinions on his drive based on what we saw on TV, which was the final position. Don’t remember seeing him on track a single time during the GP.

        Awful coverage apparently if they missed something that interesting out, how did that car even manage to finish?

      • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 27th March 2011, 19:14

        The big one will be when Red Bull don’t have the lead and they have to make a pass without KERS. A lot of drivers will probably save their KERS for the DRS zone if they’re under attack to even out the drag reduction. Massa did it with Button early on; saved his KERS, Button got very close but when he used the DRS Massa countered with a big burst of KERS.
        Cant believe Red Bull didn’t have some sort of KERS for the start… or everyone else must have bogged down like crazy.

  6. Oliver said on 27th March 2011, 18:22

    I actually like RedBull’s/Newey’s approach to racing. They have done an analysis of the circuits and designed their car accordingly. Top speed is purely academic if it can’t be converted to track position. As such their cars are faster where it matters, around corners. Meaning they come out of the corner faster hence would still travel down the straights in a faster time despite notreaching the fastest speeds.

    They will only suffer slightly on a few tracks but the penalty wont be all that great.
    KERS is just for those who want technology for technology sake not for relevance.
    Except you just enjoy playing with buttons and dials that adjust brake bias to match te charge/discharge cycles.

    Oh might also interest a few who enjoy pressing a zap button and watching batteries run out.

    • Bren said on 27th March 2011, 19:48

      yep and remember in 09 the kers cars interestingly only came to the fore on circuits that DIDNT have long straights. like hungary. and lewis was quick at monaco when up to that point they had been on the back of the grid all year.

      kers seems better for acceleration rather than top speed.

      • Nitpicker said on 27th March 2011, 19:52

        80bhp makes a big difference to acceleration; to top speed, not so much. However if you can accelerate harder out of a corner, that enables a higher top speed going onto a long straight.

        • LHJBFTW (@lhjbftw) said on 27th March 2011, 21:33

          The impression I got was red bull weren’t running KERS because of reliability. They will probably have to run it at some tracks. they do have a KERS to run, they used it in FP1

          • Charlie said on 28th March 2011, 13:36

            Horner said in an interview on the BBC coverage that KERS wasn’t included because they couldn’t fit in within the space available on Newey’s design. So it’s a case of aero trumping KERS in the design decisions. Presuming that’s true of course.

  7. sweetooth (@sweetooth) said on 27th March 2011, 18:24

    Yeah I noticed that with Vettel overtaking Button, but no one else seems to have mentioned it

    • Oliver said on 27th March 2011, 18:33

      I guess in the eyes of the stewards, Vettel was jus avoiding an obstacle, considering Button was under or about to be under investigation, I guess. Not the first time the stewards have looked the otherway. Not so sure its important though.

  8. Oliver said on 27th March 2011, 18:28

    By the way, I noticed Barichello had just deployed KERS moments before he plunged into Rosberg. Strange he blamed the tyres when hewas clearly aiming for the inside. Guess memory does suffer with age selectively. :-)

  9. Coxy said on 27th March 2011, 18:53

    It pains me to say it but I think massa drove admirably today, not only did he manage to make his car seem really wide to button bit he very clerverly saved and then used his kers to defend against buttons Drs. A very good move from a well rounded and experienced driver,

    I have not seen a replay but I also thought vettle went off track to pass button, and I think Hamilton would have pressed vettle all the way home had it not been for his damaged car.

    Love the stats Keith, very interesting as always, but I do wonder of the fastest laps which ones we completed using the drs.

    One more thing, I think drs cut it’s teeth well today, it appeaed from my point of veiw to have assiseded in a few overtakes but was far from being the free for all easy overtake button so many predicted

    • Oliver said on 27th March 2011, 19:02

      Kobayashi didn’t try to make it difficult for either Button or Alonso. I guess he was just trying to get a result in his first race of the year.

  10. Eggry (@eggry) said on 27th March 2011, 18:56

    #N/A…poor HRT

  11. Ben Bailey said on 27th March 2011, 19:21

    Has no one else noticed that the only two drivers to start the race on hard tyres only made one stop! Surely we will see the back 12 all start on hard at the next race and one stop whilst the front runners all make 2/3 stops. Could 11th be the new pole position?
    What a missed opportunity for Brawns/Schumis apparently amazing tactical genius…

    • Oliver said on 27th March 2011, 19:35

      My point exactly. If a driver is not going to qaulify in the first 6 places, it almost isn’t worth it trying to get into the top 10 as you waste tyres and then get further penalized by being forced to use your worn out tyres. Only to have all those you out qualify blowing past you at the start.

    • Bren said on 27th March 2011, 19:51

      yeah i was amazed schumi didnt try to start on hard tyres.

      but they missed great gambles like this last year too when they had nothing to losre

      • Nitpicker said on 27th March 2011, 19:56

        Maybe they thought Schumacher using new softs was a big enough advantage over the 10 cars ahead on used softs.

  12. Stefan said on 27th March 2011, 19:29

    Alonso did 1 stop too many to be able to fight for 2nd, and perhaps 1st. Same goes for Webber, why didn’t he do a 2 stop like Vettel did?

    Strategy standings
    Vettel+Hamilton 1-0 Ferrari

  13. Bren said on 27th March 2011, 19:52

    did anyone ever find out why webber parked it at the end of the race???

    must of been a reason? its his home grand prix surely he would want to do the slow down lap?

    • River said on 28th March 2011, 3:03

      I suggest that during practise one Vettel’s kers failed, Vettel’s decides to run no Kers. In keeping with team policy both drivers having equal equipment. Webber is told he cannot use Kers. During race he needs it, is frustrated and annoyed at team, parks it as soon as he possibly can.

    • According to Red Bull they were worried that Webber’s car might get caught with too little fuel for the obligatory post-race minimum fuel sample.

  14. Paul said on 27th March 2011, 19:53

    Keith – You say the Bulls may be vulnerable on tracks with a longer pit straight and this certainly sounds right but do you have all the pit straight lengths to see which tracks they will be worried about?

    • Gridlock said on 27th March 2011, 20:25

      The best lie has a grain of truth in it – so perhaps Newey has allowed a KERS into the car that can do one start. Who knows.

      I am perplexed why in 09 when there was also the OPTION to run KERS non-KERS cars had the graphic onscreen crossed out – so this year did Lotus have onscreen batteries the same as RB, or were RB telling data porkies?

  15. Gridlock said on 27th March 2011, 20:23

    Sorry, but again, 35 laps!

    And if I’ve read the infringement right they did this with a rear wing that was too concave, which in my amateurish picture in my head means higher rear downforce than should have been allowed, ie the error should have made tyre wear worse!

    *goes to put money on Perez WDC within 3y*

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