McLaren half a second off Red Bull

Brazilian Grand Prix first practice analysis

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Interlagos, 2010

The first practice session in Brazil brought few surprises. Red Bull look fast, with a healthy half-a-second advantage over McLaren.

Ferrari kept a low profile in the first session as usual – there’s no way they’re really the best part of two seconds off the pace, even though Felipe Massa was complaining about understeer during the session.

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Tick/untick drivers’ names to show their laps, click and drag to zoom

The gap between the two Red Bull drivers is eye-catching given they set them at similar times with a similar amount of tyre wear. And there’s no consolation for Mark Webber in the ultimate lap times (see below) either.

Once again, it seems Vettel has the upper hand, and at McLaren it was the same story for Lewis Hamilton.

As expected the McLarens are the fastest thing in a straight line, Jenson Button clocking 318.4kph through the speed trap.

But even so, the Red Bulls were quickest through every sector. Let me correct that: Sebastian Vettel was quickest through every sector.

Vettel’s 1’12.328 beat the best time seen in last year’s first practice by a tenth of a second.

But it remains to be seen how quick the cars will go when they switch to the super-soft tyre – which could have a significant bearing on strategy for the race.

A final note on today’s first practice session: Vitaly Petrov’s crash was reportedly caused by an F-duct problem and not driver error.

CarDriverCarBest lapGapLapAt timeLaps
15Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’12.328137023
26Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’12.8100.482186528
32Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’12.8450.517148224
41Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’13.2670.939107324
511Robert KubicaRenault1’13.3701.042147424
64Nico RosbergMercedes1’13.5161.188177226
79Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’13.5461.21865026
83Michael SchumacherMercedes1’13.6431.31566625
914Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’13.9181.590236326
1022Nick HeidfeldSauber-Ferrari1’14.0001.672113923
1123Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’14.0041.676109122
1210Nico HulkenbergWilliams-Cosworth1’14.1551.827137329
138Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’14.2461.91876119
147Felipe MassaFerrari1’14.2671.939177326
1512Vitaly PetrovRenault1’14.3702.042104622
1615Vitantonio LiuzziForce India-Mercedes1’14.4872.15985226
1717Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’14.6182.290187530
1816Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’14.7342.406185329
1918Jarno TrulliLotus-Cosworth1’15.6033.275176325
2024Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’15.8603.532136920
2119Heikki KovalainenLotus-Cosworth1’16.0573.72996726
2225Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’16.7074.379185328
2320Christian KlienHRT-Cosworth1’16.8394.511154718
2421Bruno SennaHRT-Cosworth1’17.3605.032258930

Ultimate laps

An ultimate lap is a drivers’ best three times in each sector added together.

CarDriverCarUltimate lapGapDeficit to best
15Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’12.1850.143
26Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’12.6280.4430.182
32Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’12.7600.5750.085
41Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’13.0340.8490.233
511Robert KubicaRenault1’13.3471.1620.023
69Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’13.3751.1900.171
74Nico RosbergMercedes1’13.4221.2370.094
83Michael SchumacherMercedes1’13.5511.3660.092
922Nick HeidfeldSauber-Ferrari1’13.8521.6670.148
1014Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’13.9181.7330.000
1123Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’13.9691.7840.035
1210Nico HulkenbergWilliams-Cosworth1’14.0281.8430.127
137Felipe MassaFerrari1’14.0971.9120.170
148Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’14.1131.9280.133
1512Vitaly PetrovRenault1’14.2532.0680.117
1615Vitantonio LiuzziForce India-Mercedes1’14.3442.1590.143
1717Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’14.5802.3950.038
1816Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’14.5962.4110.138
1918Jarno TrulliLotus-Cosworth1’15.3963.2110.207
2024Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’15.8603.6750.000
2119Heikki KovalainenLotus-Cosworth1’15.9533.7680.104
2225Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’16.4834.2980.224
2320Christian KlienHRT-Cosworth1’16.5784.3930.261
2421Bruno SennaHRT-Cosworth1’17.2325.0470.128

2010 Brazilian Grand Prix

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    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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    41 comments on “McLaren half a second off Red Bull”

    1. Ferrari is around 0.3-0.4 off the pace also. If u look at the FP1 results in past races they ware 1.5 sec behind rb, and now is around 1.9 considering that alonso can go faster then this. i think that this track (like all) suite rb the most. but i cant get out of my head that this track when looked at map looks like GP Germany, with one fast section, and one with slow corners.

      1. Wouldn’t those 3 or 4 tenths lost be down to Ferrari using a dying engine?

        1. Younger Hamilton
          5th November 2010, 15:33

          I dont think so the main theme since Singapore that Ferrari has 1 or 2 more tenths than McLaren.Interlagos is tough on engines those so the 3 or 4 tenths Ferrari would originally be behind Red Bull probably extends further

          1. I dont think so the main theme since Singapore that Ferrari has 1 or 2 more tenths than McLaren.

            Therefore RBR’s rivals have not much to worry about. Red Bull will always find new ways to squander that advantage.

        2. Yes, that would make sense and is probably why they have always been slower in the last few races in FP1 & FP2, they then go quicker in FP3 with a fresher engine.

          On five line they were saying the engine power can be down as much as 40% on a very used engine, not sure how true that is.

          1. Davidson said that initially but then corrected himself to 40 HP not percent. Imagine a used engine being down 300 HP !!

          2. He was also talking about the Cosworth.

    2. Younger Hamilton
      5th November 2010, 15:23

      But even so, the Red Bulls were quickest through every sector. Let me correct that: Sebastian Vettel was quickest through every sector.

      Cocky and rude stuff

      1. Younger Hamilton
        5th November 2010, 15:24

        blockquotes wrong

        But even so, the Red Bulls were quickest through every sector. Let me correct that: Sebastian Vettel was quickest through every sector

        Cocky and rude stuff

        1. Not rude when Webber’s ultimate and actual laps are half a second down on Vettel.

    3. Klien faster than Senna, Again.

      1. everyone is faster than him xD

        1. lol, you and your hate for that guy.

          1. I dont hate, I just say what it is :)

        2. Bruno, everyone is faster than you. GTFO.

    4. Look at the difference between senna and klien. I guess singapore wasnt a fluke then. I was hoping it to be.

    5. Younger Hamilton
      5th November 2010, 15:29

      Red Bull look fast as always.Expect them to be fastest in sectors 1 and 2 but McLaren hold the domination in the final sector.Ferrari,like Ed Quoted i reckon are 3 tenths off Red Bull.Im not making any predictions for pole because its too early to say plus im planning to wait for third practice to make a statement anyway great article Keith despite my early comment.Are we expecting option tyres out for 2nd practice

    6. Ferrari kept a low profile in the first session as usual

      Ha they are so clever

      1. No is is because they us older engines,they have always been slower in the last few races in FP1 & FP2, they then go quicker in FP3 with a fresher engine (and trying harder)

        On five live they were saying the engine power can be down as much as 40% on a very used engine, not sure how true that is.

    7. yeesh thats depressing, an McLaren tend to reveal there pace early, not much for the sneakies. Well I hope all this new stuff we keep bringing is going to be damn good next year.

      Ah well, I just about got over this after Japan, now i’ll be a Redbullite, don’t really mind which of their drivers win it now though I’d prefer Mark. Started to think Mark isn’t as nice as he’d like us to think, but still why would he be at this stage, he’s still my hope.

      Still I hold out hope for Lewis doing something amazing, we’ve massivley overdelivered this year helped by Redbull and Ferrari not playing it fantastic in the middle of the season, next year, if we’re properly on the pace, it’ll be our year! ;)

      1. If the MP4-26 is not good enough next season, then Jess and Nicole should appear in Pirelli Calendar ;-)

    8. Why is nobody talking about the engine failure at Ferrari?

      1. Ferrari said it was near the end of its life and just died 2 laps earlier than expected so it isn’t so great a deal. They were planning on changing it anyway. Of course, they would play it down though but I don’t think it’s such a problem.

      2. It was a really old engine they were expecting to give up. They still have their two raceworthy angines available.

        1. In the race is Ferni going to use the same engine he used in FP2?

    9. But we have as usual no clue of fuel loads. Just best guesses from reports on refueling times etc.

      Ferrari might run on full tanks. Mark might ran higher load then Vettel, Kubica might ran on fumes, Alonso might actully ran out of fuel. ;P
      Clearer picture should emerge after FP2 once the two sessions data is looked at. But will really not be telling until after FP3 how Quali could look like.. As usual…

    10. Red Bulls will probably lock out the front row in qualifying but come race pace, I expect McLarens to overtake them, especially if it’s going to rain.

    11. The Brazilian motorsports website “Grande Premio” is reporting that Lotus has signed Bruno Senna for next year. (In portuguese only)

      They report the announcement will only be made after Abu Dhabi. The deal is reportedly counting on the money from Embratel, the brazilian telecom company that was acquired by Telmex in 2006.

      Yes, the same Telmex that is sponsoring Sergio Perez at Sauber next year…

      1. If that’s confirmed, it will mean that once again we’ll see a Senna driving a Lotus car powered by a Renault engine…

    12. Redbull RB7 is going to be more if the same, the RB5 dominated the tail end of 2009, all of 2010 and with no major rule change it should mean the evolution not revolution that is RB7 will be equally quick.

      How can the F2011* or the Mp4-26 compete with the new Redbull because everything they have to give development wise will have gone onto their 2010 challengers now to catch the RBR and it hadn’t worked clearly.

      With all resources in Woking and maranello trying to keep up with the RB6, it just means the Redbull design team have more time than their rivals to develop the RB7 :(

      1. No major rule changes? No Double Deck Diffusers, No F-Duct, No adjustable front wings, Specified F/R weight balance range. Not to mention possible gimmicky videogame adjustable rear wings.

        1. And the return of KERS, which Red Bull have never used.

    13. How did he crash? Was he using the f-duct on a bend?

      1. Regarding Petrov’s crash

    14. This was the same as singapore where redbull was at least One second up on the rest of mclaren and ferrari , and the in Q3 , everyone watched as that advantage vaporised . Here its looking even closer

    15. I believe McLaren is through for the year. They cannot compete with the Red Bulls or the Ferraris in the dry or wet. Jenson is not happy with car, Lewis said he is happy with the car and it’s new floor, but it is just to slow to compete with their main competition. This sounds like a variation on a theme when it comes to this car this year.
      The car is suffering from a terminal illness and McLaren should just let it die in peace.

      1. LOL, just 8 more days and the whole field is obselete anyway. 8)

      2. unfortunately they’re keeping up appearances. the lack of relative improvement brought on by the developments has been thoroughly disappointing

    16. They need a brand new designer who thinks outside the box. Maybe they should look at how LMP1 cars are designed the exhaust system used on those cars are similar to the RB6

    17. Some engines may not last this cercuit. I wonder who’s?

    Comments are closed.