Lotus have race pace edge over Ferrari and Red Bull

2013 Bahrain GP Friday practice analysis

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013Ferrari, Lotus and Red Bull are the three teams at the sharp end of the field in Bahrain – but in which order?

The fastest combined sector times from the session indicate Fernando Alonso had the quickest car under him.

But Kimi Raikkonen, who headed the second session, admitted “there?s still more time to be found” after a poor final sector on his best lap. The table below shows he was only 13th-fastest through that part of the track.

As ever Lotus’s real strength is their race stint pace and that was much in evidence at the end of the second practice session. Their longer stints were more competitive than those of Ferrari and Red Bull.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Already some drivers are completing more than 15 laps on the hard tyre, so we are certainly on track to see a three-stop strategy for the race, although it?s possible that some teams will attempt a two-stopper.” There’s a good chance Lotus will be among them.

McLaren were the only team to use a two-stop strategy instead of three in China. But Jenson Button admitted to being unsure how best to proceed with the unco-operative MP4-28.

“It?s very difficult to know exactly what to do with set-up,” he said. “This is a big traction circuit, with lots of low-speed exits and a few high-speed corners too, and that puts a lot of load into the rear tyres.

“The tyres are behaving a bit strangely here ?ǣ driving conservatively doesn?t seem to help their wear-life, so there?s only so much you can do without damaging your outright pace.”

With Mercedes also struggling Force India look like the most competitive Mercedes-powered team this weekend.

Here’s all the data from the first two practice sessions:

Longest stint comparison

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

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2013drivercolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Sebastian Vettel 100.111 100.39 100.427 114.769 100.172 100.565 100.952 114.277 101.574 102.199
Mark Webber 100.676 101.52 101.117 101.195
Fernando Alonso 99.449 99.577 99.867 99.548 99.892 100.692 101.94 100.977
Felipe Massa 100.024 100.018 99.336 100.366 100.115 100.496 100.768 101.644 102.597
Jenson Button 101.882 102.39 100.953 101.072 101.291 101.082 101.588 105.728 101.938 102.278
Sergio Perez 101.584 101.195 101.522 102.006 101.506 101.351 101.506 101.763 102.21 102.253 102.257 102.598 102.914 103.586
Kimi Raikkonen 99.921 99.789 100.548 100.469 100.354 100.47 100.793 101.191 101.267 100.819 101.61 100.849 101.088 101.213
Romain Grosjean 104.043 101.178 100.898 101.94 101.911 101.961 101.959 108.498 102.399 101.665 102.183 103.607
Nico Rosberg 100.408 100.795 102.182 100.971 102.039 100.839 101.528 103.249 102.017 102.376
Lewis Hamilton 102.169 101.462 101.288 101.438 101.736 109.931 101.874 103.191 102.496 103.022 103.508
Nico Hulkenberg 101.236 101.645 102.346 102.218 102.61 102.588 102.518 102.528 102.555 102.825 103.383
Esteban Gutierrez 101.851 125.639 101.689 102.292 102.272 101.712 102.762 102.507 102.795 103.458 104.123 103.968 105.722 104.845 104.951 107.505 106.134
Paul di Resta 100.245 100.269 101.377 99.827 100.091 101.272 100.046 100.243 100.304
Adrian Sutil 101.521 99.455 100.389 100.341 100.509 100.473 109.241 100.388 101.091
Pastor Maldonado 103.013 103.553 101.995 102.169 102.081 102.312 102.686 102.771 102.627
Valtteri Bottas 102.419 102.735 102.831 103.545 102.988 103.159 102.476 103.107 102.646 102.571 103.757 103.096
Jean-Eric Vergne 103.698 103.144 102.16 102.531 102.382 101.951 102.106 102.105 102.085 102.516 103.018
Daniel Ricciardo 102.504 102.571 102.846 102.818 103.268 103.308 103.312 105.308 105.327 105.694
Charles Pic 102.81 102.727 102.882 102.397 102.102 102.372 104.975 103.05 103.289 103.747 117.138
Giedo van der Garde 103.819 104.416 104.108 104.093 104.321 104.436 105.704 107.221 108.645 109.827
Jules Bianchi 102.814 102.895 103.178 103.076 103.712 114.334 103.977 106.501
Max Chilton 103.29 102.582 102.897 103.228 102.891 104.854 107.96 108.072

Sector times and ultimate lap times – second practice

Pos No. Driver Car S1 S2 S2 Ultimate Gap Deficit to best
1 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 29.841 (2) 40.780 (3) 23.423 (2) 1’34.044 0.266
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 29.947 (6) 40.760 (2) 23.387 (1) 1’34.094 0.050 0.090
3 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 29.794 (1) 40.529 (1) 23.831 (13) 1’34.154 0.110 0.000
4 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 29.883 (5) 40.893 (6) 23.477 (3) 1’34.253 0.209 0.029
5 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 30.030 (8) 40.883 (5) 23.630 (7) 1’34.543 0.499 0.000
6 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 29.842 (3) 41.149 (8) 23.557 (4) 1’34.548 0.504 0.083
7 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 30.162 (10) 40.831 (4) 23.559 (5) 1’34.552 0.508 0.000
8 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 29.969 (7) 41.024 (7) 23.673 (8) 1’34.666 0.622 0.000
9 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 29.857 (4) 41.176 (11) 23.715 (9) 1’34.748 0.704 0.228
10 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 30.164 (11) 41.157 (9) 23.611 (6) 1’34.932 0.888 0.000
11 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 30.151 (9) 41.172 (10) 23.788 (11) 1’35.111 1.067 0.245
12 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 30.320 (14) 41.361 (12) 23.796 (12) 1’35.477 1.433 0.029
13 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 30.216 (12) 41.451 (14) 23.840 (14) 1’35.507 1.463 0.082
14 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 30.584 (18) 41.440 (13) 23.737 (10) 1’35.761 1.717 0.000
15 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 30.298 (13) 41.825 (17) 24.007 (15) 1’36.130 2.086 0.003
16 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 30.535 (15) 41.679 (15) 24.065 (17) 1’36.279 2.235 0.000
17 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 30.582 (17) 41.806 (16) 24.011 (16) 1’36.399 2.355 0.180
18 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 30.571 (16) 41.937 (19) 24.108 (18) 1’36.616 2.572 0.000
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 30.675 (19) 41.902 (18) 24.131 (19) 1’36.708 2.664 0.353
20 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 30.863 (20) 42.121 (21) 24.290 (21) 1’37.274 3.230 0.039
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 31.071 (22) 42.072 (20) 24.220 (20) 1’37.363 3.319 0.000
22 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 31.012 (21) 42.545 (22) 24.295 (22) 1’37.852 3.808 0.118

Complete practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 Total laps
1 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’35.345 1’34.154 48
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’35.101 1’34.184 45
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’34.790 1’34.282 49
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’34.564 1’34.310 48
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’34.487 1’34.552 45
6 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’34.949 1’34.543 52
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’34.621 1’34.666 59
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’35.611 1’34.631 47
9 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’35.119 1’34.932 52
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’35.792 1’34.976 45
11 Jenson Button McLaren 1’35.069 1’35.356 54
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’36.014 1’35.506 55
13 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’35.640 1’35.589 60
14 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’36.485 1’35.761 53
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’35.783 1’36.579 44
16 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.755 1’36.133 56
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’36.498 1’36.279 50
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’37.214 1’36.616 55
19 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’37.850 1’37.061 53
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’39.445 1’37.313 45
21 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’37.363 29
22 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’37.970 13
23 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’38.401 20
24 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1’40.215 7

Speed trap – second practice

# Driver Car Engine Max speed (kph) Gap
1 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 315.8
2 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault 315.6 0.2
3 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 314 1.8
4 14 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 313.7 2.1
5 15 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 313.5 2.3
6 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 312.5 3.3
7 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 311.7 4.1
8 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari 311.6 4.2
9 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari 311.5 4.3
10 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari 311 4.8
11 5 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 310.3 5.5
12 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 310 5.8
13 6 Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes 309.4 6.4
14 23 Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth 309.3 6.5
15 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams Renault 309.2 6.6
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams Renault 308.8 7
17 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 308.7 7.1
18 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Ferrari 308.4 7.4
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham Renault 308.1 7.7
20 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham Renault 307.6 8.2
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth 307.2 8.6
22 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso Ferrari 305.9 9.9

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Renault/DPPI

Advert | Go Ad-free

39 comments on Lotus have race pace edge over Ferrari and Red Bull

  1. Candice said on 19th April 2013, 17:17

    Alonso was doing low 1.40 for many laps….

    Ferrari impressed me more in term of deg and race pace.

  2. Gilbert said on 19th April 2013, 17:30

    How can you compare drivers doing long runs with medium and hard ??

  3. Theodosios (@theovog) said on 19th April 2013, 17:42

    Ferrari looks strong in both tyres, both on qual and race pace. Kimi seems also good but maybe there were some issues with the hard compound. I am not 100% sure on that. So, it looks to be a battle between Alonso and Kimi for the win with Vettel a little bit behind the two of them. Now, between Webber, Massa and Grosjean, Massa has the most chances to snatch a podium from one of the top 3 I mentioned.

  4. Randy (@randy) said on 19th April 2013, 17:44

    So it seems 2013 will really be a mano-a-mano-a-mano between 3 drivers in 3 different cars. Oh joy.

    If Ferrari really is faster in the first part of the stint, then it’s crucial for Lotus to qualify ahead of them.
    Kimi, show us the meaning of haste!

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 19th April 2013, 19:06

      @randy

      So it seems 2013 will really be a mano-a-mano-a-mano between 3 drivers in 3 different cars.

      Ironically we had an identical season to that 10 years ago.

      • Dants said on 20th April 2013, 1:36

        And yet 10 years ago the season ended with a german dominating it…

        Fingers crossed so that ir doesn’t happen again!
        Nothing wrong with germans winning, though :P

    • I’m believe that the fight will be between Raikkonen, Alonso and Vettel (since Web,there’s always something), I can’t see Romain fighting for the lead neither Massa that keeps struggling with the Medium tyre and with tyre preservation.

  5. EstF1 (@estf1) said on 19th April 2013, 17:45

    Good to see Lotus on top of the top speed charts. Overtaking won’t bee too hard for them in the race i think.

  6. Eggry (@eggry) said on 19th April 2013, 17:46

    Grosjean is still quite slower than Kimi. even with new chassis, he’s still struggling.

    • maybet said on 19th April 2013, 18:00

      and romain got new front wings and other bits in Shanghai last week……..kimi only got it today.

      • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 19th April 2013, 21:11

        I think you got that wrong Kimi got parts in Malaysia that Romain only got lost week in China, normally they should be on equal foot this weekend or Kimi has new parts that Romain doesn’t have. I haven’t hear or read anything about the lotus technically this weekend so I’m don’t know. Still it is a large gap he is leaving between himself and Kimi so something is not going well in the Lotus number 8.

        • maybet said on 20th April 2013, 0:39

          read the team report. James Allison said that Kimi will have new bits that romain had in chinese gp.

          They distribute upgrades evenly from time to time for the sake of fairness.

    • Randy (@randy) said on 19th April 2013, 21:04

      Lotus reps did say that the 2013 car is tailored specifically to suit Raikonnen’s style. I wonder how this is affecting Grosjean.

      • maybet said on 20th April 2013, 0:40

        nope, they didn’t say that. They only say that the FRIC system has narrow window to get it right. And Romain suffer more due to his driving style. Also Romain has issues with the new tyres as well.

      • Olav Kersen (@okersen) said on 20th April 2013, 10:25

        Räikkönen’s style is a bit shorter (1,75m) than Grosjean’s (1,8m). So I’d guess this year’s car is a tight fit for Grosjean. LOL

  7. HoHum (@hohum) said on 19th April 2013, 17:51

    So, 15 laps on the HARD tyre is supposed to be good ?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th April 2013, 18:15

      I guess we should read that as 15 laps on the hard when the track is not rubbered in (meaning that come the race they should be doing about 20-25 laps?)
      Sure enough thats a very far cry from seeing Vettel race all but the last lap on his softs a couple of years back.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 19th April 2013, 18:28

      @hohum On a desert, sandy track with one of the biggest improvements over a weekend out of all the tracks on the calendar, 15 laps or more on friday is good,yes

  8. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 19th April 2013, 18:06

    As a Hamilton fan, I found this session a bit depressing. To see worse tyre degradation is one thing, but they were nowhere on one-lap pace either. Lotus, Ferrari, Red Bull, and even Force India look faster over a single lap, and McLaren looks better on race pace too. If they don’t find some serious performance overnight, they will be struggling to score points on Sunday – if this session is anything to go by anyway.

    It looks like a good fight between Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen though.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th April 2013, 18:12

    I think its time to see Perez do a one stopper and end up on the podium. Read it first here!

  10. George (@george) said on 19th April 2013, 18:51

    It’s interesting that the strengths of the teams seem to be in the same areas as last year. Lotus, Force India and Ferrari were all good in high temperatures and on race pace last year also. The only difference seems to be Lotus have caught up with Red Bull and Ferrari while McLaren has fallen down.

  11. Dane (@n0b0dy100) said on 19th April 2013, 19:02

    Looks like we’re in for another Alonso – Raikkonen battle. Hopefully we see some wheel to wheel action this time.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 19th April 2013, 20:25

      I think they both understand that wheel to wheel action will cost them an extra pit-stop and the podium, I think they will settle for a really good inlap or DRS to decide who stands tallest.

  12. TMF (@tmf42) said on 19th April 2013, 19:51

    what’s interesting is that Lotus used to be at the bottom of top speed lists along with RBR in 2012. In 2013 they seem to take a “low” downforce approach like Ferrari.
    And my guess is that’s why they manage the tires so good – less corner speed – less temperature in tires – less thermal degradation.

  13. Lotus have a real chance to get their first pole position in ages tomorrow. Raikkonen has more chance to be fair, predicted raikkonen to win with alonso and vettel. same podium in australia

  14. IceBlue (@iceblue) said on 19th April 2013, 22:25

    “The fastest combined sector times from the session indicate Fernando Alonso had the quickest car under him.”
    If Fernando Alonso had the quickest car under him, he would’ve been first in the practice session.
    Taking sector times from different laps and picking the best sector times and adding them all up to make a “quickest car” lap is nonsense.
    There are numerous things that happen in each of the three sectors that occur on a single lap, and every one of those things will change all of the subsequent things depending on the circumstance.
    With your logic, someone with a lap record time could be beaten by someone slower.

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 19th April 2013, 23:31

      Ummmm……
      No; the fact he would have been able to set the fastest overall theoretical time means that in FP2, Alonsos car was the fastest; the car which can go faster is usually the fastest. That’s how racing has always worked, and it will continue to do so.

      • Dants said on 20th April 2013, 1:44

        Not that certain.
        Imagine one driver does the best third sector. THen it pits, adjust his car, and proceed to make the best first and second sectors, while compromising his previous third sector time.

        Driver manages 4th best time, and yet, by your logic, he has the fastest car.

  15. The top three teams all look fairly close on pace, so I’m looking forward to a close battle between them in both qualifying (due to the tyre allocation change) and the race!

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.