Webber tops times but Alonso quickest in two sectors

2011 European GP FP1 analysis

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2011

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2011

The first practice session at Valencia gave few clues as to how the changes to the rules this weekend might affect the field.

Mark Webber was comfortably fastest but Fernando Alonso had some strong sector times.

Here’s all the data from the first practice session for the European Grand Prix.

Longest stint comparison

  • Early signs are the medium tyre was holding up very well – Sebastian Vettel and Jaime Alguersuari did ten-lap stints on it with little drop-off in pace
  • However the track was very dusty and slippery and will clean up as the weekend goes on – last year times were four seconds quicker in Q3 compared to first practice. This will put greater demand on the tyres

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Sebastian Vettel 105.045 104.363 104.392 102.941 103.639 103.409 103.506 103.584 108.352 103.854
Mark Webber 104.528 103.823 103.847 103.806 104.052 104.663 109.634 102.747 103.393
Lewis Hamilton 103.33 103.113 106.131 102.137
Jenson Button 103.195 104.587 102.447 106.578 101.926 103.921
Fernando Alonso 103.547 103.917 104.774 106.112 105.65 101.611
Felipe Massa 104.536 104.463 102.53 102.154 119.381 109.595 101.758
Michael Schumacher 111.029 104.091 103.357 113.169 109.678 102.687
Nico Rosberg 102.257 112.068 116.082 105.49 102.043 116.126 114.147
Nick Heidfeld 104.143 102.225 110.492 101.967 101.58
Vitaly Petrov 102.416 111.578 101.748 106.221 101.227 101.799
Rubens Barrichello 103.279 111.175 102.704 105.967 109.838
Pastor Maldonado 110.992 102.867 103.191 112.429 103.492 114.811 107.962 104.758 106.588
Adrian Sutil 103.487 102.618 108.302 102.432 102.006
Nico Hulkenberg 107.942 106.302 104.929 103.769
Kamui Kobayashi 106.63 107.279 103.59 106.286 104.045
Sergio Perez 106.502 105.229 104.93 103.388 114.409 104.473 103.07
Daniel Ricciardo 104.186 103.886 109.083 104.126 104.574 104.159 104.542
Jaime Alguersuari 102.584 102.452 109.583 102.78 105.54 103.877 102.216 105.953 102.739 102.641
Heikki Kovalainen 112.372 107.373 104.999 107.364 104.136 108.041 109.249 104.136
Karun Chandhok
Narain Karthikeyan 109.354 106.926 110.858 116.598 107.425 108.658 110.2
Vitantonio Liuzzi 105.873 113.176 106.406 105.494 118.808 106.01
Timo Glock 106.807 105.933 105.221 108.129 105.336
Jerome d’Ambrosio 110.517 107.01 108.416 105.798 105.289

Ultimate lap times

An ultimate lap is a drivers’ best three sector times added together.

  • Fernando Alonso clearly had some time in hand in this session. He was fastest of all in the first two sectors
  • Red Bull were finding a lot of time in the final sector – the only one with any high-speed corners – where Webber was quickest by over four-tenths of a second
  • Adrian Sutil also showed some pace in his Force India
Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’40.387 0.016
2 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’40.866 0.479 0.373
3 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’41.227 0.840 0.000
4 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’41.272 0.885 0.683
5 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.283 0.896 0.227
6 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’41.538 1.151 0.042
7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’41.629 1.242 0.129
8 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’41.753 1.366 0.517
9 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.797 1.410 0.129
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’41.809 1.422 0.234
11 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’42.207 1.820 0.634
12 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’42.207 1.820 0.009
13 18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’42.388 2.001 0.024
14 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’42.602 2.215 0.102
15 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.702 2.315 0.036
16 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’42.870 2.483 0.071
17 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.903 2.516 0.298
18 15 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’43.663 3.276 0.106
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’43.761 3.374 0.375
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’44.965 4.578 0.256
21 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’45.026 4.639 0.000
22 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’45.487 5.100 0.007
23 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’46.881 6.494 0.045

Complete practice times

  • The Renaults showed promising pace, with both their cars in front of Mercedes
  • All drivers were able to lap within 7% of the fastest drivers’ time, which should mean all are able to qualify
Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Stint lap At time Laps
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’40.403 8/8 59 22
2 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’41.227 0.824 5/6 71 20
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’41.239 0.836 6/6 46 22
4 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.510 1.107 1/3 79 25
5 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’41.580 1.177 5/5 65 24
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’41.758 1.355 7/7 47 23
7 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.926 1.523 5/6 50 16
8 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’41.955 1.552 3/4 89 20
9 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’42.043 1.640 5/7 88 22
10 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’42.216 1.813 7/10 84 29
11 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’42.270 1.867 2/5 85 26
12 18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’42.412 2.009 3/5 87 27
13 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’42.704 2.301 3/5 88 23
14 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.738 2.335 4/4 74 20
15 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’42.841 2.438 4/6 57 28
16 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’42.941 2.538 4/10 82 23
17 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’43.201 2.798 3/4 77 18
18 15 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’43.769 3.366 4/4 22 7
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’44.136 3.733 5/8 57 17
20 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’45.026 4.623 3/4 86 17
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’45.221 4.818 3/5 63 19
22 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’45.494 5.091 4/6 64 24
23 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’46.926 6.523 2/7 62 27

Speed trap

  • The McLaren drivers are at the bottom of the times sheets. They were tested a revised rear wing and were not using their Drag Reduction System
# Driver Car Engine Max speed Gap
1 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams Cosworth 317.9
2 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 317.6 0.3
3 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes Mercedes 317.5 0.4
4 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari 316.3 1.6
5 14 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 315.6 2.3
6 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault Renault 315.4 2.5
7 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault Renault 315.3 2.6
8 18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso Ferrari 314.8 3.1
9 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams Cosworth 314.7 3.2
10 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 314.6 3.3
11 15 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 313.1 4.8
12 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 312.7 5.2
13 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 312.5 5.4
14 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT Cosworth 312.5 5.4
15 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus Renault 312 5.9
16 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT Cosworth 311.9 6
17 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 311.7 6.2
18 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari 311.6 6.3
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin Cosworth 311.2 6.7
20 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin Cosworth 311 6.9
21 17 Sergio Perez Sauber Ferrari 309.1 8.8
22 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 308.3 9.6
23 4 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 302.8 15.1
24 21 Karun Chandhok Lotus Renault 175.8 142.1

2011 European Grand Prix

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28 comments on Webber tops times but Alonso quickest in two sectors

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th June 2011, 11:37

    It’s FP1. Half a dozen drivers will have beaten Webber’s time by the end of FP2, and hlf as many again by the end of FP3.

    Bottom line: FP1 times don’t mean anything.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th June 2011, 11:44

      Half a dozen drivers will have beaten Webber’s time by the end of FP2

      Well, obviously – that’s track evolution, Webber will improve his time too.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th June 2011, 11:55

        I just find it funny when you turn on the Australian coverage and they’re talking about how Webber was fastest in FP1 and that this bodes well for him in the race – but when they show the times for all the practice sessions and qualifying, his FP1 time probably would have seen him qualify about fifteenth or sixteenth …

        • KateM (@katem) said on 24th June 2011, 12:08

          But, as Keith said, Webber’s time will improve too. The track conditions were the same for everyone in that session. Even if FP1 doesn’t mean much, I think being at the front generally bodes better for the race than being at the back dos, unless you solely concentrate on heavy fuel.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th June 2011, 13:20

            I’m well aware of that. I’m just pointing out that early Free Practice times don’t really mean much – but because the media present them as representative of actual pace, people tend to read too much into the times.

        • Alex Bkk said on 24th June 2011, 12:13

          It’s not an problem exclusive to Australian TV. It’s just a general lack of knowledge across the general public as to how a track gets faster as a race weekend progress(ceteris paribus).

          Then when Q comes, it’s a bit like… huh?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 24th June 2011, 12:53

          I just find it funny when you turn on the Australian coverage…

          I don’t care. I’m not Australia’s F1 broadcaster. If you have a problem with their coverage take it up with them, not here.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th June 2011, 13:18

            You’re missing out on some quality idiocy. Makes you crave a James Allen-Jonathon Legard double-team in the commentary box.

          • unocv12 said on 24th June 2011, 14:41

            PM, saying ______ was fastest in the first and second practice sessions while _______ was fastest in __________ bodes well for their weekends’ DOES actually mean something.

            Just because they went outright faster later doesn’t mean anything. Because in relative performance terms they were the fastest then. And since everyone races at teh same time it is an interesting fact not a piece of useless numbers and hoopla.

            You said that it would be pointless because

            Half a dozen drivers will have beaten Webber’s time by the end of FP2

            Going by that logic Vettel’s times in Quali for the Abu Dhabi Gran Prix last year were pointless because other (much less experienced aswell) drivers beat his time during the rookie tests!!!!

            It didn’t mean Vettel’s times were useless, what it showed was that at the time that time was set Vettel was the fastest.

            Just as Webber was the fastest in FP1 compared to others who set their time with the same track conditions.

            You are the one who can’t see the logic.

            And yes I know no one is going flat out, but since everyone holds back a bit, it is a nice thing to have than not have and it’s better to be top of the list rather than bottom and it shows both car and driver SEEM to be pretty hooked up for the weekend and looks like a podium could well be on the cards.

            POINT!

        • Fixy (@fixy) said on 24th June 2011, 13:37

          It’s also funny in Italy they say “who cares” of Vettel’s 16th place as he was running updates, but then Alonso’s 3rd place is not boding well for the race…

  2. maxthecat said on 24th June 2011, 11:41

    Be interesting to see if Red Bull’s pace is affected as much as it looks from the clamp down on engine maps. Button and Hamilton were slowest in the speed traps as they didn’t use DRS at all in FP1, considering that, they look very strong around here.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th June 2011, 11:44

      I don’t think you can explain away Button’s and Hamilton’s times as being a result of an inoperable DRS.

      Likewise, I seriously doubt Vettel’s lap times are a byproduct of Red Bull being affected by engine map clampdowns.

      • Bigbadderboom (@bigbadderboom) said on 24th June 2011, 12:45

        No but you can almost dismiss their times as a comparison, due to the focus of their test session investigating new aero parts. PM if you are so negative and dismissive of the relevance of practice then why do you watch it? Granted most people often read too much into early signs, but there can still be clues as to race pace especially when many are looking to see how new reg revisions are impacting individauals and teams.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th June 2011, 12:52

          No but you can almost dismiss their times as a comparison, due to the focus of their test session investigating new aero parts.

          True, but I get the impression a lot of people deliberaely misinterpret the times to convince them of certain things – like McLaren being compeitive, or Vettel’s dominant streak benig over.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 24th June 2011, 11:43

    Hm, so we know everyone is working on improving their cars, but not too much is clear of how fast everyone really is.

    Classic friday running then. Shame the track is as boring and bland to look at.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 24th June 2011, 11:46

      It’s a shame, because a few minor tweaks would make the circuit great. Iron out turns three and four so that they can be taken flat out, and extend the back straight so that there is only one hairpin instead of three.

  4. BerndMaylander (@berndmaylander) said on 24th June 2011, 12:23

    There is something wrong with the chart, I think.

    It is showing Petrov quickest with no drivers completing more than 10 laps?

  5. King Six said on 24th June 2011, 12:33

    Vettel pole

  6. sato113 said on 24th June 2011, 12:37

    from this data it looks like Hamilton did use DRS in the speed trap.

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 24th June 2011, 13:46

    Does anyone know why Alonso is losing so much time in secotr three? Or was it just traffic he got stuck behind? To go purple in two sectors but still only third in the standings (AND 0.5s behind Webber) is pretty dreadful and Alonso isn’t the kind of driver to make many mistakes…

    I know the F150 doesn’t have the aero grip that the RB7 does but I didn’t think it was so bad…

  8. Ben N said on 24th June 2011, 14:04

    I think this race will actually be very enjoyable. The new rules certainly livened up the Spanish GP – which is not known for being exciting… I’m feeling optimistic for this race. Should be another thriller!

    Can Lewis make it 4 European GP second places in a row?!

  9. I can’t help but wonder about how Button’s pace in the Canadian GP was clearly superior to RBR. Did McLaren perfect the off throttle diffuser for racing pace? If so, then the McLarens may have an advantage here before the complete ban in Silverstone. I am surprised that there hasn’t been more discussion about this fact. Both Button and Vettel were on tires of almost equal age, but McLaren did have an aero package for damp conditions ( so I remember the BBC announcers saying).

    So my big question is where did that ability to gain on Vettel at 1.5 seconds per lap come from?

    • kbdavies said on 24th June 2011, 19:20

      @AG –

      This is because McLaren had set up their car for a wet race in quali, whilst RBR choose a setup that was between a wet/dry one – This is why both Macca’a qualified down the grid past their normal quali pace.

      McLaren were vilified for doing this as it did not make sense at the time(Saturday) to sacrifice grid position for a better setup on Sun. As it tuned out, Button’s pace shows they were justified.

  10. Thanks for the clarification. It was hard to keep track of all the details when the coverage was spread out over five hours.

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