Red Bull: McLaren and Ferrari ahead in Germany

2011 German GP team review

Red Bull’s defeat at the hand of two teams and Webber leading home Vettel both invite questions about whether this upturn in form was a blip or part of a trend.

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Qualifying position 3 1
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’30.216 (+0.137) 1’30.079
Race position 4 3
Laps 60/60 60/60
Pit stops 3 3

Red Bull drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
Sebastian Vettel 103.606 99.486 98.322 98.449 98.339 98.444 98.204 99.3 105.031 99.127 99.516 99.521 99.31 99.77 100.062 103.44 115.012 98.07 97.352 99.009 99.607 97.305 96.993 96.865 97.094 97.052 97.096 96.991 96.747 96.947 96.831 96.637 96.829 97.047 97.236 96.934 97.304 96.744 96.864 98.954 112.598 98.068 95.447 95.39 96.299 95.356 94.587 94.692 94.643 95.306 94.762 94.752 96.43 95.779 95.169 95.736 95.287 94.953 97.571 111.983
Mark Webber 102.625 99.618 98.621 98.189 97.659 97.85 98.089 97.927 98.028 98.287 98.499 98.982 99.958 101.232 115.036 97.003 98.668 96.947 96.947 96.585 96.551 96.532 96.38 96.535 96.557 96.487 96.728 96.558 97.04 98.909 114.195 96.982 96.852 96.759 96.269 95.87 95.838 95.861 95.408 95.706 95.657 96.283 95.453 95.318 95.367 95.472 95.634 95.314 95.112 94.748 94.694 95.197 94.964 95.23 96.035 97.546 112.92 94.855 95.088 94.468

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel had a decidedly off-colour weekend in his home race, which saw several of his long-running streaks of success come to an end.

He missed out on the front row of the grid as Webber beat him to pole position. If much of Vettel’s performance this weekend looked like a blip, this was perhaps the one thing that didn’t – Webber has gradually reduced and overturned Vettel’s qualifying advantage over the course of the season.

Vettel dropped behind Fernando Alonso at the start and soon after a radio message revealed he had a problem with his brakes.

He had a costly spin at the RTL Kurve which nearly cost him further places to Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa.

By the time his braking problem was sorted Vettel had fallen behind Massa, and he now began trying to take the place back.

He wasn’t able to make a pass stick on the track, but he knew they both had to make a final pit stop, which came on the last lap.

While Red Bull nailed Vettel’s stop, Ferrari fumbled Massa’s, promoting Vettel to fourth. Even so, it was the first time he’d finished a race outisde the top two places since retiring from the Korean Grand Prix last year.

Sebastian Vettel 2011 form guide

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2011

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2011

Mark Webber

Webber might have been hoping for more from his third pole position of the year than his fourth consecutive third place, but at least he put one over his team mate.

As was the case at the Nurburgring in 2009, Webber seemed to get more out of the car than Vettel did.

Starts have been a persistent problem for Webber this year and once again he was beaten off the line, Lewis Hamilton jumping him as the lights went out.

But Webber reeled in the McLaren and got ahead for one lap in the first stint before Hamilton reversed the move.

Webber pitted before Hamilton and a quick out lap, plus a pit stop half a second faster than Hamilton’s, put him back in the lead.

Webber’s next visit to the pits at the halfway distance was slower and it cost him two places. He made an attempt to pass Hamilton around the outside of turn two but found himself eased onto the kerbs.

He fell five seconds behind Alonso in the third stint and a late final pit stop couldn’t pull him back into the battle for the lead. Vettel’s last-lap promotion to fourth place means Webber only reduced his team mate’s championship lead by three points to 77.

Webber said he wasn’t sure if Red Bull’s defeat meant the second half of the championship was going to be much harder for them, but conceded this was the second time they’d lost “fair and square”:

“I don?t think we can blame a four second pit stop at Silverstone. I think we got beaten fair and square in Silverstone, so this isn?t the first time we?ve been beaten, so this is the second race.

“Is it the form for the second part of the championship? Difficult to say, because we?re going to go to a track next weekend which should be a bit better for us than this track. Let?s see.”

Mark Webber 2011 form guide

2011 German Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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57 comments on Red Bull: McLaren and Ferrari ahead in Germany

  1. Oliver said on 27th July 2011, 7:24

    The rake the top 3 teams were running should dispense with any rumour heard or imagined, that some cars had a wet setup.
    Vettel was setting the fastest lap of the race at some point. You can’t do that with a wet setup.

    Vettel just felt the pressure of his home race. Button had an u settled car due to the recent upgrades.

  2. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th July 2011, 20:16

    I was pretty shocked to see Seb in 4th, he didn’t have a good race. That spin instantly reminded me of Canada.

    He needn’t worry. The title is his to lose, as long as he remains consistently around the top he will win the championship.

    I just knew Hamilton would take 1st given how terrible Webber seems to be doing with his starts.

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