Webber fastest by 1.6 seconds in first practice

2011 Malaysian GP first practice

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Sepang, 2011

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Sepang, 2011

Mark Webber was the fastest driver in the first practice session for the second weekend in a row.

The Red Bull driver was fastest for most of the session, before dramatically lowering his time to a 1’37.651, putting him over a second and a half faster than anyone else.

Lewis Hamilton was second fastest for McLaren with Michael Schumacher third.

A late improvement by Nico H???lkenberg put the Force India driver fourth ahead of Pastor Maldonado.

Ferrari had a quiet session and spent much of it with their drivers running at fixed speeds on the straights for aerodynamics testing. Felipe Massa ended the session sixth with Fernando Alonso ninth.

Alonso was one of several drivers to run wide at turn eight. Sergio Perez also skidded wide at the corner.

Narain Karthikeyan’s participation in the session came to an early halt as a plume of smoke erupted from the back of his HRT as he left the pits. He eventually came to a stop just after turn four.

Renault driver Nick Heidfeld also hit trouble when his front-right brake locked solid shortly after he’d set the fastest time of the session.

He had to drive the R31 back to the with only three wheels rotating for an entire lap, by the end of which a huge chunk of the tyre had worn away and sparks and smoke were coming from the underside of the car.

Team mate Vitaly Petrov also had problems, spending most of the session in the garage after his installation lap. Once he did join the track he suffered a failure on the front-left corner which sent him spinning into the gravel trap at turn nine.

Late in the session Jerome d’Ambrosio suffered a similar failure at the front-right of his car. The wheel came off entirely, sending him into the gravel trap at the final corner.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’37.651 22
2 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’39.316 1.665 16
3 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’39.791 2.140 29
4 15 Nico H???lkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’40.377 2.726 23
5 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’40.443 2.792 31
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’40.453 2.802 22
7 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’40.525 2.874 6
8 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’40.581 2.930 21
9 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’40.601 2.950 23
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’40.646 2.995 29
11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’40.734 3.083 21
12 18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’40.748 3.097 23
13 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’40.770 3.119 24
14 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.872 3.221 27
15 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.927 3.276 16
16 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’41.620 3.969 21
17 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’41.627 3.976 18
18 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.642 3.991 24
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’42.154 4.503 18
20 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’42.540 4.889 20
21 20 Davide Valsecchi Lotus-Renault 1’44.054 6.403 18
22 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’45.228 7.577 20
23 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’46.267 8.616 10
24 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’47.932 10.281 4

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

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64 comments on Webber fastest by 1.6 seconds in first practice

  1. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 8th April 2011, 4:40

    The new double wheel tethers seem to be doing their job!

  2. Jay said on 8th April 2011, 4:43

    Ferrari better hope that thier aerodynamic evaluation will bring them closer to red bull.

    Hope FP2 will be a more realistic representation of the true pace of the others

  3. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 8th April 2011, 4:43

    d’Ambrosio’s failure was very similar to Raikkonen’s at the Nurburgring in 2005. I wonder if he had a flat spot, too?

  4. Dave Blanc said on 8th April 2011, 4:44

    I missed the session. Anyone know why there is such a big between Webber/Vettel and Butto/Hamilton? Were they running different programmes/tyres?

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 8th April 2011, 4:46

      I’d imagine so. Although I couldn’t tell which tyres they were all running with my low quality video feed because of the silly colouring system they have this year. :(

  5. anto the irish said on 8th April 2011, 4:44

    vetel doing a full fuel setup run on a friday?

  6. Eggry (@eggry) said on 8th April 2011, 4:45

    I hope this is not true pace.

  7. dragon said on 8th April 2011, 4:51

    I know it goes largely unnoticed, but as an Aussie I follow Ricciardo’s times closely – and so far, both times he’s been given the car he’s been pretty impressive, both against his STR teammates and the rest of the field. I know that FP1 means next to nothing in the long run, but it’s still good to see. Here’s hoping an F1 seat becomes available to him in the not too distant future, another Aussie to continue flying the flag in the sport!

    • Dave Blanc said on 8th April 2011, 4:56

      Agree. I think we’ll see him in the race car later in the season at this rate.

    • DARREN said on 8th April 2011, 4:59

      I agree Ricciardo has never put a foot wrong with his f1 car efforts.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 8th April 2011, 5:03

      Yup, another jewel of Redbull young driver programm.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 8th April 2011, 5:10

      Ugh, I’m sick of hearing about Ricciardo. Call me when he actually does something impressive.

      • Dave Blanc said on 8th April 2011, 5:22

        OK Mr Monkey.

      • Andrew G said on 8th April 2011, 6:20

        I think people are sick of you bagging Ricciardo. If you don’t like the comments then just skip over them. Relax.

      • dragon said on 8th April 2011, 10:40

        What’s not impressive about posting FP times that match the STR drivers? I wasn’t aware of any hype either, I’m just going by what I see, thankyou.

        I’m glad I don’t share your pessimistic view of all things Australian…

      • Meander said on 8th April 2011, 10:57

        I’m not part of the Ricciardo hype, but still I think you’ll be eating those words not too long from now, PM.

    • Elliotstan said on 8th April 2011, 5:27

      I think Ricciardo is doing all he can. As long as he keeps up the pressure and puts in as much effort as he can I have no doubt he will have a seat by the end of the year. Probably get to race one or two at the end.

  8. Rocky said on 8th April 2011, 4:53

    Vettel looked a bit concerned getting out of his car maybe this is webbers race…

    • Dane said on 8th April 2011, 5:04

      Maybe he was in Webbers car? :)

    • Oliver said on 8th April 2011, 5:10

      Maybe you’ll win the lottery.

    • Elliotstan said on 8th April 2011, 5:30

      Big thing is that Webber only did a few more laps than Vettel. I thought maybe he was holding back though. Just waiting to try and get two fast ones in at the end. I think Vettel has more to show. The yellow near the end (2nd last min) might have just ruined his rhythm though.

      • Snobeck said on 8th April 2011, 14:43

        Webber has often been very very good at Sepang. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has an edge over Seb this weekend.

  9. DARREN said on 8th April 2011, 5:03

    I think Webber is anxious to show it was the car and not the driver in Melbourne.

  10. Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 8th April 2011, 5:08

    Looks like Luizzi was right about qualifying as the two HRT’s are well within the 107% rule with the slowest of the two drivers Karthikeyan doing 1’46.267 with Webber doing the 1’37.651, which would make the 107% time 1’47.287 so the only driver not in the time is Petrov due to his crash. And the deal with Mercedes for the wind tunnel use should ensure the HRT stays in there.

    • KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 8th April 2011, 5:19

      But the top teams should do 1:35s easily in Q1. That would mean that 107% is around 1:41. Can’t see HRT finding that much time.

    • Argent said on 8th April 2011, 5:20

      I think that you may need to check your math–it looks like you didn’t covert the lap time to seconds before multiplying.

      If you are using Webber’s fastest lap of 1’37.651 to calculate par, then the 107% time would be 1’44.487. Both HRTs would be the only ones out again. Also, it’s quite likely that Renault would get a free pass from the FIA to race, as their other car held a time well within the 107% margin.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th April 2011, 5:31

      Argent’s 107% time is correct (1.07*97.651=104.487) and both HRTs would be outside of it. Virgin looking surprisingly comfortable though.

    • Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 8th April 2011, 5:34

      The 107% time is 1’44.487 so based on that both HRT and Petrov are outside that limit.

      Based on last year’s fastest time of 1’33.542 (FP3 as rainy qualifying) the 107% time would be 1’40.090 which would mean all but top 3 would not qualify based on FP1 times

      Also to mention that last year best time in FP1 was 1’34.921 by Lewis so Webber is still a good 2.7 seconds away from that.

    • SeattleChris said on 8th April 2011, 5:35

      The RBR’s are going to drop many seconds come qualifying. I doubt they will legally make it in this race, but I’ll bet the stewards will allow them in because they’ve missed one race already and its not good for the sport if the rules keep a team out of every race.

      • Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 8th April 2011, 5:42

        Here comes the interesting question – on narrower circuits like Monaco will Red Bull put in a very quick Q1 lap to try to disqualify the slower teams or not.

        Is it an advantage or disadvantage for the fastest team(s) to have the slower teams outside the 107% margin.

        Today’s 107% margin is less though as it used to be as today it is calculated on Q1 times while previous it was based on pole time.

        • Gaston said on 8th April 2011, 21:10

          That’s indeed quite interesting. But then the question comes of who would “take one for the team” and do a Q3-like run in Q1 in order to put the 107% margin as high as possible.

  11. dim23 (@) said on 8th April 2011, 5:10

    Vettel was testing Kers for sure, but did Webber had Kers on his car? Anyone knows?

  12. Emile said on 8th April 2011, 5:12

    Go Massa!

  13. Oliver said on 8th April 2011, 5:20

    I hoped HRT would have done longer runs. As things stand, they will need to find another 5 – 6 seconds to feel safe.

  14. Oliver said on 8th April 2011, 5:26

    Are you sure you are doing your maths right? At 1:40.00 dead, 107% is 1:47.00. So they are are well out of it since webber did a 1:37.65.

  15. Burnout said on 8th April 2011, 5:27

    Did anybody use Pirelli’s experimental tyres this session? Would that explain some of the “discrepancies” in the times set?

    Also, it’s nice to see Trulli doing better than just the Virgin and HRT cars.

  16. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 8th April 2011, 5:27

    Looking at the actual sector times and ultimate lap (best sector times together) Vettel is ranked 4th after Webber, Lewis and Michael. Webber in 1.37 and other 3 in 1.39 the rest of the field is 1.40 or higher

    Webber is fasted on all sectors but sector 2 he really dominates with closest rival Vettel being 0.6 seconds off and nearest non Red Bull 0.8 seconds.

    Vettel only bad sector is sector 3

  17. SeattleChris said on 8th April 2011, 5:40

    Oh, BTW… how many Europeans were on speedtv watching the practice online? I’ll bet a lot were. I just want to point it out for all those silly nanny’s who were complaining about American’s “stealing” their bandwidth and hard earned money. For the record, it costs Americans money too, but we’re not complaining about it. I truly hope you enjoyed the sounds and the practice. Its ridiculous to have those with terrible perspectives commenting that only they should get to see a sport we all enjoy. Besides, someone over on your side of the pond is airing it… who wouldn’t watch what they want if they can?

    • Aussie Fan said on 8th April 2011, 8:43

      What on earth are you going on about buddy?? Lots of European sites stream practice live too, did you really think only speed tv broadcasts it??? Lol…..get off your soapbox Captain America hahaha.

      • SeattleChris said on 9th April 2011, 3:17

        Regardless, the point is just that it was available for the world – I’m certainly not on any soapbox, and I believe if you actually read what I posted it is in fact obvious that I was “going on about” others who previously soapboxed about this topic.

        Just pent up feelings towards those who wouldn’t share if given the choice I guess. Sorry to put you off mate.

  18. bienc (@bienc) said on 8th April 2011, 6:20

    Onboard video of Petrov’s brake failure.


  19. Nick said on 8th April 2011, 6:30

    Not sure how you can bag Ricciardo ‘Prisoner Monkeys’ or whatever your name is (not sure who would call themselves that but anyway). You obviously do not follow his times and efforts close enough to realise what a talent he actually is but you attire yourself as this big F1 fan, getting into the grime of the discussion and now you are just putting him down because you don’t ‘like’ him – come on mate grow up, you are making everyone sick to death of your useless input and low base level of knowledge on the matters at hand.

    • vickyy (@vickyy) said on 8th April 2011, 6:51

      Relax. Don’t be that harsh, if he doesn’t like him so he doesn’t like him, its his opinion.
      Every opinion demands some respect.

  20. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th April 2011, 7:17

    Sounds like really scary stuff for Heidfeld :(

    Sounds about right for HRT.

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