Webber stays on top in Sepang by tiny margin

2011 Malaysian GP second practice

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Mark Webber, Red Bull, Sepang, 2011

Mark Webber stayed on top of the times sheets in the second practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

But he did not enjoy the same emphatic margin he had in the first session. Jenson Button in second was just five thousandths of a second slower.

Lewis Hamilton backed up his team mate with the third-fastest time ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Pastor Maldonado set the fastest time early on but he lost time after spinning in the pit lane entry and hitting a barrier. But the damage to his Williams was light and he was able to rejoin later on.

Vitantonio Liuzzi hit trouble in the HRT early on, coming to a halt at turn nine after bouncing over a kerb a few corners earlier. He was also able to return to the track.

The Renault drivers missed the early part of the session as the team worked on repairing the failures they suffered in first practice.

But Jerome d’Ambrosio’s Virgin never made it out following his front-right failure.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGapLaps
12Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’36.87624
24Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’36.8810.00530
33Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’37.0100.13423
41Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’37.0900.21430
57Michael SchumacherMercedes1’38.0881.21226
66Felipe MassaFerrari1’38.0891.21331
78Nico RosbergMercedes1’38.5651.68925
89Nick HeidfeldRenault1’38.5701.69416
95Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’38.5831.70727
1019Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’38.8461.97031
1112Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’38.9682.09225
1211Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’39.1872.31130
1310Vitaly PetrovRenault1’39.2672.39117
1416Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’39.3982.52229
1517Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’39.6032.72734
1615Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’39.6252.74931
1714Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’39.8092.93328
1818Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’40.1153.23931
1924Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’40.8663.99024
2021Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’41.8905.01419
2122Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’43.1976.32115
2223Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’43.9917.11514
2320Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’44.8868.0104
2425Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworthno time0

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

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    69 comments on “Webber stays on top in Sepang by tiny margin”

    1. Looks about the same as the last race.

      1. Except that this race, it’s Red Bull AND McLaren that are a second faster than everyone else.

        Mind, it’s only practice, but that’s very interesting.

        1. Hamilton thinks RB are keeping at least 0,5 seconds in hand for Q3, and from experience I would say that fits the pattern. He didn’t say how much he was keeping back though.

          And I read some comments and tweets about Schu doing his fastest time without using his DRS, so he might have a bit of reserve as well (or its broken)

          1. Ah, good to know. McLaren are expecting to be faster, so I’m hoping they will be :)

            1. add some random weather into the mix and this could be a tasty race.

          2. I would love to see an inspired Schumacher ix it up with Redbull and McLaren at the front around those sweepers.

          3. Taking into account what we saw last year and in the first race, Red Bull usually have 1 second and even more from the FP2 times. Mclaren usually have half a second to seven tenths.

      2. All the best Webbster for Sepang! Unfortunately you’re not in their GRAND plan however please don’t buy into Horner’s insulting techniques to try & disrupt your season. Despite recently what he has publicly said you are top shelf mate and who really cares if he doesn’t think so… Without you RBR would not be in the position it is today to fight for world championships. When you race a little bit of all of us is racing & by the way last I checked Mansell was still racking up WDC at the age of 40. As you know well it’s a game of chess & not checkers & you are a Thoroughbred! All skeptics in time will be proven wrong. AUSSIEGRIT!

        Oh not that you would backdoor a mate in strife but please keep an eye on that Renault seat for 2012, they are going places & really need a number 1 driver like you to lead the team. Obviously depending on Rob’s unfortunate outcome…

        Mark Webber – 2011 WDC

    2. this so resembles last years packing order

      1. boris the one-eyed gerbil
        8th April 2011, 10:16

        Was that freudian?

        1. Haha nice one Boris! But yes, it really does.

      2. No it doesn’t Ferrari was second faster last year.

    3. Did the Red Bulls set their best times on the Option tyres? I know Mclaren did.

      1. Yep – all on options.

        1. Thats looking good for McLaren then. But we dont know fuel loads.

        2. Jelle van der Meer (@)
          8th April 2011, 8:53

          What about Ferrari – are these their times on options or did they stay on hard.

          Would love to see Ferrari loose out to Red Bull & Mclaren and having to fight for 3rd

          1. I believe Ferrari were on the hards but I could be wrong. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter as Ferrari are almost always lower down the order or slower in practice. Come quali they should still be behind Mcl and RBR though.

            1. Yes, you’re right. Most times last year Alonso was in the midfield in FP1 & FP2, then on Saturday he reached the front.
              That’s why I’m not worried (yet).

      2. I don’t think they are slower on the option unless they keep making mistake.

    4. It looks like that Webber is good at Sepang. We know Webber got pole last year. if Vettel had not passed Webber at start, he could have win. Redbull and Mclaren’s close pace is welcome. but I hope Ferrari didn’t show their true quali pace.

      1. I think Ferrari have more in them but i don’t think they are going to get near mclaren or red bull. Massa and Alonso had some traffic on their quick runs with the soft tyres.

        1. I think Red Bull and McLaren are operating at an inspirational level at the moment compared to other teams. They seem motivated by a team wide unified desire and belief they can race at the crest of the cutting edge.

          Both are driving and innovating new ideas that others in the pit lane just aren’t capable of matching.

          1. Weasel Chops
            8th April 2011, 10:04

            Lol, someone’s had too much coffee.

            1. or too much Red Bull? ;)

          2. Well said Hare!

      2. I’d say Mark’s pole was more down to an inspired tyre choice than his raw pace. However, Mark managed to qualify 2nd in 04 at this track so maybe he does like it. His races tend to be quite unlucky here though.

        1. Oh I forgot it was rain last year though he usually have had good lap times(and disastrous race) here.

    5. 107% = 1.43.657
      Liuzzi & Kovalinen need to improve dramatically!

      1. Both had problems and associated limited running though. But Lotus do seem off the pace today.

      2. No need to improve if top teams would use hard tyre in Q1. They could pass 107% easily.

        1. Gotta say I am really impressed with HRT. To be this fast with no testing is a really good effort. I’m a little worried that Narain will have trouble getting up to speed without more track time. He was faster than Liuzzi today however I would hazard a guess that is because of setup. He was way off Liuzzi in qualifying in Melbourne. I hope they qualify this weekend.

          1. Performance of HRT is weird. F110 had had no update during last season but gap between them and Lotus or Virgin was always same though Lotus and Virgion had updated quite hard.(and sometime it works for closing gap to mid field.) Does it mean cars of the rest actually weren’t improved? Mysterious…

      3. Oh so well it does look like the HRT’s will make it then. I think the FIA will grat them a dispention if they can even get within 108% of the best Q1 time…Kovy will come back…he just did installation laps..

        1. And since this track requires quite a good downforce set up, it seems as though HRT will be able to make the 107% at the other circuits as well. Still, I am absolutely amazed that Narain outpaced Luizzi.

      4. I wouldn’t call 3 tenths dramatically for Liuzzi, esp. after missing the most of the session while his car was brought back to the pits.
        And Kovalainen also missed quite some track time, he probably didn’t even put on soft tyres.

    6. A lot will be up to the weather tomorrow and on Sunday. The tyre wear might prove to be key to winning the race.

      Surely RB could go a few tenths down in the times for tomorrow, hard to say exactly how much though.

      Good job from HRT to be pretty close, with Narain being within the 107% cut and Liuzzi missing out by little over 3 tenths after missing a bit of running this session. Lets see how that will look tomorrow.

    7. Looks like Webber may have the beating of Vettel. Still only Free Practice but it was the same story last year here. Good news for the championship.

    8. HRT must have a killer designer hidden out in a cave. Their cars have hardly any running and yet they are close to two teams who have had decent amount of running.

      1. Sound_Of_Madness
        8th April 2011, 11:00

        Geoff Willis.

    9. Seb will be higher up the order tomorrow, though Lewis and Jenson looked really strong in the second session… As well, let’s hope Mark qualifies well and delivers a drive worthy of the car…

      1. I agree. If I had to put my money on anyone, it would be Vettel for pole again with Webber in P2. I think Mclaren can give them a tough fight during the race, but Ferrari are going to be nowhere close to the podium.

        1. It does seem that way doesn’t it. Unless Ferrari are hiding their real pace for tomorrow it is going to be a very long weekend. That being said I wouldn’t count out Alonso for a podium. He is a wily one.

          1. Kind of doubt Ferrari are hiding anything.


            Judging by what the Ferrari drivers have to say, they seem to be in as bad shape as they were in Melbourne.

      2. boris the one-eyed gerbil
        8th April 2011, 10:18

        At least this time it seems as if Red Bull have delivered a car worthy of the driver ;)

        1. Red Bull delivered a fast car for the last two races. Webber just let it down.

    10. I dont know if i only noticed it,but didnt Ham set that time without the DRS as it was under 30 minutes in P2 and this is in race simulation???

      1. Not sure but fascinated to find out. Can anyone shed any light?

        1. If that be the case, I’d be hunching for a Hamilton win – whether dry or wet!

      2. there was no 30 min race simulation today as far as i’m aware

        1. yeah, early in FP2 Crofy on 5live confirmed no race conditions with regards to DRS. Most teams was doing full-fuel runs in the final 20mins anyway.

    11. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      8th April 2011, 8:58

      Interesting to see the sector times – Mclaren is faster in 1st and 2nd sector but Red Bull is faster 3rd sector.

      This is opposite of what I would expect with the long straight being 3rd sector.

      Ultimate lap is won by Mclaren with 1.36.794 vs. Red Bull 1.36.845. Then a second later comes Mercedes with 1.37.937 and Ferrari with 1.37.958 followed by 0.5 second Renault at 1.38.537

      On the 107% rule – all the teams stay within the limit but Heikki and Luizzi would not make it.

      1. But the Renaults did not really set best times in those 16 laps they did.

        And Tonio and Heikki would have had better times, if not for sitting out large part of FP2.

        Interesting work comparing the teams like that Jelle. Maybe RB put the wings down a bit to make sure they don’t get passed to easily on the straights, while McLaren went for cornering? Or maybe Webber and Vettel holding back a bit in those corners.

    12. Karthikeyan is within 107% this time, but barely.

      Webber’s 96.876 * 107% = 103.657.

    13. Team 1Malaysia are so disappointing. After all the hype, for example Gascoyne saying the car looked like a front-runner, they are still fighting with Virgin and are no faster in comparison to where they were last year. They should keep their mouths shut and work on solving their problems before they make wild predictions.

      1. I don’t think Gascoyne ever quite said the car would be a front runner..

        Talk about keeping your mouth shut….

        1. He said at the launch:

          ‘you look at this car it looks like a front-running car in every area’

          So please if you are going to tell me to keep my mouth shut make sure you know what you’re talking about.

          1. both of you, shut up.

            1. Sound_Of_Madness
              8th April 2011, 10:57

              They aimed 30-40 points at the launch. They will need massive upgrades to achieve it…

    14. Interesting when watching the on board shot of the Redbulls, as the car starts to hit higher speeds, you begin to see the front wing disappear from view, this is far much greater than from any on board shot from the other cars. The camera position on Webber’s car was different so I couldn’t see the wing, unlike from Vettel’s car.

    15. Proesterchen
      8th April 2011, 9:50

      Did any one of you note whether Mercedes GP ever used DRS during the two practice sessions? I don’t think I’ve seen it activated, I know MSC did his fastest lap in the afternoon not using DRS.

      1. Harry Palmer
        8th April 2011, 10:44

        That is interesting… I was a bit concerned that they were still a second off the pace, but if RBR and Mclaren were using DRS on their laps then things could be looking up for Mercedes. It is only practice though, the real test of where they are will come over Saturday and Sunday1 ;)

    16. According to Autosport, Alonso says he’s expecting a difficult weekend.


      Red Bull seem to be fast enough not to need to run KERS for the rest of the weekend. They will make a decision on whether or not to use it later in the day.


      McLaren are close on times, but the Red Bull was much better over a long stint.

      1. Red Bull seem to be fast enough not to need to run KERS for the rest of the weekend. They will make a decision on whether or not to use it later in the day.

        How do you work that out they were using KERS and only just in front? OK they are sure to have a bit in hand but surely not enough to not run KERS.

        It ran reliably all a day so I think they will use it.

        1. They probably have a good half second in hand. KERS gives you three tenths max. Like you say, they will probably use it, but probably don’t need to.

          1. I see your logic now.

    17. Think Mclaren may have made up a slight bit of ground, but I reckon come qualifying RB will have at least 0.5s on Mclaren. Its just a matter of Mclaren trying to split the red bulls in Q3 (as in Aus) and possibly use KERS off the start to try to gain advantage. Good thing for Mclaren fans is that its not just outright pace that will determine results, pit-stops/tyre degradation could even see Ferrari/Mercedes in the mix. Button looks quick around here too so watch out for a good in-house battle at Mclaren as well as RB. I’d love a Mclaren 1-2 (Lewis 1st) – wishful thinking? thoughts?

      1. The way the tyres look at the moment, it might be worth taking it easy in qualifying.

        What we have seen so far is taking them easy in the first few laps extends their life for a bit longer compared to going fast straight away. I don’t know if there’s a time advantage (I don’t think so), but it might be crucial with regards to the number of stops being made.

        And with so many expecting rain at some point on Sunday, how many will dare to do Q3 on the hard tyres?

    18. Ferrari look to be struggling. The McLarens were not so fast as the Red Bull’s on longer runs. Mercedes are not far off McLaren.

      Hamilton reckons that Red Bull are ‘sand bagging’.


    19. Liuzzi didn’t half batter it over the curb. He was really dragging that car around as well.

      Gonna be checking out FP1 v FP2 to get my predictions in ;)

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