Webber leads the way for Red Bull in first practice

2011 Spanish GP first practice

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. sam3110 (@sam3110) said on 20th May 2011, 10:42

    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

    • VXR said on 20th May 2011, 10:45

      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.

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 20th May 2011, 11:22

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

      • SirCoolbeans (@sircoolbeans) said on 20th May 2011, 11:41

        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.

        • graham228221 said on 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.

        • David A said on 20th May 2011, 12:14

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

          • Fixy (@fixy) said on 20th May 2011, 13:38

            I can’t remember anything good from Maldonado.

          • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 20th May 2011, 15:18

            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.

          • Mike said on 20th May 2011, 15:47

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

      • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 20th May 2011, 12:20

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

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th May 2011, 12:44

        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.

        • BBT said on 20th May 2011, 12:52

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

          • David A said on 20th May 2011, 13:35

            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.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 20th May 2011, 13:33

      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. Oliver said on 20th May 2011, 10:43

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

    • VXR said on 20th May 2011, 10:46

      I think that everyone has fallen back from Red Bull.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 20th May 2011, 11:45

        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..

      • BBT said on 20th May 2011, 12:53

        I think that everyone has fallen back from Red Bull.

        I don’t, lets wait until after FP2

    • Lee said on 20th May 2011, 10:46

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

  3. Zecks (@zecks) said on 20th May 2011, 10:43

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

    • Romesh82 (@romesh82) said on 20th May 2011, 11:27

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

      • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 20th May 2011, 13:35

        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.

        • Zecks (@zecks) said on 20th May 2011, 14:08

          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.

          • Mike said on 20th May 2011, 15:50

            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. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 20th May 2011, 10:45

    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.

  5. TrueGrit (@truegrit) said on 20th May 2011, 10:46

    Goooo Webber! :)

    And Ricciardo 1.5 seconds faster than Alguersuari!

    • MattW said on 20th May 2011, 13:31

      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. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 20th May 2011, 10:54

    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. Faraz said on 20th May 2011, 10:54

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

  8. Romesh82 (@romesh82) said on 20th May 2011, 11:23

    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.

  9. Douglas62500 said on 20th May 2011, 11:24

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

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

  11. Stephen Jones (@aus_steve) said on 20th May 2011, 12:55

    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)

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 20th May 2011, 13:38

    As always, practise is not indicative folks ;)

  13. dragon said on 20th May 2011, 14:56

    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. MVEilenstein (@mveilenstein) said on 20th May 2011, 16:33

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

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