Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Barcelona, 2011

Webber leads the way for Red Bull in first practice

2011 Spanish GP first practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Barcelona, 2011
Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Barcelona, 2011

Last year’s Spanish Grand Prix winner and pole sitter was the fastest man around the track in the first practice session today.

Mark Webber set a 1’25.142 to top the times by a full second in the Red Bull.

Team mate Sebastian Vettel was second on a 1’26.149.

During the session he had to pit after developing a problem with a sensor on the car, and was later told not to use his Kinetic Energy Recovery System.

The closest car to the flying RB7s was Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes on a 1’26.379.

Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest ahead of Sauber Sergio Perez, who improved to fifth with a late effort of 1’26.738.

The fastest McLaren driver was Lewis Hamilton on a 1’26.988.

Force India tested a revised aerodynamic package on the VJM04. Adrian Sutil ran an upgraded car and reserve driver Nico H???lkenberg used the previous specification for comparison.

The other reserve driver running in the session was Daniel Ricciardo. He did the bulk of the laps for Toro Rosso as Jaime Alguersuari was sidelined with an engine problem.

Pastor Maldonado suffered a setback when he skidded off the track just over an hour into the session.

The Williams driver oversteered wide at turn 12 and slithered into the gravel trap where the car came to a stop.

The lap times indicated the 107% rule could give some teams cause for concern. Webber’s lap suggested a 107% time of 1’31.101, which Timo Glock, Jarno Trulli and both HRTs were slower than.

Webber’s fastest lap was four seconds slower than the best set in the same session last year, when Lewis Hamilton did a 1’21.134. The teams were using Pirelli’s new hard tyre in the session.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’25.142 27
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’26.149 1.007 20
3 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’26.379 1.237 29
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’26.480 1.338 27
5 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.738 1.596 26
6 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’26.988 1.846 19
7 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’27.016 1.874 32
8 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’27.132 1.990 21
9 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’27.138 1.996 22
10 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’27.212 2.070 20
11 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’27.241 2.099 22
12 18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’27.471 2.329 23
13 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’28.005 2.863 11
14 14 Nico H???lkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’28.027 2.885 26
15 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’28.163 3.021 22
16 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’28.654 3.512 28
17 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’28.819 3.677 23
18 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’28.995 3.853 9
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’29.231 4.089 21
20 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’30.896 5.754 18
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’31.235 6.093 24
22 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’31.268 6.126 23
23 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’31.418 6.276 12
24 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’32.106 6.964 25

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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54 comments on “Webber leads the way for Red Bull in first practice”

  1. Maldonado crashing again? Can anyone name the last time he didn’t have an off in practice, qualifying or a race?!

    I don’t think he has the talent to make the step up into Formula 1, but Williams cannot get rid of him due to the huge amounts of sponsorship he has given them

    1. It’s easier to get more performance out of the car by spending more money on it, than it is to find that extra performance by putting the best driver in it.

      1. You tend to need the car to get around the track though.

      2. Great comment.

        1. I guess that’s why Rubens has one too?

    2. Petrov syndrome. Just change the names and you get the same situation. If he survives till the next season, he will get better.

      1. Exactly, this is just like watching Petrov from last season. The only real difference is that Petrov had a good car and Maldonado is driving one at the back of the field.

        1. graham228221
          20th May 2011, 12:02

          But I’m sure I remember seeing a touch of potential in Petrov at this point last season – this year has just been consistantly atrocious for Maldonado.

        2. I can’t remember a China 2010 quality drive from the Pastor.

          1. I can’t remember anything good from Maldonado.

          2. Don’t forget about the car. Renault was a top 5 all-rounder, easy to drive (in words of Kubica). This year’s Williams is a dog. Doesn’t make a rookie’s life any easier. Hulkenberg last year in relatively better Williams was also crashing and going off the track a lot.

          3. But he was getting close to Rubens in qualifying, almost from race 1. Pastor is at least a second adrift. That’s too much.

      2. Petrov had some flashes of brilliance early on though… I’ve seen nothing from Maldonado

      3. I guess so. Probably because he knows the track and knows how fast it can be, he tries to get on the limit but oversteppes it at times.

        1. To be fair, yes Petrov is better than last year, was bound to be, but he’s still inconsistent and not up there.

          1. Petrov has scored strongly in three races so far, and was unlucky that the bumps in Sepang were so big, when running decently there, too.

    3. I was thinking the same myself. However, the FW33 is hardly the best car on the grid. We don’t know how much Maldonado is having to fight it. Making any comparisons to Barrichello would just be unfair.

  2. Mclaren seem to be ever so slightly falling back. Mercedes seem to be the most improved team so far.

    1. I think that everyone has fallen back from Red Bull.

      1. I think you’re right. Everyone seems to forget that Red Bull have a development program as well. The whole hype is around Mclaren’ & Ferari’s upgrades, and whether they can close the gap to Red Bull. The facts is that Red Bull wills constantly increase that gap as well..

      2. I think that everyone has fallen back from Red Bull.

        I don’t, lets wait until after FP2

    2. Maclaren were methodically testing the new parts so were not going to be ultra quick.

      1. And what were Red Bull doing?

  3. Pastor Maldonado is fast becoming this year’s pedro diniz (57 retirements from 99 starts!)

    1. Think Hulkenberg Should have been the ideal for this racing seat.shame what sponserships does to talent like that…..

      1. It’s easy to think that, but i’m sure The Hulk would prefer a more stable environment at Force India and bide his time rather than dive into a team in alot of trouble for the sake of a race seat.

        1. I don’t agree. Every driver wants to race! just look at liuzzi, he could have sat back with a big pay cheque but instead went to a team that was never going to compete.

          1. That shows you the true quality of Liuzzi. The greatest drivers in my eyes would drive wheely bins and shopping cars if that was their only option.

  4. So with Hulkenberg in the old package going quicker than Sutil, can anything be read into this?

    Or would they just be testing the realibility of the new update? Because they said they would be comparing the two packages.

    Interesting to see Perez up there in 5th and also Ricciardo doing well going after a second faster than Alguersuari.

    1. They were probably just looking into aero data gained from the package and working on setup for it, being FP1

  5. Goooo Webber! :)

    And Ricciardo 1.5 seconds faster than Alguersuari!

    1. Webber’s results are heaing for a win this week… 5, 4, 3, 2, ?

      And yes, I’m also liking seeing Ricciardo doing well on Fridays :)

  6. Times still way slower than last year. I guess teams are using P1 mainly for testing parts now, and we can’t really read into this at all. Next thing we see could be Vettel taking #1 again, with the usual 0.5 of a sec margin…

  7. Why is it that the Pirelli Motorsport director Paul Hembrey is always hanging around at Mclaren??? I think there is something going on.

    1. Yeah I heard McLaren have been given super quick, super duration tyres from Pirelli….

      1. Well it just looks really suspicious how he is always at the Mclaren garage.

        1. Can’t say I’ve ever noticed that being the case.

          1. Seriously every practice session I watch all I see is Hembrey lurking around at Mclaren. I’m not trying to stir stuff up but honestly look out at P2.

          2. If they have something un-usual they won’t make it so visible to you… basic rule :)

          3. I think you are trying to stir stuff up actually.

          4. Faraz I promise you if that was the case, Ferrari and Red Bull would be moaning about it.

        2. I heard Pirelli were designing square tyres and all the teams but McLaren are expected to run them.


  8. Anyone have any what Massa is doing in P16 ????
    Alonso is P4. technical fault???? curious considering the fact that Alonso $ massa both use the same car.

    1. Different fuel loads I guess, and Felipe was running some different aero parts on his car apparently.

  9. Douglas62500
    20th May 2011, 11:24

    What is Lotus doing with their upgrades !?!?!?

    1. testing them?

  10. Will DRS be under “race conditions” for any of the practice sessions at all?

    1. They haven’t said they will, not that they usually give much notice about this sort of thing.

  11. see title about red bull.. see picture of HRT.. wait, what?
    but yeah.. average FP1.. Mclaren should come back strongly, and its good to see webber back up there (even though its just a practice)

    1. The sub-heading is about HRT being potentially outside the 107% time.

      1. i was just meaning it as a joke! not trying to complain.. sorry if it seemed that way!

  12. As always, practise is not indicative folks ;)

  13. Does anyone think STR might be wondering if Daniel-san might be able to get more out the car than either of the current drivers?

    With limited running time to this point he’s been matching their times, and now he’s significantly faster than Jaime. Sure its FP1 and it could be meaningless, but then again, it might not be.

  14. Great looking car, HRT. I’ll be pulling for them to make the grid this weekend.

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