Lotus within a tenth of Red Bull on Friday

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Hungaroring, 2013Red Bull led both practice sessions on Friday at the Hungaroring but the opposition are not far behind.

The Lotus drivers in particular seemed to have the pace in their E21 to take the fight to the championship leaders. But neither had clean runs on their first laps.

Romain Grosjean made a mistake on his first flying lap, then had a tidier second run in which he had the quickest run through the middle part of the lap. His sector times put him within a tenth of a second of both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Kimi Raikkonen’s soft tyre runs were repeatedly spoiled by traffic.

Neither of the Lotuses used the Drag Reduction Device at a circuit where DRS plays a diminished role in lap time and ultimate downforce is at a premium.

Ferrari were also within range of the Red Bulls. However it bears remembering that Red Bull set their times earlier in the session while track conditions were still improving.

Sebastian Vettel did not have a trouble-free practice. He had braking problems in the first session which recurred later on: “My long run wasn?t completely clean, as we had to abort it at the start due to the brakes being a bit hot.”

His quickest lap was just three-tenths of a second off last year’s pole position time. The soft tyres proved quicker than the mediums by up to one-and-a-half seconds, which will make them the preferred compound for qualifying.

Teams are likely to make two or three pit stops in the race. With each stop taking around four seconds longer due to the lowering of the pit lane speed limit, the advantage of making fewer stops has increased.

Unusually Esteban Gutierrez was faster than his more experienced team mate in both of today’s sessions. But Sauber were running different programmes on their two cars as they tested their latest upgrades.

“We were able to draw some conclusions about the new parts we brought here, and it seems like everything is working as expected,” said Gutierrez. “But we still have to wait and see what happens in qualifying.”

However the Toro Rosso drivers were simply off the pace, even lagging behind the Williams pair. “We were definitely too slow today,” said Jean-Eric Vergne, “so I expect we will need to make big changes on the car for tomorrow.”

“I was overheating the rear tyres too much, which gave me a lot of understeer on the long runs and we were far from feeling comfortable today.”

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

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/2013drivercolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Sebastian Vettel 86.124 86.587 86.706 87.04 87.863 87.88 91.762 87.522 88.049
Mark Webber 86.63 86.519 86.472 86.598 87.273 87.879 94.374 90.72 86.661 87.595 86.709 87.169 86.794 87.461 94.441 86.698 86.967 89.119 87.101
Fernando Alonso 87.449 87.494 87.501 87.691 87.782 87.924 88.057 89.357 89.893 89.686
Felipe Massa 87.969 88.247 93.203 88.258 88.105 88.092 87.828 93.012 88.824 89.325 88.675 88.571 88.504
Jenson Button 87.591 87.728 87.753 87.567 87.778 88.793 89.076 87.711 87.518
Sergio Perez 88.975 88.404 88.462 88.155 88.116 88.037 88.064 88.806 88.365 90.776 88.09
Kimi Raikkonen 87.085 87.241 87.688 87.576 87.522 88.852 88.262 87.54
Romain Grosjean 87.656 87.401 88.521 91.657 87.092 87.094 87.191 87.378 89.445 87.691 87.155 87.173
Nico Rosberg 89.485 89.054 89.578 92.365 88.946 89.054 89.019 96.29 88.914 88.01 88.241 88.214 90.389 92.022 88.232 88.232 88.309 88.721
Lewis Hamilton 88.072 87.824 87.933 87.768 87.845 87.636 87.556 97.482 87.509 87.658 89.653 88.214
Nico Hulkenberg 89.229 89.318 89.619 88.888 89.905 89.135 89.072 89.267 89.165 90.795 88.767 89.709 89.265 88.827 89.673 93.093 89.039 89.837
Esteban Gutierrez 89.511 89.771 89.115 89.544 89.027 88.629 89.262 89.75 89.2 89.368 88.69
Paul di Resta 88.484 89.192 88.428 88.419 90.878 90.058 88.158 87.859
Adrian Sutil 88.913 88.666 88.475 89.616 88.308 88.406 91.801 89.505 89.021 89.186 89.438 89.379
Pastor Maldonado 90.825 90.331 90.381 90.507 91.874 99.7 90.253 91.128 90.015 90.283 91.343 92.483
Valtteri Bottas 90.766 90.225 90.08 97.596 91.025 90.901 91.136 95.622 91.014 93.34 92.559
Jean-Eric Vergne 90.76 90.098 89.501 89.95 90.751 90.329 90.349 90.04 89.93 90.05 90.406
Daniel Ricciardo 89.913 90.774 90.94 91.802 89.755 88.661 90.181 89.247 89.005 88.978 92.8 89.165 89.118 88.991 88.957
Charles Pic 91.166 91.823 90.872 90.474 91.74 90.651 90.637 90.126 89.726 90.033
Giedo van der Garde 92.109 91.357 93.111 91.118 90.587 90.652 90.54 90.495 91.304 98.194 91.311
Jules Bianchi 92.496 92.011 91.783 90.96 91.231 92.349 90.994 91.138 91.744 96.504 91.477 94.572 91.907 93.382
Max Chilton 90.575 90.794 90.828 92.135 91.222 91.326

Sector times and ultimate lap times

Pos No. Driver Car S1 S2 S2 Ultimate Gap Deficit to best
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 29.208 (4) 29.159 (3) 22.897 (1) 1’21.264 0.000
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 29.141 (1) 29.261 (5) 22.906 (2) 1’21.308 0.044 0.000
3 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 29.311 (7) 29.120 (1) 22.917 (3) 1’21.348 0.084 0.069
4 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 29.282 (6) 29.152 (2) 22.992 (5) 1’21.426 0.162 0.000
5 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 29.276 (5) 29.257 (4) 22.972 (4) 1’21.505 0.241 0.039
6 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 29.196 (3) 29.347 (6) 23.259 (9) 1’21.802 0.538 0.000
7 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 29.333 (8) 29.395 (7) 23.167 (7) 1’21.895 0.631 0.116
8 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 29.159 (2) 29.568 (8) 23.264 (10) 1’21.991 0.727 0.000
9 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 29.351 (9) 29.735 (12) 23.094 (6) 1’22.180 0.916 0.000
10 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 29.438 (10) 29.581 (9) 23.285 (11) 1’22.304 1.040 0.000
11 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 29.519 (12) 29.787 (14) 23.210 (8) 1’22.516 1.252 0.010
12 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 29.502 (11) 29.712 (11) 23.315 (12) 1’22.529 1.265 0.000
13 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 29.653 (15) 29.668 (10) 23.316 (13) 1’22.637 1.373 0.200
14 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 29.600 (14) 29.748 (13) 23.433 (14) 1’22.781 1.517 0.000
15 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 29.551 (13) 29.829 (15) 23.461 (16) 1’22.841 1.577 0.000
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 29.669 (16) 30.011 (16) 23.629 (18) 1’23.309 2.045 0.337
17 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 29.695 (18) 30.240 (18) 23.434 (15) 1’23.369 2.105 0.000
18 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 29.737 (19) 30.158 (17) 23.499 (17) 1’23.394 2.130 0.017
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 29.680 (17) 30.783 (19) 23.848 (20) 1’24.311 3.047 0.014
20 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 30.059 (20) 31.088 (21) 23.826 (19) 1’24.973 3.709 0.092
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 30.084 (21) 30.869 (20) 24.176 (21) 1’25.129 3.865 0.014
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 30.226 (22) 31.619 (22) 24.802 (22) 1’26.647 5.383 0.000

Complete practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 Total laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’22.723 1’21.264 53
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’22.982 1’21.308 66
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’23.111 1’21.417 60
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’23.099 1’21.426 56
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’24.299 1’21.544 56
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’24.157 1’21.802 70
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’23.531 1’21.991 68
8 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’23.010 1’22.011 52
9 Jenson Button McLaren 1’23.370 1’22.180 67
10 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’23.390 1’22.304 61
11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’24.608 1’22.526 60
12 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’23.591 1’22.529 63
13 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’23.911 1’22.781 57
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.119 1’22.837 63
15 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.314 1’22.841 62
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.204 1’23.369 49
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.383 1’23.411 65
18 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’24.150 1’23.646 61
19 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’25.827 1’24.325 62
20 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’26.808 1’25.065 61
21 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’27.617 1’25.143 59
22 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’26.647 33
23 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1’28.927 25

Speed trap

# Driver Car Engine Max speed (kph) Gap
1 6 Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes 298.1
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 296.6 1.5
3 5 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 296.1 2
4 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 296 2.1
5 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham Renault 295.1 3
6 20 Charles Pic Caterham Renault 294.5 3.6
7 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 294.1 4
8 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari 293.9 4.2
9 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 293.8 4.3
10 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari 293.7 4.4
11 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault 293.3 4.8
12 15 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 293.2 4.9
13 14 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 293.1 5
14 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams Renault 292.8 5.3
15 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari 292.2 5.9
16 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso Ferrari 292 6.1
17 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 291.8 6.3
18 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams Renault 291.7 6.4
19 23 Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth 291.7 6.4
20 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth 291.6 6.5
21 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 291.1 7
22 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Ferrari 289.9 8.2

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix

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46 comments on Lotus within a tenth of Red Bull on Friday

  1. Manished said on 26th July 2013, 17:55

    Ferrari were also within range of the Red Bulls. However it bears remembering that Red Bull set their times earlier in the session while track conditions were still improving.

    Funny. Romain set the flying lap latter than both ferrari duo. But you only take into account of track evolution for ferrari ‘s cases while neglecting it when you were talking about Lotus.

    Double standard much huh?

    • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 26th July 2013, 18:33

      @manished Even I have noticed a tiny tiny bit of anti-ferrarism and pro-redbullism in F1F’s articles. I have never observed any bias towatds lotus, though. May be I am wrong, but that’s how I feel many a time.

      • TMF (@tmf42) said on 26th July 2013, 21:42

        I don’t see a bias in F1F’s articles – most of them are actually quite neutral or they really try to be. Maybe Ferrari should build faster cars if you wanna see them receiving more praise :)

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 26th July 2013, 22:55

        I think it’s just how this season is going @shreyasf1fan, I mean, Red Bull is the one to beat (again) and if you see more compliments is just fairness, not favoring them.
        There are as many articles regarding Ferrari as the ones about Mercedes, Lotus, even Force India, and Red Bull. And that can probably also be proportional to their performance on the weekend.

      • Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 27th July 2013, 1:01

        Sorry mate…Keith’s view are very impartial and and is typically based on facts.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th July 2013, 20:23

      You only take into account of track evolution for ferrari ‘s cases while neglecting it when you were talking about Lotus.

      No I don’t. You’re the one making that distinction.

      • TrueF1Grit (@truef1grit) said on 26th July 2013, 21:34

        Quote where exactly Keith makes these pro-Lotus anti-Ferrari comments. He just made a general comment regarding Red Bull in the same paragraph as the Ferrari?

  2. Tayyib (@m0nzaman) said on 26th July 2013, 18:16

    Come on Ferrari, can you improve the pace of the car so Fernando can challenge for the world title.

    • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 26th July 2013, 18:40

      @m0nzaman Even if they do, it’ll be a case of too little, too late.

      • Beto (@chebeto0) said on 26th July 2013, 20:41

        By this stage of the championship, Alonso had a bigger point lead than Vettel has now. So I don’t think it would be too late, though, I do think it’s unlikly. Also, Alonso would need help from Grojean taking out Vet in the start at Spa.

        • Beto (@chebeto0) said on 26th July 2013, 20:42

          Sorry, I mean this from 2012.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 26th July 2013, 22:35

          @chebeto0 that’s not strictly true: after 9 rounds of the 2012 F1 world championship Alonso led Webber by 13 points and Vettel by 29. This year, it’s Vettel leading Alonso by 34. What is also worth noting is factoring in points lost out with the respective driver’s control, in 2013 it’d be Vettel leading by 33 and in 2012 Vettel leading by 3.

          I’ll link to my logic upon your request in how I established those hypothetical values.

  3. Mads (@mads) said on 26th July 2013, 18:28

    What a difference between the top speed of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
    Could it be that Webber is thinking that he might need to do a bit of overtaking, as usual, while Vettel does not?

  4. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 26th July 2013, 18:37

    I missed practice, and it’s hard from these graphs to tell who is looking good on the long run. So far, Mercedes’ pace does not look as disastrous as feared, though on their fast lap both drivers lost quite a bit on time in the final sector.

    It doesn’t look like the changed tyres will make the championship battles any more interesting, with Red Bull looking the clear favourites.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 26th July 2013, 20:24

      @adrianmorse Red Bull were frequently a second faster than everybody on the long runs: they were dipping into the mid 26′s and from the commentary on Sky I heard of nobody else breaking the 26 barrier – they were all circulating in the 27′s.

  5. Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 26th July 2013, 18:45

    I always feel an over-glorification of RBR and downplay of SF in @keithcollantine ‘s articles. Now people will pounce on me :-P

  6. Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 26th July 2013, 19:25

    @caci99 I am not saying I may be right, it’s just a hunch. And not as a Ferrari fan, I know that team is stupid to let their chances go. But as an example, look at the title of the article – Lotus is close to RBR but no mention of Ferrari though they had as much pace as Lotus.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 26th July 2013, 19:49

      @shreyasf1fan
      yes. How unfair. A factually true headline. That incidentally doesn’t include Ferrari.
      It must be a conspiracy!

      • Shreyas Mohanty (@) said on 26th July 2013, 20:41

        @mads try looking at the times again and get your own facts straight!

        • Mads (@mads) said on 26th July 2013, 20:55

          @shreyasf1fan
          FP2 (fastest times of Friday)
          Romain: 1’21.417
          Fernando: 1’21.426
          I don’t see how it can be factually incorrect to say that Lotus is quicker.
          And if you look at the long runs, Grosjean is quicker then the Ferrari’s as well.
          So what facts is it that I am missing?

        • Beto (@chebeto0) said on 26th July 2013, 21:06

          @shreyasf1fan The fact is that a Lotus was directly behind the Red Bulls. If you take into account all the best sectors Grojean was literally “within a tenth of Red Bull”, if you take the actual fastest lap he was still third and faster than the Ferraris. Ferrari doesn’t have to feature on the title of every article. What should the title be? “Fastest Red Bull, then Lotus, then Ferrari, then it doesn’t matter” or “4th and 5th for Ferrari – other teams also showed up”?

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 26th July 2013, 20:32

      Ferrari are mentioned as being not too far behind as well. But the article is correct, Lotus look closer and therefore the most likely to challenge the very strong looking Red Bull. I see nothing wrong with this and I’m a Ferrari fan too.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 26th July 2013, 20:43

      You’re right. And Mercedes were only a couple of tenths behind Ferrari and only a couple of tenths ahead of McLaren, who were only a couple of tenths ahead of Force India, who weren’t far ahead of Sauber, who Williams were quite close to, who were just ahead of Toro Rosso, Caterham, and Marussia. Clear bias for not making that clear.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 26th July 2013, 20:56

      It’s also worth mentioning the long run pace: Lotus look significantly closer to Red Bull than Ferrari do, which naturally puts them in the front seat as likely challengers. Headlines are meant to be short and cut to the chase and as Lotus are #1 contenders then they are included in the headline, not Ferrari.

    • caci99 (@caci99) said on 26th July 2013, 22:32

      @shreyasf1fan i think keith is doing Alonso now, playing options down :)
      i know what you mean, i root for Ferrari and it is sad when your team doesn’t make headlines, but at the moment they need to really up their game to their own standart.

  7. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 26th July 2013, 19:43

    Why do overheating rear tyres cause understeer? I would have thought oversteer but I think Dan knows better than me!

  8. Todfod (@todfod) said on 26th July 2013, 19:59

    I think Mark Webber would have to put in an exeptionally poor performance to not take 2nd on the grid and finish in P2.

    The Red Bull owns this track and the rest of this season

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 26th July 2013, 21:01

      Here’s hoping they will!!!

    • Jarv F150 (@jarvf150) said on 26th July 2013, 22:10

      That long-stint graph really shows how well the RBR’s are going to do this weekend.
      RBR 1st/2nd.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 26th July 2013, 23:00

        Yep.

        People always say dont read too much into practice times.. but so far it has been a pretty accurate assesment of sunday’s race pace. Saturday pace is always determined by FP3 though

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 26th July 2013, 23:09

          @todfod I will agree on race pace but single lap as you said will only be determined at the earliest tomorrow morning: Mercedes haven’t really turned up the gas yet one gets the impression and of course the Lotuses (Loti?) were both impeded to some extent during their quali runs.

  9. Badger74 (@badger74) said on 26th July 2013, 21:54

    Button’s run looks promising in comparison, although of course we don’t know how long that pace would last or the tyres it was done on from the chart.

  10. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 27th July 2013, 1:06

    Yeah..pole for Vettel and then he is just going to drive away into the distance.

    So yeah, season over. Bring on the Turbos!

  11. R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 27th July 2013, 2:11

    Conventional wisdom would say that Bianchi shouldn’t be below Van der Garde on the time sheets, so I’m thinking that Marussia is losing the car development battle with Caterham in a big way.

    Pretty encouraging that Williams isn’t so far down the order in practices – I really hope they can squeeze out a point on Sunday. What happened to STR? Hungaroring is typically kind to the Constructors Formerly Known as Minardi.

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