Red Bull two seconds ahead in first practice

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2011

Sebastian Vettel was two seconds faster than any non-Red Bull driver in the first practice session in China.

He lapped the Shanghai International Circuit in 1’38.739, 2.1 seconds faster than Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren in third place.

Jenson Button was fourth-fastest, delayed by a KERS problem on his McLaren.

Fifth-fastest driver Nick Heidfeld damaged his car in a crash one hour into the session.

Among the other incidents were spins by Paul di Resta and Pastor Maldonado.

Lotus’s Luiz Razia also damaged the front right of his car in an incident.

Timo Glock spent much of the session in the garage and HRT’s Vitantonio Liuzzi stopped on track with an apparent technical problem.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’38.739
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’39.354 0.615
3 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.845 2.106
4 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.940 2.201
5 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’40.987 2.248
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’41.046 2.307
7 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.189 2.450
8 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’41.222 2.483
9 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’41.231 2.492
10 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’41.328 2.589
11 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’41.361 2.622
12 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’41.434 2.695
13 14 Nico H?â??lkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’41.494 2.755
14 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’41.579 2.840
15 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’41.610 2.871
16 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’41.752 3.013
17 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’41.939 3.200
18 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’42.301 3.562
19 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’43.792 5.053
20 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’44.089 5.350
21 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’44.359 5.620
22 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’44.438 5.699
23 21 Luiz Razia Lotus-Renault 1’44.542 5.803
24 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’45.019 6.280

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35 comments on Red Bull two seconds ahead in first practice

  1. if they are going to be so fast HRT will never qualify to the race

    • Hoshi said on 15th April 2011, 5:47

      HRT is within the 107% still..cut of is 1.45.6

      • Warwick (@warwick) said on 15th April 2011, 5:50

        Clearly spent too long calculating that :p

      • Warwick (@warwick) said on 15th April 2011, 5:51

        I meant me (below)

        • Gambit said on 15th April 2011, 6:39

          It is painfully obvious that EVERYONE is sandbagging in these practice sessions now. Compare to practice lap times of last year’s. They’ve been doing this since the last race weekend now. I know that the cars are not that drastically slower than last year.

          I never thought that it might be to do HRT a favor, but now that the point has been brought to my attention I think I have to agree.

      • Ben Curly said on 15th April 2011, 8:21

        If you teach yourself to look at it intuitively, you don’t have to calculate anything.

        The cut out time is usually 6-7 seconds behind a leader (for the top time between 1:26 and 1:40). With this simple rule I can see at a glance, if teams are within 107%.

    • Warwick (@warwick) said on 15th April 2011, 5:49

      Unless I’m mistaken, they’re both within 107% by over half a second here.

    • Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 15th April 2011, 5:50

      Even in this practice session they were easily within the 107% limit of 1:45.650

      Luizzi was only 5.7% of Vettel’s pace

    • Scott said on 15th April 2011, 5:53

      I don’t agree, the only time the 107% made impact was when HRT didn’t even put in a hot lap. Last weekend 107% was 1:43.516 and the slowest HRT hit 42.574… so unless they have another pre-qually ‘williams’ (failure) we’ll see them on the grid :)

  2. Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 15th April 2011, 5:32

    top 4 did their fastest laps on soft compound?

  3. hamid05 said on 15th April 2011, 5:43

    Again the Hulk is faster than his team mate ..it just shows you how much he deserves a drive there!!

  4. Eggry (@eggry) said on 15th April 2011, 5:44

    Err….I don’t want to believe.

  5. Eamon (@eamon) said on 15th April 2011, 5:58

    This sucks! He’s gonna win every damn race this year.

  6. F1Fan said on 15th April 2011, 6:00

    Vettel is still sand-bagging !!!

  7. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 15th April 2011, 6:07

    Realizing it is only FP1 times but looking at the team ultimate lap time % distance from Red Bull it is very surprissing to actually see that from Malaysia to China the only teams making gains are the 3 new teams at the back.

    HRT went from 11.0% to 7.0% to now 5.7%
    Virgin went from 7.6% to 5.8% to now 5.4%
    Lotus went from 6.5% to 3.7% to now 3.0%

    To compare:
    Mclaren went from 0.8% to equal to now 2.0%
    Ferrari went from 1.8% to 1.0% to now 2.2%

    Also Williams continuously improved from 3.1% to 2.8% to now 2.6%

    Ultimate team lap time is some of the 3 best times per sector driven by either of their drivers.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th April 2011, 6:23

      I guess its a bit about these teams still being new and learning with each session. Especially for HRT every new lap brings a world of experience.

      Making it the perfect illustration of the nonsense of a 107% rule combined with a in season testing ban.

  8. graigchq (@graigchq) said on 15th April 2011, 6:18

    :S I’m sure the chaps in Milton Keynes will be happy (let’s face it there’s very little else in Milton Keynes to keep them occupied) but this is not what us fans wanted to see: Yet another Red Bull domination weekend.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th April 2011, 6:20

    Hm, so does this mean McLaren got Red Bull scared? The only times they were setting fast laps from the go was when Ferrari or McLaren (or Brawn in 2009) were really threatening the RB cars for pole position.

    That sounds good, if its true. Otherwise a 2 second advantage would be a complete and utterly boring walkover, if nature does not step in!

  10. Derfel17 (@derfel17) said on 15th April 2011, 6:27

    Heikki was fast!

    • Himmat S. said on 15th April 2011, 7:26

      He sure was. Not sure if he was on softs and the rest on hards…and the fuel loads. But if the midfield were pretty even in terms of strategy, the Lotus cars and Heikki in particular should be applauded!

  11. jake said on 15th April 2011, 6:41

    it amazes me how some people now suddenly believe Red Bull are 2 secs faster than anyone else!

  12. John said on 15th April 2011, 6:46

    Red Bull 1-2 ? 2 seconds is a huge gap, but we know Mclaren boys are testing new parts, so maybe tomorrow’s practice session give us a better idea about the gap.

  13. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 15th April 2011, 7:36

    Crazy times from the RB7.

    Good stuff from Heidfeld too.

    • Andy C said on 15th April 2011, 8:11

      Indeed, that Renault has got pace hasnt it. He’d be better placed not putting it in the barriers though ;-)

  14. BBT (@bbt) said on 15th April 2011, 8:13

    Not really the good for RBR.
    Not one else tried to set a quick time, wouldn’t read anything into it.

    Mclaren are just testing a new front wing exhaust and floor.

  15. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 15th April 2011, 9:13

    Who is betting against another Red Bull & Vettel washout in China?.

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