Ferrari appear to have the race pace to back up the one-lap performance they showed in the second practice session in Valancia.
Red Bull are close behind but McLaren didn’t exhibit the same performance they had in the first session – in terms of straight-line speed or lap time.
Here’s the interactive data for the second practice session at Valencia.
Tick/untick drivers’ names to show their laps, click and drag to zoom
Familiar patterns were clear to see in the second practice session at Valencia. After early running on the medium tyre most drivers sampled the super-soft around halfway through the session.
They generally improved only slightly on the super-soft tyres. As more rubber goes down on the surface they will probably find those tyres give better grip.
At the end of the session they switched back to the medium tyre for race simulation on high fuel loads. These laps were around three seconds slower than the best times of the session, but it’s interesting to note that Fernando Alonso had the quickest lap of the times posted in the last quarter of an hour:
Best times from the final 15 minutes of FP2
|2||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’43.176||0.494|
|3||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’43.204||0.522|
|6||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’43.377||0.695|
|7||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’43.449||0.767|
|12||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’43.865||1.183|
|14||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’44.124||1.442|
|18||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’45.189||2.507|
|21||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’46.382||3.7|
There was a lot of traffic on track at this point which may distort the picture slightly. Sebastian Vettel was able to keep pace with Alonso to begin with but not in the final few laps.
Lewis Hamilton wasn’t far off Alonso’s pace either but we saw him lose time behind Michael Schumacher at the end of the session.
Of course it’s always possible that some drivers and teams were running higher than average fuel loads. Jenson Button seems a likely candidate, as his times were consistently around a second off Alonso’s.
But even taking all this into account it’s an encouraging sign for Ferrari who previously have tended not to be the fastest team at this stage in a weekend.
Examining the ‘ultimate laps’ (the times each driver would have done had he set his best three sectors on the same lap) confirms the impression that Ferrari have got on terms with Red Bull this weekend. Alonso’s ultimate lap was a 1’39.082, Vettel had a 1’39.213 and Webber 1’39.255.
As expected Red Bull were the fastest cars in the final sector which contains all of the track’s few high-speed corner. They will decide later tonight whether they’re going to run their F-duct throughout the rest of the weekend.
McLaren may have been pursuing different set-up options. Their cars were 2kph slower through the speed trap than they had been this morning, suggesting they may have increased their wing angles.
But Hamilton feels Ferrari have found an advantage by getting their version of Red Bull’s ‘blown diffuser’ on their car before McLaren:
It was always going to be interesting to see how quickly the blown-diffuser cars could get up to speed – and they looked very competitive this afternoon, particularly over a single lap. And the grip they appear to have through the high-speed stuff could make them difficult for us to touch.
Lotus’s hopes of out-qualifying a midfield team on pure pace ahead of their 500th Grand Prix start appear to be slim as they’ve been around a second off the pack so far.
Timo Glock’s session ended when his car broke down, but at that point he was within two tenths of a second of Heikki Kovalainen.
HRT F1 endured a series of problems in their second home race. Karun Chandhok had a hydraulic failure while completing his fastest lap. That followed a gearbox failure for Christian Klien in the first session and a drive boot failure for Bruno Senna at the same time.
|Pos.||Car||Driver||Car||Best lap||Gap||Lap||At time||Laps|
|2||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’39.339||0.056||18||67||27|
|3||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’39.427||0.144||16||62||29|
|8||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’40.020||0.737||9||19||30|
|12||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’40.387||1.104||22||63||33|
|15||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’40.945||1.662||23||71||30|
|16||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’41.115||1.832||7||17||35|
|18||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’41.457||2.174||7||19||36|
|22||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’43.854||4.571||18||68||27|
2010 European Grand Prix