Australian GP practice one analysis

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Ferrari's long-run pace looks good once again

While Robert Kubica topped the times in free practice one Ferrari once again look to have good long-run pace.

And at this early stage it looks as though McLaren might have found a better set-up for Melbourne than they had at Bahrain. Take a closer look at the lap times from free practice one below.

Reading practice session times at Melbourne is especially difficult because of how much the track changes throughout the weekend. The track surface gets cleaner and much grippier as more rubber is laid down through the practice sessions and the race.

The fastest time in this morning’s practice session by Robert Kubica was 0.3s off Nico Rosberg’s best time in the same session last year. In qualifying last year the cars were lapping around two seconds quicker.

To the best of my knowledge all the cars in today’s first practice session used the hard compounds tyres rather than the softs.

McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes

FP1 Lap times: McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari

McLaren set quick times early on but it looks like they were doing work on higher fuel loads later in the session.

Similarly Ferrari seem to have not bothered trying for a low-fuel time while the track was still very ‘green’ and concentrated on stints instead. Remember they didn’t show their hand until FP3 at Bahrain.

Felipe Massa had good, consistent pace at the end of the session. But Fernando Alonso, who was trying a new front wing, saw his run disrupted by the second red flag of the day.

The Mercedes drivers generally did shorter runs but the large gap between their best times – Nico Rosberg 1.4 seconds quicker than Michael Schumacher – suggests they were working on quite difference programmes

Renault, Force India, Sauber, Williams and Toro Rosso

FP1 Lap times: Force India, Renault, Williams, Sauber, Toro Rosso

Robert Kubica set the fastest time of the session and it came as part of a five-lap stint. He’d done his best time earlier as part of a longer stint as well and although we can’t be sure of his fuel load it’s an encouraging sign that Renault are heading in the right direction.

Paul di Resta was generally within range of team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi on his first appearance for Force India. But will missing the first practice session have a negative effect on Adrian Sutil’s performance? He’ll be back in the number 14 car for free practice two.

Sauber’s session was more about reliability problems than lap times. Curiously the Williams pair appeared a long way down the fastest times sheets and some way off even the Toro Rossos, which were the slowest of the established runners in Bahrain. FP2 should give us some more clues how much of that was down to fuel.

Virgin, Lotus and HRT

FP1 Lap times: Lotus, Virgin, HRT

After their ‘test session’ appearance at Bahrain it appears as though HRT are closing the gap to the other two new teams.

Timo Glock’s Virgin was slowed by reliability problems and at this early stage Lotus appear to have stolen a march on their rivals.

Top 50 lap times

RankDriverLap timeLap

Robert Kubica86.92717

Nico Rosberg87.12613

Robert Kubica87.24916

Robert Kubica87.32715

Jenson Button87.4829

Felipe Massa87.51117

Robert Kubica87.58210

Nico Rosberg87.6599

Sebastian Vettel87.68623

Fernando Alonso87.74721

Lewis Hamilton87.79310

Jenson Button87.7987

Robert Kubica87.8449

Felipe Massa87.86814

Sebastian Vettel87.89110

Fernando Alonso87.91919

Felipe Massa87.93815

Sebastien Buemi88.01419

Sebastian Vettel88.04517

Sebastian Vettel88.04922

Felipe Massa88.05813

Vitaly Petrov88.11425

Vitantonio Liuzzi88.19218

Sebastien Buemi88.29415

Sebastian Vettel88.34216

Nico Rosberg88.3578

Felipe Massa88.44811

Sebastien Buemi88.46217

Vitantonio Liuzzi88.48116

Paul di Resta88.53725

Michael Schumacher88.5512

Jaime Alguersuari88.57217

Vitantonio Liuzzi88.58112

Vitaly Petrov88.59218

Robert Kubica88.637

Vitaly Petrov88.64417

Michael Schumacher88.6598

Fernando Alonso88.66213

Lewis Hamilton88.686

Mark Webber88.6839

Felipe Massa88.7187

Nico Rosberg88.75912

Paul di Resta88.79720

Sebastien Buemi88.83214

Sebastian Vettel88.8427

Fernando Alonso88.8719

Jaime Alguersuari88.93316

Mark Webber88.96820

Sebastian Vettel89.1215

Mark Webber89.14721

2010 Australian Grand Prix

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    18 comments on “Australian GP practice one analysis”

    1. Oh, cmon, man. How you can do this so fast?

    2. awesome work keith, i appreciate your effort. are you on track? if not, from where did you manage to collect all this data? the content is very good :)


      1. The data is from the FIA, it’s publicly available.

        1. Hi Keith, I see where you get the lap times, but I’m curious how you figured out what time during the practice session the lap was completed.

          I emailed you two weeks ago about some customizable charts built using HTML. Was curious if you ever took a look at it.

          1. Yes, and they look good, but getting them to work on the site will take time. Can’t promise when they’ll be working.

            1. If you need any assistance, I’d be more than happy to help. I love the site – keep up the great work!!

    3. The fastest analyses on the net. Data is publicly available, but the work is done fanatically.

      looking forward to FP2 analyses in a couple of minutes.

    4. Keith, you are doing tremendous job here! I just hope you’ll get something in return for all this effort! Keep up the good work.

      Greetings from Croatia.

    5. Kubica is either trying to prove a point, or that car has something up it’s sleeve……………

      But in FP2 he was 11th or 12th fastest? hmmmmmmmmm

    6. In the dry you see RB and Ferrari a bit beter then Mclaren. Renault is driving on very low fuel they did that in Bahrein also. Then in the Rain you see the Mclaren (ForceIndia) and Mercedes coming to the top while the Ferrari stays behind the RB. So when it’s raining the Cars are closest to each other.

      1. How did you came up with the theory that Renault is driving on very low fuel?

    7. if he has managed to top the timesheets,he has a very strong chance to finish in top 10 atleast

    8. I was watching first practice on TV today, Alonso was slowing alot most laps at the second to last corner before accelerating onto the main straight again. It seemed to be some form of sandbagging, but his sector times before that were nothing special.

      My impression is that Mclaren a much more competitive here.

    9. Interestingly, Hamilton set his fastest lap on the softer tyre, whereas Button set his on the hard tyre.

      I don’t think that there is much between the tyres here. Maybe some will use the hard tyre in qualifying?

      Also, I posted elsewhere that the FIA and FOTA have been talking about spicing up the ‘show’. Charlie Whiting suggesting that only the two extremes of tyre (super soft and hard) be used for each GP. Also talk of rev limiting to 17,000 rpm and setting a fixed amount of time for drivers to use 18,000 rpm. McLaren also suggested success ballast to be used during qualifying only!

    10. Keith, I see that the FIA give out timing info on there website – I assume you have to copy/paste all the times from the PDFs? But where do you get the data about what time in the session a particular lap time was set?

      1. Also, Petrov got fined for breaking the pit lane speed limit in FP1, and Sutil the same in PF2.

        Sutil fined 1600 euros – 67.8 Km/h
        Petrov fined 7000 euros – 94.6 Km/h

      2. That same data shows how long they were in the pits in between runs.

        1. Exactly.

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