Tyres will make race “massively challenging”

2013 Australian Grand Prix pre-race analysisPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Melbourne, 2013The disrupted build-up to the Australian Grand Prix means teams are heading into today’s race with many unknowns.

The postponement of qualifying today meant Q2 and Q3 were held in unusually cool conditions more like those seen in testing than in races.

And for those drivers in the final ten it meant grappling with graining on a cold track with slick tyres. And the more laps they did, the worse condition they’ll be in for the start of the race.

“It’s going to be massively challenging with the tyres, not really knowing how long the tyres are going last,” said Lewis Hamilton.

“I’ve already had graining, I’ve already done maybe a lap or two more than these guys on the tyres so that means I’m going to struggle to go as long as them in the first stint.”

Hamilton did two flying laps on his super-soft tyres, as did his team mate, the two Ferrari drivers and Paul di Resta. The Red Bull and Lotus drivers only did one flying lap on their tyres, whereas Jenson Button did three.

Those who start outside the top ten will have free choice of tyres, and may fare better on the more durable medium compounds. But there is also the threat of further rain, which could make these calculations irrelevant.

Here’s the data from qualifying.

Qualifying times in full

Driver Car Q1 Q2 (vs Q1) Q3 (vs Q2)
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’44.657 1’36.745 (-7.912) 1’27.407 (-9.338)
2 Mark Webber Red Bull 1’44.472 1’36.524 (-7.948) 1’27.827 (-8.697)
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’45.456 1’36.625 (-8.831) 1’28.087 (-8.538)
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’44.635 1’36.666 (-7.969) 1’28.490 (-8.176)
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’43.850 1’36.691 (-7.159) 1’28.493 (-8.198)
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’43.380 1’36.194 (-7.186) 1’28.523 (-7.671)
7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1’45.545 1’37.517 (-8.028) 1’28.738 (-8.779)
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1’44.284 1’37.641 (-6.643) 1’29.013 (-8.628)
9 Paul di Resta Force India 1’45.601 1’36.901 (-8.700) 1’29.305 (-7.596)
10 Jenson Button McLaren 1’44.688 1’36.644 (-8.044) 1’30.357 (-6.287)
11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1’45.930 1’38.067 (-7.863)
12 Adrian Sutil Force India 1’47.330 1’38.134 (-9.196)
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1’44.871 1’38.778 (-6.093)
14 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1’46.450 1’39.042 (-7.408)
15 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’44.300 1’39.900 (-4.400)
16 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1’47.328 1’40.290 (-7.038)
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1’47.614
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1’47.776
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1’48.147
20 Max Chilton Marussia 1’48.909
21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1’49.519
22 Charles Pic Caterham 1’50.626

Charles Pic was outside of the 107% time by 0.01s in Q1 but under the circumstances is likely to receive a dispensation to start the race.

Sector times

Driver Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3
Sebastian Vettel 28.427 (1) 23.312 (1) 35.299 (1)
Mark Webber 28.634 (2) 23.351 (2) 35.842 (2)
Lewis Hamilton 28.673 (3) 23.372 (4) 36.042 (5)
Felipe Massa 29.117 (7) 23.442 (6) 35.931 (3)
Fernando Alonso 28.984 (5) 23.361 (3) 36.148 (8)
Nico Rosberg 28.827 (4) 23.600 (9) 36.096 (6)
Kimi Raikkonen 29.043 (6) 23.561 (7) 36.134 (7)
Romain Grosjean 29.611 (9) 23.409 (5) 35.993 (4)
Paul di Resta 29.318 (8) 23.584 (8) 36.403 (9)
Jenson Button 29.661 (10) 23.773 (10) 36.923 (10)
Nico Hulkenberg 31.540 (11) 25.355 (12) 40.969 (15)
Adrian Sutil 31.841 (12) 25.251 (11) 40.598 (13)
Jean-Eric Vergne 32.809 (15) 25.402 (13) 40.550 (12)
Daniel Ricciardo 32.524 (14) 25.537 (14) 40.776 (14)
Sergio Perez 33.691 (16) 25.676 (16) 40.463 (11)
Valtteri Bottas 32.419 (13) 25.552 (15) 41.504 (16)
Pastor Maldonado 36.107 (19) 27.148 (18) 44.359 (19)
Esteban Gutierrez 36.051 (18) 26.930 (17) 43.357 (17)
Jules Bianchi 36.424 (20) 27.614 (19) 44.109 (18)
Max Chilton 35.861 (17) 28.198 (21) 44.850 (22)
Giedo van der Garde 36.901 (22) 27.779 (20) 44.398 (20)
Charles Pic 36.675 (21) 28.482 (22) 44.753 (21)

Speed trap

Pos Driver Car Speed (kph/mph) Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 311.1 (193.3)
2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 309.7 (192.4) -1.4
3 Paul di Resta Force India 308.3 (191.6) -2.8
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 308.2 (191.5) -2.9
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 307.9 (191.3) -3.2
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 307.6 (191.1) -3.5
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus 307.1 (190.8) -4.0
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 306.6 (190.5) -4.5
9 Mark Webber Red Bull 304.9 (189.5) -6.2
10 Jenson Button McLaren 299.7 (186.2) -11.4
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams 299.3 (186.0) -11.8
12 Sergio Perez McLaren 293.2 (182.2) -17.9
13 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 290.7 (180.6) -20.4
14 Adrian Sutil Force India 290.5 (180.5) -20.6
15 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 277.9 (172.7) -33.2
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 276.5 (171.8) -34.6
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams 272.8 (169.5) -38.3
18 Max Chilton Marussia 271.9 (169.0) -39.2
19 Charles Pic Caterham 271.2 (168.5) -39.9
20 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 270.7 (168.2) -40.4
21 Jules Bianchi Marussia 266.3 (165.5) -44.8
22 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 261.4 (162.4) -49.7

Over to you

How do you think today’s race will unfold? Can anyone catch Red Bull?

Share your views on the Australian Grand Prix in the comments.

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Image ?? Lotus/LAT