Red Bull cautious despite strong Friday showing

2013 Italian Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2013Red Bull were comfortably quickest in the second practice session at Monza. However team principal Christian Horner isn’t taking anything for granted.

Sebastian Vettel headed the Friday ties by over six-tenths of a second but Horner pointed out the Italian Grand Prix hasn’t been their strongest event in recent years:

“Monza traditionally, bar 2011, has been a difficult hunting ground for us,” he said, “it’s exposed some of our weaknesses in previous years.”

“But we’re going to do the best that we can and for sure we know that Ferrari will be quick here, we know Mercedes will be certainly quick and McLaren aren’t too far away either this weekend.

“So I think it’s set to be a very competitive grand prix. We’ve seen so many times that Friday means very little so hopefully we can be on the podium here, that would be a strong result for us here.”

As we’ve become used to seeing in recent seasons, the RB9s are propping up the table in terms of straight-line speed. That could be a problem for them on Sunday if they are out-qualified by a Mercedes or two. As always, the sheer downforce of the RB9 more than makes up in the corners what it loses at the end of the straights.

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Monza, 2013Lotus led the charge against Red Bull and their drivers posted identical times in differently-configured cars. Kimi Raikkonen was using a version of the E21 with a longer wheelbase, and commented it “doesn?t feel much different to me”.

The team have indicated the car won’t reappear this weekend. It’s possible that was their intention all along, and the car’s real purpose was an evaluation with next year’s chassis in mind. Or they may have taken note of Romain Grosjean’s faster sector times in the normal car (see below) and concluded the longer version didn’t offer a sufficient step forward.

Felipe Massa warned the Ferrari faithful that it “won?t be an easy weekend” for them at home. “Our main rivals have set great lap times on both compounds and in race trim.”

As is always the case at Monza tyre degradation is low. Pirelli motor sport director Paul Hembery’s prediction that most drivers will prefer a two-stop strategy “with some cars perhaps trying a one-stopper” may prove to be an overestimation. Given how long some drivers were able to make their tyres last I suspect we’ll see most drivers one-stopping, as was the case last year.

One driver who was especially satisfied with his car’s pace over a race stint was Valtteri Bottas. “The positive thing today was the long run as we were competitive compared to Toro Rosso and Sauber,” he said, “and I think we can really challenge them in the race this weekend.”

Here’s all the data from practice for the Italian Grand Prix:

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 18 19 20 21
Sebastian Vettel 89.16 88.676 88.534 88.385 88.675 89.065 88.7 88.647 88.486 88.486 88.279 88.361
Mark Webber 89.495 89.117 89.194 89.141 88.974 88.944 88.906 89.645 94.501 88.552 88.763 88.722 88.773 89.422 96.04 88.847 89.977 89.607
Fernando Alonso 93.68 89.654 89.477 89.356 89.918 89.703 89.182 89.029 89.021 88.916 88.833 88.718 90.306 89.336 89.522 89.445 103.542 93.343 90.162 90.13 90.2
Felipe Massa 90.47 89.831 89.597 89.818 89.757 90.169 90.231 89.718
Jenson Button 89.892 89.819 89.661 89.573 89.582 89.425 90.553 89.764 89.709 90.037 89.47 89.322
Sergio Perez 89.746 89.786 94.25 89.524 89.665 89.418 89.633 89.663 90.304 89.361 89.569 89.228 89.549 89.828
Kimi Raikkonen 88.61 88.792 88.69 88.884 88.709 88.898 88.568 88.729 88.825 88.362
Romain Grosjean 89.47 89.247 90.116 89.765 89.718 89.442 89.851 89.762 89.326 89.851
Nico Rosberg 89.983 93.052 89.792 89.82 89.687 94.526 89.514 89.58 89.919 89.492 89.214 89.282 89.275 89.217 89.269 89.598 89.592
Lewis Hamilton 90.768 89.889 89.528 92.606 89.37 89.284 89.468 92.973 89.286 96.203 89.402 97.709 90.015
Nico Hulkenberg 90.404 90.284 90.381 90.317 90.332 90.323 90.058 90.082 93.359 90.068 90.306 89.814 89.789 89.719 89.634 89.834
Esteban Gutierrez 90.593 90.783 90.239 90.08 90.012 89.947 90.079 89.891 89.933 90.251 92.741 89.847 89.758 89.674 89.546 89.468 89.356 90.139
Paul di Resta 91.263 90.674 90.356 90.161 90.385 90.204 89.87 89.793 89.619 89.654 89.511 89.315
Adrian Sutil 89.038 89.052 89.162 89.146 89.618
Pastor Maldonado 91.778 90.927 92.265 90.482 91.332 91.407 90.219 99.672 90.168 89.966 89.881 90.451 90.269
Valtteri Bottas 90.248 90.239 89.986 90.377 90.335 90.114 90.047 89.927 90.397 89.83 89.81 89.786 89.546 89.505 89.548 89.832 90.027
Jean-Eric Vergne 90.594 90.269 90.046 89.955 89.947 90.126 90.545 91.016 89.926 89.878 90.069 90.006
Daniel Ricciardo 90.618 90.467 90.268 90.226 90.173 90.006 90.177 92.887 89.975 90.203 89.99 90.025 89.692 89.729 89.807 89.78 90.653 89.37 89.859 91.252
Charles Pic 91.634 93.123 91.553 92.128 91.46 91.315 92.581 92.014 91.709 92.082 91.616
Giedo van der Garde 93.391 92.412 92.112 91.8 91.927 92.273 91.918 93.672 91.622 91.609 92.109
Jules Bianchi 91.463 91.403 91.812 91.305 92.396 92.313 91.129 91.112
Max Chilton 91.457 91.865 91.018 90.876 91.109 91.788 91.368 91.508 91.231 90.947 91.368 91.922 91.162 92.423 92.391

Sector times and ultimate lap times

Pos No. Driver Car S1 S2 S3 Ultimate Gap Deficit to best
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 27.634 (1) 28.629 (1) 28.171 (1) 1’24.434 0.019
2 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 27.698 (2) 28.786 (3) 28.380 (3) 1’24.864 0.430 0.252
3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 27.701 (3) 28.879 (5) 28.362 (2) 1’24.942 0.508 0.134
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 27.864 (12) 28.776 (2) 28.412 (4) 1’25.052 0.618 0.064
5 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 27.744 (8) 28.837 (4) 28.572 (7) 1’25.153 0.719 0.214
6 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 27.721 (6) 28.887 (6) 28.558 (5) 1’25.166 0.732 0.174
7 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 27.797 (9) 28.890 (7) 28.643 (9) 1’25.330 0.896 0.000
8 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 27.724 (7) 28.986 (9) 28.673 (10) 1’25.383 0.949 0.149
9 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 27.874 (13) 28.925 (8) 28.642 (8) 1’25.441 1.007 0.078
10 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 27.715 (4) 29.120 (11) 28.778 (13) 1’25.613 1.179 0.014
11 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 28.040 (17) 29.120 (11) 28.558 (5) 1’25.718 1.284 0.170
12 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 27.855 (11) 29.108 (10) 28.809 (14) 1’25.772 1.338 0.058
13 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 27.715 (4) 29.263 (14) 28.944 (15) 1’25.922 1.488 0.106
14 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 27.990 (16) 29.229 (13) 28.770 (12) 1’25.989 1.555 0.149
15 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 27.941 (14) 29.416 (17) 28.703 (11) 1’26.060 1.626 0.164
16 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 27.852 (10) 29.282 (15) 29.129 (18) 1’26.263 1.829 0.336
17 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 27.945 (15) 29.388 (16) 29.052 (16) 1’26.385 1.951 0.000
18 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 28.284 (19) 29.509 (18) 29.115 (17) 1’26.908 2.474 0.290
19 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 28.382 (22) 29.528 (19) 29.486 (21) 1’27.396 2.962 0.152
20 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 28.375 (21) 29.930 (22) 29.258 (19) 1’27.563 3.129 0.208
21 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 28.246 (18) 29.847 (21) 29.480 (20) 1’27.573 3.139 0.123
22 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 28.325 (20) 29.681 (20) 29.588 (22) 1’27.594 3.160 0.463

Complete practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 Total laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’25.753 1’24.453 65
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’26.103 1’25.076 66
3 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’25.941 1’25.116 58
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’26.295 1’25.116 63
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’25.600 1’25.330 63
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’25.565 1’25.340 63
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’25.704 1’25.367 67
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’26.449 1’25.519 45
9 Jenson Button McLaren 1’26.035 1’25.532 65
10 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’26.007 1’25.627 63
11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’26.594 1’25.830 53
12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.194 1’25.888 65
13 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’26.028 37
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’26.149 1’26.138 57
15 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.155 1’26.224 57
16 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’27.224 1’26.385 59
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.387 1’26.599 64
18 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’26.802 1’27.198 65
19 James Calado Force India-Mercedes 1’27.041 24
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’27.869 1’27.548 57
21 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’27.818 1’27.696 61
22 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’27.771 38
23 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’28.057 32
24 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’28.192 21
25 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1’29.526 26

Speed trap

# Driver Car Engine Max speed (kph) Gap
1 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso Ferrari 339.1
2 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari 338.4 0.7
3 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Ferrari 337.7 1.4
4 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 337.6 1.5
5 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 337.5 1.6
6 14 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 337.3 1.8
7 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 337.3 1.8
8 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault 337.2 1.9
9 15 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 336.8 2.3
10 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth 336.1 3
11 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 335.7 3.4
12 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari 333.3 5.8
13 23 Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth 333.2 5.9
14 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari 333.2 5.9
15 5 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 331.8 7.3
16 6 Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes 331.7 7.4
17 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham Renault 330.2 8.9
18 20 Charles Pic Caterham Renault 330.1 9
19 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams Renault 329.9 9.2
20 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams Renault 329.8 9.3
21 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 329.1 10
22 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 328.9 10.2

2013 Italian Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Italian Grand Prix articles

Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, Lotus/LAT

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21 comments on Red Bull cautious despite strong Friday showing

  1. My money is still on Hamilton for pole and Vettel for win!

  2. MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 6th September 2013, 19:21

    Now just wait for Hamilton to get pole and be surprised and amazed afterwards, and on Sunday Seb will get past during the first stop at the latest and Nando follows home in 2nd

  3. Kimi’s long-run pace looks basically the same to Seb’s, with Alonso not far behind. But with rain forecast for Sunday all of this will go out the window anyway. Button for the win?

  4. Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 6th September 2013, 19:55

    I’d be happy with a Button win. Put a few smiles on the McLaren boys faces and keep their records going for a while longer

  5. Breno (@austus) said on 6th September 2013, 21:39

    So I guess vettel is cautiosly running away with the title.

  6. Fastest in every sector (faster than everybody even on the hard tyres) and fastest long run. First down to Vettel…

  7. John H (@john-h) said on 6th September 2013, 21:52

    I see Red Bull are at the bottom of the speed trap times again. Surely some of the other teams should scrub a bit of straight line speed and run an ounce more wing after seeing the lap times Red Bull are putting in?

    • @john-h it ispractice though, so we don’t really know how competitive that really is. 10km/h isn’t massive either – it’s been much bigger before! They’d still be within a chance of overtaking with a good exit from parabolica (which RB have been doing) and late braking for the chicane with DRS assistance however, so absolutely scrubbing some speed shouldn’t kill them.

    • Feuerdrache (@xenomorph91) said on 6th September 2013, 22:34

      It hasn’t only to do with downforce. Vettel has been at the top during the intermediate speed traps: S1, S2 and S/F – looking at the F1 live timing results. It’s similar to when RedBull were the fastest out of Eau Rouge two weeks ago.

      RedBull are running a shorter gear ratio which means they will be quite long at the limiter on the start/finish-straight in qualifying. Overall this will give them quite an advantage (due to good acceleration) with heavy fuel like in 2011.

  8. pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 6th September 2013, 23:19

    If there’s just one track on the schedule where they should dispense with DRS, well, this is it.

  9. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 7th September 2013, 9:47

    Seems to me like Redbull are more confident, and run their old strategy of trying to get pole, and be fastest at the start of the race and pull a gap before DRS is enabled. Thereby sacrificing top speed. In SPA, they went the other way, which is interesting cause that work very well indeed. Redbull and the RB9 are very adaptable it seems.

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