Mark Webber, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013

Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari covered by a tenth

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix Friday practice analysisPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013There was very little to separate the top three teams in today’s second practice session.

Looking at the best sector times of each of the drivers reveals Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari were separated by less than a tenth of a second over a 5.5km lap of the Sepang International Circuit.

But in Australia consistency over a race stint counted for more than sheer one-lap pace. So who is doing best in that respect?

The rain shower which arrived during second practice disrupted the efforts of most teams to find out.

But Mercedes were a significant exception. As the stint lap time graph below shows, they ran longer stints in anticipation of the race than anyone else.

The speed trap also reveals a significant change for Mercedes from last week – they’ve fallen from the top of the chart and are almost at the bottom. Are they running more rear wing to improve the life of their tyres?

Separating the top three is difficult. But in the first practice session, when the track had less rubber on it, the Lotus’s tyres yielded better pace for longer than its rivals.

Longest stint comparison – second practice

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

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Sebastian Vettel 118.812 118.078 119.033 115.628 117.492
Mark Webber 104.256 103.714 106.208 103.066 102.574
Fernando Alonso 102.946 102.968 103.836 106.139
Felipe Massa 102.072 102.736 102.933 103.049 103.183 103.933 110.189
Jenson Button 116.451 115.282 124.138 113.221 134.724 111.091 133.672 109.097
Sergio Perez 104.157 104.989 106.739
Kimi Raikkonen 116.092 116.241 115.495 115.819 115.117 117.52
Romain Grosjean 117.365 115.757 115.644 116.675 114.342 112.789 113.311
Nico Rosberg 103.787 103.766 103.51 103.513 102.881 102.977 103.014 103.342 103.506 103.957 104.397 105.768
Lewis Hamilton 104.164 102.622 103.619 103.441 103.389 103.167 102.894 103.047 102.947 104.068 103.653 103.8 105.886 105.366
Nico Hulkenberg 114.812 119.531 114.132 114.922 112.956
Esteban Gutierrez 101.664 98.779 117.902 99.233 98.645
Paul di Resta 103.713 109.479 102.427 103.05 104.19 105.742 107.517
Adrian Sutil 99.161 98.66 115.988 97.949
Pastor Maldonado 105.499 105.9 105.419 106.043 107.16 110.505
Valtteri Bottas 106.32 104.858 105.11 105.67 105.554 106.179
Jean-Eric Vergne 109.892 108.166 107.297 106.802 105.592 105.437 125.71
Daniel Ricciardo 110.507 109.583 107.582 106.619 106.305 105.668 129.408
Charles Pic 107.222 106.419 107.115 108.007 110.766
Giedo van der Garde 119.547 125.042 117.216 115.46 118.06
Jules Bianchi 107.484 106.698 106.644 106.683 123.373
Max Chilton 123.846 122.038 122.009 121.751 120.659 120.333 118.867

“The tyres don?t last very long,” remarked Sebastian Vettel, echoing a sentiment shared by most of his competitors. Pirelli may have brought their hardest tyres here but the heat and high-speed corners mean they take a lot of punishment.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said the level of degradation seen today was “as expected”.

“We saw quite a high wear rate today, due to the more extreme nature of our 2013 tyres ?ǣ which put the accent firmly on performance ?ǣ as well as the high temperatures and abrasive track surface. Nonetheless, degradation stayed within our anticipated parameters.”

Sector times and ultimate lap times

Car Driver Car Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3 Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 24.966 (1) 32.382 (5) 39.221 (2) 1’36.569 0.000
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 25.200 (6) 32.038 (1) 39.350 (3) 1’36.588 0.019 0.000
3 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 25.205 (7) 32.264 (2) 39.192 (1) 1’36.661 0.092 0.000
4 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 25.190 (4) 32.320 (4) 39.422 (4) 1’36.932 0.363 0.053
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 25.195 (5) 32.269 (3) 39.562 (7) 1’37.026 0.457 0.000
6 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 25.032 (2) 32.556 (7) 39.618 (9) 1’37.206 0.637 0.000
7 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 25.365 (12) 32.476 (6) 39.563 (8) 1’37.404 0.835 0.044
8 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 25.319 (11) 32.674 (9) 39.482 (5) 1’37.475 0.906 0.096
9 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25.272 (9) 32.813 (14) 39.489 (6) 1’37.574 1.005 0.000
10 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 25.297 (10) 32.784 (12) 39.628 (10) 1’37.709 1.140 0.079
11 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 25.174 (3) 32.558 (8) 39.990 (13) 1’37.722 1.153 0.116
12 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 25.260 (8) 32.747 (11) 39.858 (11) 1’37.865 1.296 0.000
13 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 25.395 (13) 32.696 (10) 39.873 (12) 1’37.964 1.395 0.104
14 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 25.423 (14) 32.935 (16) 40.182 (15) 1’38.540 1.971 0.105
15 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 25.622 (18) 32.805 (13) 40.305 (17) 1’38.732 2.163 0.069
16 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 25.610 (17) 32.888 (15) 40.240 (16) 1’38.738 2.169 0.000
17 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 25.594 (15) 33.120 (17) 40.058 (14) 1’38.772 2.203 0.132
18 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 25.607 (16) 33.399 (18) 40.479 (18) 1’39.485 2.916 0.023
19 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 25.662 (19) 33.491 (20) 40.488 (19) 1’39.641 3.072 0.019
20 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 25.738 (21) 33.454 (19) 40.946 (21) 1’40.138 3.569 0.619
21 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 25.663 (20) 33.901 (21) 40.845 (20) 1’40.409 3.840 0.359
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 25.822 (22) 34.404 (22) 41.076 (22) 1’41.302 4.733 0.136

Complete practice times

The new tyres may wear out quickly but it seems they are also contributing to improved lap times.

Raikkonen’s fastest time in second practice was 1’36.569, over one-and-a-half seconds faster than the best time seen the same session last year and just three-tenths off last year’s pole position time.

Force India demonstrated some encouraging pace although practice didn’t go entirely to plan for Adrian Sutil, who missed much of the second session sue to a problem with an oil seal. Team mate Paul di Resta was the fastest driver to set his time on hard tyres instead of mediums, and did so on the fifth lap of his stint.

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 Total laps
1 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’37.003 1’36.569 43
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’37.104 1’36.588 48
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’37.771 1’36.661 48
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’36.935 1’37.026 44
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’37.319 1’36.985 36
6 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’37.915 1’37.206 43
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’37.588 1’37.448 51
8 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’37.773 1’37.571 45
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’37.840 1’37.574 50
10 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’37.769 1’37.788 27
11 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’38.830 1’37.838 38
12 Jenson Button McLaren 1’38.173 1’37.865 45
13 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.054 1’38.068 48
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.204 1’38.645 39
15 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’38.673 1’38.801 43
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.284 1’38.738 48
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.567 1’38.904 47
18 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’39.208 1’39.660 47
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’40.996 1’39.508 44
20 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’40.728 1’40.768 49
21 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’41.163 1’40.757 47
22 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’41.513 1’41.438 41

Speed trap

# Driver Car Engine Max speed (kph) Gap
1 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault 306.4
2 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham Renault 305.8 0.6
3 14 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 305.7 0.7
4 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 305.3 1.1
5 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari 304 2.4
6 15 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 303.6 2.8
7 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso Ferrari 303.3 3.1
8 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari 303.2 3.2
9 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 302.9 3.5
10 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Ferrari 302.4 4
11 5 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 301.4 5
12 6 Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes 301.1 5.3
13 20 Charles Pic Caterham Renault 300.4 6
14 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari 300.2 6.2
15 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 299.5 6.9
16 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth 298.8 7.6
17 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 298.5 7.9
18 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams Renault 297.6 8.8
19 23 Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth 296.6 9.8
20 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 296.6 9.8
21 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 295.9 10.5
22 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams Renault 294.7 11.7

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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80 comments on “Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari covered by a tenth”

  1. Looking at the graph, Massa looks incredibly good. Able to keep his tyres up consistently, at a pace faster than Alonso. I’ll presume Lotus and Red Bull set their longest stints in the wet, as their times appear massively off the pace otherwise, but Massa looks a good bet for a decent haul of points this weekend…

    1. Massa looks very impressive when Alonso is behind him. The minute Fernando gets in front Massa is nowhere. Just look at Melbourne. In the first stint Felipe managed to keep his team-mate behind but later while Fernando was fighting for victory Massa dropped his pace, he could couldn’t even get Vettel.
      I suspect again RedBull getting pole, with Lotus just behind and after them Ferrari.

      1. @klaas It really does show that Massa is very much a confidence driver.

      2. Alonso wasn’t really fighting for victory in Melbourne, he was simply in 2nd. Kimi pulled out the gap continually in the last few laps, the time which Ferrari thought they’d be able to catch him.

        1. But you can’t deny that Alonso’s pace was superior to Massa’s. Felipe wasn’t even putting up a fight. He had the car to challenge Vettel but he didn’t do it. Why? Only Massa knows.

          1. Why? Because Felipe got the strategy wrong and then got stuck behind Sutil, that’s why.

          2. @oel-f1 Yes, sure he got stuck behind a slower car, and also because there weren’t any overtaking spots and cars don’t have DRS these days and maybe because Massa didn’t have the pace of his team-mate…

    2. @keeleyobsessed

      I said last race that one of the conclusions I got from the race was that Massa’s gonna have a hell of a year. I really really hope he does, because not only he’d push Ferrari foward, he’d also push Alonso foward and help him in the meantime, ala Webber at Red Bull.

      1. Yeah, whenever Felipe sees Fernando in his mirrors, he defends his position like Gilles himself. Hell, Massa wasn’t even interested in passing Vettel, he just wanted to keep Alonso behind.

        1. Yeah, I see it that way too. It looked similar to the Aussie GP 2010 with Alonso coming from the back lapping much faster and Felipe defended very hard. At that point Massa wasn’t interested in challenging Kubica and the rest but only in keeping Alonso behind. Same story at the last race. Massa really deserves his place in the team (2nd that is).

          1. Massa really deserves his place in the team (2nd that is).


            But seriously.. I would agree about Massa getting more worked up about keeping Fernando behind than racing other rivals. However, a few confidence thrashing drives from Fernando, and Felipe should understand his job better – To beat the non red cars

          2. @kingshark it’s all about beating your team mate otherwise you’re automatically second best and quite likely to become invisible as all the focus tends to go to the best driver in each team. Massa is probably trying not to be in the same position as last year ( seriously behind in points) and then forced to support his team mate. I like both drivers but wouldn’t mind to see Massa beat Alonso because I think he is capable of that. If he keeps up with good form or the form he had at the end of last season Alonso will certainly struggle. Now, the question is: Will Ferrari allow the driver that will, quite likely, leave at the team end of the season beat their favourite driver? That remains to be seen.

          3. @zicasso

            Now, the question is: Will Ferrari allow the driver that will, quite likely, leave at the team end of the season beat their favourite driver?

            No, absolutely not. As in previous seasons Ferrari will do whatever they can to get Alonso further up the grid in the race or after qualifying by ‘sacrificing’ Massa. Just like they did last Sunday.

        2. @kingshark

          LOL. What defending. Alonso couldn’t get passed is more like it. That’s why Alonso went for the early pitstop and Ferrari kept Massa out. Alonso got in front with Ferrari’s strategy and all was well again in Alonso Land.

          1. @f1fannl
            Opening lap. Massa broke as late as he could going into Ascari and put all his faith in Alonso to avoid him. He would rather run into his teammate than overtake him.

  2. So with the tyres emphasis on performance we should see the lap-record fall, right?

    1. Methinks lap record has to be set during race, and these cars aren’t all that fast in race trim (due to tyre conservation concerns) than they are in Q. So no, I think it’s unlikely that the lap record would fall.

    2. @hohum It’s unlikely they’ll find that much improvement, Montoya lapped in 1:34.2 in the 2004 GP (I’m not sure if that’s the outright lap record, but most of them were set before the 2005 regulation changes). So they would need to find another 2.5 seconds to find, an race fastest laps will be slower than qualifying. It does look like they are getting quite close though when you consider regulation changes since ’04 thogh.

      1. Those fastest laps are recorded from laps done IN the race. I think the outright lap record would be quicker than that, but not sure who has done it (or not).

    3. My point is that Paul H is saying the tyres fragility is linked to their superior grip, so they should make for really fast laps while they last, and yes montoya’s engine was bigger.

  3. I’m never a fan of adding up individual sectors from different laps to make up a lap time, especially when the car may have been into the garage for a setup change.

    Interesting to see how quick the Renault engines are down the straight though.

    1. @cyclonetog

      Interesting to see how quick the Renault engines are down the straight though.

      Oh, please.

        1. @cyclonetog @georgetuk @fer-no65 My COTD from a few months back;

          The Renault engine is at most 10-20hp down on other engines, it can probably reach very similar top speeds. I’m sick of people going on about the poor old renault engine! The main differences between the engines (as described by DC and Barrichello a few years back) is driveability, i.e. where the power is produced an for how long.

          The engines have pretty much been the same since ’06, the only change being a 1000rpm drop in the regs. The engine suppliers are all most likely maxing out what one can get from a 2.4l V8.
          The biggest factor that separates the teams top speeds is the amount of downforce they put on the car on any given weekend. The aim is to get as much downforce with as little drag as possible, so as to be quick down the straights and through corners. It’s about time people give the whole engine-top speed thing a miss.

          1. As @fer-no65 says, it’s mostly down to set-up and gear ratios

      1. @timi

        I am assuming you can see the graph that shows out of Top 5…3 of them are Renault powered .

        1. @georgetuk and 3 of the bottom 5 are Renaults aswell… so it’s all about setup.

          1. @fer-no65 I agree, my comment was more about the “oh please” because there clearly are opportunities to make they car faster on straights that what Red Bull normally do.

            It makes Red Bulls strategy on setup very interesting, slow on the straights but much faster on the rest of the lap, there are some clever people over there!

          2. @georgetuk well, depends how you look at it. They are clever to put the car on pole, but, specially in Webber’s case, as he’s open beaten for pole more often than Vettel, he ends up stuck behind someone and they cannot overtake. Not even with DRS he comes close.

            Same happened to Vettel on a number of ocassions, except, notably, at Abu Dhabi when they completely changed the setup for “overtaking”: And his racepace was amaizing.

            I remember Gary Anderson writing on his BBC column that Red Bull should be looking at that setup as a good alternative, because for a 2011-like raceday for them it’s useful to run high downforce, low speed setup. But 2012 (and 2013) is way too mixed up for that to happen so often…

            I’d love to see what they can do with that kind of approach towards setup. I doubt they’d be that far off pole on saturdays, and instead of being a whole second ahead in qualifying (which doesn’t bring points) and struggling in the race, they’d be better off securing a top place in Q3 and being racey on sundays, which does get points…

    2. @cyclonetog It’s all about setup.

      You got the Lotus and Caterhams on top, and the Williams and Red Bulls at the bottom…

      1. yeah I just said “interesting”.

        I understand the tradeoff between downforce and drag, I also understand the inverse square law.

        Of course if the Lotus lap times were not competitive and/or their tyres were nuked then I’d find the speed trap data less “interesting”. They look good in terms of lap time, good in terms of tyre deg and good in terms of straight line speed, “interesting”.

      2. When your favorite tool is a hammer, every problem is a nail. I’ve long suspected that RB would be better off with a lower-downforce/lower drag setup. Perhaps these tyres will force Newey to finally move in that direction.

        1. @jonsan agree, read my comment above for more xD.

          Abu Dhabi showed that they can be just as good as on saturdays but on sundays, where the points are won. And specially since the new bunch of tyres are so weird and make it all so unpredictable.

        2. So you think you know better than Newey huh? :D

          1. He’s not actually a sorcerer or a deity, in spite of what some seem to think! We’re allowed to second guess him without having a lightning bolt strike us down. He bleeds when pricked and makes mistakes just like we lesser mortals.

  4. If Mercedes have such a lower top speed that’s surely going to leave them vulnerable during the race with those two consecutive DRS zones, especially if they do as Hamilton did in Australia and out qualify the likes of Ferrari and Louts who I would expect to be faster in the race.

    1. I suspect it has a lot more to do with fuel loads. They focused more on race simulation. Top speed was certainly not an issue for them at the last race I can’t see why that would have changed so dramatically.

      1. @bertie Well as Keith says above

        Are they running more rear wing to improve the life of their tyres?

        If we take this as being correct that means Mercedes have to compromise their top speed so as to keep their tyres going. It’s a difficult choice and having to do so may compromise any chance of defending against DRS cars behind them in the race.

      2. Were they using DRS on the straights ? I did watch both sessions but only having three hours sleep, I dont remember much ! Looking at the times, Mercedes obviously had more fuel as they did more laps on their stints. I doubt they will get pole, but expect Hamilton to be closer than a second off the pace.

        1. That’s my question, too. They’re obviously sacrificing top speed, but are they practicing an alternative for that for the race? maybe they expect traffic to help them by deploying DRS often, that paired with tire conservation may keep them in contention towards the end of the race.

  5. If Massa keps coming faster and faster (as he was on the first round, where in my opinion he got an unfair strategy by Ferrari) it’s going to be time to remember Alonso´s words when he claimed last year that he would support Massa given the case he goes better than him. I honestly doubt Fernando, his ego (and some contract clause) allow Massa to beat him fair and square. I don’t think we would EVER hear Ferrari engineers saying: “Fernando, Felipe is faster than you” to let Massa take better position. Or we would listen to it “as a gift” if Fernando clinches the title some races in advance and there’s some way to “return the favor” to Felipe, as we saw in Barrichello’s times.
    I think that if Felipe becomes a real deal all year long, he should seek for another team, even when there are not so many top teams with an available seat. Who knows, if he keeps delivering good results, he would take a second chance to wash away 2008 once and for all.

    1. Ordinarily I’d think it’s premature to hype Massa’s speed, but boy is he on a roll, right from Austin 2012. He’s beaten Fernando in the past 3 qualifying sessions fair and square, and seems to have an edge on him here as well. I’d almost forgotten that Massa’s the guy who challenged Hamilton for 2008 WDC, hopefully we’ll see a resurgence in 2013. I’ll admit, I’ve got a lot against Alonso – I simply can’t respect a driver who demands “#1 status”, teammates moving out (or crashing out!!) of his way and gearbox-seal-breaking.

    2. We have seen Shumacher supporting Irvine in the past,Barichello supporting Shumacher,Massa supporting both Fernando & Kimi and Kimi Supporting Massa, i can see no reason why Fernando would not support Felipe if he has a real chance for the WDC
      It is always dramatic for some people when it comes to Ferrari, Massa in his career has had one big opportunity to win WDC which was in 2008 , Fernando on the other hand is a double world champion and has fought 3 times for WDC until the last race
      I mean let’s wait and see if Felipe will be a real title contender or not this year before coming to conclusion

    3. @omarr-pepper
      “Fernando, Felipe is faster than you”

      I’m a ferrari fan and i will love to hear that…because this means that ferrari is fast with both drivers.
      Problem is that Felipe in race is never faster then Alonso,he can out-qualify Alonso time to time but in race… apart from the USA gp last year, in this 3 years + 1 race i don’t really remember a race when Massa was constantly faster than Alonso.

      Massa has the potential of a WDC, his problem is only one and named : “Fernando Alonso”…unfortunately he is compared with the one who is considered to be the best on the grid. Some weeks ago in a interview for a brazilian tv when Massa was asked about his performance he said: Sometimes people forget that i’m compared to the top of the top.

      I still believe that 2008 was Massa’s year and Massa+Ferrari combination was better than Hamilton + Mclaren combination…even that Hamilton is better than Massa but Ferrari that year was very very strong.
      I feel sorry for him not only because he’s a talented driver and deserve a WDC but also because he look to be a very nice person…

      1. + 1 race i don’t really remember a race when Massa was constantly faster than Alonso.

        2012 Korean GP

      2. There is a talk in the paddock between the top teams about Lotus gaining an unfair advantage over the Pirelli tyres because of the use of the Renault R30 in developing them.Auto motor und Sport and Autosprint both mentioned this.
        Well we all know that the R30 is a very old car compared to this year’s Lotus but there are those who insists that there are some basics related to the chassis, the balance that could stay on the car
        Mark Webber said that “the way the cars treat tyres, it is in the DNA” (it is not the exact statement of mark in English ,i was reporting from the italian and the german websites, i hope i have kept the meaning)
        I suspect another Lotus win a la Melbourne will trigger the polemics

        1. Sorry this comment was not intended to be as a reply

        2. @tifoso1989 – I wouldn’t think Lotus would be allowed access to any data that other teams wouldn’t be able to access, and isn’t the car run exclusively by Pirelli engineers? If so, I don’t see how that argument holds any value.

        3. @tifoso1989

          Then what happened in 2011. Or in 2012. Did they not understand their own car back then?
          This is the kind of complaining that is to be expected when a team suddenly beats all the others and looks set to beat the others for a few more races. If Raikkonen had finished third nobody would have said anything.

          Lotus have come out of the winter test strongest of all. That’s all there is to it.

      3. @nomore

        Sometimes people forget that i’m compared to the top of the top.

        Yeah right, poor Felipinho might want to look up the Drivers’ Standings from 2010-2012 and count how many drivers finished between him and the top of the top.

      4. @nomore

        Korea, USA and Brazil were all races were Massa was faster than Alonso.

    4. @OmarPepper

      Let Massa beat alonso more consistently first and then we’ll see if Fernando keeps his word.. I dont expect that to happen though…. Cant see Massa getting the better of Alonso over a season… by the way the early pit stop was a clever decision by Fernando and his race engineers and how can that be unfair on Massa?…

      1. @puneethvb

        the early pit stop was a clever decision by Fernando and his race engineers and how can that be unfair on Massa?…

        This is true – it was quick thinking on the no.3 side of the garage so unfair isn’t the correct word, “unfortunate” would be more appropriate. Until then he was looking to have the measure of Alonso which is a pretty rare occurrence, and so it was “unfortunate” that he lost out due to a strategic short-sightedness but that’s easy to say in retrospect.

    5. Trends show that Massa is always quick at the start and end of the season, every damn year. For those of us with a hint of memory, it is painful to listen to people repeat the same nonsense each year about how Filipe is fast again.


      1. And as far as I remember his last season openings were just rubbish.

  6. Traverse (@)
    22nd March 2013, 15:58

    I hope that Grosjean isn’t overly cautious this year. Sure he had some Mario kart moments last season, but he shouldn’t let that quell is natural flair and edgy driving style. It’s a shame when talent is wasted (the name Kobayashi springs to mind), especially when you consider how short lived an F1 career can be (Kubica).

    1. Think the speed difference between KR & RG is more down to not driving the same car:
      Could go someway to explaining the deficit.

      1. Traverse (@)
        22nd March 2013, 20:10

        The fact that “Lotus” haven’t given Grosjean the same updates as Kimi for two consecutive races, goes some way to proving that they have lost confidence in the young Frenchman.

        The message to Grosjean appears to be, ‘we will prioritise Kimi until you redeem yourself’.

      2. he got the same car in melbourne, but finished 80 sec behind.

        it wont help him any further with new upgrades if he couldn’t drive the car as he please.

  7. Interesting to see Bianchi not only dominate Chilton (to the tune of 1.9 seconds) as Keith tweeted, but also be very close to Bottas (just 3 tenths ahead). I know that Williams’ car this year is a bit… slow, but Bottas was the guy who was billed as the star of the future. Bianchi is keeping him very honest.

    1. It’s possible Chilton is going to get humiliated this year, I wonder if he has a particular issue with the car.
      If this keeps going he will have to address it publically.

  8. Looks like the Mercedes were pretty high fuel to do those extra laps , a sign that they may be in the mix as well ? I watched both sessions and didnt get the feeling they were that impressive, but if they were fueled up and tyre testing to only be 0.7 off seems pretty good.

    1. Looks like the Mercedes were pretty high fuel to do those extra laps , a sign that they may be in the mix as well ? I watched both sessions and didnt get the feeling they were that impressive, but if they were fueled up and tyre testing to only be 0.7 off seems pretty good

      i have onyl two question?
      1.Why the fact that Mercedes do high fuel run is a sign that they will be in the mix ?…i don’t really see a sign here…is just their program
      2. What are the reasons that impress you of their long run , with what u compare their time?

    2. The only thing I can read by analyzing the long runs of the Mercs is that their lap times are pretty consistent over a course of 15 laps.
      1 14:02:33
      2 1:44.164
      3 1:42.622
      4 1:43.619
      5 1:43.441
      6 1:43.389
      7 1:43.167
      8 1:42.894
      9 1:43.047
      10 1:42.947
      11 1:44.068
      12 1:43.653
      13 1:43.800
      14 1:45.886
      15 1:45.366
      lewis hamilton..practice 2

  9. Red Bull faster than Mercedes in the speed traps – that’s a rare occurrence! Just out of interest, has that ever happened before in qualifying? The only time I could think RBR may have been faster is the first couple of races that they introduced their DRD of in Monaco, where the cars may not even reach top speed.

    1. Be careful mentioning top speed around here lol.
      (see above)

      1. @cyclonetog – I’m well aware – Red Bull are usually rock bottom, hasn’t stopped them winning the title the last three years. Which is why it’s all the more surprising that they aren’t slowest!

        1. Definitely noteworthy!

  10. Last week someone shared a link to a pdf file giving the complete times from practice – does anyone have the same – believe it was from the official website but I can’t find it now.

    1. 1.First Practice Session Lap Times :
      2.Second Practice Session Lap Times:

  11. Jules Bianchi showing max Chilton has no place in that Marussia

    1. It’s a shame really, he seems like a genuinely nice lad but for sure will need to find some pace.

      1. Why is there so much hate for Chilton on this site? He has only done one race in f1 while bianchi drove in 9 free practice sessions last year. give him a bit of time to adopt.

        1. I don’t hate Max Chilton however i dont believe that a 2 second gap with all the extra running Chilton has done in a Marussia 2012 and 2013 compared to Bianchi and to be so roundly beaten twice in two races i think were seeing the difference between a driver with the speed to be in the midfield possibly progressing forward to a top team and being a future championship challenger and a driver who will pay for a F1 season then disappear to be replaced by just another GP2 driver with cash

    2. I think Chilton is just easing himself in. He’s that kind of calm and measured character and he was the same in feeder series. I hope he comes good in F1 soon because he can’t afford to be that far off his teammates pace for long. Bianchi is very impressive indeed.

  12. Provided the high chance of rain on raceday , whom do you think will gamble(?) on a complete wet setup?

    1. ASN (@ninefiveasn)
      22nd March 2013, 19:28

      Possibly Mercedes seeing as they might be running more rear wing.

      1. McLaren and Williams possibly.

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