Red Bull’s rivals are closing the performance gap

2011 F1 season

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2011

Valencia was Vettel's sole win from the last five races

Red Bull dominated the beginning of 2011 but their rivals are putting them under more pressure than ever.

McLaren and Ferrari have shrunk the performance deficit and won four of the last five races.

This graph shows each team’s deficit to the fastest car as a percent in every race this year:

Australia Malaysia China Turkey Spain Monaco Canada Europe Britain Germany Hungary
Red Bull 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
McLaren 0.931 0.11 0.763 0.642 1.21 0.6 0.755 0.418 1.658 0.061 0.204
Ferrari 1.73 0.982 1.508 0.943 1.214 1.192 0.253 0.494 0.129 0.403 0.67
Mercedes 2.265 2.044 1.029 0.617 1.998 1.531 1.096 1.295 2.002 1.314 1.607
Renault 2.057 1.322 2.553 1.466 1.84 3.071 1.435 1.905 2.583 2.34 3.093
Williams 3.878 2.768 2.944 2.016 2.434 3.086 2.779 2.592 1.697 2.838 3.595
Force India 3.843 2.635 2.314 2.326 4.586 3.483 2.38 2.512 1.692 2.144 2.042
Sauber 2.511 2.055 2.505 2.436 2.946 3.286 3.11 2.63 1.913 3.438 3.283
Toro Rosso 3.082 2.414 2.617 2.388 2.778 3.73 3.177 2.821 4.347 3.849 3.964
Lotus 6.854 3.979 4.469 4.387 5.461 5.148 5.11 4.426 4.892 5.89 5.697
HRT 11.312 7.04 6.943 6.635 8.432 8.917 7.41 6.464 7.837 7.466 8.154
Virgin 7.577 6.09 5.777 6.345 7.822 5.925 7.564 5.463 6.42 7.017 8.118

As was the case last year, Red Bull are leading the way on pure performance, and are yet to be beaten to pole position.

Despite having struggled in the off-season, McLaren have been their closest rivals over the 11 races so far. They had their worst result at Silverstone due the one-off change in the exhaust-blown diffuser rules.

Last year Ferrari had the second-quickest car by a tiny margin over McLaren. They started badly this year and were 1.2% slower than Red Bull on average over the first six races. But since Canada the 150??? Italia has been working much better, and they’ve been within 0.4% of the RB7s on average.

Aside from a great performance in Turkey, where Nico Rosberg was third on the grid, Mercedes have been as far off the pace as they were at the end of last year.

They have moved ahead of Renault in the constructors’ championship largely because Renault have struggled to maintain the pace of development. Hungary was their worst showing yet, over 3% slower than the Red Bulls for the second time this year.

Force India have made steady improvement and finished ‘best of the rest’ behind Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari in the last two races.

But the three new teams that arrived last year are yet to get on terms with the established outfits.

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Hungaroring, 2011

Lotus are slowly getting closer to the midfield

Lotus are leading the charge and have been 1.5-2% off the pace of the next slowest cars this year compared to the 2-3% we saw last year. And this figure will be exaggerated slightly by their regular Q3 eliminations.

Lotus occupy a kind of performance no mans’ land between the midfield and the last two teams, Virgin and HRT, who are well off the pace. So much so that they would fall foul of the 107% rule more often if the front runners used the fastest tyres available to them in Q1.

If these two teams fail to score a point in next week’s Belgian Grand Prix they will equal the record of most starts for a team without scoring. That belongs to RAM, who entered 31 races between 1983 and 1985 without claiming a point.


Having improved their reliability last year, Red Bull have made further gains in 2011. Despite repeated problems with their Kinetic Energy Recovery System, neither of their drivers have retired from a race for technical reasons.

Ferrari have had one such retirement and McLaren two (though one of those was due to an error during Jenson Button’s pit stop).

Lotus have the worst reliability with seven technical retirements. This vulnerability could jeopardise their hold on tenth place in the constructors’ championship, and the vital extra prize money it brings.

With none of the last three teams scoring points, their championship position will be determined by which has the highest race finish. On a day when both Lotuses retire and several other cars are eliminated, this could open the way for HRT or Virgin to claim a 12th place finish which would relegate Lotus.

Such a scenario almost unfolded in Canada.

Leading driver performance

This graph shows the gap between a drivers’ best lap and the fastest lap of each race weekend as a percent. The drivers from the top four teams are included:

Australia Malaysia China Turkey Spain Monaco Canada Europe Britain Germany Hungary
Sebastian Vettel 0 0 0 0 0.246971511836103 0 0 0 0.0353986216661717 0.15208872212169 0
Mark Webber 1.03676567419699 0.325708864762309 2.94751670117175 0.476196075203683 0 0.629452390015772 0.568384145506351 0.193864398040744 0 0 0.825659337217322
Lewis Hamilton 0.931413042176965 0.109623695583427 0.807845815636132 0.641982856941281 1.21016040799695 2.27309804774594 0.754649793190354 0.417633410672846 2.18697109481301 0.0610575161802407 0.204222263985465
Jenson Button 1.49648625028433 0.347844418678189 0.763024779629906 1.09701466213594 1.25338042256826 0.599543205177011 1.12855068890898 0.690899716421756 1.65820418367459 1.34215521930749 0.261855540938427
Fernando Alonso 1.72993810532869 0.982396964266896 1.50790771135252 0.942985808181152 1.21386498067448 1.19228886834521 0.253376064864286 0.493941737561232 0.129426210466943 0.402979606789589 0.689093528785323
Felipe Massa 2.47818123047086 1.45567618846842 1.53565406697542 2.15640395536689 2.35487336535731 1.7959105987275 0.278028871175384 0.577468419695792 0.80421243597828 0.922523562650568 0.670300068909357
Michael Schumacher 2.92353553855549 2.28207020132813 2.5985529208375 1.16285905771965 2.56356429285882 1.53080646038393 1.16416029802504 1.30445991234855 2.49670903439199 2.58883868604225 2.62106120403434
Nico Rosberg 2.26508158843037 2.04384947823337 1.02874949309542 0.617291208597393 1.99799953075415 2.39953232910979 1.09568028049414 1.29517916988915 2.00223453799269 1.31440180286195 1.60746726805738
Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Shanghai, 2011

Massa has usually not matched Alonso's pace

The performance margins between the front running drivers are, as you’d imagine, very fine indeed. The McLaren drivers have been within a tenth of a second of each other in qualifying on average this year.

It took Mark Webber a few races to get within range of Sebastian Vettel but he’s been much closer of late and has ensured not all of Red Bull’s pole positions have gone to his team mate.

The situation at Ferrari and Mercedes is more one-sided. Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg have been comfortably quicker than their team mates by around 0.5%. Curiously, at both Canada and Europe both pairs of drivers were much more evenly matched.

The second half of 2011

Red Bull remain the fastest team over a single lap. But, as was often the case last year, they are less dominant in races than in qualifying. As a consequence, they’ve only won one of the last five races.

Their reduced advantage at the Hungaroring is perhaps most significant. This track, and the Circuit de Catalunya, can be considered ultimate Red Bull circuits, with lots of mid-to-high speed corners where the RB7’s superior downforce makes its presence felt.

They were around 1% faster than their rivals at both those tracks last year. They retained a similar performance advantage in Spain this year, but in Hungary both McLaren and Ferrari were well within that margin, indicating they’ve made significant progress in this area.

Red Bull’s supremacy will now be tested at two circuits where they’ve tended to be weaker. The team is yet to win a race at Spa-Francorchamps or Monza.

2011 F1 season

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83 comments on Red Bull’s rivals are closing the performance gap

  1. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 21st August 2011, 9:42

    Come on, Red Bull are no longer the fastest team on the grid. They are faster in qualifying just because Vettel excels in this area. On race pace they are on par with Ferrari and a bit slower than Mclaren. Besides, they don’t seem to have the fastest car in high speed corners. Perhaps, RB7 is fastest in slow corners now, though the car doesn’t seem to have week areas like last year.

  2. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 21st August 2011, 9:54

    I think it’s quite clear that McLaren is now the fastest race car; if not quali car too. Button is an average qualifier; and Hamilton is good, but Vettel is a qualifying king and I think that’s helping him pull out that difference in qualifying.

    The conditions (cold) have helped McLaren in the last 2 races though. Let’s see what happens in a hot race.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st August 2011, 11:45

      I think that generally Hamilton is a great qualifier, but that Red Bull is mighty on Saturday. In Germany Hamilton didn’t even get pole but said it was the best lap he’d ever driven, which to me suggests that the McLaren is still at a slight disadvantage. To be fair though, if the hadn’t made an error in the final sector he would have got pole in Hungary.

      • dfketr said on 21st August 2011, 17:00

        hamilton makes more driving errors then vettel as witnessed in the pole battle at hungary – that was hamiltons for the taking (he had the faster car), and the race suited the mclaren too, but hamilton then made errors in the race aswell.
        Vettel is like Senna in qualifying – makes the most of the car he has and then adds a bit more. 24 years old and already over 20 (i think its 23 now) poles.

        • He’s more like Damon Hill.

          Senna…please, don’t make me laugh.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 22nd August 2011, 10:08

            In qualifying he is

          • David A said on 22nd August 2011, 12:58

            It’s too early to compare him to Senna maybe, but he’s already far ahead of Hill qualifying-wise and in terms of raw pace. Yet I’m one who believes Damon to be underrated.

          • Hill had 20 poles, Vettel has 23, yet Vettel is far ahead some how?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 22nd August 2011, 15:45

            Vettel has 23 in 73 races. Hill got 20 in 122 races. Not to mention Vettel has a long way to go in his career, Sam.

          • It’s an unfair comparison when you include Hill’s years at Jordan and Arrows.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 22nd August 2011, 20:56

            For one, it’s you who started the comparison between Hill and Vettel.

            Hill spent 4 years (65 races) at Williams, and took 20 poles. Vettel has had 2 and a half years (47 races) at Red Bull and has had 22 poles in that time.

            At the end of the day, I would consider Vettel to be ahead of Hill on an all-time list, and will only stretch the margin if he continues at anywhere near this rate.

          • Hill had Prost as a team mate…

            It was intended to be a comparison of achievements (so hard to compare since Vettel entered F1 when he was very young whilst Hill was the opposite). Their characteristics are the same though – ability to put the dominant Newey designed car on the front row consistantly and lead from the front for the win. However, like Vettel, Damon Hill also struggled when he was in the pack and had to overtake.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 23rd August 2011, 16:56

            Hill Had Prost for only 1 season out of 4.

            At the very least, Vettel is a better version of Hill, and will only continue to improve his image (plus Vettel has collected good results when in the pack – China 07, Monaco 08, Brazil 09, Silverstone 10).

          • Patrickl said on 5th September 2011, 12:28

            and Senna another season …

            The Hill vs Vettel analogy is spot on.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 21st August 2011, 17:26

        I get what you’re saying mate; and all respect to you for making your opinion known. It’s your right to have it.

        But I’m sticking to my guns. We often see Hamilton slightly overdriving in qualifying – locking up, power-on oversteer at times; that all costs you time and slows down your lap.

        Also, it was quite clear in Germany’s onboard comparisons that the McLaren was much better under braking, and in the slow corners than the Red Bull. The nose is much stronger in slow corners.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 21st August 2011, 20:48

          The thing is, I am getting pretty tired of Mclaren’s “struggling” routine. Maybe they do genuinely struggle at times, maybe they feel they’re great poker players, but every time they claim they’ll be lucky to get into the top 8 or whatever, they’re just giving Hamilton and Button fans the false impression that they’re matching Vettel, Webber and Alonso with a hand tied behind their backs.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 21st August 2011, 12:10

      How many hot races are you expecting? Maybe Monza and eventually India. In November São Paulo is hot but not that hot and showers are very likely. I don’t think Spa will be “too hot for McLaren” either so, if cold temperatures are the trigger it’s looking good for them.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 21st August 2011, 17:25

        Spa – probably not hot
        Monza – Probably will be hot, but 1 eye should be kept open. After all, we did get rain in 2008.
        Singapore – will probably be hot. Even if it rains. I live in Singapore and all the rain does is increase humidity without cooling anything down
        Japanese weather probably will be average but leaning a bit towards rain
        Korea – should be around autumn time locally
        India – probably will be HOT
        Abu Dhabi – hasn’t this traditionally been hot? I don’t remember. Deserts get quite cold at night.
        Brazil – well, you summarized it.

        • GameR_K said on 21st August 2011, 18:02

          It’s going to rain in India since the late October-November is monsoon seaon

        • Robbie said on 22nd August 2011, 13:22

          I think there is a good chance the teams have been working during the break on the issues regarding how a hot day vs. a cooler day affects their performance. ie. temp could be less of an issue in the remaining races. I’m sure the teams have been considering many factors about the remaining races, using what info they can from last year, but being mindful they didn’t have these tires last year. Nor DRS.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 22nd August 2011, 15:13

            I get what you’re saying and I completely agree. But the thing is these Pirellis seem to have a very narrow working temperature window. If McLaren tries to make the car work better in the hot conditions (so they don’t overheat their rears) they’ll lose their cold/wet weather advantage of bringing them up to temp quickly.

            If Ferrari make their car heat their tyres better in cold weather, they’ll overheat them in heat

  3. brum55 said on 21st August 2011, 10:15

    I agree with the top 2 posts, McLaren have been fastest in Spain, Monaco, Canada, Germany (due to temperature) and Hungary. Ferrari was fastest in Silverstone due to the rule change in blown diffusers.

    So out of 11 races McLaren has been the fastest car over a weekend the same number of times as Red Bull.

    • Spain – Red Bull were over a second faster in qualifying – pure dominance. Mclaren were only faster on the harder tyre, but without Alonso holding everyone up, this would have been an easy 1 – 2 for Red Bull.

      Monaco – Vettel was running away with this until his botched pitstop.

      Canada – Mclaren’s only fastest on a drying track. In the end, Vettel blew it.

      Germany – top 3 teams seemed quite evenly matched, but Alonso and Hamilton made the difference.

      If Ferrari was fastest in Silverstone, how come Massa only came 5th?

      • David A said on 22nd August 2011, 13:02

        Maybe Massa has (unfortunately) been under-performing since Hungary 2010? I believe that a few of brum55’s examples do hold up, at least in race trim.

        • Massa still managed 2 podium finishes after Hungary 2010 last season.

          If the car was the best at Silverstone, he would have been on the podium.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 22nd August 2011, 15:52

            Two third places, compared to his teammate’s 3 wins and 6 podiums. He has been underperforming, yet Massa matched his best result of 2011, and almost broke into the top 4.

            The rule changes and track conditions did help Ferrari to beat Red Bull and Mclaren in Britain, which simply combined with Alonso’s performance.

        • The points is when the car is good, Massa will perform to a good level (Bahrain, Monza and Hockenheim last year).

          If the Ferrari was as strong as some claim it to be at Silverstone, Massa would have been fighting for a podium position. He wasn’t – which points to Alonso making the difference.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 22nd August 2011, 21:00

            Alonso probably did make a difference, but I wouldn’t say he made more of a difference than Hamilton, Vettel or Button did for their wins. Massa wasn’t fighting for a podium, but was fighting for his best result of the season.

          • as he was in Nurburgring – but Ferrari didn’t have the best car there…

            Vettels’ done well this season and maximised the potential of the car, but clearly the car has been dominant (Webber is 2nd in the WDC, despite struggling with the tyres).

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 23rd August 2011, 19:37

            Red Bull has been dominant at times (like Turkey), but not for all of Vettel’s wins this year, especially Monaco and Spain. The Ferrari wasn’t dominant in Britain, but was closer to the pace (and probably the car to beat in race trim) than at any point during the season.

  4. George (@george) said on 21st August 2011, 11:38

    Nice article Keith. I can’t believe this stat though:

    the record of most starts for a team without scoring. That belongs to RAM, who entered 31 races between 1983 and 1985 without claiming a point

    Is that because other teams have quit before the 31 race mark, or have they all just gotten lucky?

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st August 2011, 13:26

      I guess in the days when reliability was poor and the points were different it was much more likely to luck into 6th than it is today to luck into 10th.

  5. sumedh said on 21st August 2011, 12:51

    How is the ‘fastest’ car found? Is it based on qualifying alone? Might I mention that DRS makes this way of calculation very skewed. If you read Scarbs’ blog he has explained how DRS causes Red Bull to be so dominant in qualifying.

    I find it weird that Red Bull is said to be the fastest car at each and every weekend so far. Because at Monaco, Spain, Germany and in the wet, they have been anything but fast.

  6. Robbie said on 21st August 2011, 13:06

    If all Red Bull’s rivals are doing is closing the performance gap, that won’t be good enough. I think it will depend on the track as to whether they dominate or not and at some they still may. Although it sounds ominous for them that they have not won 4 out of the last 5 races, it remains that they are very very strong with SV a strong lead, and it isn’t one team or one driver that has won those 4 out of 5 races.

    So I think that if we could say at this point that LH is now the man to beat, or FA is, that is one thing, but we can still only say that SV remains the man to beat…front row on Saturday almost a guarantee, top 3 on Sunday very likely, Mac claiming to be allowing their drivers to race, FA the go-to guy at Ferrari, but MW in there to mix things up too, to me all adds up to no one single driver getting the lion’s share of the points such that he might catch SV with his large lead.

    I still say, jokingly, that it is almost like MW, FA, LH, and JB need to collude with a teams order to agree that one of them be designated to go after SV…otherwise they’ll just split points and nobody will catch him even if he doesn’t win another race, which is unlikely.

    • timi said on 22nd August 2011, 0:08

      but robbie think of it this way,- there are very little, if any, regulation changes for next season. i took a note of analysing adrian newey’s records of his championship winning cars. they seem to reach peak performance halfway through their second season. after this they stagnate. usually (like now)they have enough of a performance gap to still get poles and win races for the third season (at least the first half).

      after which, the other cars catch up and due to them still not being at full potential, are able to become faster than the newey mobile, regardless of decade.
      Watch, next season red bull will fall back.

      And I’d put money on them having a bad season when the new regulations come in aswell. Newey has never produced a great car under the first year of new regulations. it takes him at lease a season to fully hook a car up before it destroys the field.

      so anyway, after all of that, the point im trying to make is that even though you say the other teams having caught up is not enough, i disagree. This season’s championship is lost. But next seasons is up for grabs, and with minimal changes for next year, it dont look good for the bulls.

      On another note, to all the red bull fans, how many of you were RBR fans before they started winning races? three seasons back i couldnt see any of you.. funny that..

      • TommyC said on 22nd August 2011, 2:04

        I was always here! Mainly as a DC/Webber fan. I was ecstatic when webber qualified 2nd in Britain in 2008. Pity he didn’t hold that to the first corner… And his podium at the European HP in 2007 was just awesome. So RBR fans have certainly been around, don’t you worry about that.

      • David A said on 22nd August 2011, 3:11

        2009 brought sweeping reg changes, and Newey’s RB5 won 6 races.

        More of a Vettel fan since 2007 than a Red Bull fan here, but if anything, RBR have less fans now, with their recent domination and favouritism allegations.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 22nd August 2011, 10:15

        You can’t just take a stat like that; you’d have to factor in the competition as well. Rory Byrne isn’t around anymore to topple him again

      • Coefficient said on 22nd August 2011, 11:36

        Following the new rules for 2009 season RB5 was as quick as the Brawn GP001 from the off without the double diffuser. (Remember Vettel chasing Button down before spinning in turn 3 in Melbourne?) When they bolted the double diffuser on at Silverstone they anihilated the entire field. Newey interpreted the new regs better than anybody from the off. Imagine the advantage they would have had if the Double Diffuser never existed. Double diffuser matching performance from a single diffuser is staggering. Newey’s creations have generally fallen off the pace after he’s left the team.

      • Robbie said on 22nd August 2011, 13:06

        timi…fair comment…however I wasn’t thinking of it as to how they will do next year, nor does the article talk about that…the article does compare this year to last year, but that may be somewhat folly as the rules are different, as are the tires. Thats why I like when there are few reg changes so we can truly compare one season to the next.

        So I don’t think we disagree at all…you agree this season’s championship is lost, pretty much what I said above, and as to next season, I agree with you that the other teams closing the performance gap is significant for next year as far as it looks so far.

        But I also think we need to see how it unfolds…one never knows who might find a loophole…a ‘double diffuser’ an ‘F-duct’ or what have you, which could happen even without radical rule changes, and which could be deemed legal or illegal depending on the team and who came up with it. eg. if Red Bull wins the WDC this year with 3 races to go and viewership falls off as a result, and somehow they come up with more magic that sees them looking to dominate from race one next year, methinks said magic might be disallowed.

      • 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 23rd August 2011, 8:28

        I only take an interest in Red Bull because Vettel is driving for them, like I was for Toro Rosso (it was during his STR days in 2007 i really took to him)
        I just hope he stays away from Mclaren! not sure I could support that lot.

  7. Its time for Alonso and Mclarens really snap points from Vettel and ruined his end of the year celebration like he did to you specially ALONSO !! ALONSO….now its time….

  8. irish con said on 21st August 2011, 13:17

    i think ferrari and mclaren are now the 2 fastest cars in race conditions and will both win races from now on in. ferrari will win the hotter races and tracks with faster corners. mclaren will win the ones with slower corners and colder temperatures. the lack of a harder tyre for the rest of the year will hwlp ferrari. i wont be shocked if red bull dont win an other race this year.

    • Meaning Ferrari will win both in Monza and Marina Bay Circuits? FORZA FERRARI…

      • irish con said on 21st August 2011, 19:43

        marina bay could be the best race of the season. mclaren are quite clearly the fastest car in slower corners now but there is also lots of 90degrees corners with lots of traction events and they struggled at valencia with that. ferraris better tyre usage could be key there. monza is hard to say because of it being abit of a one off. i think susuka is a cert for ferrari now if its dry.

    • Coefficient said on 22nd August 2011, 11:44

      It’s a bit presumptuous to expect the tyre performance of Mclaren and Ferrari to remain the same for the rest of the year. All teams are continually striving to find the sweet spot in terms of tyre performance. Tyre longevity relative to speed over a lap will inevitably have an optimum trade off point because the race is the same distance for every car so it would be wiser to expect tyre performance to converge across all teams relative to the fundamental pace of the car itself.

  9. “If these two teams fail to score a point in next week’s Belgian Grand Prix they will equal the record of most starts for a team without scoring. That belongs to RAM, who entered 31 races between 1983 and 1985 without claiming a point”

    If these three teams, I think it should say? Lotus haven’t scored a point either, unless you are now counting their results from way back too, which wouldn’t make any sense…?

  10. mtom99 said on 21st August 2011, 16:04

    The MP4-26 is the fastest car now.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 21st August 2011, 17:32

      I think the MP4-26 and RB7 are now neck and neck. The MP4-26 has an advantage in some layouts and conditions, and similar with the RB7.

      But I think crucially the RB7 has a bit more downforce (still) and the MP4-26 has a bit more straight-line speed, just enough to balance out RBR’s downforce advantage. This would be better for them as it would help them overtake too.

      • irish con said on 21st August 2011, 19:46

        i think that ferrari is going to win a lot more races this year before its out. have better faster corner performance than either in the races now because they dont ruin there tyres. also better straight line speed than redbull, a better drs than mclaren and much better tyre management that either. if ferrari sort q3 out they will be the car to have on a sunday.

        • Alex W said on 22nd August 2011, 4:34

          I think the Ferrari now is an RB7italia, while the macca is not just a copy of the RB7, I think the maccas will make a better charge, but it won’t be enough.

    • Patrickl said on 5th September 2011, 12:31

      It’s more that Hamilton is driving the McLaren faster than the Red Bull. He ends up paying for it in tyre wear though.

      When driven at regular pace it’s as fast as Button goes. That’s still a pretty long way behind the Red Bulls.

  11. suka (@suka) said on 21st August 2011, 16:37

    We have some racing show now that the performance gap is closed among the top three.

    However, no way Vettel is losing the championship.

    Once again, sit back and enjoy the rest of the season which should have come sooner the way it is now.

    At least, drives other than Vettel will win “The driver of the weekend poll” For me, a decent consolation. :)

  12. dfketr said on 21st August 2011, 16:52

    the graphs doesnt take into account bad team strategy and bad driving. ie hamilton and mclaren would be much closer on the graph, and ahead at times of redbull had it not been for the constant errors by team and driver in the first half of the season. mclaren were up to redbulls speed several months ago, but have only now got their act together, but because of the errors – the season is likely lost now.
    for a team like mclaren – there is no excuse for their first half of the season performance, they could be within striking distance of both championships but are missing one factor that redbull have – VETTEL – a driver that can dominate and be consistant. Webber is in the league of Hamilton and Button – ie making errors and not consistent with his performances.

  13. I think vettel will win the championship eventually.coz in the remaining races he will atleast be in the top 3.mathematicaly impossible.mayb da teams should aim 4 da constructors.
    I enjoy hamiltons driving style,but he makes far too many errors,like the strategy mistake and skid in the last race.mclaren definately have the fastest car now just that errors cost them the title

  14. abhishek said on 21st August 2011, 18:05

    Indian GP tickets for sale at ground breaking prices at . damn!

  15. BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st August 2011, 19:16

    Really interesting to see how the top gets closer together and we clearly see Mercedes generally just about be first of the midfield pack. From where Lotus is, it might be safe to guess both HRT and Virgin will need another year more then Lotus (if they start going somewhere) to get into that midfield pack.

  16. Lord Ha Ha said on 21st August 2011, 23:22

    Ruben’s point about panic at Williams illustrated

  17. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 21st August 2011, 23:58

    A great insight, thanks. It really gives hope for A N Other to really give RBR something to tremble over. That said, I think most of the damage has already been done in the first half of the season and as a result we may see less crushing victories from Vettel but consistent podiums.

  18. Younger Hamii said on 22nd August 2011, 0:30

    On the Leading Driver Performance Analysis i LOLED so much when i Saw Webber’s atChina

  19. Wooolfy said on 22nd August 2011, 0:49

    I’ve got Mclaren winning all the remaining races this season. They are now tapping into and exploiting the real potential of the MP4-26. After next two races they will have a greater performance advantage.

  20. sumedh said on 22nd August 2011, 6:05

    These graphs are misleading. They take into account only the fastest lap of each weekend. But don’t forget that except for the race, cars are allowed to use DRS whenever they want and that is when they will end up setting the fastest lap. This lap is not a true picture of the car’s performance in the race.

    It is better to take the fastest lap of the race and make a comparison.

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