Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Sepang, 2011

Red Bull show superior performance in race stints

2011 Malaysian GP second practice analysis

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Sepang, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Sepang, 2011

Red Bull seem to be able to look after their tyres better than their rivals in Malaysia.

However it was clear from the radio chatter during the session that Mark Webber was unhappy with rear tyre degradation. He wasn’t able to preserve his tyres as long as Vettel in Melbourne and may have the same problem here.

It remains to be seen whether both RB7s were using KERS all the time. The energy recovery device can cause increased rear tyre wear.

The team will decide tonight whether to run it in the rest of the weekend.

Longest stint comparison

  • The Red Bull appears to have the best performance over a stint. Compare Sebastian Vettel’s run with Jenson Button’s below to see.
  • Lewis Hamilton said the tyres aren’t lasting as long as they did in Melbourne and he expects a three-stop race.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Sebastian Vettel 104.041 104.042 104.046 104.379 104.268 104.216 104.661 104.431 104.438 105.489 103.993 105.206
Mark Webber 105.664 104.138 103.585 103.753 103.666 103.545 104.455 104.881 105.661
Lewis Hamilton 104.539 104.175 104.223 104.477 105.583 106.03
Jenson Button 106.384 105.451 104.58 104.503 104.074 104.49 104.68 104.588 104.758 105.975 106.938 108.748
Fernando Alonso 105.605 106.684 105.91 106.38 107.834 112.009
Felipe Massa 103.538 103.754 113.541 103.584 104.307 104.83 105.519 113.944 107.014
Michael Schumacher 106.076 107.463 109.146 111.762
Nico Rosberg 104.974 105.14 105.992 106.997 110.369
Nick Heidfeld 104.062 104.704 117.833 104.958 106.249 107.037 107.641 112.492
Vitaly Petrov 106.642 106.216 107.174 138.412
Rubens Barrichello 106.771 106.246 106.403 106.058 106.11 106.553 112.372 106.792 107.964
Pastor Maldonado 107.061 107.033 106.027 106.358 106.7 110.17 108.422
Adrian Sutil 104.614 104.653 107.645 104.763 106.384 105.804 106.575
Paul di Resta 103.828 104.058 104.906 106.128 109.326 107.994 111.335 112.676
Kamui Kobayashi 105.884 104.078 104.825 104.62 105.252
Sergio Perez 105.229 104.622 104.585 104.853 104.922 105.306 105.372 105.679 106.664 107.307 111.478 108.378 109.505
Sebastien Buemi 104.3 105.4 102.761 103.091 102.733 102.607
Jaime Alguersuari 104.848 106.168 106.136 106.479 107.015 108.737 110.449
Heikki Kovalainen 105.118 104.886
Jarno Trulli 108.918 108.767 124.529
Narain Karthikeyan 106.75 108.425 106.189 105.6
Vitantonio Liuzzi 107.453 110.776 106.123 106.153
Timo Glock 105.737 105.374 105.144 106.341 106.8 106.297 106.21 107.81
Jerome d’Ambrosio

Ultimate lap times

  • Ferrari are a little closer to the pace than they appear to be – Fernando Alonso was delayed by Jarno Trulli during his quickest lap.
  • Trulli also felt his fastest lap was spoiled by traffic and believes he can improve.
Car Driver Car Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’36.876 0.000
2 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’36.881 0.005 0.000
3 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’37.010 0.134 0.000
4 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’37.090 0.214 0.000
5 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’38.047 1.171 0.042
6 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’38.088 1.212 0.000
7 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’38.187 1.311 0.396
8 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’38.434 1.558 0.131
9 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’38.537 1.661 0.033
10 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’38.846 1.970 0.000
11 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’38.968 2.092 0.000
12 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’39.159 2.283 0.108
13 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’39.187 2.311 0.000
14 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.248 2.372 0.150
15 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’39.509 2.633 0.116
16 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.603 2.727 0.000
17 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’39.754 2.878 0.055
18 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.853 2.977 0.262
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’40.866 3.990 0.000
20 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’41.849 4.973 0.041
21 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’43.127 6.251 0.070
22 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’43.991 7.115 0.000
23 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’44.869 7.993 0.017

Complete practice times

  • Encouragingly for Renault, despite missing much of the session while their cars were repaired, Nick Heidfeld managed the ninth fastest time and did it on the fourth lap of his stint.
  • HRT showed they have the potential to beat the 107% time in qualifying. Narain Karthikeyan was half-a-second quicker than the 107% time based on the quickest time in second practice.
  • Unusually, the two Mercedes had among the lowest top speeds at the speed trap. Nick Heidfeld was quickest at 307.9kph – the fastest Mercedes of Nico Rosberg was over 11kph slower and Michael Schumacher was another 5kph behind.
Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Stint lap At time Laps
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’36.876 1/1 44 24
2 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’36.881 0.005 1/1 53 30
3 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’37.010 0.134 1/3 68 23
4 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’37.090 0.214 1/4 43 30
5 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’38.088 1.212 1/3 40 26
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’38.089 1.213 1/3 57 31
7 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’38.565 1.689 3/3 61 25
8 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’38.570 1.694 4/4 65 16
9 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’38.583 1.707 3/4 61 27
10 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’38.846 1.970 1/3 41 31
11 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’38.968 2.092 1/2 22 24
12 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’39.187 2.311 1/2 32 30
13 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’39.267 2.391 1/3 74 17
14 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.398 2.522 1/3 57 29
15 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.603 2.727 2/2 59 34
16 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’39.625 2.749 3/3 61 31
17 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’39.809 2.933 3/3 71 28
18 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’40.115 3.239 2/3 49 31
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’40.866 3.990 1/2 67 24
20 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’41.890 5.014 3/3 66 19
21 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’43.197 6.321 1/2 57 15
22 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’43.991 7.115 2/2 92 13
23 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’44.886 8.010 2/2 8 4

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

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71 comments on “Red Bull show superior performance in race stints”

  1. I think, Button said something about the softs really “dropping off a cliff” when the go. So that stint of his might have been on the softs.

    Maybe Vettel gave them more time to get up to speed, so he could perserve them. Pirelli says this really helps preserving the tyres for a longer time. Button certainly used them aggressively in that fastest lap of his.

    1. Comparing Webber and Vettel, seems Vettel was either on the harder tyre, or was being a little kinder to his tyres.

      Either way, Webber was faster to start off with following by incrementally slower laps, as perhaps he’s tyres fell away.

      1. Seems its more about Vettel having looked at conserving the tyres for a longer run, while both Webber and Button went for a bit of Qualli style aggression on the tyres and showed that does the tyres in, instead of just McLaren being harder on the tyre.

        1. If you study the runs you will see that Vettel was quick from the off. Button looked after his tyres to begin with, and Webber went fastest of all during his run.

        2. In the last race it initially appeared that Redbull were harder on their tyres. Whether that was infact the extra fuel they were apparently carrying we may well find out over the next few races. Possibly Hamiton initially being on Vettels pace was the fuel effect more than anything else.

          It did appear that McLaren were managing their tyres very well in Aus practice, but the balance on the Redbull, despite Horner’s total bull about rake hights, appears to be as close to perfect as is posible so fuel effect should be the only reason it’s harder on it’s tyres.

          1. The Red Bull car is visually higher at the rear than other cars.

  2. I have a feeling the Red Bulls were a tad lighter on those long runs.

  3. So now its Red Bull that appear to be kinder on its tyres ??!!!

    those Pirellis are really mysterious =P

    1. depends when they made the run, and what the track temp was etc. Also is KERS being used? What tyre compound? Fuel Load?

      So there is a fair amount of room for variance.

      1. For all of them, the long stints were in the last half our of FP2 at least.

  4. Exactly how unpredictable are these guys going to make this season?
    -> Now suddenly, RBR manages tyres better than McLaren.
    -> RBR is suddenly quicker than McLaren in sector 3, which is the one with the straights.
    -> McLaren is quicker in the sectors 1-2, which has the cornering goin on…

    Oh well, for the better. We want excitement, they are surely doing their best to bring it to us this way!

    1. They surely are, I love how suddenly McLaren and Redbull are swapping fastest sectors. I think the Woking boys are going to be extra inspired this year and really fight the good fight, in a way they haven’t since 98-2000.

  5. This sounds suspiciously like what they were saying in Melbourne …

    1. Yes, and it might be just as true. Even so, if they can’t get ahead of their issues, being potentially fast doesn’t help much.

      1. It might be true, but how long will it take before “We’re faster than we look!” starts becoming an excuse? Fernandes has to make good on his promises if he wants to be taken seriously.

    2. It does, tech glitches again. In a way, I think the second year is actually the hardest.
      First year everything is new, you can see some hopefull signs etc. But the second you have to deliver and still are a team learning the ropes.
      Then the 3rd year will be the deciding factor to see weather the team actually has what it needs to be successfull long term.

  6. It looks like the tyres just fall off a cliff about about 9 laps!

    It also looked like Button went easier on his tyres than Vettel did at the start of his run.

    If Lewis’s run is anything to go by, then he needs to find something in his set up.

    Is that the most representative run that he did?

  7. Great analysis thanks. Not 100% but I remember thinking at the time that all the fronts runners appeared to be on softs for their final runs. They all want to know just how far they can push them and not get caught out a la perez in melbourne.

    1. I guess one thing we also don’t know is, is what they did with those tyres before the long run.

      1. Webber, Button and Hamilton certainly did a quick lap on a short stint with those tyres before their long run. That would make sense and would be what would happen to the tyres in qualification and then the race. It makes sense to simulate that.

        I have no idea what other people did, but I assume they did something similar.

  8. I have just watched the onboard qualifying lap with Vettel from Melbourne 2011. And I am seriously wondering what the heck did Adrian Newey do to that front wing or the whole nose of the car! Under air flow it behaves like thick cardboard:)

    1. And I am seriously wondering what the heck did Adrian Newey do to that front wing or the whole nose of the car!

      The whole car is based on a different philosophy to its rivals. It’s not something that you could copy without having to make a whole new car. This is why they keep getting stick about something that is perfectly legal.

      1. Coefficient
        8th April 2011, 11:12

        Wrong, I believe the regulations prohibit the wing running below a certain ride height at any time. The Red Bull clearly does this by visibly flexing. The FIA have yet to get their act together and figure out a way of catching them out.

        1. The regulations do not specify that the wing should run below a certain height when the car is on the track. The wing passes the current test designed to catch them out. Not that the FIA is there only to “catch them out”.

          Article 3.15 says that no bodywork should move. If that were the case then ‘no’ car would be within the regulations. Therefore article 3.17 allows a freedom of movement for certain areas of bodywork. Rule 3.17.1 says that the front wing can move 20mm when a 1000N weight is placed upon it. The Red Bull wing passes this test.

          1. edit: “should not run below”.

          2. It’s nitpicking but you know the rules prohibit bodywork below the reference plane. It’s not just about whether a piece of bodywork passes a stress test. The reference plane rule is specifically there to prevent ground-effect devices, like, say running a front wing on right on the deck like a front-diffuser.

            Horner’s histrionics about rake are not satisfying. No amount of rake explains the obvious bowing the endplates toward the track. Only RBR’s front wings curve downward like that.

          3. Once again the same issue. Passing a test is not the same as not infringing a regulation. Sure RBR’s flexi-parts are legal until ruled otherwise (because of different tests). FIA seem curiously reluctant to respond to the visual evidence everyone else can plainly see, so you can hardly blame McLaren for nagging away. Still Red Bull (Newey) have to be admired for the design and the way they’ve got round the rules, other teams do and try to the same, they’ve just been hugely successful in this case.

        2. Such material could only flex by unbonding the material with the right ammount of magnetic forces, which then the force by air can aid to push down the wing.

          This is different from the weights the FIA was placing on those wings. Nobody can see magnetic forces, while they may notice heat and other elements.

          1. It may be something as simple as the Red Bull cars running at a more steeply raked angle into the oncoming air, and also running softer front suspension that allows the car to pitch and roll more.

          2. I assume that with the fancy new high def footage the teams can easily watch the Red Bull cars and work out whether the whole car is rolling because of the suspension or it’s just the wing.

    2. Scary isn’t it… I remember a comment from Newey that it took him about half an hour to write the code for Williams active suspension.

      We all know the results of that.

      1. I don’t believe that for a second. Adrian Newey isn’t a computer programmer. It makes me smile how Newey is given credit for absolutely everything like he’s a one man band. I wonder if he makes the coffee and drives the lorry’s too? If i was part of the Red Bull design and engineering team I’d be well p#][#d!!

        1. Yea fair point, it is a team effort, but he is the figure head.

  9. Based on Webber’s best time, 107% would have been a 1:43.657 which means that everyone except Liuzzi and Kovalainen were within that.

    Fingers crossed we get to see all 24 cars making it into the race.

    (it also gives HRT something to work with if either car Karthikeyan were to miss the cut as at least they can show that he is capable of lapping within 107%).

    1. I hope they all race too Adrian. I absolutely hate the 107% rule. It’s a completely random number and it doesn’t do anything at all for safety because the busiest and msot chaotic moments on track are during practice and especially qualifying whereas in the race it’s much easier due to the cars being slower and blue flags. It takes drivers over a season to get up to speed because of the ban on testing so how new teams are meant to show up and be bang on the pace is beyond me.

      1. The best thing about it is that for the race there’s effectively a 111% rule – i.e. if you don’t finish 90% of the leader’s laps before the race is over you’re not classified.

        So inherent in the rules is the notion that you can be fast enough to race but not to qualify! Given that the difference in qualifying pace is nearly always smaller in the race it seems especially ridiculous.

  10. Webber got his spotlight in practice but I bet on Saturday and Sunday we’ll see Vettel’s finger again.

    1. You know I don’t think so, Webber seems confident round the track. It will be close but I reckon Webber to take pole by about a tenth to Vettel.

    2. I think you’re right. I do not expect Vettel to blow Mark away like he did in Melbourne, but he will still finish a tenth or two in front of his teammate in Quali.

    3. Sure, it may be second hand information from a friend who’s connected to Alan Webber, but Red Bull don’t want to make public the knowledge that Webber’s rear suspension was problematic. Supposedly there was an apology to him too.

      It could (likely) all be ridiculous hearsay. But then again, it could explain the stupidly big gap between the two Red Bull drivers. They haven’t bothered to offer an explanation…

  11. The correct way to test the wing flex is to simulate race conditions rather than a static test with weights on the end. Clever designers can alter the way the wing flexes using simulation software. You can apply a point load say in the same direction as the FIA would test and ensure the coomposite material doesn’t flex to much but then you can run a simulation that forces air over it and generates a force from braking etc to change the dynamic shape of the wing which can then give you a threshold to work to. Im surprised the FIA haven’t got there act together and use some sort of electronic guage on the underside of the wing end fences and make them do a lap of the circuit giving a true reading of the deflection.

    1. How can you then take into account suspension movement, tyre pressure and actual down force created by the wing. In order to pass your test I would fit a wing with minimum downforce, increase ride height and max tyre pressures.

    2. The correct way is to look at visual evidence and when visual evidence demonstrates that something is overly flexing, a test should be devised to ban this. Just like they did EVERY time when another team had some visible flex in their wings.

  12. Red Bull also did heavy runs at the beginning of the session with hard tyres. Are these definately the runs done later with the softs? if Vettels is the longer run on hard tyres than it makes comparison pointless

    1. If Vettel managed to go that quickly for that long on the hard tyre, then the other teams are definitely in trouble!

      1. But you have no idea what fuel load he was on so for all we know its not looking good for RB. I suspect however, it’s somewhere in the middle.

        1. Word is that Red Bull ran 15 kgs more fuel than any other car in those runs. No way to back that up, but it’s probably not for from the truth.

          1. 15 kg less than everybody else wouldn’t be far from the truth either.

  13. Sorry, to clarify i don’t mean measure the distance from the tarmac to underside of the wing as you rightly say this doesnt acount for tire pressure ride height etc. I mean to correctly measure it you need to say have a laser mounted say on the nose shine a dot on the wing end fence and then have a camera to measure the movement of the dot along a line with measured increments say in millimeters. This way you will get the true deflection Value. I suspect its not a linear movement thought more of a twist.

    1. This way you will get the true deflection Value. I suspect its not a linear movement thought more of a twist.

      In order to run this test you would need a perfectly flat track with no variation in wind direction. It may also be that Red Bull would also run the car in a configuration that does not flex the wing. The test would also only be of value if it were carried out whilst the car was in parc ferme conditions, which clearly isn’t going to happen.

      1. It would have to be a retro fit clamp on device that was packaged small to negate any impact of the device itself on the testing and should be done like a random drugs test over a race weekend to any car suspected of having a flexible wing. i dont see why having a flat track or wind varoation is important as the fixed datum is on the car itself and the measurement is only designed to measure flex in the wing. My understanding is that cars are not meant to have flexible wings regardless however all materials deform so they have given a tollerance for the manufacturers to adhere too. What people think is that redbull have cleverly managed to create a wing that deforms very little under a point load however deforms greatly under a set of circumstances replicated on the race track.
        In my opinion this is not a problem and is legal and other manufactures need to play catchup. However i was pointing out an alternative method for the FIA to acurately measure wing deflection without bias.

        1. I suspect that once the FIA has had enough of its ‘flex sensors’ crash tested, it wouldn’t be too long before they mandated a standard front wing. :)

          I would also cleverly make sure that the area where the sensor was to be attached also ‘flexed’ in an appropriate way. ;)

          1. I suspect that have the whole nose flex was red bull’s way of getting around any test that showed the wing flexing relative to the nose.

            It wouldn’t surprise me at all if, unlike last year, the wing doesn’t flex at all, it’s just that the nose bends closer to the ground.

          2. The wing endplates clearly move relative to the nose.

            Last year the whole nose of the car went down because they flexed their floor. That’s now effectively eliminated by the new tests. The front wing still flexes since the tests on that were pretty much unchanged. Double the force for double the deflection with the testing forces being only a fraction of the actual force on the wing at speed.

  14. Glock is far too good for that team.

    1. Agreed.. and right now it seems that Fernando is way too good for Ferrari as well..

      1. Maybe he should have stayed with Renault?

      2. Maybe Red Bull should start some rumours about Alonso joining them?

  15. Can’t get the graph to pop up? Opera browser, I know you’re working on it. I’ll try Fire fox 4.

    1. Yipee! I can see the graphs with FF4…

      So now I have a dedicated browser for f1fanatic.

      1. Opera is like the devil child of IE, use Firefox or Chrome from now on, it will make you go to heaven.

  16. Did anyone find out what was wrong with Nahrain’s HRT? Spurts of smoke were constantly coming out when he put down the power. Strange stuff…

    1. It was an oil supply problem. There was too much in the engine.

      1. This isn’t technically a problem, is it? It can’t hurt performance unless I’m missing something.

  17. I don’t believe in any of those stats and theories…I said before the first race that people were gonna be surprised as most people were thinking that Ferrari should stronger than Mclaren…

    At the race the driving style is always different from the one during practice.

  18. The graphs tell me that RBR and VMM tire use is comparable. Webber vs. Button goes to Button as Webber went off the cliff much faster. Vettel v. Button is a close call because Vettel was much faster out of the gates, but could not sustain that edge. Not clear who could have gone longer into the teens laps. On this point, here is an interesting comparison to Hamilton, who went out quick and lost the tires quicker. It could be McLaren needs to dial in the right starting pace to determine the ultimate tire performance. It could be a close race tomorrow.

    Ferrari are in trouble. So is Mercedes. However, it seems that only RBR and VMM are not destroying their tires straight away, so their misery will have company.

    But, take a look at Perez. His absolute pace is not stellar, but by lap 12, he’s quicker than Button.

    1. So should we say that Perez ability to look after the tyres at Melbourne was real skills and not just luck?

      I can’t wait for the start on sunday…hope it doesn’t rain before the start though.

  19. Nothing in these practice runs makes me think that the gulf between Vettel and Webber will close. Webber’s tyres went off laps earlier than Seb’s – and over race distance that makes all the difference. I hope he can close it, but I don’t think he will. And given the rumours that only Vettel was running the bulky KERS system (I didn’t see the coverage, being stuck at work), it could be another bloodbath.

    I was worried when I saw Webber blaming the car a fortnight ago. As a driver, the first step should be to ensure that your driving is top notch first. If the car isn’t up to scratch that will come out in the wash, but the only thing you can control as a driver is your own driving. Blaming the car, particularly the car which is one of the best in the field, is just poor form.

    I’m a painted on Aussie Webber fan – I hope he can pull it together but I fear otherwise given his comments. At least he’s been positive though, and he does have more points than after the first race last year.

    1. Yawn, there must have been a problem, Vettel has NEVER beaten Webber by anything like the 1 second per lap he had at Melbourne… Guys don’t just suddenly get a second a lap faster against the same teammate they were racing for the last 2 seasons, not last time I checked anyway.

  20. Plenty to digest here! Looks like Webber is on top form this weekend.

  21. I don’t understand the graph, what is horizontal/vertical axis?

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