Vettel beats Webber with one lap in final practice

Spanish Grand Prix third practice

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2011

Sebastian Vettel missed much of the session as the team investigated an engine problem on his car.

He finally made it out of the pits with three minutes to spare. But that was all he needed to beat his team mate’s time by eight hundredths of a second.

Michael Schumacher was third-fastest for Mercedes ahead of the two McLarens.

Team mate Nico Rosberg looked on course for a good time before catching Vitaly Petrov’s Renault in the final sector.

Nick Heidfeld had a scare in the other Renault when his car caught fire halfway through the session.

The R31 began spitting flames as he came out of Campsa, and the car was engulfed by fire as he braked to a stop. He jumped clear of the car while the marshals quickly brought the fire under control.

Renault admitted a sensor had reported high temperatures on the right-hand side of Heidfeld’s car as he left the pits, but they mistakenly believed the sensor was faulty.

Ferrari endured a difficult session after being told they could not run their new rear wing which infringed the technical rules.

Fernando Alonso headed for the pits after his car became stuck in sixth gear, and Felipe Massa was told on his radio his rear wing wasn’t working properly.

At the end of the session five cars were slower than 107% of Vettel’s time: Heidfeld’s Renault, plus the HRTs and Virgins. The latter two teams have taken the exhaust-blown diffusers off their cars, prompting speculation they could protest the devices used by their rivals.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’21.707 6
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’21.791 0.084 17
3 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’23.057 1.350 16
4 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’23.068 1.361 13
5 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’23.214 1.507 14
6 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’23.397 1.690 18
7 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’23.669 1.962 17
8 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’24.043 2.336 18
9 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’24.270 2.563 11
10 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’24.318 2.611 18
11 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’24.322 2.615 17
12 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.329 2.622 19
13 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’24.399 2.692 17
14 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.535 2.828 16
15 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’24.695 2.988 18
16 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.722 3.015 14
17 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’25.223 3.516 19
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’26.236 4.529 11
19 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’27.000 5.293 20
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’27.706 5.999 20
21 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’28.330 6.623 17
22 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’29.057 7.350 18
23 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’29.200 7.493 6
24 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’29.562 7.855 16

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Total laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’26.149 1’22.826 1’21.707 63
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’25.142 1’22.470 1’21.791 79
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’26.988 1’22.509 1’23.068 59
4 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’27.016 1’23.981 1’23.057 78
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’27.138 1’23.188 1’23.214 68
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’26.379 1’23.586 1’23.397 82
7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’26.480 1’23.568 1’24.270 72
8 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’28.819 1’24.290 1’23.669 73
9 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’27.241 1’24.786 1’24.043 83
10 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’28.654 1’24.278 1’24.322 75
11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’27.212 1’25.303 1’24.318 76
12 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.738 1’24.483 1’24.329 83
13 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’27.132 1’24.366 1’29.200 58
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’28.005 1’25.603 1’24.399 71
15 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’25.296 1’24.535 49
16 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’28.163 1’27.123 1’24.695 60
17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’28.995 1’25.457 1’24.722 57
18 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’26.073 1’25.223 51
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’29.231 1’26.417 1’26.236 69
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’31.418 1’27.189 1’27.000 66
21 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’27.471 23
22 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’31.235 1’28.062 1’27.706 72
23 Nico H???lkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’28.027 26
24 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’30.896 1’28.036 1’29.057 72
25 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’31.268 1’29.476 1’28.330 71
26 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’32.106 1’29.469 1’29.562 69

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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45 comments on Vettel beats Webber with one lap in final practice

  1. olliekart said on 21st May 2011, 11:15

    feeling depressed now……

  2. Fixy (@fixy) said on 21st May 2011, 11:17

    Why did HRT and Virgin take the blown-diffusers off if they’re still allowed? Does it cost in terms of time?

  3. Nic Morley (@robocat) said on 21st May 2011, 11:17

    Redbull looking VERY strong. Still think Webber may just snag pole. You have to remember Webber was on a better lap but backed off. Vettel proberly had light fuel also for just one flying lap.

    Who knows. Well we know a Redbull will be on pole!

  4. Todfod (@todfod) said on 21st May 2011, 11:18

    FP3 made my prediction for this race ridiculously difficult. All of a sudden Ferrari are off the pace, and Vettel still is the favourite to take pole and now Mercedes looks stronger than Mclaren as well. Argh…

    • zecks said on 21st May 2011, 11:31

      yeah, it is so tough! merc have a better 1 lap pace than mclaren but a worse race pace than renault and you never know what alonso can pull out from nowhere either. all we need is a few exploding red bulls and we would have the perfect race.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 21st May 2011, 12:15

      Mercedes always flatter to deceive in Free Practice.

  5. lubhz (@lubhz) said on 21st May 2011, 11:20

    Briatore is a jerk but I’m almost convinced that he was right about scraping the F150°

  6. HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 21st May 2011, 11:22

    Didn’t see FP3, Ferrari told not to run the new wing?

  7. Mitz said on 21st May 2011, 11:29

    Did anyone see the Merc drivers lifting their left hand to press a lever??? I wonder if thats the magic paddle and I thought it was illegal as well

  8. (@) said on 21st May 2011, 11:30

    Virgin say they took off their exhaust blown diffuser just in case another team protested against them! How unlikely is that? Why protest a team that is at the back of the grid all of the time, unless they cause issues during the race? Well, the skeptic would say that they’re positioning themselves, along with HRT, for a protest. Unpopular? Yes, but they’ll argue that they need points and points mean cash. We don’t need this, the FIA need to stop prevaricating and make a statement that gives the teams a grace period to address the issue.

    • HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 21st May 2011, 11:36

      Wouldn’t it be hilarious if all the other teams were excluded from the results leaving Virgin and HRT as the only eligible finishers . . . Narain for WDC!

    • Sushi Meerkat (@sushi-meerkat) said on 21st May 2011, 11:37

      Err I think you put your email address into the nickname box, its a prime way to get spam emails, on what looks like your main account buddy.

      Just thought I’d give you a fair warning.

      About the Virgin diffuser, I find that team really really strange, they talk as if they are one of the big hitters. At least HRT are aware of their issues.

    • Steve said on 21st May 2011, 11:40

      a protest – if it happens- would be done against all teams using EBD’s off throttle, hence Virgin’s explanation is that they are covering for that possibility, not expecting a direct complaint against them in particular.

      On another note: why is everyone looking so much into the FP times, they’re still half a second off of Schumi’s preseason best, so times will surely drop considerably in quali, nobody’s showing their cards just yet

  9. VXR said on 21st May 2011, 11:38

    So. Any ideas about who’s going to be on pole?

  10. Mitz said on 21st May 2011, 11:40

    Hope its not finger boy, Would love to see Webbo on pole or even Schumi

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 21st May 2011, 11:45

      Schumi? Thats a little too wishful.. but it definitely is Webber’s best chance to take pole from his teammate.

    • VXR said on 21st May 2011, 11:46

      I don’t hold any hope for the doughnut kid getting it. Maybe Schumacher can give them a scare?

  11. mitz1111 (@mitz1111) said on 21st May 2011, 11:48

    nah, he looks around 7 tenths off the pace, macca would be my best bet to give finger kid a scare

  12. slr said on 21st May 2011, 11:52

    Sauber are looking really good, I expect to see at least one of them in Q3, though I believe both are very capable of doing so.

  13. silencer (@silencer) said on 21st May 2011, 11:59

    I would love to see HRT or virgin protest about the device after the race tomorrow


    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 21st May 2011, 12:06

      I really doubt anyone is going to listen to them. Its quite a sneaky move on their part though, they weren’t gaining much from the EBD anyways, so why not take it off and complain to the indecisive FIA.

      I hope one of the frontrunners put on a pair of softs on in Q1, and get them out of the 107% time. That would be hilarious.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 21st May 2011, 12:55

      I can’t see it happening. Ok, they may get some valuable points towards their final championship position but they will nark off alot of people along the way. HRT aren’t in FOTA and this certainly won’t help them make any friends.

  14. Sick of Red Bull said on 21st May 2011, 12:00

    I have lost interest in Quali because of Red Bull dominance ! They will lock out the front row again ! Mclaren, Ferrari and Mercedes please do something to stop Red bull!

  15. Darren said on 21st May 2011, 12:01

    Somebody tell Ferrari to chat to Red Bull about introducing new parts ie: interpretation of the rules, concentration on grey areas and reading rules to your advantage.

  16. schooner (@schooner) said on 21st May 2011, 12:10

    Ugh. Looking like this race could well be a snooze (again) up at the pointy end.

  17. Byron R said on 21st May 2011, 12:15

    If EBD is disallowed or banned, which teams are not running it? In the front half of the field it would be Merc and Renault, correct?

    • BBT (@bbt) said on 21st May 2011, 12:26

      No they are blowing the floor or diffuser. It would hurt them as well. Not sure who is the most front runner not using it but its definitely not those two.

    • BBT (@bbt) said on 21st May 2011, 12:28

      PS Renault will probably be the worst affected, their whole car is designed around the blown floor which also needs the soon to be banned off throttle gases.

  18. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 21st May 2011, 12:57

    Hope Heidfeld can get out in qualifying, that looked really nasty.

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