Vettel on top again in Barcelona test

2011 F1 testing

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2011

Sebastian Vettel was the fastest driver for the second day running in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Vettel’s best time of 1’23.315 was over a second faster than his best time from yesterday.

Jaime Alguersuari was second-fastest for Toro Rosso ahead of Fernando Alonso.

Rubens Barrichello and Nick Heidfeld moved up to fourth and fifth-fastest with improvements in the last few minutes of the session.

Ricardo Teixeira was given a chance to drive the Lotus T128, taking over the car from Heikki Kovalainen during the day. Kovalainen was delayed by another water leak on the car earlier in the test.

Another face in unfamiliar surroundings was Vitantonio Liuzzi, who drove the HRT for the first time.

Fernando Alonso caused the first of the day’s stoppages when his Ferrari came to a halt at turn four with an electrical problem. He was delayed by a further unspecified technical problem later in the day.

The session was stopped again later due to a problem with a kerb on the track. A third stoppage occured when Paul di Resta’s Force India went into the gravel at turn one.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault RB71’23.315104
2Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari STR61’23.519970.204
3Fernando AlonsoFerrari F150th Italia1’23.978900.663
4Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth FW331’24.0081180.693
5Nick HeidfeldRenault R311’24.242410.927
6Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari C301’24.2431250.928
7Nico RosbergMercedes W021’24.7301311.415
8Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-261’24.923541.608
9Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes VJM041’25.194801.879
10Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault T1281’26.421583.106
11Vitaly PetrovRenault R311’26.884613.569
12Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth F1101’27.044703.729
13Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth MVR-021’27.242663.927
14Ricardo TeixeiraLotus-Renault T1281’31.584268.269

2011 F1 testing

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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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    94 comments on “Vettel on top again in Barcelona test”

    1. I’m starting to worry about McLaren Slightly, we seen no pace at all, i hope they are hiding it and Lewis cannot contain it tomorrow!

      1. If the car has more fuel onboard than other cars, then you will not see “pace” in the car. Hamilton may do low fuel runs in the next couple of days that may put him at the top of the time sheets. But that’s not what testing is about at the moment.

        1. I understand that but I still have my doubts, fingers crossed for them, we dont want to see another 24!

          1. None of the teams will be doing out-and-out qualifying runs at the moment. They will be concentrating on set-up and tyre evaluation.

            Seeing Hamilton doing a 1.22 doesn’t mean that McLaren have a fast car.

            1. None of the teams will be doing out-and-out qualifying runs at the moment.

              Yes, so one could argue that makes it even more worrying. If you are a Mclaren fan I suppose you want to see them up the top end of the time sheets without trying but that just doesn’t happen these days.
              Maybe the flawed thinking is they top 3 days testing last year and had the 3rd best car…. they have not topped any test day so far this year so the most be worse than last year.

            2. No exactly I think the fact we see a Torro Rosso in second place proves these lap times are absolute nonsense.

            3. wasnt really 3rd best was it? up til germany time they were nocking on the door of red bull and were well ahead of ferarri.

              they lost their way with accidents in practice with new upgrades….so they couldnt test them. germany and suzuka spring to mind

              really over the course of the season was comfortably 2nd best car out there.

            4. 3rd Macca….Yes it was.
              Ferrari won the first race remember (after the Bull problems) and then was unlucky in the next three races (taken out, bad strat etc.)

            5. He said he was worried… He’s allowed to be worried isn’t he?

              I kinda am two, the Mclaren has had as much running. I suspect the start of the season maybe slow for them.

              I respect them so much for doing something different.

        2. Younger Hamilton
          19th February 2011, 19:55

          Exactly i learned that last year,Anything is Possible.I hope thats what Lewis does.Remember McLaren run strict and tight Programmes at Testing so you never really know the car’s true pace.By the Looks of it i think McLaren and Red Bull are identically matched on long Run Pace although lately they have been suffering reliability issues still i hope for the best in the next two days.

          GOD BLESS MCLAREN!!!

      2. McLaren is having trouble enough with their reliability. Why would they waste laps on setting fastest times?

        I’ll bet they aren’t even running with their final aero package yet.

        1. It seems that some don’t get what ‘testing’ is. :)

          1. You guys make me laugh, like we all dont know what testing is about, im just saying that I am a little concerned, it didnt say anything about anyone else having to worry, its only an opinion, jeez!!

            1. Yeap, and that is fair enough, understand. You’d feel better if they topped the times sheets (or where higher up) but you’d know that it wouldn’t mean alot.

            2. I totaly agree with you and I voiced my concernes yesterday about the lack of pace in the McLaren. I hope Lewis pops one in just like Vettel, he was working away at normal pace, then poped a few quick laps in showing us that they have the pace. I was impressed today with the Williams, Rubins poped a very fast lap in and went on to do a long run on the same stint.

        2. Actually I’m thinking Button was starting a race simulation. I’ve made a graph comparing his two stints with Rosberg’s and Vettel’s race simulation.

          Button’s lap times are faster (of course that could be due to fuel)

          1. Yes I suppose that’s quite promising despite the fact we dont know what fuel they are on. What I find interesting is you can see the correlation between the track rubbering in and the laptimes in the pattern of the graph.

            1. I think it’s more the effect of the fuel burning off.

              Pirelli said that the tyres didn’t last longer when the track was rubbered in. Which is odd since you’d expect them too last longer.

          2. bleeps_and_tweaks
            19th February 2011, 20:21

            That is actually a very interesting comparison, good stuff. I’m a bit more concerned about the lack of miles, I don’t think Lewis will be doing full race simulations, but I would hope for +90 laps tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere today on the live updates that Vettel did do some qualifying runs, as well as the long stints, so that might be closer to their pace.

          3. Awesome work. :)

      3. I would be more concerned with their lack of track time. They seem to be sitting in the box a lot.

      4. keep dreaming. They are looking for solutions to some problems “for sure”.

      5. @Ezwards

        Jenson himself says not to panic since all the upgrades haven’t been added yet.

        1. That’s not going to help them make the car more reliable though.

        2. Nico WDC???? lol . Maybe petrov can luckily the jackpot than Britney hehehe

          1. * hit the jackpot I mean* :) He can never be a champion with strong people around… It must be a dream IMO.

            1. Nico WDC???? lol […] IMO

              One must do a huge effort to not see Nico’s potential.

    2. Pole time for Barcelona last season was below 1.20.

      Rosberg and Vettel did full tank race simulations today, so a proper analysis of those would probably be more enlightening as to who is in what sort of shape at the moment.

      Ferrari, William’s and McLaren also did some shorter runs worthy of comparison.

    3. looks like Red Bull, Ferrari are going to be pretty competitive at the top, Williams is showing some promise but too early to draw any conclusion about them. McLaren is still not getting it’s act together. Renault seems to have too many issues specially when Petrov is on duty. Sauber, Toro Rosso & Lotus look pretty ok in the middle. FI is prolly not looking so good… still early days though. Mercedes pace is also not very promising, but they will have some key updates coming in a few weeks.

      BTW Thanks Keith for the timely updates!!

      1. I thought that Rosberg’s race simulation wasn’t too far away from Red Bull’s?

        Button did a run that was quicker than Barrichello’s over a similar distance.

        1. Looks like Rosberg was on average about a second a lap slower.

          If you add up Vettel’s 48 laptimes and take Rosbergs fastest 48 laps then Vettel is a minute faster.

          Pretty much the same as last season I guess.

          1. But then you would have to assume that they were running the same tyre at each stop. You also have to take into account that track temperature wasn’t too high today.

            1. If they were running a race simulation, you’d expect them to use several tyres over the whole distance. Doesn’t matter which ones they were using when. They just need to cover the whole distance.

              Obviously there are plnety of variables that make this comparison unreliable, but they were the only ones to do a proper full race simulation today.

    4. It’s good to see Rubens in fourth with the Cosworth name in there. Sebastien is where he belongs.

      1. But they were low fuel times, which were over three seconds slower than last seasons pole postion time at Barcelona.

        1. Seb commented yesterday that he was suprised at how much the new regs had slowed the cars. However last year Barcelona pole was set early season with upgrades. By the time we get to Barcelona this season I would bet that the times will be there abouts the same as last season. Remember there is always significant aero packages introduced here.

    5. If I remember correctly, Red Bull did a similar tactic to McLaren last year, not showing their true pace, neither doing many laps, but it is a little concerning with the fact Button only managed another handful of laps, while the Red Bulls and Ferraris are lapping nearly double the amount and a number of seconds quicker…

      1. Maybe you are seeing it from the wrong way, maybe if they do so many laps, is because they have more issues to resolve.
        Is a possibility that Mclaren is pretty confident with their car so they don’t have to do so many laps, just a few to solve minor tweaks.

        Or… maybe I’m being extremely optimistic

        1. Maybe they’re not doing enough laps to run into the REAL issues…

    6. Di Resta has been worryingly prone to spinning off in testing so far.

      1. He’s a rookie finding the limits. :)

        1. And I guess it is a lot to do with the KERS. It made all Ferrari driver strugle in 2009 and Petrov had trouble getting the right brake balance in as well.

    7. Here are some run times from today. Look at the difference between the first lap time and the last lap time for each run. From that you may get a truer reading of what each car can do.

      24.4, 25.2, 25.8, 26.2, 28.2, 27.6, 27.0, 27.4, 27.6, 27.9, 28.4, 28.8

      29.4, 28.8, 28.8, 29.4, 29.8, 29.7, 29.8, 30.1, 30.8, 31.0, 31.7, 31.7

      29.6, 29.4, 30.5, 31.0, 30.1, 30.7, 30.9, 31.3, 31.5, 32.2, 32.0, 32.5

      1. But then Alonso would probably have been doing that stint on supersofts. While Button and Barrichello were probably using something harder.

        That’s alot of probably’s :)

        1. That’s what testing is..a lot of probably’s. :)

        2. That would mean Button in the McLaren manages the tyres a bit better than Vettel in the Red Bull.
          And the super sofst have a degradation of 4-5 seconds over a 13 lap run, while the harder compound (hard? or softs?) only about 2-3 seconds.

          1. Guess you mean Barrichello instead of Vettel?

    8. Toro Rosso has twice been quick which is surprising to me. I think mac is having problems because they are relatively slow and doing few laps. Something is wrong in their garage. Ferrari seem to be sure of their pace and working on their long runs and consistency. Red Bull again seem ominously quick. For me Merc and Mac are having issues with pace and are behind the top two!?

      1. McLaren had some hydraulic problems today. But they did do some competitive runs along with Mercedes that tells me that they are both in there with the rest of them.

      2. Yeah Torro Rosso are up there!! Loving it it :)

    9. I dont think we are in for many suprises this year – Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari up front – Renault, Mercedes Williams fighting – And Toro Rosso, Sauber, Force India and Lotus at the back – Oh, and HRT if they show up.

    10. hey Keith, how many laps did they complete today??

      1. Only just got that data, added it to the table now.

        1. But, as usual, it doesn’t tell you much. :)

          1. Except that this is the first time Fernando’s not done 100 laps in a session :D

          2. It tells you how many laps they completed.

    11. I’ve a bad feeling Redbull are going to be untouchable this year.

      1. We all do…. but early days.

      2. In qualifying, it seems like they do, but their race pace doesn’t seem too untouchable.

        We need to wait until Massa and Hamilton do a full race simulation tomorrow (weather-dependant) or Monday.

    12. I just hope that the top teams are much closer this year, but I’m guessing redbull will be comfortably the quickest again

      1. Sorry, mate, but I’ve been the Damon of this forum for 3 years now.
        Can you change your nickname, please?

    13. I’m looking forward on some analysis of Vettel’s race simulation. Too bad it was interrupted by a red flag and then the car had some trouble.

      1. I made a graph comparing Rosberg and Vettel’s simulation. With Button’s first two stints (of what looked like the start of a race simulation) thrown in also:

    14. New teams still look too slow. Hopefully it is not representative of their real speed.

      1. Was going to mention this exact point. The new teams don’t look like they have made an impression at all. Bad news to be honest.

        1. Did you really expect them to be in the midfield?

          Anyway, Heikki has said the Lotus is better, and I’m willing to take his word for it.

    15. I am quite surprised with the pace of the Mclaren, but its just testing so anything can change. It would be quite interesting to see two world champions in the middle of the pack if the car was just average.

      I will admit I dont really like the fact that redbull are dominant so far. I would really like to see how Vettel does in a so-so car and having to battle his way through the pack.

      1. That was the case in 09 but worse

        1. i think FI also not using their Frontwings as the Mclaren are hiding they are both using the older versions of wings

    16. Let’s not get ahead of overselves people, testing is far from race pace and all teams are at different stages of testing.

    17. I don’t think the mclaren lacks pace ,I’m worried that they don’t drive enough laps they really need to drive much more ,remember they are already behind cause they didn’t had their 2011 car ready for the first test THEY ONLY DROVE 362 LAPS INTOTAL WITH THEIR 2011 CAR!!! come one drive more laps!! they are screwd if the bahrain test won’t be replaced

      1. My problem with mclaren is why are they still testing using the 2010 frontwing at this time when we are almost more than halfway through the tests?
        some people are worried that this could be another dog of a car.
        they should have reduced the overall lenth of this chasis instead of increasing it..especially when you compare that last years car was slow in coners due to a long chasis, in comparison to the redbulls and ferraris … this is where they are loosing i believe.
        The redbull ia said to be able to use the moverble wing in other places on the track other than only the straits to increase the speed.we wonder if this is a loophole that FIA have not looked at because the moverble rear wing was meant for use during overtaking only within a specified period on the track and time.

        1. They can only use it at will in practice and qualifying. During races it will only be available to them after the first 2 laps, in designated areas (i.e. the last 600 meters of the main straight), and within 1 second of the car in front. As for qualifying though, if the Red Bull has so much downforce that they can afford to run the DRS in places that other teams can’t afford to, then that will probably give them an advantage in qualifying.

    18. And what a difference a day makes … the fastest laps of nine (9) cars today beat Alonso’s 2nd place time of yesterday – including Button’s f’lap today. And six (6) cars today beat Vettel’s 1st place time of yesterday.

      It’s testing.

      1. Just remember the old adage
        In other words Red Bull cannot win all the races by themselves,they are just one team in a pack.
        They won’t get their own way once all the others have their updates,I feel sure that Schumacher and Alonso will spoil some of their fun this year as the latter is back to his old form.

        1. Meant to say that Schumacher was back to his old form.Alonso IS on form.

          1. What makes you think schumacer is on form? Last year he was doing well in testing and we all know what he was like in the championship

            1. Well if you can’t work that one out,sheeeeeeesh!

        2. And the track was only drying from a night time shower yesterday. Defenitely more rubbered in which is good for at least a second per lap, probalby higher temperatures adding a bit of speed as well.

        3. What like the same as lastyear? He was good in testing but he was the worse driver on the grid when it counted

    19. 131 laps for rosberg nice, glad they have the reliability fix. I am not too big on lap records during a test as everyone will be doing some structured test and we will never know what fuel levels were in the cars during those stints

      1. for me it defeats the purpose when mclaren launched the 2011 car late like a third rate team only to discover they have serious issues due to reliability…and it seems they will be playing catch up from now on until the rest of the season….Iam biginning to doubt the wisdom of the team in this area …that for two consecutive seasons they are unable to find out why redbull is still the fastest car on the grid even in testing…

    20. I can’t believe McLaren despite their radical approach and resources are going to be beaten once again by Red Bull and a couple of other teams. Tests are very important and despite what we’re saying they’ve always revealed the true picture of any season. All the cars that have ever dominated a championship were quick in winter testing, and no car that was way off the pace ever did miracles by hiding things and revealing it all on the first race. This simply doesn’t exist. You’re either quick or you’re not. Since the other teams, like mclaren have not yet revealed their Bahrain package which is going to be even faster anyway, I see mclaren have a difficult season. I’m just wondering where are mcalren again losing so much time and why, since 2009, mclaren can’t understand the aerodynamic requirements anymore and build a fast car.

      1. they should get adrian newy yo work for them and pay him mega bucks….did he work for them before?

        1. did he work for them before?

          He worked and failed epically. Wasted his time over there at woking designing cars that eventually wouldn’t even race.

          mclaren have been going down hill since 1992.

          I think mclaren need to poach Nikolas tombazis back from Ferrari, and Peter Prodromou from RB. As Prodromou is the real talent behind the RBs amazing aerodynamics as he was with Mclaren when he was with them.

          1. Don’t underestimate McLarens position from the early tests, I can’t see a legitmate reason for running the 2010 front set up other than a poorly veiled attempt at concealing a trick. There is no way they are sitting on this design without holding something in their hand they are unwilling to show at this time. Personally I think these tests are more about understanding the new tyres than genuine pace. The teams have very good understanding from the CFD data abut aero, i think these tests have been used to understand the physical data from the tyres which will pove crucial. I think pace will show in the final test, wether it be bharain or staying in spain.

        2. Yup he did from 98-06, then off to red bull

          1. Yeah it’s amazing that McLaren only got back into championship contention just after Newey left them.

            1. so what makes the redbull so radically fast?what is the secret? and yet they claim that the renault power plant they use is less powerfull than the mercedes or ferrari engines…
              some one needs to get to the bottom of cannot be only aero dynamics and downforce…or is it the driver?

            2. Horsepower doesn’t say everything. Only on high speed tracks like Monza will it make some difference. Torque, driveability and fuel effiency might actually make the Renault engine quicker around other tracks.

              Hamilton remarked that the Red Bull had twice the downforce of his car. He might have been exaggerating, but they obviously go faster through corners (high speed). That would obviously help a lot in reducing laptime.

              For this season we are yet to see who has the fastest car. Seeing how Button and Alonso didn’t really put in a proper qualifying lap and Vettel did, it’s impossible to compare the laptimes.

    21. All the tests so far indicate that the redbull is in a class of its own. and we are sure that vetel and weber will be dificult to to beat and this time around i suspect vetel will win six races in a row before anyone figures how to stop him.

    22. in barca .. Heading to the paddock tomorrow with red bull .. Let’s see how the day goes

    23. Don’t forget McLaren won the 98 and 99 titles with Hakkinen, finished 2-3 in 2000 and then Kimi so nearly won the title in 2003 and 2005. It wasn’t that their cars weren’t quick, just mainly unreliable… So it was amazing that Hamilton went nearly 3 full seasons without a single mechanical retirement!

      Oh and Newey left McLaren at the end of 2005 but didn’t have enough time to influence Red Bulls 2006 car.

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