Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monaco, 2011

Vettel fastest as Schumacher crashes in first practice

2011 Monaco Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monaco, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monaco, 2011

The last few minutes of the first practice session at Monaco looked like the end of Q3.

A flurry of activity saw Nico Rosberg hit the top of the times before being beaten by Fernando Alonso and then Sebastian Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton tried to join in but was delayed by traffic in the middle of the lap after setting the fastest time through the first sector.

Alonso hit back with a 1’16.732 to go fastest. But Vettel had some more time in hand and took the fastest time by a tenth of a second.

It had been very different at the start of the session, where for a long period of time Narain Karthikeyan was the only driver on track in his HRT. He eventually logged 37 laps.

Team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi’s session came to an end when he crashed. He lost control of his car at the exit of the tunnel and hit the barrier on the inside approaching the chicane, damaging the front of the HRT.

Mark Webber never so much as completed a timed lap. He appeared to be stuck in gear as he drove slowly into the pits after just three laps.

The session was also disrupted by a red flag due to a water leak on the start/finish straight, but resumed after a brief delay.

Then five minutes from the end of the session Michael Schumacher went into the barrier at Sainte Devote. He braked too late, tried to drive into the escape road, but left it too late and hit the barrier.

Team mate Rosberg ended up third fastest, half a second slower than Vettel, ahead of Felipe Massa and Hamilton.

Pastor Maldonado put his Williams seventh fastest with a 1’18.527, and Adrian Sutil showed promise for Force India with eighth-fastest time.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’16.619 25
2 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’16.732 0.113 24
3 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’17.139 0.520 20
4 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’17.316 0.697 24
5 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.350 0.731 23
6 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.534 0.915 24
7 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’18.527 1.908 30
8 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’18.578 1.959 24
9 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’18.733 2.114 16
10 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’18.805 2.186 14
11 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’18.928 2.309 19
12 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’19.234 2.615 24
13 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’19.395 2.776 24
14 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’19.463 2.844 25
15 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’19.768 3.149 25
16 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’19.792 3.173 26
17 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’20.083 3.464 23
18 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’21.116 4.497 27
19 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’21.548 4.929 32
20 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’21.758 5.139 31
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’21.815 5.196 17
22 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’22.840 6.221 3
23 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’23.885 7.266 37
24 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 3

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

65 comments on “Vettel fastest as Schumacher crashes in first practice”

  1. I’m sure Alonso would have lost more than a tenth of a second slowing down to avoid Rosberg. I’m tempted to tip Alonso for pole, actually!

    1. With Red Bull’s blown diffuser? Not a chance.

      1. I didn’t think the Ferrari’s looked like they had the pace on the McLarens, let alone the Redbulls.

        1. Ah. Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking… I’m not a Ferrari fan, but I don’t like seeing them doing bad.

          1. Dont worry Damon, i enjoy seeing them struggle enough for the both of us ;-) joking.

      2. I think the secret isn`t only blown diffuser. What about a slightly bad rear axle grease for qually? =less power and more downforce.

        1. Probably shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves after FP1 but I’m thinking Ferrari will definitely have better pace this weekend than in Barcelona, whether they can fight it out with the bulls and mclaren… that’s still unclear. I’m not going to get my hopes up.

          1. woops, that was meant to be a reply to Damon Smedley. Apologies.

    2. Well he did slide onto the straigth there and then cought Rosberg for what must have been about 2 tenths at least.

      Looking pretty close for now. Hope that gets carried on into Qualifying.

    3. This practice gave me hope, but I still think Red Bull will easily top the sheets.

      1. Sorry to be off topic, but great helmet design fixy. It reminds me of Alonso’s.

  2. Crofty mentioned my tweet (about Spa in reverse) in the BBC coverage:D

    1. Sorry, what did you tweet?

      1. I heard that! :D


        @5LiveF1 Question for @BSenna: What was it like taking Eau Rouge downhill? Is a reverse-direction race at Spa possible? #F1 #BBCF1

        Crofty struggled with my name though :p

    2. Yeah, good one.

  3. Alonso hit back with a 1’17.732 to go fastest

    Keith this should be 1’16.732.

    Looked like a great practice, can’t wait for Saturday!

  4. HRT look like they’re in danger again

    1. they wont be coz in Q1.the leaders will be on hards and that will get the fastest time at least 2 seconds slower..

      1. You mean the softs

      2. Yeah there aren’t any hard tyres this weekend. They are using Super Soft and Soft.

        Weren’t all these times set on the soft tyre anyway? So HRT do look in trouble.

        1. Well, considering they did only long runs for their times. And Lizzi crashed in the middle of it. That shows they can still go a bit faster if they have low fuel and fresh tyres. And I gather they were only running on the soft tyres as well, leaving the one set of super softs for FP2

          1. Ahh forgot that they would probably be on super softs for Quali, so hopefully they can race. Give the leaders a few more moving chicanes to get past

        2. Hope not. Need them to provide safety car moments during the race.

      3. But 107% of 76 seconds is ~81 seconds. I think unless they can step it up a bit, they are definitely in danger of not making the cutoff.

        1. I make it 1’21.982, so both HRTs outside.

          1. Snow Donkey
            26th May 2011, 14:22

            Here’s a Question for you keith, do HRT need to participate in the race for kolles to protest the whole engine over-run thing? What I mean to say is, would it be in the top teams interest to blitz a time which would exclude HRT from the GP to prevent Kolles protesting the result or would he be able to protest the Quali result instead?

          2. No they don’t, in fact, if one of the top teams decided to knock HRT out when they didn’t really need to, I think it could spark something.

          3. Sorryu, to explain my reasoning.

            If HRT got knocked out due to the 107% rule, they could argue that they had been disadvantaged by not being able to have their blown diffuser. So really, I think it would help their case.

  5. Harry Palmer
    26th May 2011, 10:51

    An interesting FP1, which makes a change… Vettel just a little ahead with Ferrari, Mercedes and Mclaren nipping at their heels (well, within a second anyway!)

    Given how quickly you put this up it seems churlish to pint this out but the fourth sentence should read ‘Alonso hit back with a 1.16.632’

  6. Harry Palmer
    26th May 2011, 10:51

    1.16.732 even… d’oh!

  7. Kovalainen continues to comprehensively outperform Trulli. Do the noble thing Jarno, hang up your helmet and let Karun have a try.

    1. Agreed.

      Jarno looks like he’s lost the fight in him, he’s had a good run over the year, time to quit mate! I wish him all the best with his Winery.

      I’d like to see Karun in something more competitive than an 2010 HRT. Lotus is moving in the right direction and Im quite sure that Karun can give Heikki a run for his money!

      Bring on Karun Tony!!

      1. Yeah, especially since his forte (one lap qualifying wonders that result in the acclaimed Trulli train) has long since gone, leaving him handily beaten by his teammate.

        Even his soundbytes in the press sound like a grumpy has-been who finds excuses to explain his lack of pace. Or maybe it’s just a bad crop of grapes this season.

      2. No offence to anyone , but Karun ……. sorry I had Narain Karthikeyan in mind , was about to say is not a fast driver , but maybe he can be.

    2. nick pearce
      27th May 2011, 2:58

      agree with you totally not saying trulli is rubbish but as its a pratice i think kurun should get a chance,he may actully bring somthing else to the team with regards to car set up it seems haki is carrying the team in that sense

  8. Keith, you mentioned Narain Karthikeyan logged 37 laps, but it’s only 29 in the result table.

    1. Fixed it, thanks!

  9. ankitpardeshi (@)
    26th May 2011, 11:01

    karun should take jarno seat he has been outperformed by his team mate

  10. Does anyone know how long Button had the KERS problem for? If his fastest time was set without KERS that looks promising for McLaren.

    Good to see Ferrari up there, but doesn’t mean too much. Think the softer tyres will suit them well, so better race pace than Barca.

    Is that Pastor Maldonado showing his skill around Monaco again? I hope so, for Williams’ sake.

    1. It does show that they are atleast competitive at this circuit. Looking at their Barcelona times, you knew they were in trouble.

    2. Im expecting a really strong race from Pastor. Monaco is one of the only places you can make up time as a driver, by placing the car and being pinpoint accurate.

      He’s had a slow start by in Junior formulae hes been very good round there.

  11. What is di Resta doing all the way down there, 5 seconds off the pace and behind both lotuses?

    1. I think they were assessing the new upgrade again. Plus di Resta hasn’t run round this circuit for something like 5 years. Plus Trulli has shown in the past he is handy round this track, and Kovalainen is normally quicker than Jarno.

  12. Schumacher’s crash has caused a delay to the start of GP2 practice while they repair the barrier.

  13. what was last years pole time??

  14. Fingers crossed, I think we should see a strong week-end performance from Alonso.

  15. Looks like Alonso is on par with the Red Bulls on the soft tyres – he would have even beat Vettel had Rosberg not been cruising down the straight. Of course I expect Vettel > Webber, so Mark is supposed to be already beaten by Fernando.

    Again of course things are a bit unclear as of now. Track evolving, drivers not giving it all, but another positive sign for Fernando is that on the super softs Ferrari is just going to be even quicker. The 150th is a two-faced car in every aspect: like a truck on one lap, a stable, easy-to-handle car on longer stints. The softer the tyres, the quicker they are, and vice versa. The gap compared to others in using the tyres is arguably more than 2 seconds – it was 2 in Barcelona, and we haven’t even tried the super softs.

    Massa is off the pace of course, so are the McLarens at the moment. Webber is a dark horse – though I expect Wettel to be better after he has the FP1 time advantage, remember just how good Mark handled the slow corners in the last sector of the Circuit de Catalunya. He gained back everything he lost to Seb before plus 0.2 secs. BBC had that awesome comparison.

    So I expect a Fernando-Seb-Mark battle for pole and the win for the rest of the weekend. Good to see Ferrari back on terms as I’m a fan of them, though the biggest winner is Vettel: Ferrari and McLaren jostling around him while he gets constant podium finishes all but secures his 2nd title.

    1. How can you make predictions for quali and the race, based on FP1 times?

      Last year, pole was 1.13 something, so 3 secs quicker than what we’ve seen today.
      This year, RBR matches or beats last years poles, so RBR’s true quali speed will be about 3 secs quicker than this. Can you predict now already that Ferrari will scrape off 3 secs by Saturday and McLaren will not?

      -> the only conclusion you can make from FP1 times (that is: ANY FP1 times) is that we haven’t seen true quali pace yet.

      Btw, Hamilton had just gone fastest through sector 1, when he hit traffic which ruined his lap. You don’t set fastest sector times if you’re off the pace.

    2. Sounds like a decent analysis to me. Only thing I would say is that if Hamilton were able to finish his lap, who knows where he would have finished the session… Its all ifs and buts but I think you may be writing off McLaren (specifically Hamilton) a little too quickly.

  16. Does anyone have the fastest sector times?

    1. does.

  17. Massa on P4.good signs fo Ferrari.But then again think its too early to for assumtions.we cannot count out Mcleran. But Seb and Alonso seems to be on top and might even be fighting for the POLE.

  18. At Monaco driver skills become more apparent.

  19. Let’s not get to carried away with the times… It is just P1 after all and ofcourse the usual suspects are running lighter on fuel. Lap times will drop considerably by Q3 …that’s the time to get excited

  20. AdrianMorse
    26th May 2011, 12:26

    What struck me about FP1 was the longevity of the softs. Both Alonso and Vettel set their fastest laps with 20+ laps on their tyres (they only have one set available in FP1, right?), so I think the people hoping for a 5 stopper will be in for a disappointment. I expect the majority of the top 10 to go for SS – S – S in the race, with Kobayashi doing S – SS.

    1. Let’s also remember that FP1 is for cleaning all that antifreeze, spilled soda, engine oil, and fake eyelashes off the track. So the times are bound to come down quickly in this period.

  21. And the sad thing is that LRGP is nowhere. What the difference is driver making on that track!

  22. The gap between Virgin and HRT is over a second – the latter seems to have different reactions depending on the track.

    1. Yep, interestingly the dynamics of the chassis on the virgin appear to be better. But the on Aero HRT seem much better.

  23. Predicting a McLaren pole for Saturday, and a good result in quali for Pastor Maldonado.

    Ferrari and Merc will flatter to decieve again.

  24. Two crashes. Is that the most in a practise session so far this year?

    I was looking at the FOM app on my phone and I did notice that Webber had very little activity, initially I thought KERS…again.

  25. If Mark changes his gear box will he have 5 place grid penalty?

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