Drivers face hard tyre struggle in the race

2011 Indian GP FP2 analysis

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Drivers will want to use the hard tyre as little as possible during the Indian Grand Prix.

With the hardest tyre in Pirelli’s range offering little grip on the slippery circuit, drivers may try to get away with using it for just one lap in the race.

Longest stint comparison

  • Drivers had enough trouble getting the soft tyres to work on the low-grip track – the hard tyres proved very difficult to use. Felipe Massa said: “Probably the hards are too hard for this track and it would have been possible to run the same compounds we had in Korea in two weeks ago, because the track surface is very smooth.”
  • Kamui Kobayashi added: “With the hard ones you cannot really drive here, while with the soft tyres it was still not easy to heat them up and get them to work properly, but there is no comparison to the hard ones.”
  • Pirelli’s Paul Hembery admitted the tyre was too hard for the circuit at the moment: “Working out exactly how the tyres degrade is tricky because the track is still cleaning, having started off very dusty before clear racing lines emerged. This dust has a significant effect on tyre performance, as the tyres can grain due to sliding and rear wheelspin. As the performance gap between the soft tyre and the hard tyre is notable here, the key to race strategy will be getting the softs to last for as long as possible.”
  • Hembery added he expects a “two to three stop strategy” for most drivers in the race.
  • At this stage it seems likely drivers will spend very little time on the hard tyres in the race. Hembery said strategies could be similar to those seen in Germany, where Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa only used the harder tyres for one lap at the end of the race.

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 12 13
Sebastian Vettel 87.717 91.974 86.492 87.663 103.336 93.597 90.046 88.666 86.32
Mark Webber 87.366 98.124 87.083 98.72 86.5
Lewis Hamilton 94.361 94.945 92.725 92.739
Jenson Button 93.493 92.241 91.584 95.699 91.544 91.112 90.979 92.526
Fernando Alonso 101.363 86.458 101.247 86.216 99.916 92.248 85.93
Felipe Massa 91.425 91.658 91.177 93.165
Michael Schumacher 92.198 93.066 92.315 92.453 95.374 91.804 92.543 93.89
Nico Rosberg 93.608 93.329 93.794 93.33 93.205 92.972 92.855 92.305 94.175 92.104 99.627
Bruno Senna 93.96 92.786 94.106 92.111 92.486 92.785 92.581 92.01 91.764 94.393 91.763 91.368
Vitaly Petrov 93.44 93.155 92.433 92.788 97.227 91.509 92.079 91.524 92.772 92.118 93.297 91.025 91.33
Rubens Barrichello 89.362 97.856 91.881 88.691 102.46
Pastor Maldonado 92.874 93.971 88.887 89.293
Adrian Sutil 94.886 93.106 93.353 92.711 95.286 93.055 93.049 94.755 92.611
Paul di Resta 97.562 95.818 95.955 95.136 95.366 94.481 94.393 94.048
Kamui Kobayashi 94.952 92.372 92.586 96.76 92.23 91.876 91.759
Sergio Perez 93.605 93.292 93.017 93.303 99.064 92.966 92.477 96.345
Sebastien Buemi 91.306 92.188 89.272 95.505 88.814 102.628 93.8 92.181 87.868
Jaime Alguersuari 94.044 93.818 93.944 93.757 93.202 92.846 92.971
Heikki Kovalainen 93.884 93.835 94.441 93.619 93.886 98.386 93.31 93.701 93.388
Jarno Trulli 95.384 95.885 94.453 94.385 93.91 93.546 93.916 94.075 93.905 94.688 94.718 97.291
Narain Karthikeyan 95.359 94.92 94.488 100.576 94.62 94.145 94.843
Daniel Ricciardo 95.103 96.508 94.407 95.143 99.422 96.373 94.341 93.673
Timo Glock 93.13 92.148 91.633 91.615 96.103
Jerome d’Ambrosio 95.948 93.383 92.593

Ultimate lap times

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

  • Lewis Hamilton was quickest in the first session but slipped to fourth in the afternoon. He said: “We looked quick this morning. This afternoon, however, I had a problem with the driveshaft ?ǣ it felt like it was causing some wear and tear so it prompted me to end the session a little early. We?ll fit a new gearbox for tomorrow, so the car will hopefully start behaving a bit better. That should make things closer at the front.”
Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’25.706 0.000
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’25.794 0.088 0.000
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’25.908 0.202 0.022
4 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’26.379 0.673 0.335
5 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’26.382 0.676 0.072
6 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’26.386 0.680 0.114
7 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’27.316 1.610 0.000
8 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1’27.496 1.790 0.002
9 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’27.731 2.025 0.122
10 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’27.780 2.074 0.088
11 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’27.862 2.156 0.028
12 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’27.975 2.269 0.075
13 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’28.131 2.425 0.421
14 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’28.289 2.583 0.000
15 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’28.680 2.974 0.028
16 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’28.691 2.985 0.000
17 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’29.187 3.481 0.145
18 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’29.215 3.509 2.589
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’30.001 4.295 0.240
20 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’31.038 5.332 0.060
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’31.284 5.578 0.185
22 23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’32.449 6.743 0.319
23 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’32.593 6.887 0.000
24 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’32.769 7.063 0.055

Complete practice times

  • Michael Schumacher had a problematic second session: “This morning, I was happy with the balance of the car,” he said. “However this afternoon was more challenging for us. We weren’t really able to get into working properly for various reasons, including the red flag, and therefore tomorrow we need to work on the set-up for both qualifying and the race.”
  • The Renaults were eighth and 11th, which Bruno Senna said was in line with expectations: “Both cars were in the positions they should be and the track looks like it could be an ally for our car.”
Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Stint lap At time Laps
1 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’25.706 4/4 73 33
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’25.794 0.088 4/4 67 34
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’25.930 0.224 7/7 75 34
4 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’26.454 0.748 4/4 66 26
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’26.500 0.794 5/5 68 30
6 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’26.714 1.008 4/4 39 27
7 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’27.316 1.610 3/3 65 34
8 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1’27.498 1.792 5/18 52 35
9 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’27.853 2.147 3/3 65 34
10 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’27.868 2.162 9/9 20 34
11 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’27.890 2.184 3/17 51 36
12 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’28.050 2.344 5/5 71 34
13 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’28.289 2.583 8/8 71 35
14 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’28.552 2.846 1/2 44 31
15 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’28.691 2.985 4/5 91 28
16 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’28.708 3.002 14/14 71 22
17 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’29.332 3.626 22/22 75 38
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’30.241 4.535 10/10 68 40
19 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’31.098 5.392 5/5 37 37
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’31.469 5.763 3/3 77 32
21 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’31.804 6.098 6/8 78 27
22 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’32.593 6.887 3/3 33 11
23 23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’32.768 7.062 5/5 14 32
24 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’32.824 7.118 4/5 62 32

Speed trap

  • Sergio Perez topped the times and, as in Korea, the two Toro Rossos showed excellent performance through the speed trap.
# Driver Car Engine Max speed Gap
1 17 Sergio Perez Sauber Ferrari 323.6
2 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 321 2.6
3 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 320.7 2.9
4 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari 319.1 4.5
5 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams Cosworth 318.4 5.2
6 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams Cosworth 318.4 5.2
7 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes Mercedes 317.5 6.1
8 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari 317.4 6.2
9 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 317 6.6
10 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 316.1 7.5
11 15 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 316 7.6
12 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault Renault 315.9 7.7
13 4 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 315.8 7.8
14 14 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 315.7 7.9
15 9 Bruno Senna Renault Renault 315.6 8
16 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 312.5 11.1
17 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 312.3 11.3
18 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 312.2 11.4
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin Cosworth 309.8 13.8
20 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin Cosworth 309.1 14.5
21 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus Renault 308.3 15.3
22 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT Cosworth 308.3 15.3
23 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus Renault 308.3 15.3
24 23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT Cosworth 308.1 15.5

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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11 comments on Drivers face hard tyre struggle in the race

  1. jayntj said on 28th October 2011, 15:27

    Its intresting if any FI qualify and are aggressive can they possibly start on hards and pit in lap2.

  2. BBT (@bbt) said on 28th October 2011, 16:54

    Need to watch FP3 before any predictions… IMO more unknowns than normal. Have to say Ferrari are looking better from that though.

  3. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 28th October 2011, 17:18

    A slow day for comments, so far (except for the ludicrously large discussion on penalties for failing to appreciate yellows), so I’ll put up some of my thoughts.

    A surprisingly strong Ferrari so far this weekend, which makes me wonder what the difference is between developing this year’s car and stopping the development of the car, and trying out bits from next year’s car. I also wonder whether Ferrari set its times on newer tyres than its rivals, since teams no longer followed the practice of first running on the harder tyre for the first hour of FP2, and then doing one run on the soft tyres for a quick time.

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th October 2011, 17:55

    I was thinking along the same lines as Hempbrey with regards to the Nurburgring strategy employed by Vettel and Massa. I imagine that Vettel will occupy his customary position, making sure he’s 1s ahead of the pack for the 3rd lap in. We might see him a little less conservative than usual for him to be able to pull out a gap sufficient enough to pit for the prime tyre.

  5. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 28th October 2011, 18:22

    Both cars were in the positions they should be

    I agree with you Bruno, but Petrov probably not!
    But maybe they were on different programs and their places only indicate that.

    (hmmmm, commenting from PC, I love it, after iPhone)

  6. John H (@john-h) said on 28th October 2011, 19:54

    Start on hards and pit on lap 1. That’s my advice!

  7. John H (@john-h) said on 28th October 2011, 19:56

    As a comment on your comment on your lack of comments may I say nice comment.

  8. Phil T (@phil-t) said on 28th October 2011, 23:03

    Not everyone can pit on lap one, unless they are all going to stack, 24 cars in the pit lane ?!

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