Jerez test times show Red Bull are still ahead

2011 F1 testing

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Jerez, 2011

Reigning champions Red Bull were not fastest on any of the four days of testing at Jerez last week.

But the lap times from long runs during the test indicate the team have held on to their performance advantage over the winter.

Stint times

The following times are taken from day three of last week’s test. On Saturday the track was the warmest, consistently above 30C, and had been run on for two days, giving a good approximation of typical Grand Prix conditions.

Several teams including Red Bull and Ferrari ran long stints of around one-third of a race distance.

Here are the longest runs by the teams that did stints of at least ten laps:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Sebastian Vettel 81.999 89.51 87.721 82.877 82.852 82.892 82.866 82.939 83.048 83.569 82.947 83.226 83.523 83.424 83.45 96.007 84.003 83.902 84.324 85.19
Fernando Alonso 84.939 85.155 85.435 85.646 85.418 85.468 85.543 85.818 85.885 85.873 91.346 86.535 86.248 86.314 86.604 86.702 86.639 88.223 87.423
Michael Schumacher 84.49 84.432 84.696 84.83 85.247 85.292 85.505 85.819 88.795 85.158 85.35 85.682 85.779 86.27 86.712 86.672 87.234 87.728
Kamui Kobayashi 84.997 85.232 85.038 85.566 85.474 85.61 86.123 86.7 88.095 86.421 86.055 86.204 86.467 86.33 86.683 87.469 87.789 87.516
Rubens Barrichello 88.636 87.436 86.696 86.592 86.75 87.194 87.018 87.305 87.163 87.463 87.767
Jerome dAmbrosio 88.593 87.793 87.695 87.921 88.03 88.216 88.133 88.556 88.166 88.056 88.862 88.749 88.548 89.278 89.017 89.534 88.937 88.928 89.604

As we don’t know their fuel loads and what tyre compounds they were using, there’s a limit to the information we can glean from this.

It seems likely Red Bull were running lighter on these stints than their rivals. But even so their tyre management looked strong. On a shorter, 14-lap stint Sebastian Vettel’s times slowed by just 1.5 seconds.

Tyre performance started to drop off for all the cars around lap ten of their stint. The loss of performance was more severe for Sauber and Mercedes than Red Bull.

Ferrari also seemed to look after their tyres as well, given their likely heavier fuel load.

These teams had all run their cars in Valencia and were at a more advanced stage of testing their cars than McLaren with their MP4-26. Lewis Hamilton never did more than five consecutive laps all day, so it’s too soon to draw conclusions on the pace of that car.

Renault, too, did not do any long runs as Nick Heidfeld tested with them on Saturday.

Testing mileage

With seven of the 15 allotted days of pre-season testing completed, Ferrari have covered the most ground so far.

This table does not include laps done in separate ‘filming’ days, which many of the teams including Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Sauber and Lotus have all done.

HRT are the only team not to have run their new car so far.

Model Total laps Total distance (km)
Ferrari F150th Italia 774 3295.719
Red Bull RB7 652 2777.922
Mercedes W02 542 2313.684
Sauber C30 534 2274.03
Toro Rosso STR6 530 2260.971
Renault R31 521 2202.93
Williams FW33 511 2153.574
Force India VJM04 359 1549.467
McLaren MP4-25 291 1165.455
Lotus T128 252 1093.014
McLaren MP4-26 233 1031.724
Virgin MVR-02 216 956.448
Force India VJM03 210 841.05
HRT F110 188 752.94
Virgin VR-01 185 740.925

2011 F1 testing

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    Image © Pirelli

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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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    73 comments on “Jerez test times show Red Bull are still ahead”

    1. hmm will HRT ever run their new car?

      1. if they ever build it, maybe ;)

        1. I think they’re still waiting for Ikea to deliver some parts, and those guys cost a fortune to deliver goods.

          1. Ingemar for the second race seat?

          2. Then once they get the thing together they’ll probably find a couple screws missing!

            1. Yup back to normal… A couple of weeks ago all HRT were getting was praise. (Thank you sir livery.)

              To be honest, I personally think people should take it easy on them.

      2. At least they have last years car to fall back on.

        1. But no lack of 107% rule to fall back on.

          1. I’m curious whether or not they would get penalized in last year’s car this year. They looked ok in some testing results considering the removal of F-duct and double diffuser.

            1. As long as the car fits this years regs they can run it I think. Teams used to do this regularly only bringing the new car to the track at the start of the European season, I can’t remember any regs being passed to stop this….

      3. Yes, they are planning to test at Bahrain. They did state that at the start of the testing to be fair.

      4. You guys are being mean. lol

        They are trying, and they know that the 107 rule ( sorry if I got that number wrong) means that they have to perform or its over.

        We may not even see them come Bahrain, but they won’t have long to get up to speed.

      5. they said it will be released in bahrain but due to recent evets i think it will be only when the season will start. maybe australia, will see

    2. I was wondering about those slow laps during most of the longer stints.

      Most cars seemed to have something like that (Kobayashi and Schu in their 9th lap, Alonso in his 11th) where the times seemed to get a bit better and stabalize after this.
      Do you think this was done on purpose, to mend the tyres, or just coincidence interacting with other cars on track?

      1. I think the answer is simple – the driver just slowed down deliberately, just to talk to the radio with the team. However, if there’s such a spike or drop, whatever you going to call it, in tires’ performance, that would make a lot of people angry. I just imagine Massa’s engineer cursing in the paddock.

    3. Just a little correction: it says “were not have been” ;)

      I am quite pleased by the results of this analysis. Go RBR.

      1. …were not…
        …have not been…

        Both are acceptable, but they don’t work together. :P

      2. I think he meant to write:

        ‘Reigning champions Red Bull may not have been fastest on any of the four days of testing at Jerez last week.’

    4. Remarkable consistency from Vettel on laps 4 to 7…

      1. The differences between all 4 lap times were within 4 hundredths of a second. WOW!

    5. I wonder where McLaren are on this list. They had little running time with the MP4-26 as they were trying different exhaust systems etc. I hope they have not built another MP4-24!! I’m looking for many more laps from them at this weekends test (Test #3)

      Never mind, only 21 days to the real thing. Even that is under threat with rioting!

      1. haven’t any of you read the news about the mcclaren??
        I read that the team, the engineers and the drivers don’t have the slightest idea about how to understand or develop a set up for that car. Seems he made a huge mistake build in it. I wonder if they lready are working on a b version!

        1. Got a link?

          I remember people saying the same thing about the F10 this time last year and that did pretty well in the first race.

    6. It’s a bit early to be predicting anything surely? HRT doesn’t have their new car out. McLaren has only just started shaking their car down and the others are at different stages of development.

      I’m holding back on this unless someone starts doing a McLaren MP4-24 with the 23’s rear wing on it.

      1. I’ll get realy worried if they slap that ‘green paint’ on it like they did on the 24.

        1. All the teams have been doing that so far. McLaren interestingly have been slapping it on the various diffusors they’ve been trying.

        2. Lots of the teams use flow vis – I remember seeing it on the Red Bull and Virgin at Jerez.

          1. And we saw it at your pictures on the Ferrari, Renault and Williams as well.

        3. Flow viz isn’t a bad sign anymore- these test dates are like gold for the teams, extremely valuable – flow viz is just another way to obtain data.

        4. So what does that say about last years Red Bull ;-) They slapped green paint on that for any number of practice sessions.

          Its another tool that all the teams use, yes McLaren did it out of desperation with the 24 but they and the other teams tried it and it gives useful data. Anyway here is hoping the 26 is a great car.

    7. I hope ferrari can with both title this year.

      1. Were hrt not doing that filming day for pirelli at monza? Or is that the 2010 car?

    8. compiled a spreadsheet on testing, but the figures i get differ from yours kieth on most but not all figures!

      My stats
      Lap data taken from tsl-timing

      Total 5998 laps
      for total distance, using Valencia = 4.005km, Jerez = 4.428km

      Model Total laps Total distance (km)
      Ferrari F150th Italia -749- 3195.594
      Red Bull RB7 -653- 2782.350-
      Mercedes W02 -541- 2309.679
      Sauber C30 -534- 2274.030-
      Toro Rosso STR6 -530- 2260.971-
      Renault R31 -744- 2131.263-
      Williams FW33 -512- 2158.002-
      Force India VJM04 -264- 1168.992-
      McLaren MP4-25 -279- 1117.395-
      Lotus T128 -251- 1089.009-
      McLaren MP4-26 -233- 1031.724-
      Virgin MVR-02 -215- 952.020-
      Force India VJM03 -327- 1309.635-
      HRT F110 -188- 752.940-
      Virgin VR-01 -219- 877.095-

      1. Does this include in laps and out laps?

      2. Hi CC – yes I had made a mistake in one of the columns, thanks for pointing that out. Have fixed the table now.

        1. What about the English in the first sentence?

          Reigning champions Red Bull were not have been fastest on any of the four days of testing at Jerez last week.

      3. slight mistake in above, Renault should read 503 laps / 2131.263 km

        Kieth, can i ask where do you get the data for number of laps each drivers completes… differ by l lap on some teams, but for the following teams, a larger gap in laps completed…

        Ferrari 774 vs 749 laps
        Renault 521 vs 503
        Force india VJM04 359 vs 264 (Jerez)
        McLaren Mp4-25 291 vs 279 (Valencia)
        Force india VJM03 210 vs 327 (Valencia)
        Virgin VR01 185 vs 219 (Valencia)

        Yes, includes out / in laps, it is the teams total laps completed on the 7 days of testing this year…

        1. checked the relevant teams laps completed against mclaren (where available) and Mercedes end of day test reports for Valencia and Jerez, and my figures agreed with the teams figures…!

    9. The title is a bit overly definitive isn’t it?

      I know the article says that obviously one cannot take much for granted from test times, but why make the title so black and white then?

      1. Sure enough a title such as ‘there is a reason to assume Red Bull might still have a (significant?) advantage over its competition based on inconclusive data based on variable stint lengths, unknown weight and unknown tyre choices’ might be more accurate considering the contents.

        But that’s basically an article. :)

        The publicly available data is limited, looking at average times of longer runs is the best gauge to go by and does show a clear trend towards the Red Bull being quicker. It the clearest prediction one can make from the data as it is the most isolated trend of the lot. Sure it’s still speculative and we’ll have to ‘wait until Bahrain’ to see it, but where’s the fun in that. :D

        1. So the title should be “Jerez test times show no conclusive leaders”.

          The only thing the laptimes show is a rate of degradation. Without knowing the used compounds and fuel loads, even that is meaningless.

          The laptimes can vary by massively this year based on fuel load (up to 6s), tyres (easily up to 5s), KERS use (half a second) and DSR use (another half second)

          Add all that up and there could be a 12s variation between a “Q3 lap” and a slow race lap.

          1. I don’t actually disagree with you as much as it seems. This site generally seems to have an educated enough audience to get the bias out of the title by stating this preliminary conclusion is derived from test data.

            ‘Red Bull still the fastest team’ as opposed to ‘Test data shows Red Bull to be the fastest team’, the test data part would imply it to be speculative, but that may be just me.

            But, although I disagree with your title suggestion, I have to agree the title could be improved by wording it slightly more definitive.

          2. No, the test times do show that Red Bull may have an advantage, even though as the article says its unknown how much you can trust those times. But there is a trend. So to write a title like yours would be misleading IMO.

            1. The point is, even something as simple as 20 extra laps worth of fuel already explains the difference away. It ads 2 about seconds to the time and increases the tyre degradation.

              Anyway, I didn’t intend this as some crusade against the title. Indeed Keith does try to keep his titles really honest.

              It’s just that people seem to put way to much importance on testing lap times.

              Apparently it even goes so far that people accuse Williams of cheating and running an underweight car to get on top of the chart.

              I guess I hold Keith to an even higher standard since he sets the bar so high himself :)

              You have to admit that Keith using bold titles like this is out of character a little.

      2. The url ends in ‘jerez-stint-times-indicate-red-bull-have-not-lost-their-edge/’ which we can assume once was/going to be the title. I agree this would be less ‘definitive’.

    10. NOOOO! If they are too quick its gonna be boring :/

      1. Not if they screw up so much like last year ;)

        1. I dont think Seb is gonna screw up as much as he did last year. So if Red Bull are dominating, it could be a very boring season.

          1. People said Seb wouldn’t screw up as much in 2009 as he did in 2008. Yet he did.

            Then they assumed that he wouldn’t screw up so much in 2010 as he did in 2009. Yet, again he did.

            It’s not just Seb either. The team failing to fasten some screws leading to his DNF in Australia, bad strategy calls (Canada as the prime example) etc etc etc, shows the team still keeps making a lot of mistakes.

    11. Early days yet. Being quick at Jerez is pointless, better to get your systems reliable and go for representative times at a track that forms part of the calendar.

      Barcelona will start to reveal the truth about the form of each team. I think we will have 5 teams all within grasp of each other so errors will be punished severely this season.

      Add to that a very strong Mid Field contingent and the top teams will definitely have to pray that their strategies are good and their drivers don’t bin it.

      Then by the time the final few hours of testing are under way at Bahrain, the gloves will be off and everyone will be doing performance tests with their definitive spec cars.

      Reading into performance now is ill advised and sensationalist.

    12. Keith:

      “Reigning champions Red Bull were not have been fastest”

      …erm, what?

    13. Fuel loads, early days and all granted, but that Sauber isn’t looking horrendously shabby. Kamui might be able to do something more this season.

    14. Oh no. Not more Red Bull potential domination. Ban Adrian Newey! :D

    15. bleeps_and_tweaks
      16th February 2011, 16:36

      Great article. I’m really looking forward to see this kind of analysis from Barcelona, particularly with Mclaren having so few miles on the MP4-26 at the moment. Hopefully we’ll get some good warm weather and long stints to compare, as these are really the only useful benchmarks, but then again at Jerez last year RBR were about 1.5 seconds slower than Button in the MP4-25…and look what happened after that!

    16. As a McLaren fan, I see them very close to RBR. If you watched the live data, you will see they were most of the time close to each other by less than a 1/10th and with all 4driver too.

      So, I assume they were running the same programme. The deviation changes only towards the end of the session.

      My hope is that since the MP4-26 has the same Pullrod as the RB7 and most of RB’s advantages of last year having been neutralized, I really hope we shall see the true position or thereabouts of the teams now at Barcelona :)

    17. What’s interesting to me, is that Sauber looks faster in that graph than Williams. So either Sauber were running less fuel on their long run, or all Williams’ innovation has been for naught/got lost in unreliability. Which would be a shame. It would be nifty if Sauber could mix it with Mercedes/FI/Renault though.

    18. a bit off subject. but Nick had been confirmed as Kubica’s replacement :)

    19. Alonso
      25.0, 25.0, 25.0, 25.2, 24.9, 25.6, 25.7, 25.7, 25.8, 26.0, 26.0, 26.1, 26.1, 26.5, 26.6, 26.8, 27.7, 27.2, 27.7

      24.5, 24.9, 24.9, 25.0, 24.9, 25.1, 25.3, 25.7, 25.7, 25.3, 25.5, 25.5, 25.7, 25.8, 25.8, 26.0, 28.6, 28.5, 29.7

      From day 4 it’s clear from these times (as is reasonable without knowing tyres, fuel etc) that Button was quicker than Alonso by upto 0.8 seconds on all but the last 3 laps before he pitted. Also, reading the data it’s difficult to conclude if this drop off before the end of the stint is due to wear or an on track incident.


      1. I should add that as with Vettel, Buttons times also dropped by just 1.5 seconds over the 16 laps before the big drop at the end.

        Alonso’s was almost half a second more.

      2. Yes it is clear, but what is your point? Discounting a track incident for BUT, ALO has 3 laps longer in his tyres than BUT after 16 laps, not taking into account whether the F150 was heavier or not… and if you remember Monza see what happens by pitting just one lap earlier…

        1. PS: those two stints you just randomly selected off the interwebs were done in both cases with BRAND new tires?

        2. Yes it is clear, but what is your point?

          Is this a serious question or a joke? The point is Button’s stint was just as quick as Vettel’s in the above titled article ‘Jerez test times show Red Bull are still ahead’

          If you look at the lost time in each stint it appears Button has gained 6.4 seconds over Alonso during those 16 lap runs.

          Yes the fuel and tyres are unknowns at this point.

          Looking at the rate of degradation it would be much more apparent if the tyres were not brand new and had already completed prior stints.

          1. Or rather Button’s performance relative to tyre wear was comparable to Vettel’s.

      3. Actually alonso was on old tyre. Acc. To him he did 40 laps with the same sets. So i think it was more impressive than button’s stint. Assuming button was on a newer set and comparative fuel load

    20. I think the total distance figures are interesting. There does not seem to be any disagreement about how important and useful this testing is, so the only reasons a team wouldn’t test as much as possible is that they are having problems or perhaps have some sort of budgetary issue?

      Another way to say that is that if a team is testing lots of miles, they are getting lots of data, lots of experience, having few problems, and have good preparation. A very strong position from which to enter the season.

      1. It certainly speaks of reliability for Ferrari.

    21. Keith Collantine can you tell the pecking order of all teams based one the tests

    22. just to be annoying and correct you, williams have yet to do a filming day ;)

      would like to see if and what corners red bull were activating their rear wing around Jerez… in doing so possibly getting a nice insight into how confident they are about their downforce levels

    23. I love how tight Mercedes, Ferrari, and Sauber look. It that holds true it will be really interesting.

    24. lets wait until bahrain to see who is fastest, cuz this article contradicts itself…”redbull have the fastest car on long runs, but we dont know the fuel loads of other teams”

      1. Redbull had fastest car two years ago if wasn’t for Brawns double diffuser, they had fastest car last year, I would say theres a very good chance they were not running lighter than rest.

    25. So looks like Red Bull have created another monster. If hadn’t reliability problems last year would have been easy for them so hope them problems continue this year for everyone else’s sake.

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