Lack of dry running leaves drivers in the dark

2011 Korean GP practice analysis

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Korea, 2011

Hamilton was fastest on a wet day in Korea

Pirelli’s choice of tyres could make for an unpredictable race in Korea.

Today’s rain meant drivers had no meaningful running on the soft and super soft tyres.

Lewis Hamilton, who was fastest in the second session, expects to be able to challenge Red Bull for pole position. Red Bull have claimed pole position in all of the 15 races so far.

The two practice analysis articles have been combined into one due to all of Friday’s running being affected by rain and not all drivers setting times in the first session.

Longest stint comparison: second practice

  • Today’s rain is expected to be followed by two days of sunshine. With no chance to do high-fuel runs on slick tyres the teams don’t know how long their tyres will last in the race. They may get a chance in tomorrow’s final hour of practice.
  • In yesterday’s press conference Sebastian Vettel raised the possibility of there being up to five pit stops during the race. This seems unrealistically high, though we have seen four-stop races already this year.
  • We can expect drivers to do everything they can to save fresh tyres for the race, so expect to see some teams opt not to set times in qualifying again.
  • Mark Webber summed up about the only conclusion to be drawn from the second practice lap times: “McLaren looked very strong in the intermediate conditions”.

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint:

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

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Sebastian Vettel 116.604 114.34 121.399 113.592 119.952 113.569 118.461 112.956
Mark Webber 116.634 115.152 122.312 114.179 118.495 113.654
Lewis Hamilton 114.022 112.659 113.503 117.503 111.189 119.493 110.828
Jenson Button 119.067 114.447 129.451 112.664 124.088 111.798 122.67 111.334
Fernando Alonso 117.617 121.305 113.158 112.774
Felipe Massa 114.027 127.874 117.971 113.707
Michael Schumacher 119.764 124.769 116.829 116.471 118.449
Nico Rosberg 117.891 113.974 125.553 113.914
Bruno Senna 118.655 116.1 115.751 120.924 117.488 115.187 115.35
Vitaly Petrov 118.993 117.078 126.669 115.643 129.918 115.651
Rubens Barrichello 116.083 129.211 115.315 126.997 114.831 124.784 126.791 120.782
Pastor Maldonado 117.635 116.799 134.382 116.55
Adrian Sutil 117.395 115.658 115.001 122.834 121.505
Paul di Resta 114.811 115.068 125.414 114.914 128.377 113.957
Kamui Kobayashi 121.763 117.144 125.764 117.989 116.299
Sergio Perez 117.766 117.73 128.506 132.655 121.979 116.58 115.664 121.613 119.247 115.203 116.589
Sebastien Buemi 115.134 114.162 114.732 114.179 114.01 114.239 114.372
Jaime Alguersuari 114.296 120.863 114.543 123.21 114.109 114.149 113.438 113.402 113.465
Heikki Kovalainen 123.195 121.118 119.306 118.443 118.068 124.168 117.275 117.484 116.669
Jarno Trulli 124.104 121.672 119.335 118.479 118.069 125.368 118.268 117.999 117.173
Daniel Ricciardo 124.972 127.789 133.763 122.322 121.576 127.236 124.587 120.854 120.312 119.958
Vitantonio Liuzzi 121.224 127.875 120.168 120.241 120.165
Timo Glock 124.559 121.64 118.848 119.168
Jerome d’Ambrosio 124.892 125.845 120.007 119.458

Ultimate lap times: second practice

An ultimate lap is a driver’s fastest three sector times combined.

  • McLaren’s performance in the second session, coming off the back of Jenson Button’s Suzuka win, gives Lewis Hamilton cause for optimism ahead of qualifying: “It would be great to get the pole here tomorrow: it?s difficult to read too much into today?s times ?ǣ the lap on slicks at the end was impossible ?ǣ but I think we are quick, the car is good and Jenson showed at the last race that we can be very competitive. So I have no doubt that we?ll be able to challenge the Red Bulls in qualifying.”
Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’50.581 0.247
2 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’50.859 0.278 0.073
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’52.206 1.625 0.440
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’52.519 1.938 0.255
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’52.718 2.137 0.331
6 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’53.153 2.572 0.249
7 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’53.513 2.932 0.401
8 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’53.530 2.949 0.418
9 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’53.599 3.018 0.108
10 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’53.814 3.233 0.143
11 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’54.067 3.486 0.133
12 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’54.173 3.592 1.371
13 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’54.250 3.669 0.142
14 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’54.549 3.968 0.416
15 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’54.671 4.090 0.160
16 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1’54.899 4.318 0.288
17 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’55.156 4.575 0.047
18 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’55.250 4.669 3.019
19 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’55.787 5.206 0.280
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’56.669 6.088 0.000
21 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’57.062 6.481 0.111
22 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’59.253 8.672 0.205
23 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’59.751 9.170 0.207
24 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 2’00.002 9.421 0.163

Complete practice times: first practice

  • Six drivers elected not to do times in the very wet first session.
Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Stint lap At time Laps
1 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 2’02.784 3/3 91 10
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2’02.840 0.056 5/5 93 8
3 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 2’02.912 0.128 1/1 93 12
4 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 2’03.141 0.357 1/2 90 12
5 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2’03.182 0.398 5/5 66 9
6 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 2’03.292 0.508 4/5 72 13
7 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 2’03.391 0.607 2/2 57 6
8 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2’04.311 1.527 1/3 87 12
9 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 2’04.797 2.013 2/2 75 8
10 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 2’05.183 2.399 2/2 90 5
11 21 Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 2’06.350 3.566 7/7 93 11
12 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 2’06.852 4.068 2/4 87 11
13 19 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2’07.541 4.757 6/6 78 9
14 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 2’08.218 5.434 1/2 84 5
15 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 2’08.832 6.048 11/11 92 14
16 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 2’09.232 6.448 3/3 93 14
17 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 2’12.658 9.874 3/3 83 7
18 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2’14.508 11.724 1/1 81 4
9 Bruno Senna Renault 1
10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 5
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1

Complete practice times: second practice

  • Kamui Kobayashi said the conditions in the second session exposed one of the weaknesses of his Sauber: “The track itself has a very low grip level, and on top of that our car doesn?t make very good use of the intermediate tyres. In general I don?t mind driving in the rain, and with the full wet tyres it was no problem, but later with the intermediate tyres I was struggling a lot.”
Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Stint lap At time Laps
1 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’50.828 7/7 25 26
2 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’50.932 0.104 2/3 34 19
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’52.646 1.818 4/4 67 30
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’52.774 1.946 4/4 56 25
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’53.049 2.221 5/5 49 27
6 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’53.402 2.574 8/9 39 25
7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’53.707 2.879 4/4 84 24
8 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’53.914 3.086 4/4 47 17
9 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’53.948 3.120 1/2 38 27
10 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’53.957 3.129 6/6 85 32
11 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’54.200 3.372 5/5 67 26
12 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’54.392 3.564 4/4 35 26
13 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’54.831 4.003 5/8 83 30
14 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’54.965 4.137 1/3 38 21
15 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1’55.187 4.359 6/7 64 28
16 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’55.203 4.375 10/11 29 24
17 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’55.544 4.716 1/1 50 23
18 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’56.067 5.239 3/3 31 22
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’56.669 5.841 9/9 22 20
20 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’57.173 6.345 9/9 22 19
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’58.269 7.441 1/1 75 25
22 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’59.458 8.630 4/4 90 26
23 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’59.958 9.130 10/10 25 19
24 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 2’00.165 9.337 5/5 30 20

Speed trap: second practice

  • Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport’s F1 support leader, explained the challenges of selecting the gear ratios for this race: “The long straight from turn two to turn three means we have to have the right top gear to both attack cars ahead under the tow, and defend from those behind and make allowances for the wind which can change quickly here and affect outright pace.”
  • In dry conditions last year the fastest cars were hitting 320kph on the approach to turn three.
# Driver Car Engine Max speed Gap
1 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 305.1
2 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes Mercedes 304.8 0.3
3 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault Renault 303.7 1.4
4 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 303.5 1.6
5 9 Bruno Senna Renault Renault 301.1 4
6 14 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 299.5 5.6
7 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 299.4 5.7
8 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 299.2 5.9
9 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT Cosworth 298.2 6.9
10 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams Cosworth 298 7.1
11 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT Cosworth 297.8 7.3
12 15 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 297.2 7.9
13 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus Renault 296.8 8.3
14 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus Renault 296.3 8.8
15 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 295.6 9.5
16 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 294.4 10.7
17 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari 293.6 11.5
18 24 Timo Glock Virgin Cosworth 293.4 11.7
19 4 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 292.2 12.9
20 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin Cosworth 291.8 13.3
21 17 Sergio Perez Sauber Ferrari 291.1 14
22 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari 290.7 14.4
23 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 290.7 14.4
24 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams Cosworth 290.3 14.8

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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30 comments on Lack of dry running leaves drivers in the dark

  1. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 14th October 2011, 13:02

    Again, I think it’s going to be a busy P3.

    As for who will be able to get the most out of his DRS is likely to be determined by then, as the teams have to set up their final gear ratios by tonight, I believe.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th October 2011, 13:05

    Today’s rain meant drivers had no meaningful running on the soft and super soft tyres.

    And that’s what makes it fun.

  3. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 14th October 2011, 13:23

    Lewis Hamilton – second last in speed trap and yet beat the rest in lap times.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th October 2011, 13:38

    “The long straight from turn two to turn three means we have to have the right top gear to both attack cars ahead under the tow, and defend from those behind and make allowances for the wind which can change quickly here and affect outright pace.”

    I noticed that a lot today; I was using the Live Timing on Formula1.com to follow free practice, and from the weather data, I could see that the wind kept changing direction, and quite frequently to boot. Not only would the drivers have been buffeted by crosswinds down the three straights, but it would have flet like it was coming from all directions at once in the labyrinth final sector.

  5. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 14th October 2011, 14:05

    I can’t imagine any other then Vettel for pole. McLaren shines on inters all year long, but when it’s dry it’ll be RedBull again.
    And since we still have constructors championship, I expect RB to go for it.
    Maybe after they’ve clinched that as well, they Will try some things for next year and compromise à bit.
    But untill then they Will continue their dominance. I know McLaren are close, but I think Suzuka is an exception because of that tarmac.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 14th October 2011, 14:40

      I’m not so sure on this one. I’ve had a suspicion that Red Bull have stiffened up the front of the car since they pretty much won the WDC. I might be completely wrong of course, but that picture of the underside of Webber’s car at Monza with the front floor wear was certainly ‘interesting’.

      McLaren or Ferrari for pole I think… but as always… I’m usually wrong.

      • RumFRESH (@rumfresh) said on 14th October 2011, 20:21

        I do hope you’re right though. I’m not one of those people that doubt Vettel’s overtaking ability but I’d definitely like to see it and I don’t think I will if he starts on the front row as usual.

  6. Victor. (@victor) said on 14th October 2011, 15:04

    I’ve got a feeling Lewis will be fantastic this weekend. He just seems to make sense for the first time in ages without sounding too meek. It feels like he’s regained his confidence but has humbled down.

    I’m obviously just saying that on the basis of one Ted Kravitz interview, but he doesn’t seem downbeat anymore, responded to Felipe’s moaning without being full of himself and seems to have accepted Jenson’s current superiority and rather than being frustrated by it he is out to change that.

    Then again we might see him do something silly again, but some inner voice tells me Hamilton has had a good night’s sleep and has understood his limits.

  7. Rahim.RG (@rahim-rg) said on 14th October 2011, 15:10

    You never know….Monsoons are over here in India…but it has been raining heavily here in south since few days….and i think it might be heading towards Delhi for the Race.. :)

    • S@Nguine said on 14th October 2011, 16:14

      I’ve been in Greater Noida for the last 4 months,it hasn’t rained much here even when Delhi experienced heavy downpour.So the chances of having rain for Indian GP is almost nil and by Oct 28 the weather will be quite pleasant.

  8. Fixy (@fixy) said on 14th October 2011, 16:21

    Lack of dry running leaves drivers in the dark

    2010 repeat?

  9. Chris Yu Rhee (@chris-yu-rhee) said on 14th October 2011, 16:49

    I’m glad next year’s race will be in March. At least it won’t be raining then. But if it stays cold it may snow… Hmmm
    Maybe they can talk to the WRC about borrowing snow tires…

  10. Eggry (@eggry) said on 14th October 2011, 17:21

    I wish uncertainty would shuffle performace…

  11. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 14th October 2011, 18:16

    Why is FIA making the same mistakes? Last year’s race was delayed by the rain and then the track was so dark to drive safely. If that’s the thrill FIA plans, to make best races of the world drive blind?
    Times must be adjusted to the local area, not to the regular TV viewer confort. It’s great to have F1 in more countries, but if the problem is visibility, turn Korea into another night race with lots of bright ights

  12. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 14th October 2011, 19:11

    I would love if there actually were five pit-stops.

    The two compounds has done far less to mix up the strategies than I’d hoped they would. Everyone at the front tend to just use as many sets of options as they can and then deal with the primes. So if your car is better at managing the primes than others are at managing the softs, then that’s an advantage lost. It would be interesting to see how teams would cope having to use every set of tyre that have, even if only once a year.

  13. Kamui Fan (@kamui-fan) said on 14th October 2011, 20:06

    GO KAMUI !!!

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