Final sector key to Red Bull’s advantage

Australian GP qualifying analysis

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Mark Webber, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011

Qualifying showed Red Bull have found a huge performance advantage over their rivals in the final sector of the lap at Melbourne.

But Mark Webber was not able to find the same size of advantage as team mate Sebastian Vettel.

The final sector begins with the high speed turns 11 and 12 – exactly the kind of corners that Red Bull thrived on last year.

Neither of their drivers used KERS during their lap. When asked about it Vettel joked that he “couldn’t find the button”. They were ranked 17th and 18th through the speed trap with only the HRTs, Virgins and Lotuses behind them.

There are now rumours the team have a special, smaller KERS, designed only to be used at the start of a race, which allows them to package their car more tightly at the rear and generate more downforce.

Qualifying times in full

  • Sebastien Buemi put Toro Rosso in Q3 for the first time since 2009 but he didn’t have any new soft tyres left, which is why his Q3 lap was slower.
  • He was aided by Rubens Barrichello and Adrian Sutil losing time with spins

Q2 (vs Q1)

Q3 (vs Q2)
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’25.2961’24.090 (-1.206)1’23.529 (-0.561)
2Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’25.3841’24.595 (-0.789)1’24.307 (-0.288)
3Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’25.9001’24.658 (-1.242)1’24.395 (-0.263)
4Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’25.8861’24.957 (-0.929)1’24.779 (-0.178)
5Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’25.7071’25.242 (-0.465)1’24.974 (-0.268)
6Vitaly PetrovRenault1’25.5431’25.582 (+0.039)1’25.247 (-0.335)
7Nico RosbergMercedes1’25.8561’25.606 (-0.250)1’25.421 (-0.185)
8Felipe MassaFerrari1’26.0311’25.611 (-0.420)1’25.599 (-0.012)
9Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’25.7171’25.405 (-0.312)1’25.626 (+0.221)
10Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’26.2321’25.882 (-0.350)1’27.066 (+1.184)
11Michael SchumacherMercedes1’25.9621’25.971 (+0.009)
12Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’26.6201’26.103 (-0.517)
13Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’25.8121’26.108 (+0.296)
14Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’27.2221’26.739 (-0.483)
15Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’26.2981’26.768 (+0.470)
16Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’26.2451’31.407 (+5.162)
17Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’26.270
18Nick HeidfeldRenault1’27.239
19Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’29.254
20Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’29.342
21Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’29.858
22Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’30.822
23Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’32.978
24Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’34.293

Driver comparisons

Compare the best times of each drivers in the last of part of qualifying in which they both set a time.

  • Sebastian Vettel had a particularly large margin over Mark Webber, who said he was “mystified” by the gap.
  • The extent of Nick Heidfeld’s problems in Q1 are clear from his 1.6s deficit to team mate Vitaly Petrov
TeamDriverLap timeGapLap timeDriverRound
Red BullSebastian Vettel1’23.529-0.8661’24.395Mark WebberQ3
McLarenLewis Hamilton1’24.307-0.4721’24.779Jenson ButtonQ3
FerrariFernando Alonso1’24.974-0.6251’25.599Felipe MassaQ3
MercedesMichael Schumacher1’25.971+0.3651’25.606Nico RosbergQ2
RenaultNick Heidfeld1’27.239+1.6961’25.543Vitaly PetrovQ1
WilliamsRubens Barrichello1’26.270-0.0281’26.298Pastor MaldonadoQ1
Force IndiaAdrian Sutil1’31.407+4.6681’26.739Paul di RestaQ2
SauberKamui Kobayashi1’25.405-0.7031’26.108Sergio PerezQ2
Toro RossoSebastien Buemi1’25.882-0.2211’26.103Jaime AlguersuariQ2
LotusHeikki Kovalainen1’29.254-0.0881’29.342Jarno TrulliQ1
HRTNarain Karthikeyan1’34.293+1.3151’32.978Vitantonio LiuzziQ1
VirginTimo Glock1’29.858-0.9641’30.822Jerome d’AmbrosioQ1

Ultimate laps

An ultimate lap is a driver’s best time in each of the three sectors that make up a lap combined.

  • Both Mercedes drivers had the performance in hand to qualify better
  • Four drivers did all their best sectors in one lap, including Vitantonio Liuzzi in his effort to break the 107% barrier.
  • Vettel was more than half a second faster than any non-Red Bull driver in the final sector.
Pos#DriverUltimate lapGapDeficit to bestActual position
11Sebastian Vettel1’23.4530.0761
23Lewis Hamilton1’24.1570.7040.1502
32Mark Webber1’24.2400.7870.1553
44Jenson Button1’24.5701.1170.2094
55Fernando Alonso1’24.9741.5210.0005
68Nico Rosberg1’25.1031.6500.3187
710Vitaly Petrov1’25.2471.7940.0006
816Kamui Kobayashi1’25.3511.8980.2759
96Felipe Massa1’25.5272.0740.0728
107Michael Schumacher1’25.7122.2590.25911
1117Sergio Perez1’25.7142.2610.39413
1218Sebastien Buemi1’25.8822.4291.18410
1319Jaime Alguersuari1’26.0102.5570.09312
1411Rubens Barrichello1’26.1152.6620.15517
1514Adrian Sutil1’26.1802.7275.22716
1612Pastor Maldonado1’26.2822.8290.48615
1715Paul di Resta1’26.7393.2860.00014
189Nick Heidfeld1’27.0773.6240.16218
1920Heikki Kovalainen1’29.1565.7030.09819
2021Jarno Trulli1’29.2625.8090.08020
2124Timo Glock1’29.8296.3760.02921
2225Jerome d’Ambrosio1’30.5827.1290.24022
2323Vitantonio Liuzzi1’32.9789.5250.00023
2422Narain Karthikeyan1’33.54010.0870.75324

Sector times

Here are the drivers’ best times in each sector.

DriverSector 1Sector 2Sector 3
Sebastian Vettel28.088 (1)22.320 (1)33.045 (1)
Lewis Hamilton28.149 (2)22.399 (2)33.609 (3)
Mark Webber28.197 (3)22.643 (6)33.400 (2)
Jenson Button28.237 (4)22.556 (4)33.777 (4)
Fernando Alonso28.427 (5)22.549 (3)33.998 (6)
Vitaly Petrov28.443 (6)22.662 (7)34.142 (8)
Nico Rosberg28.499 (7)22.563 (5)34.041 (7)
Felipe Massa28.561 (9)22.764 (8)34.202 (11)
Kamui Kobayashi28.619 (10)22.828 (11)33.904 (5)
Sebastien Buemi28.727 (12)22.983 (15)34.172 (10)
Michael Schumacher28.548 (8)22.815 (10)34.349 (14)
Jaime Alguersuari28.809 (14)23.030 (18)34.171 (9)
Sergio Perez28.635 (11)22.833 (12)34.246 (12)
Paul di Resta29.108 (18)22.968 (14)34.663 (17)
Pastor Maldonado28.787 (13)23.013 (17)34.482 (16)
Adrian Sutil28.902 (17)22.803 (9)34.475 (15)
Rubens Barrichello28.842 (15)22.998 (16)34.275 (13)
Nick Heidfeld28.883 (16)22.866 (13)35.328 (18)
Heikki Kovalainen29.947 (20)23.586 (19)35.623 (19)
Jarno Trulli29.645 (19)23.754 (20)35.863 (20)
Timo Glock30.023 (21)23.853 (21)35.953 (21)
Jerome d’Ambrosio30.169 (22)24.048 (22)36.365 (22)
Vitantonio Liuzzi31.250 (24)24.577 (23)37.151 (23)
Narain Karthikeyan30.991 (23)24.740 (24)37.809 (24)

Speed trap

Each drivers’ highest speed through the speed trap.

PosDriverCarMax speed (kph)Gap
1Kamui KobayashiSauber314.2
2Sergio PerezSauber313.5-0.7
3Nico RosbergMercedes313.4-0.8
4Jenson ButtonMcLaren312.8-1.4
5Lewis HamiltonMcLaren312.7-1.5
6Michael SchumacherMercedes312.6-1.6
7Adrian SutilForce India311.7-2.5
8Pastor MaldonadoWilliams311.7-2.5
9Paul di RestaForce India311.4-2.8
10Rubens BarrichelloWilliams311.3-2.9
11Vitaly PetrovRenault311.1-3.1
12Nick HeidfeldRenault311.0-3.2
13Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso309.7-4.5
14Fernando AlonsoFerrari309.7-4.5
15Felipe MassaFerrari309.5-4.7
16Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso309.5-4.7
17Sebastian VettelRed Bull308.3-5.9
18Mark WebberRed Bull308.3-5.9
19Narain KarthikeyanHRT305.1-9.1
20Vitantonio LiuzziHRT304.3-9.9
21Heikki KovalainenLotus303.5-10.7
22Jarno TrulliLotus303.4-10.8
23Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin301.6-12.6
24Timo GlockVirgin301.1-13.1

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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    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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    113 comments on “Final sector key to Red Bull’s advantage”

    1. Redbull wing flex and refined bodywork is key…

      Once McLaren refine the bodywork & get a flippin flexy wing then they should be challenging them!

      1. They knew it since last year i wonder why they haven’t tried something similar?

        1. bleeps_and_tweaks
          26th March 2011, 15:22

          I think it’s quite a lengthy process to develop the special weave of carbon fibre to make the flexi wings, a process RBR may have started a long while ago. I read that during all the controversy about the wings last year, but unfortunately I can’t find an article to support it online. The bulge on the nose at the Barcelona tests is a blatant sign that Mclaren are trying to measure the flex of their wing, and maybe increase it.
          The improvements they’ve made with the floor and exhausts are unbelievable. I’m really hoping that in terms of pace it’s going to be really close between RBR, Mclaren and Ferrari this season.

          1. Yeah, Red Bull had the luxury of optimizing the RB6, whereas the other teams wasted the time designing and building their cars from the ground up.

            But they’ll catch Red Bull sooner or later.

          2. Newey have been doing this a long time. Already 2005 people where talking about flexing wings on the Mclarens.. Newey’s cars.

        2. Bruce McLaren
          26th March 2011, 17:36

          They still don’t get it, that’s the reason…

      2. I’m sure mclaren tried to figure out the secret of flexy wings last year and didn’t suceed. What makes you think that this year will be different?

        1. If they’d spent half as much time researching it as they did talking about it I’m sure they would have figured it out.

          1. Good point Toro Stevo, the front end of the McLaren is as stiff as a barn door, they complained far too much about the flexy wing and should’ve looked into it.

            1. Well, this is what they were testing with the dolphin nose we saw at Barcelona no? The ‘support arms’ coming from the nose were likely for measuring tension, hence flexing of the front wing.

            2. I thought they were air flow probes?

            3. The MP4-26’s front wing is already flexing, but not nearly as much as the RB7. Many widely available photos from Australia describe a sagging McLaren wing.

              You would imagine further revisions and upgrades to said front wing will try to further bridge the current gap, either that or the FIA will finally figure out a proper test that actually works to enforce their own rules.

              And since you decided to have a snide pop at someone’s spelling down below, I’ll point out that the metaphor is ‘big as a barn door’, not stiff. Barn doors aren’t in anyway known for their rigidity.

          2. People don’t seem to realise that there isn’t just one person working at a team.

            While the team princible and drivers can talk about it, the engineers can r&d.

            1. They were convinced it was illegal though so why would they waste resources on something that would in their eyes possibly be banned?

              Helps if you spell Principal correctly too.

            2. Picking on someone’s spelling doesn’t make you look better though.

              It doesn’t matter if they thought it was illegal. Everyone though double deck diffusers were illegal and the sure as hell were researching those, obviously they all look at controversial concepts just incase they are legal.

            3. Correct spelling builds character lol…anyway if what you are saying is true then Red Bull obviously have a better development team than McLaren then, even when they are “supposedly” researching an already created aspect of a car.

            4. and being illegal doesn’t stop them from developing their own. far from it: almost all new developments in F1 are claimed to be illegal by the competition.

              Like the double diffuser situation, where McLaren were: “oh it isn’t illegal? ok we will put ours on the car then”

            5. My point was more a less than thinly veiled swipe at the constant chatter about it last year. The flexing wings became all the drivers, team principal, and even the bbc commentators and every commenter on this website were talking about. It became tiresome, and I see it happening again.

              Red Bull had a big moan about the double diffuser in 2009, but they didn’t prattle on all season about it. They went to the judiciary, and eventually the ruling went against them, but in the mean time just set about building their own.

        2. From their testing with that nose bulb sensor thing, they are still working on understanding how to do it.

      3. mclaren’s flexi wing is old news already. watch a good onboard shot of the mclaren and see the front wing flex downwards and then upwards under braking .

    2. Final sector time and speed trap record is interesting. and Alonso did his cleanest lap! even though it’s not enough.

      1. Wowee, didn’t spot that. Only driver to get the maximum out of himself and you’d assume his car.

        I’m getting serious de ja vu from last year. Everyone is going on about how Ferrari are due to restart their rivalry with Redbull from last year. As i remember it, it was Mclaren first half and Ferrari second. With Redbull taking the prizes in the end.

        Not twice please?

        1. Petrov did his ultimate lap as well… I have a feeling Alonso might be in for a season of a lot of racing alongside of Petrov. I’m hoping he is anyhow…

          1. hahaha nice to see them racing again. I’m a new Petrov fan now. :)

    3. Good comparisons, but the teams don’t match up with the correct drivers under DRIVER COMPARISONS -Vettel and Webber in a Mclaren- ha ha.

      1. Yeah and Schumacher in a Ferrari – utter nonsense!

      2. The teams are put in 2010 order, the drivers in 2011 order.

      3. The Saubers really slow too

      4. Sorry, have fixed that.

        1. In the last table Vettels ultimate lap is listed as 1:23.453, – where did that come from, when his fastest lap was 1:23.529?
          But good and impressive fast analysis despite a few errors with the teams and driver pairing.

          1. Red Bull are going to Infiniti and beyond!

    4. Hi guys,

      Could someone please explain to me what

      to package their car more tightly at the rear and generate more downforce


      Beacause i don’t see any apparent different at the rear of the cars. I tried to find out what the small williams rear is and i still can’t figure out. For me they are all the same…

      1. F1lover, “to package their car more tightly” generally means to have fewer obstructions blocking the air to the rear wing & diffuser. With the banning of double diffusers this year teams have gone to extra lengths (such as the William’s gearbox and Renault’s front exit exhausts) to recover lost downforce at the rear of the car.

        1. Thanks Jungly that was one area that i didn’t get properly now it makes sense.

      2. Its funny to read that you don’t see the differences (especially with such nickname), but check out these drawings:


        And Williams’s rear end:

        1. Mateuss, I wanted to thank you for these links. I just read through them. What a great site. It’s no wonder F1 is so difficult to compete in as there’s so much to be considered and taken into account. I wonder how many people could do better than HRT, let alone Ferrari, Mcl, RedBull et all.
          Thanks again.


        From the ever-excellent Scarbs blog, hope they explain, or help you understand. The basic gist is, the less obstruction to the diffuser and wings, the more airflow can hit them and make more downforce.

        1. lol, beaten to it by Mateuss and Jungly.

        2. Lol@mateuuss, I love F1 but it’s not my strenght to see such details. But i’ve become more interested to better understand the technical stuff this year. Thanks

          Thabks@S.J.M that’s explains it more clearly

      4. Well, if all looked the same to you, why bother for explanation?

        Anyway, take a look at the back of the Williams, you will see a bronze-rod that went steep downwards to the central section and compare it to other cars.

        Also, try to find the pull rod at the back of the cars (except the F150) and not in front as all cars have push-rod in there.

        1. BBQ2 this what the article says,

          “Williams said their new car would be aggressive, but at first look the FW33 seemed quite conventional. Until the area above the gearbox is looked at. ”

          Which means you don’t just notice it at a glance, Unless you know the stuff. I wasn’t interested in those aspects before but i do now that’s why i asked.

          Thanks for still contributing to my understanding…

          1. Best of luck. I am also watching the sport from last 10years but as i m not a engineering guy so it seems very tough for me to follow the sports, but i tried my best and now started to understand a lot of things. you may try the following link which has a lot of useful resource to understand F1.
   is also one of the best blog for formula one to understand the sports. Wish you luck. :-)

    5. Great analyses Keith. It clearly shows Sutil was doing pretty fine until he got overzealous with the KERS and the DRS there.

      Liuzzi was probably driving one of the best laps in his F1 career there. Just imagine him pulling along that car, shedding pieces all the while. Impressed.

      Vettel … where to start, him and this Red Bull are just the ultimate qualifying package. Red Bull got us looking for their magic bit again this year. Interesting to see where Webber lost out to Seb as well.

    6. Emma Rouse-Deane
      26th March 2011, 14:36

      In the driver comparison, the teams don’t match up to the drivers :)

    7. sid_prasher (@)
      26th March 2011, 14:38

      Did we have 3.5 seconds separating first and tenth last year?
      I thought teams were going to get closer this year…not happening at least in round 1.

    8. Any news yet on HRT getting a dispensation to race?

    9. Perez’s Time in Q1 would have been sufficient for Q3 if he did it in Q2… That must be quite frustrating !

      1. Still, he has had a very impressive weekend and is proving that he is not there only because of Mr Slim.

    10. Interestingly (at least I think it is) apart from Lewis (who had quali problems in 2010) Vettel is the only driver to improve his time compared to last year’s qualifying. Once again Adrian Newey and his team have made the best interpretation of the new regulations and have another early advantage. Expect 3 poles from Vettel in these first 3 flyaway races.

      1. well, lets not jump the gun just yet. I know mclaren are supposed to have updates in Malaysia and id bet some others do to. But il admit that its very possible if theres no interuptions or bad weather…

    11. Really confused!! I see qualifying times in full, driver comparisons, and ultimate laps. Where oh where is the sector 3 timetable that would correspond to the title of this thread?

      1. Vettel was more than half a second faster than any non-Red Bull driver in the final sector.

        1. This will be very worrying for the other teams as the next four fast flowing tracks are even better suited to the RB7?

        2. If he is that fast in sector 3 i suppose it will be hard to be close enough to him to be able to use DRS against him.

    12. regarding the start only KERS. The technical regulations define KERS as:

      “A system that is designed to recover kinetic energy from the car during braking, store that energy and make it available to propel the car.”

      Surely if RBR aren’t recovering energy from braking, it isn’t KERS and therefore isn’t legal

      1. What makes you think they aren’t?

        1. Ted Kravitz wrote:

          I understand – and rivals believe – that Red Bull have built a Kers system with a smaller battery which is charged before the race, discharged only once at the start and not used again.

          The system would still need a fairly large battery to deliver the high current needed but weight could be saved because the parts needed to charge the battery during the race would not be required

          1. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. There is more to it. If its “one use only” then why not use it once on the hot qualifying lap, like I said it makes no sense.
            I assume it does still trickle charge (but not enough to be used frequently or a second time) otherwise it is not KERS and should be illegal.
            The truth will out… this story is just breaking, it could be a while before we find out but I believe what has been reported so far is not actually factual correct and an ill conceived guess at what’s going on at the moment. Why didn’t they use it on hot laps?

            1. Good point, it doesn’t make sens at all. Especially in Webber case, when he so much wants to beat sebastian at his home GP. He said he did his best? How can you do your best without using a tool that is suppose to boost your speed?

            2. The story is just breaking…

              It makes me laugh at how quickly the teams come to these obvious conclusions – why didn’t they think of it over the winter then!

            3. I don’t buy it. Even if the battery and total kit is half the size, it becomes dead weight–non-ideal distributed mass–after the first turn. If you are going to shift the cars internal organs around, and integrate the electric motors into the drive train, you need to get a return on that design compromise more than 4 seconds on lap one. Even if the overall package is stellar with a mini-KERS, they’ll be sorry if Vettel, say, gets stuck behind a Force India armed with KERS and Mercedes ICE, i.e., unpassable, DRS or no.

            4. Its much more likely they just didn’t need to use it, I just watched an interview with Horner and I reckon the reason they didn’t use it was because they were focusing on the DRS and qualifying without the distraction of KERS (keeping a bit of performance back?). I believe they agreed amongst themselves as Horner said not using KERS cost Webber the front row.

            5. But after quali the cars go into parc ferme, so it couldn’t really be recharged. Being the only car in the top 10 without KERS could be a bit tough on the opening lap.

          2. The parts needed to charge the batteries are the same parts that deliver the power.
            All of the electric systems use a combined generator/motor to collect and deliver power. Any GCSE physic’s student will know an electric motor and a generator are basically the same device. The switching electronics would weigh a couple of grams at most. Although a saving would be made aerodynamically in not having to cool the whole KERS during the race.

            1. Considering the first part of your comment is wrong, the second is remarkably insightful.

    13. Buemi… “was aided by Rubens Barrichello and Adrian Sutil losing time with spins”
      That’s a little harsh on Buemi don’t you think? I’m not sure Sutil would have been anywhere near the top 10 spin or no spin. Rubens maybe a bit closer to him if he could have set a lap, but Buemi was fractionally quicker in Q1 – I just think Toro Rosso have put together a half decent car and derserve some credit. Brundle and DC also commented on how Buemi was driving so I think he done a good job too.

      1. Sutil was heading for a time to get into Q3 with fast sector 1-2. And if Rubens had ran he would certainly have been close to getting there as well.

        1. By Sutil’s own admission, he “could have been in the region of P12” if he hadn’t spun on that lap. I don’t doubt Rubens would have been close but he made a mistake – Buemi didn’t. So I think he deserves a pat on the back rather than saying he only achieved it because others failed.

    14. I hope Webber will not burst out of shame and reveal RBR secretes as 0,8secs is really miles in F1. If he continues being “mystified” about the gap to Vettel, then I fear a blackmail a la Alonso might follow. 8)

      1. RBR have no secreats…..It was their to which everybody saw yesterday during qualifying….Vettel. Lewis was able to out qyalify Mark, but Vettel that was another story.

      2. Ha ha ha … ;-). a good healthy joke….. but i am still mystified like webber about the problem of Ferrari. Both driver have problem in their final run, god knows why? any one have any idea then just put it offf

      3. Unfair to say that about him, just because he has Briatore as a manager too! :-p

        1. Mark’s a straight-up guy and wouldn’t do that but it was interesting to see him inspect Seb’s front wing so closely when they got out of the cars.. paranoid perhaps?

          1. He had a good old look didn’t he… I noticed that too. His motion was to stoop and appear to look at the underside of the outer wing. Why would he do this?

            I assume the wings are more or less visually identical but it makes you wonder what secrets you can hide in a CF weave.

    15. Gnarly Racing (@)
      26th March 2011, 15:59

      Does that mean Buemi has to use worn soft tyres at some point in the race, or is he just down to his last new set of softies? Either way, he’s looking good when all the leaders have to come in!

      Haha, Vettel used to joke in 2009 that he kept pressing his KERS button even though he knew it wasn’t connected to anything…

      1. He will be using them for the getaway from the grid and his first stint as well as for any possible further running on sofst.

    16. Hamilton, Schumacher and Rosberg impeded people in qualifying but have got away with warning only. Got to admitt I saw Hamilton and Schumacher impeded at the time, although I’m get no grid penalties came out of it. The two I saw looked marginal.

      1. Where did you see/find that?

        1. It’s on Autosport.. at least I think that’s where I read it.

    17. Ohhhhhhhhhh Ferrari not again, last year they are quite impressive in 1st race but from the 2nd race there performance deep, and this year we start with 2nd race and there performance dose not reflect there testing performance…. :-(

    18. If Red Bull have a magic KERS, why was Webber slower too? I know Mark sometimes has dodgy qualifying, but he didn’t look like a guy who had done such a horrible lap.

      More likely to me is the theory that Vettel set his car up to work without KERS and switched it off because it actually gives a better lap time, or perhaps a better single-lap so he has position for the race.

      Regardless, Hamilton should probably have been 0.4s closer as his broken KERS messed with his brake balance and we rarely see qualifying advantages survive intact in the race, so it should be pretty close.

      1. I don’t think Webber’s front wing flexes as much as Vettel’s.

      2. Webber didn’t use KERS in his final lap either.

    19. Anyone got a picture of the front wings flexing or not flexing yet?

    20. not only can vettel drive the snot out of a race car, but he can now grow facial hair…

    21. Very interesting if the rumors are true!

    22. Webber was looking at Vettels tyres not the front wing IMO although I could be wrong.

      1. Just wondering if redbull have build a system that mimicks kers but actually is not there?if so are there any advantages in not running kers overall?

    23. Keith, would it be possible to create a table of everyone’s best first, second and third sector times, then add these up? Would then be interesting to see who has speed – even if they weren’t able to hook all the sectors up on the day?

      1. Ignore me… have just realised what you had done. Brain not working after the early start this morning! Cheers!!

    24. I really think that Qually times this year will be quite dependent of how well a driver can drive with the low drag rear wing configuration. Witness Kobeyashi, a treat to watch.

      I would like to see how long, in seconds, a driver used the low wing configuration on his qually run. Without that you really don’t know.

      OTOH I think it’s a bit stupid to allow drivers to use the low drag configuration in qually. It’s likely to mess up the race with the possibility of slower teams with ballsy drivers lined up ahead of faster drivers in race trim. I have to say it was entertaining to watch though ;-)

      1. I think it’s a bit stupid to allow drivers to use the low drag configuration in qually. It’s likely to mess up the race with the possibility of slower teams with ballsy drivers lined up ahead of faster drivers in race trim.

        Sounds like a recipe for a good race to me!

        1. I agree it’s entertaining, but if Sutil had plastered it against the concrete when he spun it off the run onto the main straight in Q2 it might have caused some rethink about this, ultimately bad policy of using the DRS anywhere in Qually on a hot lap .. just my opinion of course.

          1. if Sutil had plastered it against the concrete when he spun it off the run onto the main straight in Q2 it might have caused some rethink about this, ultimately bad policy of using the DRS anywhere in Qually on a hot lap

            Sutil was using the DRS in the exact same place they can use it in the race.

            If it’s too dangerous to use it then, it’s dangerous to use it the rest of the time as well.

            I don’t believe it is too dangerous and I like being able to watch the driver at work and DRS gives us a great new way of seeing it.

            1. No you are allowed to use it on the front straight, not in the corner preceding the front straight .. but no matter, it’s just personal preference.

              In any case I would very much like to see the data of whom used how much during their laps. I doubt that info is published. I did not see it on the F1 site.

            2. Keith is right and Breezy wrong on this one. The DRS activation zone begins just as the cars are turning into the last corner.


          2. Looked to me like he put a rear on the grass without realising it and it was the sudden addition of power (be it KERS or just plain old throttle) that caused the spin as much as a sudden change in downforce levels and balance.

            One hell of a catch though, would love to see a shot looking down the straight the other way. I’m fairly certain he made 2 sets of impressive skid marks when a back end went

      2. That’s an argument for having unlimited DRS use in the race, no?. I’m a convert now, but for whenever, all weekend. After watching Kobayashi doing Fast and Furious in S3, I want to see a driver who can handle some oversteer go for it if he dares.

        I’m not concerned about accidents. There is ample power to swap ends at any corner, any time. Ask Massa.

    25. I have always said that KERS is only good for driving everyone crazy and bankrupting teams. It distorts real racing and now we dont know who is fast or not.
      What a mess
      Bernie is right – things like these would not happen if Max Mosley was still in charge

      1. Um, yeah . . . I remember how back in 2009 Max was in charge and we didn’t have any of this KERS BS . . .

      2. Don’t know who is fast or not? Well everyone can discharge their KERS whenever they like so it’s all relative. Speed isn’t everything in F1, far from it.

    26. Might be slightly off topic, however, what are the KERS rules for 2012 2013 and 2014. When KERS was originally put into the rules it was
      60kW 2009 – 2011
      120kW 2012
      320kW through all FOUR wheels 2013 onwards

      These power outputs and four wheel drive (KERS only) would be around 2 seconds per lap quicker. It would mean bigger batteries and larger motor/generator and therefore more weight. But would be very ‘green’ and a big benefit.

    27. 2011 races are totally different than qualifying ;)
      Fernando can do it :D

    28. Vettel really did dominate today. I bet Webber was scratching his head, 0.9s is a huge gap. Worryingly huge almost…still you only get points for the race so let’s wait and see.

      1. But Seb’s been consistently faster… I think he’s figured the package out a bit better than Webber. Actually, quite a bit better.

        Then again, maybe Mark is driving with a busted shoulder or banged up leg again.

      2. I think there might be a bigger difference between setting up for the race vs setting up for qually this year.

        Most of that is because of the DRS rear wing. So if you want to setup for qually you’ll gear the car more optimally for using the DSR and maybe skew the balance so it’s overall a little pushy at high speeds without DSR, but well balanced with it.

        Since you are effecting only the rear wing it’s mostly all rear downforce that you’re changing with DSR engaged.

        If you setup for the race your gearing might be better optimized for non DSR performance and the car will be balanced for that.

        Maybe these kinds of things explain some of the gap between Vettel and Webber.

    29. Off tropic,
      I think Vettel have mature a lot since his WC last year. His body language have been more positive then before.I just hop this trend continues.

      1. His victory speech didn’t sound very emotional though did it? Suggests either too much Valium :D or the confidence going in that the car/driver could deliver something frankly astonishing.

        I suspect the laps both drivers did to apparently ‘season’ a set of softs might turn out to be multipurpose. Are the rear wheel weights regulated?

      2. I wish I was on-tropic about now :D

    30. It looks like 2010 cars reward drivers who can cope well with oversteer.

      1) I’ve never seen so much power sliding in F1
      2) Kamui is in 9th
      3) Hamilton was grinning

      I rest my case

    31. The best sector times and maximum speeds for each driver have now been added.

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