Start, Melbourne, 2011

Lack of KERS no problem for Vettel at start

2011 Australian GP analysis

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Start, Melbourne, 2011
Start, Melbourne, 2011

Red Bull gambled on racing without KERS in Australia which could have left their drivers vulnerable at the start.

But as their rivals bogged down Sebastian Vettel scampered off into a led he never lost.

See how the start unfolded, compare pit strategies, race pace and more in the Australian Grand Prix analysis.

Lap 1

Lap 1 position change
Lap 1 position change

This is from yesterday’s pre-race analysis:

In theory all 18 cars with KERS on the grid are starting in front of non-KERS cars.

What we didn’t know then was that Red Bull weren’t using KERS at all, and Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber lined up in first and third worried they might be easy prey for the McLarens behind them.

But two things played into their hands. The first of which they’d taken into account to begin with: the run to the first corner at Melbourn is relatively short, just 200m, making KERS less of an advantage at the start.

The second was Lewis Hamilton’s slow get-away from second on the grid. By the time he had enough traction to deploy KERS it was only enough to take back the second place he briefly lost to Webber.

But this races a fascinating prospect for future races: if Red Bull are going to keep running without KERS, they may be more vulnerable at other circuits with longer pit straights.

Vitaly Petrov made several good starts last year, including at Melbourne, and his on in this race was similar excellent.

Pit stops

Pit stops
Pit stops

In the last race we saw 22 pit stops. In Melbourne the drivers did exactly twice as many.

The majority of drivers made two stops but Webber and both Ferraris needed three, while Sauber’s Sergio Perez did just one. Remarkably, given the levels of degradation seen in testing, he managed 35 laps on the soft tyres.

What was also significant is that drivers generally pitted when they had to, instead of waiting for a time when they were able to come out without cars in front of them.

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4
Sebastian VettelSoftSoftHard
Lewis HamiltonSoftSoftHard
Mark WebberSoftHardSoftSoft
Jenson ButtonSoftSoftHard
Fernando AlonsoSoftSoftSoftHard
Vitaly PetrovSoftSoftHard
Nico RosbergSoftHard
Felipe MassaSoftSoftHardSoft
Kamui KobayashiSoftSoftHard
Sebastien BuemiSoftSoftHard
Michael SchumacherSoftSoftHard
Jaime AlguersuariSoftSoftHardHard
Sergio PerezHardSoft
Paul di RestaSoftHardSoft
Pastor MaldonadoSoft
Adrian SutilSoftHardHard
Rubens BarrichelloSoftSoftSoftHard
Nick HeidfeldSoftSoftHard
Heikki KovalainenSoftSoft
Jarno TrulliHardSoftSoft
Timo GlockSoftSoftHard
Jerome d’AmbrosioSoftHardHard

Race chart

This graph shows how far each driver was behind the leader on each lap in seconds. Use the controls below to show/hide different drivers:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv

12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546474849505152535455565758
Sebastian Vettel000000000000017.55822.7572.266000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
Lewis Hamilton2.4643.2323.4193.1983.3273.1563.1012.8742.2462.7952.8632.7561.5330006.56.5136.8957.0346.9587.3987.9377.2617.3877.4787.428.5749.0619.1568.90211.54912.27612.42112.25111.81212.0399.428.7539.4239.5979.59910.18111.51211.55411.39311.73312.04712.0912.36812.80713.34914.14815.28116.14817.99919.66722.297
Mark Webber3.3584.0774.5724.7025.2595.575.9686.6936.7838.45930.78538.10438.06737.66838.71819.17618.64419.73921.45122.92523.93825.19626.79327.29928.5248.92555.19855.43355.4855.3554.43953.22552.38150.98449.18725.94617.25214.10213.83614.97638.32645.35244.53544.79944.13243.26743.543.15142.15441.02240.31439.05238.37737.41637.64137.88237.83838.171
Jenson Button6.6137.74610.78911.80414.7415.42616.88318.36718.70420.78522.51222.80922.56421.66222.2785.13620.97930.03353.44262.29863.19764.13165.96265.45465.72365.56865.1665.1964.64765.26564.61364.26764.36964.11362.90440.62651.74357.73757.78857.84357.94657.9357.83858.22257.88457.39257.63157.70856.88156.79456.21455.22555.28355.18154.38854.71555.04754.304
Fernando Alonso8.03511.26213.27515.82717.88518.55818.95919.52119.90221.38323.57143.29348.40746.56945.28725.53724.65724.67925.61926.527.21428.46629.54629.50431.2832.32354.30760.09458.85257.90156.27554.84153.81452.29950.12926.70618.12414.89115.00715.57117.06336.95944.20144.38643.52442.69542.23541.36140.13839.27338.33736.90735.74335.48834.11833.82133.21731.772
Vitaly Petrov4.7266.0837.3328.2589.64110.60911.47112.24912.36613.40914.35115.60515.60514.2414.52416.2823.07723.31224.25425.41325.97427.23128.27828.55530.4331.03130.73830.88830.65631.08131.13631.78532.18831.7331.08331.70332.00229.63529.29229.47530.20230.30830.58731.59931.95532.61933.01833.43233.88933.82833.7132.78132.76532.7431.90532.13531.73930.56
Nico Rosberg7.23110.03312.75615.76320.25822.50924.62626.71328.16429.61331.04133.00133.7133.32834.61536.81546.70349.83252.82555.38457.59961.115
Felipe Massa6.0877.56610.51711.61413.98415.07916.58117.87718.50620.42424.45426.21446.57652.30952.08132.79132.15833.8435.65337.25938.2639.49741.16341.37342.52843.92445.43247.23349.08851.29973.33281.69482.16581.93880.94259.08951.02748.65849.45950.2251.28751.96153.09854.74455.60556.31457.55880.09386.29685.01584.23685.60587.75387.16785.21585.02385.3185.186
Kamui Kobayashi7.78711.89914.66917.51420.80523.50227.68129.66430.84932.76834.68536.3537.49937.32440.05442.83450.35351.41853.49155.76959.13261.89865.18165.27367.06668.469.49870.75871.58372.60973.32593.834101.977101.845100.51778.02769.78767.49467.68368.09968.98670.3470.97871.95272.45172.48272.9273.06672.97672.9472.45172.49673.06274.09373.97276.27576.98876.872
Sebastien Buemi13.01215.40517.49219.49522.58525.15828.88831.50432.87434.79236.60239.91241.15741.01664.74552.81754.67455.69558.02860.37362.18364.08668.49269.30269.95870.79971.80572.96793.044103.46104.486104.782105.312105.399105.24382.64974.30772.01472.16972.85574.12175.36976.04477.03677.58677.90478.75879.63581.50482.86583.94985.3187.53892.52294.31797.402100.392
Michael Schumacher63.31973.3477.22980.48883.98586.96190.25395.39898.922104.866109.68112.2113.821117.158122.248107.2131.347141.804146.153
Jaime Alguersuari35.7743.42344.00344.34445.32246.28749.12151.18551.82753.23855.6357.80259.06859.46961.65645.21869.86580.57483.31885.46587.26888.73693.47194.47896.30999.982102.119104.527106.871109.294111.378113.543116.217118.404144.327130.456124.224121.752121.469121.626121.953122.06122.706123.606124.6125.148126.121127.099128.684132.25133.82134.884136.529139.225141.471146.648150.61
Sergio Perez14.55419.12422.62725.44129.09832.66235.45438.29243.2247.15449.13150.97552.18254.09855.77938.51840.24243.32146.92650.55654.41358.54682.78292.71293.1693.14192.8892.81792.14992.33892.14892.27792.17793.08192.3871.21262.5459.64958.60658.60259.00759.30959.31959.61259.46159.03159.36760.89360.79760.54261.21260.92761.06261.80762.44464.02165.21465.845
Paul di Resta9.45312.25415.28218.03121.8124.42829.50932.72634.53137.96639.99442.08343.57366.14673.20854.67155.62857.25459.59863.08865.97268.02871.48973.31676.90178.6680.01581.6983.51785.12886.31187.57289.36490.24990.70692.07193.30293.36494.78196.19298.2299.978103.308105.589107.508109.325111.833113.998116.241118.102120.208122.18125.912129.756133.276139.619145.453
Pastor Maldonado15.120.54725.37729.14232.70434.69436.29438.79842.079
Adrian Sutil13.41116.23218.18619.98523.21725.83329.90333.16934.89836.48737.87940.44841.7541.62843.39546.6156.7458.19560.45664.15166.67268.95472.13673.73975.176.48477.93979.7498182.67283.74385.06686.65687.58887.87566.77179.4286.25887.2788.792.81394.31895.78697.62199.159100.736104.371105.831107.069108.274109.466110.06111.163112.28112.907114.524116.481
Rubens Barrichello16.86220.75923.96925.7329.36731.28932.94335.41237.96940.63242.9144.72265.47269.95769.28349.85450.95752.05854.11856.3858.46261.528115.259124.129124.472125.209125.217139.134148.089150.741151.185151.871153.018153.353153.035134.465128.391127.435129.306153.84167.233170.302172.445174.55175.77176.796177.903181.049
Nick Heidfeld13.98217.48119.83522.69425.75728.81432.0134.83637.49139.95742.12644.26347.11148.18669.31856.96357.60459.33361.73664.50367.57670.38174.24175.58878.58380.882.49584.2386.173109.945118.198119.463120.609121.809124.389103.54496.98896.34999.65104.094106.98109.368111.242114.017116.667118.896121.701126.312129.806134.776137.704142.11147.028151.615157.12161.016165.588
Heikki Kovalainen14.77420.0224.68528.5133.60937.51641.12144.97548.08751.75554.99358.58961.17762.18764.92248.1275.25385.22589.125
Jarno Trulli16.00422.87328.61533.10137.99442.97547.65352.84756.86561.50365.53769.31472.62875.81579.86986.59898.128103.3108.101112.903121.34125.289130.327135.184138.608141.716144.253150.124157.69161.276164.217167.13169.993172.371177.343160.654180.12194.377201.125205.394208.952216.24219.73223.009228.849231.457234.392238.373244.375246.672248.615250.078252.635258.481260.997265.739
Timo Glock16.8623.95329.6234.9640.25545.32151.50256.10559.67764.25868.19572.08675.51877.72881.03665.96569.46794.014711.166735.321743.293750.783756.535760.795766.457771.327775.738780.426787.218802.068810.429818.842827.451833.275838.096822.607820.144822.621829.737835.722844.456850.768861.72872.972880.234885.83895.388900.706909.72
Jerome dAmbrosio16.53223.48729.2934.54239.88244.97850.49256.74461.26866.63871.777.35987.729113.633128.752119.032126.917132.526139.178146.751156.942165.085172.049177.777185.84192.81199.896206.443212.367219.929225.833231.718239.729248.116253.965238.108238.007266.291283.385289.518295.917300.93307.073311.752319.2323.348327.718335.829340.293344.517350.132354.269359.705367.582
  • Timo Glock had to spend a long time in the pits after a problem with a loose wheel.
  • The quickest of the second year teams (Jarno Trulli) was over a minute and a half behind the next car at the end of the race.
  • Lewis Hamilton dropped back quickly from leader Vettel at the end of the race due to his broken floor.
  • Paul di Resta was also told to slow down towards the end of the race to save fuel.
  • Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber weren’t quick enough on their three-stop strategies to beat two-stopping Vitaly Petrov.

Lap chart

This graph shows each driver’s position on each lap. Use the controls below to show/hide different drivers:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv

012345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546474849505152535455565758
Sebastian Vettel11111111111111342111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
Lewis Hamilton22222222222222111222222222222222222222222222222222222222222
Mark Webber33333333333787765333333333665554444433333555555555555555555
Jenson Button46666666666444433469121212887777776666667777777777766666666666
Fernando Alonso59888777777512131096655555555456665555544444344444444444444444
Vitaly Petrov64444444444333224544444444333333333355555433333333333333333
Nico Rosberg77777888888865558998888
Felipe Massa85555555555651112107776666666544448777776666666666610101010101099999
Kamui Kobayashi9899999999997667101010109101077888888711111111109999999999988888888888
Sebastien Buemi10111111111111101010101098813151212121111119999991312121212121211101010101010101010101099999910101010
Michael Schumacher1122222222222222222221212121212020212120
Jaime Alguersuari12212121212121191818171716151412111716161616161414141414141413131313131414141414141414141414141414131313131313131313
Sergio Perez1314141414141515151615151514131198877771313131313131211111010101098888888888877777777777
Paul di Resta1410101010101011111112121110161716131313131313101011111111101010999912121212121212121212121212121212121212121212
Pastor Maldonado15161617171616161615
Adrian Sutil161212121212121212121111109981214141414141411111010101099988888111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
Rubens Barrichello172017151515141414141414141717151411111110991515151515151515151515151515151515151515151515151515
Nick Heidfeld18131313131313131313131313121116171515151515151212121212121114141414141313131313131313131313131313141414141414141414
Heikki Kovalainen1915151616171717171716161716151413181717
Jarno Trulli201718181818181819191818181818181919191817171716161616161616161616161616161616161616161616161616161515151515151515
Timo Glock2119202020202021202019191919191918161821191919181818181818181818181818181818181818181818181818181817
Jerome d’Ambrosio22181919191919202121202020202021212020191818181717171717171717171717171717171717171717171717171717161616161616

The Sauber drivers were disqualified after the race.

Fastest laps

The Ferrari drivers set the two fastest lap of the race:

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Felipe MassaFerrari1’28.94755
2Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’29.4870.54049
3Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’29.6000.65350
4Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’29.8440.89744
5Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’29.8830.93649
6Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’29.9621.01539
7Vitaly PetrovRenault1’30.0641.11755
8Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’30.3141.36741
9Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’30.3841.43751
10Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’30.4671.52041
11Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’30.8361.88944
12Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’31.4042.45747
13Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’31.5262.57955
14Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’31.9412.99440
15Nick HeidfeldRenault1’32.3773.43043
16Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’32.5503.60352
17Nico RosbergMercedes1’33.5034.55621
18Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’34.1025.1557
19Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’34.5235.57644
20Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’34.9185.97119
21Michael SchumacherMercedes1’35.3196.37213
22Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’35.7896.84248

2011 Australian Grand Prix


Browse all 2011 Australian Grand Prix articles

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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103 comments on “Lack of KERS no problem for Vettel at start”

  1. Mouse_Nightshirt
    27th March 2011, 18:09

    I wonder what would have happened had Hamilton not bogged down? I suspect that in race trim that McLaren has the Red Bull in check; Hamilton had several periods of catchup during that race and it wasn’t until he tried plank surfing that Vettel became totally uncatchable.

    What exactly was it that cost Glock all that time?

    1. Timo Glock had to spend a long time in the pits after a problem with a loose wheel.

      From the article.

      1. Jeez I’m blind.

        1. Sure Hamilton will have lost some pace with the floor problem, but at the same time it would be foolish to think that we saw seb vettel driving at his most intense, pushing the car as hard as possible the whole time – he probably had some (maybe not huge amounts but some) performance in hand and was just keeping a set distance over hamilton for the second half of the race.

    2. I also wonder how much easier life might have been for Webber had he had KERS… There is no taking away the brilliant job Seb did today, but to say that Red Bull did brilliantly without KERS completely ignores the fact that Webber was a country mile behind his team mate…

      1. We don’t know for sure if Webber is driving the new car or a partially new car. Perhaps Redbull just giving him a car sufficient to get a decent result without challenging the number one.

        1. Which would go against the entire ethos of the team…. and everything which everyone tied into the team including Mark himself has stated…. and we know he isn’t shy about dropping hints when he feels (rightly) hard done by.

          I just think Webber’s performance should be taken into consideration of whether Red Bull really scored such a sneaky goal by not running KERS…

          Anyway i look forward to Malaysia and subsequent races to see how the story of KERS unfolds.

  2. Hi Keith — thanks for the great coverage.

    I thought you might take this opportunity to point out that Vettel left the track when overtaking Button and therefore should have received a penalty. It seems the stewards are still failing to enforce this rule.

    1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      27th March 2011, 19:18

      But he still had two wheels on the track which meant the move was legal

      1. no he didnt.

      2. He didn’t — sounds like you were listening to the “unbiased” commentary from David Coulthard.

        1. Coulthard was fantastic, I think it would be very hard to accuse him of being biased. If he missed something like that. perhaps it’s because he missed it?

          1. Well he was in that case. The only one I noticed though

          2. Coulthard is still employed by Red Bull.

            Let’s wait and see if he says, at any stage this year, “I think [Red Bull driver] should be penalized for that”.

    2. A few other drivers did the same thing and were not penalized either. And Vettel were ahead of Button when he (Vettel) left the track. It depends on how you define when an overtake is done. After the next corner or when the overtaking driver is clear of the other car.

      1. It was part of the overtake manoeuvre. A driver can pass another car at a higher speed if he chooses a line that goes wide of the track bounds. Whether or not Vettel was already ahead/behind at the time of leaving the track is moot, baby.

      2. im getting a bit sick of this ‘oh but i was ahead before i decided to redesign the circuit’ what does that have to do with anything?

        if vettel had kept to the track he wouldnt of kept ahead of button cos he wouldnt of been able to carry the speed into the corner to get by in first place.

        Button kept saying the same about massa. nose ahead or not they were racing and he left the circuit to gain an advantage.

        1. Button were not ahead at any point in the fight against Massa. Vettel had his whole car clear of Button before he left the track. Being in front or not has that to do with it, that it could be seen as an overtake and then after that the overtaking driver has a slight off but rejoins the track and didn’t loose position.
          In this situation it is not that complex, but you could imagine two drivers entering a turn that leads directly into another corner and if one of the drivers overtakes but it not quite clear of the other driver and then he has a small off because he bakes too late and has to take a very wide line though the second corner but without loosing position. What would the call be then?
          It is much easier to define an overtake outside the track when he is cutting the corner, because by cutting a corner you are in most cases gaining time on that lap no matter what.
          I agree that he could not have carried the same speed into the corner, but then again he would have trouble to accelerate out of the corner and compromise his position into the next turn which would slow him down. Other drivers did the same move as Vettel but didn’t have the luxury of being ahead when they left the track and were not punished either.
          In any case though i think that overtaking outside the track is wrong, but i think that rather then being controlled by the stewards it should be the track that physically forced drivers to stay within its limits, not a rulebook.

    3. Those people claiming Vettel should be penalised for overtaking Button should watch the manoeuvre again, in slow motion if needed.He first went to the outside of the track behind Jenson and then jumped to the inside coming out of the right hand turn,got next to JB,who instinctively moved about 6-7 feet towards him,still leaving Vettel ample room to not touch the lines.In the left hander SV got over Button and he only moved off track once he was at least 2 cars in front of JB.For me a brilliant pass,which probably won him the race.With fresh rubber, but without KERS !
      An excellent answer to those critisising his overtaking abilities.

      1. Leaving the track is illegal at any time let alone when overtaking. It is however often overlooked unless during an overtaking maneuver. Hamilton was punished for leaving the track when overtaking Kimi in that famous incident a few years ago even though he was also ahead at the time. Having said that I have never seen any driver punished for leaving the circuit at that point of the melbourne track which is surprising as using the extra width gives an enormous amount of speed advantage as anyone that watches closely can see (also those that have driven the track on a sim). I honestly wish that they would be consistent with this rule as it does seem unfair that some drivers get punished while others get away with it.

        1. they should just make that kerb bigger and wider so cars that do go outside lose time. Problem solved :)

        2. There is a difference between cutting a corner on the inside (Hamilton Spa) and running wide on a corner (Vettel Australia).
          90 times out of 100 u don’t gain any places when running wide as with cutting a corner is 100% guaranteed success.

          1. I think you’re right — cutting the inside is worse than leaving the track around the outside.

            Both BOTH are illegal. Keith has consistently complained about this on this blog and today we saw another great example.

        3. Mark Hitchcock
          27th March 2011, 21:37

          Drivers usually seem to be punished for cutting corners rather than running wide to gain speed (see Kimi’s line through turn 1 at Spa).

          It’s certainly easier to prove that a driver deliberately cut a corner on the inside than it is to prove they ran wide deliberately and didn’t just miss their braking point or lose grip and run wide on an exit.

          1. Kimi should have been penalized at Spa. It’s a problem that never goes away.

            Basically, run-off areas are there for safety purposes not tactical purposes. When drivers treat the run-off area like an extension of the track, it’s cheating.

        4. That’s right — it’s illegal at any time. The punishments come in when a driver gains an advantage, and I’m afraid Vettel clearly did on this occasion.

          1. However are things that are deemed to be “lengthening” the track are permitted. Wheres as cutting a corner shortens the track.

            A good example would be running wide at the exit of Variante Ascari is normally fine as it is lengthening the race track not shortening the distance travelled?

          2. I think if a driver gains a tactical advantage by going fully off the track at the Variante Ascari, they should get a penalty.

            Why even bother having a white line if it means nothing?

            It’s meant to be there for safety — to leave a run-off area between the track and the wall. When drivers treat the run-off area as an extension of the track it’s potentially unsafe.

          3. Realised that I was between asking a question and stating something there. Sorry.

            I was just bringing up that running wide and lengthing the track is generally not frowned on as much as shortening the track.

      2. For me there’s a simple way of looking at it:

        Would Vettel had got past Button if there was a gravel trap or grass there?

        Simple answer: NO

        Therefore he’s gained an place by going off the circuit and should be punished

      3. I fully agree with acclestoned. What a fantastic move. I especially love it because Button was DELIBERATLEY trying to slow him down so that Hamlton gains a place. Surely shut-up so many people here who were saying he can’t overtake. I’d also love to see how many people would be complaining if Ham/But did the overtake and not Vettel. They would be praising it as the pass of the season.. Bias Much?!

        1. I’m not a McLaren fan. But remember that this move effectively robbed us of a great race: if Vettel had stayed behind Button, Hamilton would have got out ahead of him and we would have seen a great battle for the lead.

        2. Surely shut-up so many people here who were saying he can’t overtake

          - Superior car
          - Superior tyres
          - Button apparently holding him up

          Not the greatest proof. If he continues to do stuff like this though, that would be a sign he's grown as a racing driver.

      4. A brillant pass.. piff. He broke the rules.. fact. All four wheels at least half a car off the track and so did one of the sister cars I forget which driver

        Not that I’m saying that either should be penalised, although they have said they are going to crack down on it this season, but they’ve said that before and never do,.

      5. Hamilton in France (I think) a few years ago anyone?

        He was clearly past the driver (can’t remember who but went wide at the next corner (gaining a slight advantage). He got penalised or had to give the place back (I can’t remember all the details exactly, but rightly so either way, even if it was very annoying from my perspective).

        I don’t see how this is different to that; as far as I could see Vettle’s off gained him a slight advantage which kept him ahead even if he was ahead before he went off (although this is subjective)!

        It is like Schumacher in Canada last year cutting chicanes to keep whoever it was behind (although not quite as bad if there was a scale).

        If they can get away with gaining/keeping places by going off the circuit they may as well just do 50 doughnuts over the start/finish line and claim they have done 50 laps!

    4. I think Vettel would have probably made it stick.

      However given how many today have commented on the Sauber disqualification and the possibility of a Hamilton disqualification with a variation of “rules are rules” and the rules clearly say you have to use only the confines of the circuit, how does that stand up?

      I think we should have a clean slate, no more going off the track unless pushed or having a problem.

    5. A very nice link to the ESPN race edit. Shows Vettel was pretty solidly in front before he got off with all wheels.

      Sure, maybe McLaren should have got a go at getting him penalized why not try it. I doubt that would have succeeded though.

      1. Looks clear that he could have stayed on track and kept ahead. So why didn’t he? Robbed momentum into the next corner, leaving him vulnerable to a counter-pass, or at the least, losing a bit of time?

        This is why I say the rule should be enforced, so we don’t have this silly speculation every time. Better yet, a car’s width of gravel at each side of the track.

  3. great analysis! i love these articles the most.

    i’ve had no internet for the last few days so here’s my analysis: i thought it was a good race and without the ker and DRS it would have been a bit boring. the great thing about the DRS, is it meant drivers could catch up not just overtake…
    One problem we see with the tyres is that when a driver comes under pressure, he can just pit to avoid being overtaken. (note how HAM closed up on VET, and VET simply pitted straight away)
    this won’t be the case towards the end of races though.

    Good:PET, VET, ALO
    Bad:WEB, MAS, HEI
    bring on round 2.

    1. Actually it was not all bad for Massa. I would rather say Ferrari missed a trick here, they definetily needed more temperature to make the tyres work. Massa did a great start and very solid defence against Button in the first stint.

    2. I don’t think drivers can pit willy-nilly. They have less tyres this year and at other tracks we may see higher wear rates — so choosing when to pit is a more measured decision.

      1. yeah but they can always bring their scheduled stop a lap or two earlier if someone starts to catch up on them.

  4. Is this article right? Mclaren used some sort of KERS back in 98?

    http://grandprix.com/ns/ns01518.html

    1. I’ve not read it but Mercedes/Ilmor were developing an energy recovery technology similar to KERS with McLaren in the late nineties, but the technology was banned by the FIA before they could race it.

      1. Forward-thinking as always!

  5. It promised a pretty interesting race and gave us nice thing to speculate about for the next race.

    Will Red Bull use KERS in Malaysia, will it be good if they do, will they lose a lot without. And what about KERS on the other cars?

    Will Webber / Massa keep up with their team mates, or is this year going to mark them down as 2nd drivers for good.
    Is Heidfeld already rife to be exchanged for Senna, will Renault give Bruno some FP running now just to prepare?
    What about Mercedes, they never really had a chance of showing what the car can do. And what about Williams, Rubens showed good speed before he speared Rosberg. But the car does have reliability problems.

    And last but not least, will HRT get to participate in the race next time round? If they do, will they be faster than Virgin.

    1. Red Bull will surely have to use KERS in Malaysia, they’ll be losing loads of places on the long straight down to turn 1 otherwise

      As for Heidfeld people are being far too harsh on him, he did suffer significant damage at turn 1 and his KERS wasn’t working. http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/110930477/AFP

      1. Wow, I never noticed that. I feel sorry for Heidfeld, he’s had no luck this weekend.

        1. I wish they would’ve shown that in the coverage, I was cursing how terrible Nick was in that race.

          1. Guilherme (@the_philosopher)
            27th March 2011, 21:24

            I know that FOM didn’t give any attention to Heidfeld’s problems today, but at least I did notice the damage on his car during the race, about two or three times during the whole thing (probably the number of times he acutally appeared during the race!).

            But yeah, I agree, the coverage today was ridiculous. I think that in the beginning of the race Rubens was setting up an overtake on Perez, but yet when he was going to overtake him, the TV didn’t show. Also, it may be just me, but I think there were too few onboard moments.

          2. It wasn’t that bad was it? I mean, when covering an event live you have to realise it’s hard to show all the right things.

            They did swap over to lots of key moments in time, and followed most of the battles that were taking place.

          3. Talking about bad tv coverage… did anyone see how Alonso got past Rosberg? I know he overtook Kobayashi, and after that was Rosberg… but absolutely no footage of that pass.

      2. Wow, that picture shows two things:

        1) Heidfeld and Renault did pretty well keeping the car going with that damage (with exhaust now being deflected differently, and potentially into the sidepod) must have caused badly unbalanced car; and

        2) once again, the people directing the camera’s could improve our sense of how action-packed a race is by just showing more of what happens on track, especially with the people in and behind the midfield, I can’t recall having seen clear shots of Heidfeld ever during the race.

        1. There’s been a lot of aero optimisation around these fancy-shaped sidepods over the last few years. That big hole would have made quite a difference in downforce and stability.

      3. Neither did I, I assume that no-one saw it because of FOM’s selective feeding. :-(

        I wonder who did it because they wouldn’t have come off of it particularly well either!

        1. After looking at the start again, it seems that a Williams hit Heidfeld at turn 1. FOM’s feed was rubbish, I’ve heard about plenty of passes that we didn’t see.

      4. And shame on FOM for not letting that gem get to the world feed – I checked on LRGP’s website and they made reference to the fact that it wasn’t shown on TV. Raging

      5. People base their opinions on his drive based on what we saw on TV, which was the final position. Don’t remember seeing him on track a single time during the GP.

        Awful coverage apparently if they missed something that interesting out, how did that car even manage to finish?

      6. The big one will be when Red Bull don’t have the lead and they have to make a pass without KERS. A lot of drivers will probably save their KERS for the DRS zone if they’re under attack to even out the drag reduction. Massa did it with Button early on; saved his KERS, Button got very close but when he used the DRS Massa countered with a big burst of KERS.
        Cant believe Red Bull didn’t have some sort of KERS for the start… or everyone else must have bogged down like crazy.

  6. I actually like RedBull’s/Newey’s approach to racing. They have done an analysis of the circuits and designed their car accordingly. Top speed is purely academic if it can’t be converted to track position. As such their cars are faster where it matters, around corners. Meaning they come out of the corner faster hence would still travel down the straights in a faster time despite notreaching the fastest speeds.

    They will only suffer slightly on a few tracks but the penalty wont be all that great.
    KERS is just for those who want technology for technology sake not for relevance.
    Except you just enjoy playing with buttons and dials that adjust brake bias to match te charge/discharge cycles.

    Oh might also interest a few who enjoy pressing a zap button and watching batteries run out.

    1. yep and remember in 09 the kers cars interestingly only came to the fore on circuits that DIDNT have long straights. like hungary. and lewis was quick at monaco when up to that point they had been on the back of the grid all year.

      kers seems better for acceleration rather than top speed.

      1. 80bhp makes a big difference to acceleration; to top speed, not so much. However if you can accelerate harder out of a corner, that enables a higher top speed going onto a long straight.

        1. The impression I got was red bull weren’t running KERS because of reliability. They will probably have to run it at some tracks. they do have a KERS to run, they used it in FP1

          1. Horner said in an interview on the BBC coverage that KERS wasn’t included because they couldn’t fit in within the space available on Newey’s design. So it’s a case of aero trumping KERS in the design decisions. Presuming that’s true of course.

  7. Yeah I noticed that with Vettel overtaking Button, but no one else seems to have mentioned it

    1. I guess in the eyes of the stewards, Vettel was jus avoiding an obstacle, considering Button was under or about to be under investigation, I guess. Not the first time the stewards have looked the otherway. Not so sure its important though.

  8. By the way, I noticed Barichello had just deployed KERS moments before he plunged into Rosberg. Strange he blamed the tyres when hewas clearly aiming for the inside. Guess memory does suffer with age selectively. :-)

    1. Clearly Schumacher tried to kill him moments before, and then crashed into Rosberg.

  9. It pains me to say it but I think massa drove admirably today, not only did he manage to make his car seem really wide to button bit he very clerverly saved and then used his kers to defend against buttons Drs. A very good move from a well rounded and experienced driver,

    I have not seen a replay but I also thought vettle went off track to pass button, and I think Hamilton would have pressed vettle all the way home had it not been for his damaged car.

    Love the stats Keith, very interesting as always, but I do wonder of the fastest laps which ones we completed using the drs.

    One more thing, I think drs cut it’s teeth well today, it appeaed from my point of veiw to have assiseded in a few overtakes but was far from being the free for all easy overtake button so many predicted

    1. Kobayashi didn’t try to make it difficult for either Button or Alonso. I guess he was just trying to get a result in his first race of the year.

  10. #N/A…poor HRT

    1. at least Alosno was faster than Webber. but Vettel fly away.

  11. Has no one else noticed that the only two drivers to start the race on hard tyres only made one stop! Surely we will see the back 12 all start on hard at the next race and one stop whilst the front runners all make 2/3 stops. Could 11th be the new pole position?
    What a missed opportunity for Brawns/Schumis apparently amazing tactical genius…

    1. My point exactly. If a driver is not going to qaulify in the first 6 places, it almost isn’t worth it trying to get into the top 10 as you waste tyres and then get further penalized by being forced to use your worn out tyres. Only to have all those you out qualify blowing past you at the start.

    2. yeah i was amazed schumi didnt try to start on hard tyres.

      but they missed great gambles like this last year too when they had nothing to losre

      1. Maybe they thought Schumacher using new softs was a big enough advantage over the 10 cars ahead on used softs.

  12. Alonso did 1 stop too many to be able to fight for 2nd, and perhaps 1st. Same goes for Webber, why didn’t he do a 2 stop like Vettel did?

    Strategy standings
    Vettel+Hamilton 1-0 Ferrari

  13. did anyone ever find out why webber parked it at the end of the race???

    must of been a reason? its his home grand prix surely he would want to do the slow down lap?

    1. I suggest that during practise one Vettel’s kers failed, Vettel’s decides to run no Kers. In keeping with team policy both drivers having equal equipment. Webber is told he cannot use Kers. During race he needs it, is frustrated and annoyed at team, parks it as soon as he possibly can.

    2. According to Red Bull they were worried that Webber’s car might get caught with too little fuel for the obligatory post-race minimum fuel sample.

  14. Keith – You say the Bulls may be vulnerable on tracks with a longer pit straight and this certainly sounds right but do you have all the pit straight lengths to see which tracks they will be worried about?

    1. The best lie has a grain of truth in it – so perhaps Newey has allowed a KERS into the car that can do one start. Who knows.

      I am perplexed why in 09 when there was also the OPTION to run KERS non-KERS cars had the graphic onscreen crossed out – so this year did Lotus have onscreen batteries the same as RB, or were RB telling data porkies?

      1. I think that rumour is dead now, it was just no KERS fitted although they have a version. The mini KERS story seems to be a wrong guess.

  15. Sorry, but again, 35 laps!

    And if I’ve read the infringement right they did this with a rear wing that was too concave, which in my amateurish picture in my head means higher rear downforce than should have been allowed, ie the error should have made tyre wear worse!

    *goes to put money on Perez WDC within 3y*

  16. if button had taken the inside line into turn one, then he would have been ahead of petrov, easy podium.

  17. Great graphics Keith, interesting stuff.

    Good to see Sauber so high up in the top speed graphic. Just hope it’s genuine, though from what I can gather, it is.

  18. Great article as always Keith,

    Now looking at how this race played out, the prospect of Malaysia are looking great.

    The Fia must decide where to place the DRS zone.

    They have two very long straights to choose from.
    Redbull will be so vulnerable if they do not get the KERS to work for Malaysia.

    And of course RAIN! Rain will surely play some sort of role throughout the weekend.

    Bring it on!

  19. Vettell clearly gained an advantage running wide (it is the quickest line) when passing Button. They need to put rumble strips on the outside of that turn

  20. It’s off topic, but can anyone explain me this?!

    3.15 Aerodynamic influence :
    With the exception of the driver adjustable bodywork described in Article 3.18 (in addition to minimal parts
    solely associated with its actuation) and the ducts described in Article 11.4, any specific part of the car
    influencing its aerodynamic performance :
    – must comply with the rules relating to bodywork.
    – must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom).
    – must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car.
    Any device or construction that is designed to bridge the gap between the sprung part of the car and the ground is prohibited under all circumstances.
    No part having an aerodynamic influence and no part of the bodywork, with the exception of the skid block in 3.13 above, may under any circumstances be located below the reference plane.
    With the exception of the parts necessary for the adjustment described in Article 3.18, any car system,
    device or procedure which uses, or is suspected of using, driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited.

    http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg640/scaled.php?tn=0&server=640&filename=wnxw.png&xsize=640&ysize=640

    1. Valentino – That’s a good spot.
      No doubt the wing has passed scrutineering, and has been subject to deflection tests. There’s no doubt however that the wing is closer to the ground than the reference plane. My view is that
      1. It’s legal (if it has indeed been fully scrutineered, and I have no reason to believe it wouldn’t be)
      2. It’s time to update the deflection tests, so that they are representative of the real world use of the part.

  21. The one thing that ruined the race for me was the inconsistency of the stewards. Three passes were made off the track, only one was punished. Maybe you should run a vote keith to see what the general consensus is!

    1. You are correct and I don’t care who the drivers are it makes no difference, neither does being on the inside or outside of the track. The rules do not say you can leave the track on the outside, in fact they say you can’t, you must be between the white line (or yellow in OZ)

    2. The stewards were inconsistent but on the same time consistent with their inconsistency. No driver were punished for overtaking outside the track but overtaking on the inside was punished. It has been that way for a lot of years now. The drivers should be aware that overtaking on the inside is going to be punished no matter how much he felt he was being forced off the track.
      They could easily make a high curb there to stop the drivers re designing the track whenever they want to.

  22. Great analysis Keith. THANK YOU and keep it up!

  23. Keith, I have script error in IE9(IE8 compatible mode. because I can’t see flash chart on IE9 mode).

    1. I mean this page. the rest is OK.

    2. The charts don’t use Flash, they use Javascript.

      1. I mean why I use IE8 compatible mode is Flash. not this page. I just want to tell my configuration. Anyway, Javascript error and IE9 crash.

        1. I think I have the same problem: the charts aren’t displayed in IE 9. I thought it should be something with Flash Player, as Flash Player is not yet available for IE 9, but according to Keith that’s not the case. So my question is: what else could have caused this display-issue?

          1. In IE8 for me, the charts are *incredibly* slow and actually cause the browser to hang for 30 seconds, sometimes when just trying to scroll the page. Doesn’t happen on normal articles without the charts. If I try and uncheck any of the check boxes on the chart I might as well go and make myself a cup of tea while I wait for it to update. I dont actually drink tea, but if I did, that’d be what I would do ;)

            This is on a pretty decent spec machine (dual 2.7, 4GB).

  24. I think Redbull could find themselves on the back foot on the tracks were KERS is more advantageous. It seemed to me they were a bit harder on their tires than Mclaren even without running the KERS. I expect the degradation to be be far worse when/if they do run it. Redbull definately quicker on new tires but this seems to be cancelled out by Mclaren being quicker towards the end of a stint, just a shame we didn’t get to see how quicker due to Hamiltons problem after his second pit stop.

  25. Did anyone mention the fact that the Red Bulls were starting on the racing line? I think that’s why their getaways were relatively good.

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