Vettel stays on top in Shanghai

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2011

Sebastian Vettel refused to release his grasp on the top spot in the second practice session in Shanghai.

He set a quickest time of 1’37.688 on his second quick run on soft tyres.

That was one tenth of a second faster than Lewis Hamilton’s first run on the same tyres.

Jenson Button was third-fastest but looked able to go quicker, before he was held up by Jaime Alguersuari.

The Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were foutrh and fifth ahead of Felipe Massa’s Ferrari.

An hydraulic problem kept Fernando Alonso in the pits for part of the session. He was able to get out later in the session but was held up by both HRTs.

For the second session row Nick Heidfeld hit a barrier. This time he ran wide at the first corner and skidded, running nose-first into the barrier at low speed.

Slowly he was able to extract the Renault from the barrier and drag it to an escape road where he was recovered, and returned to the track later in the session.

Paul di Resta was unable to run due to a fuel pressure problem. HRT’s Vitantonio Liuzzi also missed a large amount of the session.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap 1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’37.688 34 2 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’37.854 0.166 22 3 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’37.935 0.247 31 4 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’37.943 0.255 34 5 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’38.105 0.417 29 6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’38.507 0.819 36 7 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’38.735 1.047 35 8 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’38.805 1.117 26 9 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’38.859 1.171 31 10 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’39.327 1.639 33 11 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.538 1.850 33 12 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’39.667 1.979 37 13 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.771 2.083 18 14 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’39.779 2.091 17 15 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.828 2.140 25 16 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’39.925 2.237 32 17 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.953 2.265 30 18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’40.476 2.788 30 19 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’41.482 3.794 32 20 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’42.902 5.214 25 21 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’43.850 6.162 3 22 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’44.008 6.320 35 23 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’44.747 7.059 12

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63 comments on Vettel stays on top in Shanghai

  1. John said on 15th April 2011, 8:38

    Much closer than FP1, lets hope it stays that way for quali tomorrow

    • bleeps_and_tweaks said on 15th April 2011, 11:16

      Yeah I hope it’s as close as Q3 in Sepang, it was brilliant to watch. Although the Hamilton and Button didn’t sound to hopeful afterwards. Hopefully the Renault drivers are in the mix, and fingers crossed for Lotus upsetting the midfield asap.

      Keith, are you in China at the moment or do you follow things live on the web/tv?

  2. tonyyeb (@tonyyeb) said on 15th April 2011, 8:42

    “and returned to the track later in the race”… session?

  3. VXR said on 15th April 2011, 8:42

    Red Bull long run pace is….awesome!

  4. NDINYO said on 15th April 2011, 8:46

    Only 3 other cars with fewer laps than Lewis – didn’t see FP2 but does that McLaren have reliability issues?

    • Dave Blanc said on 15th April 2011, 9:32

      I think he might be trying to save his tyres after last week’s issue in Malaysia.

      • VXR said on 15th April 2011, 9:41

        He doesn’t need to save them during the practice sessions.

        Although doing one lap on the soft tyre and then declaring it to be “finished” doesn’t sound too promising.

        • Don M. said on 15th April 2011, 15:05

          Finished or not, Hamilton should have seen what the tyres were capable of doing and gathered some data. He doesn’t know if the degradation is manageable or if it levels out. As soon as he is unable to set the fastest lap, he seems to want new tyres, like with his pointless extra stop in the last race. This season, the tyres are going to be less than optimum for most of their life and he needs to work out how to cope with that.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 15th April 2011, 9:56

      Dave Blanc could be right.. he must be saving up his allotted soft tyres. But the again, there could me more to it. Lewis just didn’t sound too pleased on the pit radio broadcasts today. I think he is frustrated with the tyre degradation, and that he cannot push hard enough without destroying his tyres.

      • GameR_K (@gamer_k) said on 15th April 2011, 10:04

        AFAIK, whatever tyres that are allocated for Free practice will be returned after the session gets over. So there is no saving tyres for qualifiying run.
        “With the current rules drivers use one set of primes in FP1 and one set each of prime and options in FP2 and FP3. So that leaves you with three new primes and three new options going into qualifying which is where it gets tricky.” – Excerpt from a espnf1 article

      • Andy C said on 15th April 2011, 10:42

        He’s going to have to get used to it.

        Tyre preservation (and brakes in those days too) was always a part of F1 during the mansell/senna/prost era.

        i think F1 drivers have been spoiled by the bridgestone era where they basically had such a wide working window.

        I think it adds to the interest for me, the rabbit and the hare approach is fascinating.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 15th April 2011, 11:14

          I think taking care of your tyres definitely adds some spice to the racing.. but this year it just seems a tad too much. I dont know about you but, I hate to see drivers like Jenson just coasting for most of the race and taking care of the tyres, and then getting rewarded by finishing in 2nd. I much rather see driver pushing their cars to the limit without having to pay a ridiculously high price for it. I guess its just about finding the right balance of tyre management and balls out racing, and honestly, this year I think there is a little too much emphasis on tyre management.

          • leslexx said on 15th April 2011, 22:39

            Could’t agree more

          • Michel S. (@hircus) said on 16th April 2011, 1:14

            I see some ballsy drives by the likes of Alonso and Webber — only Hamilton seems to be overly affected by this tyre management problem.

            If the new tyre rules shows Button in better light than Hamilton — well, it just shows that perhaps Hamilton is not such a well-rounded driver after all. Many of us have known that for several years, it’s just that so far the tyre rule had let Hamilton get away with it.

  5. snowman said on 15th April 2011, 8:47

    Somewhat worrying looking for the virgins.

  6. Scottie (@scottie) said on 15th April 2011, 8:49

    HRT faster than the Virgins too!

    I know it’s only FP2, but it’s great for the teams morale!

  7. BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th April 2011, 8:52

    I guess it shows the differences are not as enormous as it looked after FP1. But Red Bull will be keeping a fair bit back, i guess.

    For the rest, it looks like a tight battle. And HRT look pretty good while Virgin went out into the woods and hasn’t returned yet. What on earth are they doing there?

  8. DryYoshi said on 15th April 2011, 8:53

    HRT in front of the Virgins! Looks good for them :)

  9. Meander said on 15th April 2011, 8:57

    I wonder if Team Lotus are ready to slay a Williams.

    • Himmat S. said on 15th April 2011, 10:13

      Not so soon. If they do, it might be down to luck, a bit. Wait for Catalunya though. There, they might slay the Williams, Torro Rosso and Force India all at once!

  10. BBT (@bbt) said on 15th April 2011, 8:58

    Promising for the HRTs, amazing what a bit of running does for you times, same can be said for Mclaren.

    I looks like RBR have a bit more of an advantage here at the moment but anything can happen in FP3.

    Good times but Merc or are the top 4 holding a bit back.

  11. Oliver said on 15th April 2011, 9:00

    HRT finding their feet steadily. They about level with Virgin right now perhaps a tenth faster. But as they cover more miles I expect them to be ahead by the time they get to Europe

  12. Jelle van der Meer (@jelle-van-der-meer) said on 15th April 2011, 9:11

    Virgins are slipping away not only did they % wise lose ground to Red Bull, HRT has overtaken them and Time Glock failed to set a time within 107% limit.

  13. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 15th April 2011, 9:12

    Nick is having a wild ride in China. Good job for both the RBR,hope tomorrow Webber do a good job in qualifying & continue that in the race on Sunday.

  14. Coefficient said on 15th April 2011, 9:18

    I can’t see HRT getting ahead of Lotus. MG expects a big upgrade in time for Barcelona which will include a Red Bull style exhaust system. I doubt HRT will have the money for that. Still, HRT has clearly started to dial the car in nicely and is making fools of the Virgin squad.

    I think we’re seeing the massive difference between zero wind tunnel hours and a handful of wind tunnel hours. Nick Wirth must be a very stubborn guy.

    • Oliver said on 15th April 2011, 11:39

      HRT have not even started getting results from the wind tunnel.

      • Solo (@solo) said on 15th April 2011, 16:03

        What are you talking about? How do you think they built the new car? They already used a wind tunnel in making it. Not many hours since they were renting and they don’t have much money but they used one.

  15. Kie said on 15th April 2011, 9:33

    I dont know about everyone else but I’m loving HRT’s plucky underdog perfomances, and the chance as one poster put it of “A Lotus slaying a Williams” … Red Bull / Vettel, yeah great but the real action at the rear end of the grid for me. Tonio is my new fav driver!

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 15th April 2011, 13:22

      Tonio is my new fav driver!

      And last year everyone criticised him and I was the only one defending him (with Alonso and Joe Saward)…

      • Solo (@solo) said on 15th April 2011, 16:12

        Just because people like the little train that could it doesn’t mean the criticism on Liuzzi was unfair.

        The guy has no barometer to be compared now so if HRT is improving is not exactly a metal for Liuzzi. For all we know other drivers could be a second faster with the same car. Narain isn’t exactly a stable measurement. The guy hasn’t raced for long and he never was the biggest talent around.
        I think it’s safe to say that if Liuzzi starts losing to Narain in the second part of the season, then he really ain’t much. If he wants to show that he can do better that what he has done until now then he must destroy the Indian driver beyond doubt.

  16. Philonso (@philonso) said on 15th April 2011, 9:33

    wouldnt be surprised if it was vettel pole and hamilton second every race this season at this rate

    • welshie said on 15th April 2011, 10:14

      Not sure about that … Button will beat Hamilton for sure at some point and Webber will get in amongst it also, problem for Hamilton is that he starting to complain too much instead of just getting his head down and adapting to the new tyres, I reckon Mclaren have a bit more in the set up if they have introduced some new components, Button looks like he is on it straight away and for me will be closest to vettel this weekend.

  17. butterdori (@butterdori) said on 15th April 2011, 9:39

    What happened to Webber?

    • VXR said on 15th April 2011, 9:43

      He was probably doing a different programme to Vettel. Probably will see what the fastest times might be like in FP3..if it stays dry.

  18. Nikhil said on 15th April 2011, 10:06

    6th for sutil.FI car is gettin bttr on pace now. with major upgrades comming for the next event… unlucky di resta..

  19. Virgin should start thinking about using a wind tunnel some time soon I would like to think.

    Ferarri need to start thinking about fixing their wind tunnel because its obviously crocked. They have to get their act together as soon as the European leg starts because I dont expect Red Bull to mess up as many races as they did last year.

  20. John H said on 15th April 2011, 10:49

    Heikki is on fire!

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