Red Bull’s advantage cut in Silverstone qualifying

2011 British GP qualifying analysis

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011

Red Bull were half a second faster than their rivals on average in qualifying before the weekend.

But following the changes to the diffuser rules in Silverstone they found their margin cut to a tenth of a second over Ferrari.

Here’s all the data from qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

Qualifying times in full

  • Red Bull’s margin over their rivals in qualifying was 0.117 seconds. It’s only been lower than that once this year, in Malaysia (0.104s). Until this weekend they had enjoyed an average superiority of 0.517s.
  • Lewis Hamilton slumped to tenth on the grid. He started Q3 using a set of soft tyres he’d run briefly in Q1. But that will probably not even account for half of his yawning two second deficit to Mark Webber.
  • Sixth on the grid is Paul di Resta’s best result to date.
  • Adrian Sutil missed out on a place in the final ten by just three hundredths of a second.
  • Renault had their worst qualifying performance of the year with 14th and 16th on the grid. James Allison said the changes to the diffuser rules only partly explained the change: “The alterations to the engine rules have clearly upset the order somewhat, but that?s not where all our focus lies. The fact is that for the past three or four races we have been on a trend that is far from impressive and, at this event, we have been showing far less performance than we should be.”
Driver Car Q1 Q2 (vs Q1) Q3 (vs Q2)
1 Mark Webber Red Bull 1’32.670 1’31.673 (-0.997) 1’30.399 (-1.274)
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’32.977 1’32.379 (-0.598) 1’30.431 (-1.948)
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’32.986 1’31.727 (-1.259) 1’30.516 (-1.211)
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’32.760 1’31.640 (-1.120) 1’31.124 (-0.516)
5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’34.230 1’32.273 (-1.957) 1’31.898 (-0.375)
6 Paul di Resta Force India 1’34.472 1’32.569 (-1.903) 1’31.929 (-0.640)
7 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1’32.702 1’32.588 (-0.114) 1’31.933 (-0.655)
8 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1’34.324 1’32.399 (-1.925) 1’32.128 (-0.271)
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’34.186 1’32.295 (-1.891) 1’32.209 (-0.086)
10 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1’33.581 1’32.505 (-1.076) 1’32.376 (-0.129)
11 Adrian Sutil Force India 1’34.454 1’32.617 (-1.837)
12 Sergio Perez Sauber 1’34.145 1’32.624 (-1.521)
13 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’34.160 1’32.656 (-1.504)
14 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’34.428 1’32.734 (-1.694)
15 Rubens Barrichello Williams 1’33.532 1’33.119 (-0.413)
16 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’35.132 1’33.805 (-1.327)
17 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1’34.923 1’34.821 (-0.102)
18 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1’35.245
19 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1’35.698
20 Timo Glock Virgin 1’36.203
21 Jarno Trulli Lotus 1’36.456
22 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin 1’37.154
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT 1’37.484
24 Daniel Ricciardo HRT 1’38.059

Team mate comparisons

Compare the best times of each team’s drivers in the last part of qualifying in which they both set a time.

  • Mark Webber out-qualified Sebastian Vettel for the second time this year. One the previous occasion Vettel did not have KERS working.
  • Have the new restrictions on exhaust-blown diffusers played into Webber’s hands? Possibly – but this may be the only chance he gets to exploit it. The FIA has offered to reinstate the previous rules.
Team Driver Lap time Gap Lap time Driver Round
Red Bull Sebastian Vettel 1’30.431 +0.032 1’30.399 Mark Webber Q3
McLaren Lewis Hamilton 1’32.376 +0.478 1’31.898 Jenson Button Q3
Ferrari Fernando Alonso 1’30.516 -0.608 1’31.124 Felipe Massa Q3
Mercedes Michael Schumacher 1’32.656 +0.361 1’32.295 Nico Rosberg Q2
Renault Nick Heidfeld 1’33.805 +1.071 1’32.734 Vitaly Petrov Q2
Williams Rubens Barrichello 1’33.119 +0.531 1’32.588 Pastor Maldonado Q2
Force India Adrian Sutil 1’32.617 +0.048 1’32.569 Paul di Resta Q2
Sauber Kamui Kobayashi 1’32.399 -0.225 1’32.624 Sergio Perez Q2
Toro Rosso Sebastien Buemi 1’35.698 +0.453 1’35.245 Jaime Alguersuari Q1
Lotus Heikki Kovalainen 1’34.923 -1.533 1’36.456 Jarno Trulli Q1
HRT Daniel Ricciardo 1’38.059 +0.575 1’37.484 Vitantonio Liuzzi Q1
Virgin Timo Glock 1’36.203 -0.951 1’37.154 Jerome D’Ambrosio Q1

Sector times

Here are the drivers? best times in each sector.

  • A slow first sector most likely kept Sergio Perez from reaching Q3.
Driver Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3
Mark Webber 28.525 (1) 37.050 (3) 24.824 (1)
Sebastian Vettel 28.615 (3) 36.879 (1) 24.937 (2)
Fernando Alonso 28.614 (2) 36.897 (2) 25.005 (3)
Felipe Massa 28.805 (4) 37.081 (4) 25.238 (7)
Jenson Button 29.008 (6) 37.695 (8) 25.179 (5)
Paul di Resta 29.178 (10) 37.588 (5) 25.163 (4)
Pastor Maldonado 29.144 (9) 37.600 (6) 25.189 (6)
Kamui Kobayashi 29.011 (7) 37.748 (9) 25.369 (13)
Nico Rosberg 28.912 (5) 37.604 (7) 25.238 (7)
Lewis Hamilton 29.013 (8) 37.919 (11) 25.326 (11)
Adrian Sutil 29.290 (12) 38.065 (13) 25.262 (9)
Sergio Perez 29.443 (16) 37.833 (10) 25.312 (10)
Michael Schumacher 29.196 (11) 38.118 (14) 25.342 (12)
Vitaly Petrov 29.296 (13) 38.005 (12) 25.433 (14)
Rubens Barrichello 29.415 (15) 38.216 (15) 25.488 (15)
Nick Heidfeld 29.392 (14) 38.567 (16) 25.743 (16)
Heikki Kovalainen 29.825 (17) 38.901 (17) 25.994 (17)
Jaime Alguersuari 29.924 (18) 39.184 (18) 26.076 (18)
Sebastien Buemi 29.964 (19) 39.467 (20) 26.230 (19)
Timo Glock 30.242 (20) 39.515 (21) 26.385 (20)
Jarno Trulli 30.412 (21) 39.209 (19) 26.757 (21)
Jerome D’Ambrosio 30.525 (22) 39.659 (22) 26.819 (23)
Vitantonio Liuzzi 30.553 (23) 40.164 (23) 26.767 (22)
Daniel Ricciardo 30.621 (24) 40.331 (24) 26.984 (24)

Speed trap

Here are the drivers? maximum speeds.

  • As has often been the case this year, the Mercedes and Renaults are near the top of the speed traps.
Pos Driver Car Speed (kph) Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 314.3
2 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 314.0 -0.3
3 Rubens Barrichello Williams 313.8 -0.5
4 Vitaly Petrov Renault 310.9 -3.4
5 Nick Heidfeld Renault 310.7 -3.6
6 Sergio Perez Sauber 309.6 -4.7
7 Pastor Maldonado Williams 309.4 -4.9
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 308.3 -6.0
9 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 308.3 -6.0
10 Mark Webber Red Bull 308.1 -6.2
11 Jenson Button McLaren 307.5 -6.8
12 Adrian Sutil Force India 307.4 -6.9
13 Felipe Massa Ferrari 307.4 -6.9
14 Paul di Resta Force India 306.9 -7.4
15 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 306.9 -7.4
16 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 306.6 -7.7
17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 303.2 -11.1
18 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin 302.6 -11.7
19 Timo Glock Virgin 302.6 -11.7
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 302.3 -12.0
21 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 301.5 -12.8
22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT 300.5 -13.8
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT 299.2 -15.1
24 Jarno Trulli Lotus 298.8 -15.5

2011 British Grand Prix

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28 comments on Red Bull’s advantage cut in Silverstone qualifying

  1. SamC said on 9th July 2011, 18:03

    Trouble with all this with the rules mess is that I can see lots of teams asking for the points for the British Grand Prix this year not to count in the drivers or constructors championships, especially if the rules are going to go back to the way they were before, in a way I think it would be the sensible thing to do.

  2. The top 8 really impressed me today. JB, not so much I’ll admit but he has a lousy record here and at least he outqualified Lewis. Massa was still well off Fernando but he didn’t make the most of q3 and had looked a lot more on it before then so I’m stilly happyish with him. It was great to see Mark have something to smile about!

    I’m not really surprised Red Bull still seem so quick but now Mark’s turned up hopefully he can take some points from Seb. I think Mark’s finally getting to grips with the tyres (no pun intended) too regardless of this rule change as Newey commented at Valencia.

    What on earth is happening with Renault this season?

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 9th July 2011, 19:20

      What on earth is happening with Renault this season?

      If they go on like that, they will be beaten by HRT soon.

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 9th July 2011, 19:25

      Renault have certainly been dicing with different ends of the spectrum this season huh? From getting 2 podiums to fighting with with non-points scorers, I was expecting them to have a steady development rate but they’ve stood still which has inevitably made them fall backwards. It’s not like they can really blame the rule changes either since the past few races have yielded low points or less.

      Although I think the lack of consistency may have something to with Heidfeld and Petrov. Poor quali performances have forced them to make up positions which is putting them at a serious disadvantage straight away.

      • Have Renault been bringing many updates this year? Last year there was a new front wing every session it seemed and yet I’ve heard almost nothing from them.

        • RIISE (@riise) said on 9th July 2011, 19:46

          I think they brought new Front and Rear wings for Turkey, but then again a lot of teams did, other than that I can’t remember any announced upgrades.

          Perhaps someone else can fill in Renault’s development path this season?

        • LiteralF1 said on 9th July 2011, 19:55

          Last year pretty much every single update (even big ones like F-Duct) they brought on to their car worked. This year… it seems few and far between. Rumors of financial trouble might be true…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 9th July 2011, 20:08

      Actually I think Button did a good job today, their car clearly suffered in Silverstone (a bit like it did last year here!). Mercedes also seems to have suffered from the rules gulash.

      I think both the Ferrari’s did a solid job, and if they can keep up tomorrow it might get interesting. Especially if they can do the super starts they have been doing lately.

      Webber hopefully keeps this going for a strong run mid season, that would get it a lot more exiting as well.

      Memorable effort from Team Lotus as well to get Heikki into Q2, now he is really in the mix to battle to would be lotus/jps cars on track!

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th July 2011, 22:42

      Not alot it seems! Disappointing, really disappoining. They peaked too early.

  3. RIISE (@riise) said on 9th July 2011, 19:14

    I’m still amazed that Schumacher was 4 tenths off 5th yet still ended up 13th. No doubt it was a wrong place wrong time situation in terms of tyres but I’m quite excited for some potential close racing tomorrow. Especially since the Red Bull’s seem to have lost ground on Ferrari.

  4. steve said on 9th July 2011, 19:55

    Is it just me or is the new Silverstone:
    (1) a souless mess of wide expanses of tarmac?
    (2) almost impossible to work out where the cars are?
    (3) the most fan-hostile pit straight in the world?
    (4) the track with the ‘impossible to see’ pits?
    (5) a great venue wrecked?

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 9th July 2011, 20:07

      I’m not being so quick to judge it, well not until tomorrow anyway.

      I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to the pit straight being between Club and Abbey, but tomorrow shall prove interesting seeing the cars bullet through the kinks and up to the tight Turn 3.

      It’s the same Silverstone that we’ve had for years with the exception of the Bridge section (Although the straight isn’t a bad replacement). So as for your points:

      1) – Disagree
      2) – Some may find it different but I can always tell which part of the track a car is on.
      3) – How is it fan hostile?
      4) – The low stand doesn’t aid the fans at all but the extra build developments should take car of that.
      5) – Absolutely not, Silverstone will always be up there with the likes of Spa, Monaco and Montreal as a fantastic venue and I don’t think it will ever change.

    • Laranja Mecanica said on 9th July 2011, 23:46

      Agreed. But it’s not the “new” Silverstone, it was ruined 20 years ago, until 1990 Silverstone was a extremely fast, exciting circuit. Only Monza and Spa survive, all the rest are terminally bland.

  5. VXR said on 9th July 2011, 20:21

    (6) Some people will moan about anything and everything.

  6. BBT (@bbt) said on 9th July 2011, 20:24

    Overall RBR have more of an advantage (or at least the same), look at the gaps to other teams.
    The only exception is Alonso in this particular race (where they have good upgrades anyway). Hamilton was as close in Malaysian(0.1s) but again that was a one off. There is no strong evidence that the gap is smaller.
    I hope Alonso can win tomorrow but the rules should revert to the previous rules and the attempt at race fixing by the FIA should end.

  7. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 9th July 2011, 20:53

    Vettel did say he changed gear on the revlimiter, if I heard him correctly when he talked to Massa at the weigh station. Add to that the drizzle which meant the track got worse instead of better and he aborted his last run and there you have a potentially bigger gap than one tenth.

  8. John Cousins said on 10th July 2011, 1:53

    I’m sorry but I have to say “I told you so”.
    FIA you are pathetic! I said it would be impossible to fairly control the OTEBD half way through a season…
    Well done for spoiling what should have been a special race!

    • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 10th July 2011, 8:57

      I said the same John, the FIA could not of handled this any worse.

      As for Redbull losing their edge, I can only say you’re clutching at straws Keith. Considering the conditions I am surprised to see you write such a thing. Ferrari have been closing the gap on their single lap pace for a while now and the limited time of clean running during qualifying is hardly a gauge.

  9. BBT (@bbt) said on 10th July 2011, 12:26

    Apparently Ferrari and Sauber have refused to sign up to the rule implementation being reverted. What a surprise, all teams will look after their best interests.

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