Sector times put Ferrari on top at Monza

2012 Italian GP Friday practice analysis

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Monza, 2012McLaren headed the practice times on Friday ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

But Lewis Hamilton, who set the day’s fastest time, was just 0.058s quicker than Fernando Alonso over their best laps.

And on sector times, Ferrari had the edge. Felipe Massa’s three best sector times put him one tenth of a second faster than Hamilton, and he was almost matched by Alonso.

The times show Ferrari have a quick car for their home race – and underline how close the front-runners are at Monza.

Jenson Button said: “Looking at the data, there are quite a few teams out there that look quick too: it?s very close and that?s going to make it an interesting race.”

Here is the data from the first two practice sessions for the Italian Grand Prix.

Sector times and ultimate lap times – second practice

Car Driver Car Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3 Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 27.675 (7) 29.071 (2) 28.433 (1) 1’25.179 0.251
2 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 27.607 (4) 29.082 (3) 28.503 (2) 1’25.192 0.013 0.156
3 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 27.585 (3) 29.067 (1) 28.638 (6) 1’25.290 0.111 0.000
4 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 27.456 (1) 29.150 (4) 28.707 (7) 1’25.313 0.134 0.015
5 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 27.643 (6) 29.169 (5) 28.518 (3) 1’25.330 0.151 0.116
6 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 27.763 (8) 29.201 (6) 28.534 (4) 1’25.498 0.319 0.006
7 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 27.617 (5) 29.205 (7) 28.711 (8) 1’25.533 0.354 0.013
8 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 27.554 (2) 29.249 (9) 28.744 (9) 1’25.547 0.368 0.000
9 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 27.914 (15) 29.339 (10) 28.588 (5) 1’25.841 0.662 0.227
10 10 Jerome D’Ambrosio Lotus-Renault 27.988 (17) 29.232 (8) 28.746 (10) 1’25.966 0.787 0.191
11 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 27.801 (12) 29.387 (11) 28.808 (13) 1’25.996 0.817 0.098
12 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 27.798 (11) 29.437 (12) 28.843 (15) 1’26.078 0.899 0.026
13 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 27.851 (13) 29.677 (14) 28.772 (11) 1’26.300 1.121 0.104
14 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 27.780 (9) 29.567 (13) 28.956 (17) 1’26.303 1.124 0.091
15 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 28.016 (18) 29.708 (16) 28.804 (12) 1’26.528 1.349 0.255
16 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 27.792 (10) 29.855 (19) 28.937 (16) 1’26.584 1.405 0.140
17 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 28.121 (19) 29.695 (15) 28.841 (14) 1’26.657 1.478 0.073
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 27.913 (14) 29.798 (17) 29.073 (20) 1’26.784 1.605 0.057
19 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 27.928 (16) 29.830 (18) 29.072 (19) 1’26.830 1.651 0.034
20 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 28.236 (20) 29.861 (20) 29.057 (18) 1’27.154 1.975 0.068
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 28.456 (24) 30.052 (22) 29.383 (21) 1’27.891 2.712 0.053
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 28.374 (22) 30.049 (21) 29.545 (22) 1’27.968 2.789 0.000
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 28.417 (23) 30.386 (23) 29.739 (24) 1’28.542 3.363 0.033
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 28.372 (21) 30.567 (24) 29.685 (23) 1’28.624 3.445 0.155

Ferrari were not as quick as McLaren in the first part of the lap but more than made that up elsewhere, as Alonso explained: “Compared to Spa, here we are on the pace, maybe we have a bit more downforce and make up a bit of time at the two Lesmos and the second chicane, while we are losing out in the first sector with the two long straights.

“We will analyse these details this evening and tomorrow we will try and improve also in terms of top speed, which was probably our weak point today.”

Longest stint comparison – second practice

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

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2012drivercolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Sebastian Vettel 94.558 91.205 91.424 90.79 91.071 93.691
Mark Webber 91.672 90.717 90.466 90.317 90.644 90.356 90.177 90.144 90.374 94.741 90.18 90.908 90.3 90.652
Jenson Button 91.323 91.146 90.773 90.573 90.578 90.732 90.734 92.97 90.609
Lewis Hamilton 91.384 96.038 90.529 90.413 90.627 90.209 90.066 90.182 90.616 89.828 97.402
Fernando Alonso 85.713 92.279 85.564 91.976 85.35
Felipe Massa 90.904 90.398 90.237 90.193 90.301 90.669 90.51 93.468 90.318 90.381 93.684 90.456 90.827 90.936
Michael Schumacher 90.17 89.839 90.476 90.328 91.371 90.091 89.882 89.708 90.596 89.929 90.149 90.014 89.987 90.394 90.036 89.965
Nico Rosberg 90.396 90.146 90.575 89.888 89.903 89.815 89.689 90.306 89.776 92.751 90.073 89.115
Kimi Raikkonen 90.644 90.67 90.513 90.493 90.307 90.672 90.183 90.012 90.366 90.63 90.343 90.105 90.139 90.683 90.185 90.205
Jerome dAmbrosio 92.535 91.374 91.704 91.201 91.725 91.303 91.197 91.266 90.979 91.055
Paul di Resta 91.379 91.582 91.799 90.751 91.603 90.702 90.683 90.945 90.735 90.619 90.802 91.391 91.522 96.463 90.854 90.745
Nico Hulkenberg 91.321 91.092 95.7 91.133 91.072 90.646 90.745 90.538 90.668 90.416 90.388 90.278 90.608 90.201
Kamui Kobayashi 89.262 88.278 97.537 88.185 87.593 89.816 87.332 86.73
Sergio Perez 86.669 86.321 95.388 86.072 93.417 86.795 86.068
Daniel Ricciardo 91.851 91.699 91.458 91.423 91.248 91.068 91.1 90.839 91.24 91.149 91.637 91.151 91.359
Jean-Eric Vergne 92.769 91.994 91.755 91.638 91.808 91.784 91.262 91.419 91.305 91.797 91.276 91.142 91.198 91.431 91.52
Pastor Maldonado 92.023 91.326 93.584 91.393 90.885 90.604 92.2 90.861 91.384 91.028 90.578 90.838 91.322
Bruno Senna 93.322 91.879 92.092 91.417 91.077 91.352 91.165 91.171
Heikki Kovalainen 92.379 96.229 91.493 91.5 91.806 91.46 91.648 91.632 91.278 91.339 91.053
Vitaly Petrov 91.933 91.801 91.642 91.537 91.751 93.07 91.369 91.44 92.811 93.942 91.729 92.768 95.495 92.101 92.263
Pedro de la Rosa 93.141 92.524 92.514 92.212 92.094 92.404 91.912 91.985 92.296 96.526 92.879
Narain Karthikeyan 90.305 90.12 89.825 89.527 89.481 89.477
Timo Glock 92.441 91.97 92.158 91.961 91.845 91.726 91.996 91.799 91.82 94.791 91.581
Charles Pic 93.828 92.968 93.105 93.476 93.336 92.815 92.455 92.418

After four consecutive wet Friday practice sessions the teams finally had the chance to do some long runs and try to suss out tyre performance over a race stint.

They discovered the tyres are holding up well at Monza, where Pirelli has brought the medium and hard compounds. Kimi Raikkonen managed a particularly long stint with very consistent times.

Alonso was unable to do a long run at the end of second practice having been sidelined with a gearbox problem – though fortunately not one that will leave him with a grid penalty.

Having observed the progress of his team mate and rivals Alonso said: “I expect we will see different strategies in qualifying because there seems to be very little difference between the medium and hard tyres. In the race we will have to use both and so in the end it balances out.”

Nico Rosberg was also encouraged by Mercedes’ performance: “It seems that we have a good pace on high and low fuel levels,” he said.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said the medium tyre appeared to offer little in the way of a clear performance advantage over the more durable hard tyre: “We might see different approaches tomorrow, and some drivers could even try a one-stop strategy for the race: the winning tactic in Belgium a week ago, which used the same compounds.

“Although there are many places in Monza that put a lot of energy through the tyres, the overall wear rate has been very good today, which allowed a number of the drivers to set their fastest times later on in their runs.”

Complete practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.944 1’25.290
2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.723 1’25.328
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’25.800 1’25.348
4 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’25.422 1’26.094
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’25.881 1’25.430
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’25.762 1’25.446
7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’26.046 1’25.504
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’26.518 1’25.547
9 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’25.548
10 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.323 1’26.068
11 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’26.390 1’26.104
12 Jerome D’Ambrosio Lotus-Renault 1’27.180 1’26.157
13 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’26.508 1’26.394
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’26.504 1’26.404
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’26.641
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’27.373 1’26.724
17 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.746 1’26.730
18 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’26.783
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’27.855 1’26.841
20 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’27.789 1’26.864
21 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1’27.192
22 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’28.578 1’27.222
23 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’29.207 1’27.944
24 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’28.751 1’27.968
25 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’29.331 1’28.575
26 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’28.779
27 Ma Qing Hua HRT-Cosworth 1’31.239

Neither Red Bull made it into the top ten, raising the possibility of their drivers struggling to make it into Q3 tomorrow, as Sebastian Vettel failed to do at Spa.

Mark Webber said: “We?re working hard, but we?re not there yet. We were a bit more competitive on the longer runs in practice today. We?re not normally the Friday world champions, so we?ll do some work now for tomorrow. We often find a good step ahead of qualifying.”

The first practice session also saw the debut of Ma Qing Hua, the first Chinese driver to participate in an official F1 session. Ma described it as an “extraordinary experience”:

“From the start I felt comfortable in the car and working with the team, and I accomplished all the targets we set ourselves.

“We started with quite a long stint on hard tyres and then we made changes to the set-up as I adapted to the F112. It was an important step for me, but also for motorsport in China since it?s a very young sport there but with a great potential.”

Speed trap – second practice

# Driver Car Engine Max speed (kph) Gap
1 10 Jerome D’Ambrosio Lotus Renault 345.4
2 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault 343 2.4
3 3 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 342.3 3.1
4 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 341.9 3.5
5 11 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 341.7 3.7
6 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 341.3 4.1
7 15 Sergio Perez Sauber Ferrari 339.4 6
8 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari 339.3 6.1
9 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes Mercedes 338.4 7
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 338.4 7
11 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham Renault 338 7.4
12 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT Cosworth 338 7.4
13 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 337.9 7.5
14 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham Renault 337.5 7.9
15 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari 337.3 8.1
16 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso Ferrari 336.7 8.7
17 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Ferrari 336.5 8.9
18 25 Charles Pic Marussia Cosworth 336.4 9
19 24 Timo Glock Marussia Cosworth 335.8 9.6
20 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT Cosworth 333.7 11.7
21 19 Bruno Senna Williams Renault 333.4 12
22 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams Renault 333.2 12.2
23 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 329.1 16.3
24 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 328.7 16.7

A big part of the reason for Red Bull’s troubles is their poor straight-line speed – over 4kph slower than any other car. Significantly the Lotuses, which use the same Renault engines, were the fastest, indicating the problem is not necessarily a lack of horsepower.

2012 Italian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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34 comments on Sector times put Ferrari on top at Monza

  1. pantherjag (@pantherjag) said on 8th September 2012, 8:33

    Schumacher looks particualy strong this weekend. His fastest lap in FP2 was actually a net quickest when you consider he did it with no DRS. I have been reading various analysis’s that suggest its worth upto 1.2 seconds around monza considering the 4 long straights. Also encouraged by mercedes long run pace. I think its actually a true reflection that they are in the hunt this weekend.

  2. remengo said on 8th September 2012, 9:04

    It seems that Button and Hamilton made times on medium compound while Alonso was on hards, maybe another little improvement is possible.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th September 2012, 9:12

    Hm, looks like we might see a race where the Mercedes cars qualify near the front again and then will have their work cut out to make it work over the distance. Can Schumi do a nice run defending from faster cars again this year?

    I would love to have it this tight come qualifying and the race, might bring us a repeat of 2010 with both Alonso and Massa fighting with Button. If we add Hamilton to that mix, and Kimi too (and have it complicated from all of them having to count on the Mercedes being somewhere in ther) it might be a real treat.
    Although for the championship an Alonso engine failure during the race would not be bad (giving Massa a win?)

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