Red Bull are not the fastest package!!
Tagged: McLaren Red Bull performance
14th June 2011, 14:25 at 2:25 pm #129545
Controversial – RED BULL DO NOT HAVE THE FASTEST CAR (at least on a Sunday)
So, here’s the thing which no-one can seem to answer. How come Vettel/RB is so dominant in qual but never fastest in the race. “But he’s won 5 races” I hear you say. True, but he and RB are not the fastest package (maybe at the start of the season but not any more). I’ve looked at Qual times and fastest race laps to try to get a feel for relative race pace. Take a look at some facts:
1. Australia. Vettel won easily by 22 seconds from Hamilton. We all know that the cars speed up as they get lighter at about 0.1 s per lap. Vettel was ahead and so was cruising at the end so his fastest lap was on lap 44 (out of 58) at 1:29.8 when he was still pushing quite hard. He was 5th fastest overall – both Ferraris and Webber were faster than him at the end of the race Perez did a 1:29.9 on lap 39 !! Given that Vettel was probably cruising at the end this race is inconclusive. On to Malaysia.
2. Malaysia. Vettel won by 3 s from Button. Much closer race (56 laps). Vettel did 6th fastest lap overall but as early as lap 33. Webber, Alonso, Petrov and both Mclarens subsequently went faster. Was Vettel cruising at the end? Or didn’t he have the pace? Button was chasing quite hard. Again inconclusive but Vettel did appear to have this under control.
3. China. Vettel beaten by Hamilton (better strategy, newer tyres). 7 drivers did a faster lap than Vettel who never got any quicker after lap 47. Now this might have been all down to his old tyres, but Petrov, Rosberg and Schumacher all did faster laps than him on tyres that weren’t that much older. Vettel’s fastest lap was on tyres 16 laps old. Petrov did a faster lap on tyres 13 laps old. Vettel was not crusing here, so where was his pace?? He qualified 0.7 s ahead of the pack and so should have been out of sight.
4. Turkey. Fairly routine 1-2 for RB. Vettel winning by 8s from Webber. Vettel had the 3rd fastest lap. Webber was faster by 0.2s 2 laps earlier than Vettel. Hamilton was 0.2 s slower than Vettel, also 2 laps earlier. Vettel probably cruising at the end so difficult to judge actual pace.
5. Spain. Vettel just beats Hamilton by 0.6 secs. Vettel had the 4th fastest lap in the race, Hamilton was fastest. Vettel qualified 0.8s faster than Hamilton yet in the race hamilton was 0.4 s faster on his fastest, with Vettel’s fastest being 5 laps from the end when being chased down by Lewis. Hamilton’s fastest was done 8 laps earlier!! Where was Vettel’s pace at the end?
6. Monaco. Vettel qualified 0.4 s ahead of the field. At the end we had Vettel being chased by Alonso and Button, all on fresh tyres after the red flag. Fastest lap was actually Webber (by less than 0.1 over Vettel). Despite fighting each other Alonso and Button were both within 0.2 s of Vettel. Where had all his qualifying advantage gone??
7. Canada. We all saw what happened here. Vettel fastest in Qual by 0.2 from Alonso (and 0.8 over Button. 0.8s remember that figure). At the end with both Vettel and Button on the limit, both on tyres within 2 laps of age of each other (and both warmed up by now – they both effectively re-started after the last saefty car). Fastest lap Button, 2nd Vettel by 0.3s. So, relative to Q3, Button has gained over 1s per lap. Again, where has all Vettel’s pace gone?
Now, it’s clear, the RB is very very fast, especially in the dry on fast corner flowing tracks like Turkey and Malaysia. But, certainly since Spain, they do not have the fastest package, especially towards the end of a race on a Sunday. RB have been on pole every race yet to date Vettel has not had a single fastest lap of the race – even when he needed to. His best was actually yesterday (2nd).
So, what do RB do on Saturday that they don’t can’t on a Sunday. Or is it the “package”? Is Vettel the supreme time trialist, but can’t sustain it on a Sunday? Maybe the RB only works at its best on brand new tyres?
Or is it strategy on RB’s part? Put all your effort into getting at the front in Q3 and then use the pace of the car (over a short stint??) to try to stay in front. Maybe they have an engine setting of “11″ that they can only use in Qual and for short stints?
I suggest that Vettel being so far ahead is a bit of a false picture. He was close to being caught by Hamilton in Spain and was lucky to win in Monaco. Yesterday revealed that he can make a mistake when under pressure from a faster car and driver. It’s not over yet!!!14th June 2011, 14:37 at 2:37 pm #171215
So…….. 0.4 – 1 second faster qualifying times lie about their speed?14th June 2011, 14:50 at 2:50 pm #171216
With the new tyres the fastest lap is set by the guy with the fresher tyre at the end of the race. FL is quite useless for analyzing performance these days.
But if McLaren has a quicker car then why don’t they get the result in? That is what matters. Look at it this way, if Vettel wins just one race more in Valencia he can remain second with Hamilton in the lead for every singly race until the end of the season and he would still win the championship. THAT is how big a lead he has already. And i say that because i doubt that Button is his Championship contender really, he has had two good races in a row now (outperforming Hamilton i mean) but over the course of a season Hamilton is most likely going to beat Button on points in the end. Of cause it is an unlikely scenario, but i think it puts it into perspective quite well.14th June 2011, 14:58 at 2:58 pm #171217
pault1607, you do realize that your analysis is not exactly scientific?14th June 2011, 15:19 at 3:19 pm #171218
Jehto. I disagree. Lap times are facts. Tyre wear, track conditions etc. are subjective. My point is that, whilst there is no question that Vettel/RB are fastest on Saturday (the facts say so), the facts of the race do not support that they are fastest on Sunday. In the races where Vettel has had similar tyre wear to others he has not been able to post a faster lap time. Can anyone explain why?14th June 2011, 15:24 at 3:24 pm #171219
Mads, On Sunday Vettel had fresher tyres than Button, yet Button caught him by 5 seconds over 5 laps (whilst also passing Webber and Schumacher) despite being out qualified by Vettel by 0.8 sec on the same tyres!!! Please explain.
On Sunday Mclaren did get the result, and in China, and had the fastest car on SUnday in Monaco and Spain. They are being compromised by their inability to qualify. I repeat, what are RB doing on Saturday that others can’t and that they themselves cannot carry through on Sunday.14th June 2011, 15:27 at 3:27 pm #171220
RED BULL DO NOT HAVE THE FASTEST CAR
Not to sound all Clueless on you, but DUH! Anyone with two eyes can see that Red bull lose their qualifying advantage by the time the race comes along.14th June 2011, 15:30 at 3:30 pm #171221
dam00r. On a Saturday yes. Of course they show every time that they are up to 0.4 – 1 sec faster in qualy. SO why don’t they win every race by 30 seconds on a Sunday? This is my point. How do they have so comprehensively faster a driver/car conbination for qual but not in the race. I repeat, on a Sunday, even when on similar tyres and when he needed to (Spain, Monaco and yesterday) he cannot get round faster than his rivals. What’s happening? Maybe it’s him?14th June 2011, 15:32 at 3:32 pm #171222
Prisoner Monkey. OK, I’ve looked at some numbers, you say it’s obvious (but it seems not everyone thinks so). The big question is, why?14th June 2011, 16:32 at 4:32 pm #171223
Dude, this is a repeat post.
At anyrate, the reckoning is that a combinaition of much higher downforce from their more efficient hot blown diffuser and therefore the ability to dump more drag with the DRS sooner is behind their extreme pace in qualifying.
However, a bit like the old quali engines the set up doesn’t work in the race for three reasons, first it’d require they carry too much fuel, second it’s unsustainable for the engine over a race period, three restricted DRS.
Look it up in the forum there’s a link to a scarbs article explaining this.14th June 2011, 16:58 at 4:58 pm #171224
Pault1607 yes Button was a lot quicker, but i think that was because he was pushing straight away and therefore maintained heat in his tyres, where Vettel was cruising too much so his tyre temperature dropped dramatically and his pace showed that. A bit like what happened in Brazil 2010 with Nico Hulkenberg in qualifying. The conditions were similar and the reason Nico got pole was because he kept pushing right out of the pits.
McLaren do have the fastest package in the race, but they always try to find a way to throw away the result. In Monaco Button had the win in his hand, but then they thought that it would be easy enough to pass two cars on track which were not that much slower and then pitted.. Not a very bright move. Crashing into each other, going too quickly in the pits etc. Red Bull don’t make many strategic mistakes anymore, and when McLaren are very inconsistent, Red Bull are just banging in the results every single time. With Vettel that is. Look at the points table. Even if McLaren can get their inconsistency sorted out, they showed in Monaco and in Spain that being the quickest on track is not always the most important.14th June 2011, 18:29 at 6:29 pm #171225
Well, you disagree. And you say that lap times are facts. Sure. But you are confusing race pace with fastest lap. Like you said “lap times”, not “time of a single lap”.
Like mads already explained you, fastest lap is just one lap. Race pace is the general lap time of a car during a race, which doesn’t have a strict definition, but can be measured much more accuratelly by, for instance, the average of all laps.
Even better, the average of all laps, but not counting “strange laps” like in/out laps, safety car laps or laps with a “problem” like being touched by other car (ex: Webber’s first racing (without safety car) lap), or having an excursion off the road (Vettel’s last lap). That’s race pace. Of course it’s not easy to do, one has to get all lap times, analyse all race to ascertain what laps to remove from the equation (one can do that automatically by setting a threshold, for instance 3 seconds, for which the laps that are 3 sec. slower than the average are eliminated), do the average and there you go, then do the same to the others and then only then you have a reasonable approximation to “race pace”.
Of course it’s a lot of work, but if you want to make statements in a thread title like the one you did and with two exclamation points plus a first phrase in all-caps and at the same time be taken seriously, it’s the least you can do…14th June 2011, 21:29 at 9:29 pm #171226
I agree, McLaren currently have the fastest car in terms of race pace. Red Bull are miles ahead in quali but that’s a lot less important this year. The Vettel only wins because of the car argument is frankly silly, he’s doing a brilliant job, and much better than his team mate.14th June 2011, 21:58 at 9:58 pm #171227
Thanks for educating me Jehto, how silly of me. So, using my “not a strict definition” of race pace here’s a few alternatives for you:
1. Average from start to finish. Button started behind Vettel and finished ahead of him despite visiting the pit lane 3 more times. Hence his “average” lap time or “race pace” was quicker. But, doh, silly naive old me, I need to exclude all the safety cars etc. that let Jenson catch up…
2. Average from last but one safety car (when Button was last – detached from the safety car train) when Button was 12s behind Vettel to the Heidfeld safety car by which time Button was 4th and 13s behind Vettel. So, Button has passed 17 slower cars and has lost only 1 sec on the leader with a clear track ahead of him. Sounds like Jenson was going faster to me. But hang on, I’m being thick again. There’s a tyre stop etc. in there so that’s not valid either.
3. Average from last safety car to the end (excluding Vettel’s spin on the last lap) – 9 laps. Over the start line Button was 4 seconds behind. On penultimate lap he was 0.9 behind. Looks like his average lap time or “race pace” was quicker, although, obviously, this is not a strict definition.
So, my point is (but not explained very well in my dumb un-educated way) is that Vettel and RB are under much more pressure, and the other teams, Mclaren in particular, are much closer in “race pace” terms that the points table suggests. I say again, it’s far from over yet. What’s yours?
Thanks also for the warm welcome to your expert forum, for putting me back on the straight and narrow and sorting out my confusion, but I think I’ll leave you all to it. See ya !!!14th June 2011, 22:35 at 10:35 pm #171228
Now you’re just being silly.
The issue was not the “strict definition”, I said you confused race pace with fastest lap and used that to draw conclusions. I said that there’s no definition for race pace and tried to purpose to you an aproximation, this way, if you were really up to it, could try make your point more accuratelly. You ask my view, I’m kind of a lazy person and when I want to talk gratuitously, without bothering to fundamentation, I go comment to youtube, there no one patronizes me
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