Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Sepang, 2011

Ferrari stronger in race but Hamilton struggles

2011 Malaysian GP analysis

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Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Sepang, 2011
Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Sepang, 2011

Lewis Hamilton started second but slumped to eighth in the Malaysian Grand Prix after his pace dropped off in the second half of the race.

But Ferrari were much closer to the leaders’ pace in race trim than they had been in qualifying.

Analyse the data from the Malaysian Grand Prix below.

Lap 1

Lap 1 position change
Lap 1 position change

Mark Webber gave a graphic illustration of the risks of starting without KERS, losing six places at the start.

The Renault drivers capitalised, especially Nick Heidfeld, who moved up four places to second.

Pit stops

Drivers' pit stops
Drivers' pit stops

As expected, the Malaysian Grand Prix saw a lot more pit stops.

Webber seemed to do a planned four-stop strategy. But Hamilton’s late extra stop was surely not planned – this was McLaren bringing him in because they were worried his tyres were about to go off in a big way and potentially lose cost him time than a 20-second pit stop.

Fernando Alonso, of course, only made a fourth stop because of front wing damage.

Once again Sauber proved the team best equipped to run fewer stops – Kamui Kobayashi was the only driver to score points using a two-stop strategy.

The Toro Rosso drivers also made two stops, though Buemi made an extra visit for a ten-second stop-and-go penalty.

Tyre compounds

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4Stint 5
Sebastian VettelSoftSoftSoftHard
Lewis HamiltonSoftSoftHardHardHard
Mark WebberSoftSoftSoftHardHard
Jenson ButtonSoftSoftSoftHard
Fernando AlonsoSoftSoftSoftHardHard
Nick HeidfeldSoftSoftSoftHard
Felipe MassaSoftSoftSoftHard
Vitaly PetrovSoftSoftHardHard
Nico RosbergSoftSoftSoftHard
Kamui KobayashiSoftSoftHard
Michael SchumacherSoftSoftSoftHard
Sebastien BuemiSoftSoftHard
Jaime AlguersuariSoftSoftHard
Paul di RestaSoftSoftSoftHard
Rubens BarrichelloSoftSoftHard
Sergio PerezSoftSoft
Adrian SutilSoftSoftHardSoft
Pastor MaldonadoSoft
Heikki KovalainenSoftSoftHard
Jarno TrulliSoftSoft
Timo GlockSoftSoftHard
Jerome d’AmbrosioSoftSoftHard
Vitantonio LiuzziSoftSoftHardSoft
Narain KarthikeyanSoft

Race progress

Hamilton ran close to Sebastian Vettel’s pace in the first two stints but it all went wrong when he put the hard tyres on.

Not only did he fall off the pace, but he couldn’t get them to last much longer either. Team mate Jenson Button fared better and said afterwards he’d increasing his front wing angle in his pit stops to improve the balance.

This chart shows how far each driver was behind the leader (in seconds) on each lap.


Sebastian Vettel00000000000007.120000000000010.261000000000000000000000000000000
Lewis Hamilton2.4323.4013.9134.4234.7084.8665.3215.8167.1968.1518.93313.23926.9314.4856.2336.3186.3945.7895.6435.5494.9484.4143.9766.15922.66314.0983.9883.9873.7564.4454.4945.4436.4297.2087.9658.8711334.73535.26635.21233.00914.58614.85516.01417.55819.68821.45422.32523.89425.43827.22137.08555.17754.69753.72449.957
Mark Webber6.7528.86911.80213.08414.59317.17119.36822.14623.54527.63543.84441.22134.84422.32213.95213.16213.56714.40914.83115.94916.7722.17838.24438.1634.02623.78113.24513.28112.57412.86313.51817.81936.34436.57336.68635.40534.74235.35535.70636.10333.49115.17918.23635.75734.25633.11631.90130.24631.79831.54630.58529.95528.9829.46929.09626.384
Jenson Button4.035.256.1426.9768.0178.6669.0869.2719.69210.41211.00511.66911.89517.12111.159.88812.10311.78311.64811.66611.30410.60212.82129.06725.50316.2085.9545.8285.2215.7965.9396.6887.6318.5029.55210.44311.82815.95333.02431.58927.8588.8598.9398.7768.1548.0687.5356.9096.7876.0395.7446.6086.1096.5256.113.261
Fernando Alonso5.5296.9218.2179.41810.93811.75812.16512.50912.90713.28713.26412.6679.321011.48710.25510.70710.2259.3778.7238.3247.8367.4317.3565.11809.5229.8969.61410.14311.13212.33213.51913.713.69714.55914.9081515.24315.81916.65516.64716.14716.31117.79526.34347.47445.46544.16443.08542.41941.76840.76240.76940.00237.248
Nick Heidfeld1.9392.4252.8453.2913.7394.2374.7095.2896.3787.4728.3859.43610.78619.24912.23411.98312.72413.1313.51213.6513.33416.91817.05717.75816.70111.80520.40620.81520.8421.35621.51622.39223.83524.55425.21225.23125.1925.71929.02146.73543.33124.8326.53227.09827.34827.34826.89126.32626.67826.61927.56728.39227.96128.77128.48925.075
Felipe Massa5.26.3927.5918.7569.67110.37910.80110.92111.38711.5911.57512.13312.51426.12620.12718.86518.46918.16517.98617.76917.46417.75518.0718.49317.2049.924.79523.5823.00123.20423.53724.22625.25726.08526.84127.22827.73230.60349.33548.86545.38526.58827.18728.71328.88330.14330.24429.80331.38534.38135.04236.50537.70738.59738.88336.958
Vitaly Petrov4.8245.8157.0578.42512.75114.51815.49716.16416.5217.29817.14816.75113.7913.4432.23621.44521.46421.38721.37921.39622.0722.68722.95123.58122.23916.91112.74532.43232.43332.96833.89436.34138.55439.58940.21640.67440.54940.97641.66142.36541.01124.26627.06834.16157.88757.55956.86656.42255.45854.95754.04553.591
Nico Rosberg8.82812.06414.29316.4318.48820.93222.99525.32827.84230.01231.74533.25432.61226.8729.17450.62252.15752.252.57552.94253.19653.51654.03454.72853.46146.26640.42344.00350.62970.96672.01475.09377.32479.06880.77182.89485.83390.03594.349102.127118.29399.15398.82599.0398.571100.455100.41999.967103.51105.691105.913106.188107.381110.721111.481
Kamui Kobayashi7.2049.61711.29612.59213.94817.48119.06421.47922.43623.53623.97824.11920.6819.8364.7147.68115.83435.45435.30935.36935.41536.14137.52939.34638.19231.52524.08426.48728.24730.26132.8636.10940.30843.58447.31754.38974.17574.36973.6973.20170.4853.73853.73654.40755.52556.28456.40658.58259.49860.21161.4662.96764.52566.08567.22966.439
Michael Schumacher5.9058.0810.0811.60813.11815.87817.69419.45520.84822.32723.30723.82122.88219.13130.77830.5332.10832.75433.60934.42834.81835.63436.53137.94837.62830.61923.74731.77951.84354.8256.25757.86159.63461.37462.65163.59365.08166.23667.24268.37366.92157.85876.72577.77278.02678.88179.579.43280.0680.78681.37282.73183.99285.52286.18884.896
Sebastien Buemi8.1410.83313.23815.27917.05118.96621.35223.36724.72125.78426.18425.98623.18615.32215.7436.43736.88437.14737.69841.80767.90668.23768.88169.97669.02261.56353.75856.66660.42664.46769.59480.428106.098106.762107.149107.104107.124107.206107.701107.8105.34786.93887.88989.71690.86592.90795.44797.366100.446106.709112.291117.391123.024130.062139.432
Jaime Alguersuari7.71110.26712.82214.54716.45318.6620.63424.67426.62228.52630.06930.9329.97522.13921.02931.99853.08553.08954.06754.72755.40255.91656.90857.73356.97150.27843.11246.66550.52156.40362.05572.28593.8897.20199.099100.458101.404104.344105.968109.181108.25290.79692.53294.96797.225100.122105.593108.764113.878117.976122.185127.067133.763140.005148.819
Paul di Resta8.94612.60315.28317.40119.5921.85123.88326.24228.52830.78736.12952.2346.31632.93325.74526.68227.61728.36229.1829.90330.85931.89833.24638.04854.87346.66138.2139.85641.06242.59944.61547.28550.45553.51156.17360.34766.82589.01789.54589.70487.29169.0970.6472.71173.93875.70777.14177.27878.2579.17980.25382.15483.42587.84390.4791.563
Rubens Barrichello9.25114.74282.229113.077117.648120.728122.27123.818125.136125.707126.965126.938123.129113.528108.797112.49124.522146.915149.171151.472153.905176.393
Sergio Perez10.45114.6517.85819.28720.68923.00924.99527.45629.56431.80533.45433.97932.6823.43121.40627.50837.49457.10656.95456.91356.80156.9557.594
Adrian Sutil9.86214.1224.85353.87254.01954.13954.33454.76154.99455.06354.85954.5750.09837.66334.21938.16657.52258.48259.3860.26461.11662.12163.19364.3563.61556.46548.90451.91755.08959.95464.57472.95194.15495.12496.3297.23598.02898.73199.519100.48798.49180.58581.82483.47784.56786.1787.41488.08689.43291.03592.78194.3996.32999.462101.419101.379
Pastor Maldonado10.64214.96519.41821.08522.39626.45729.74145.702
Heikki Kovalainen11.0415.64220.11322.3224.58527.3930.08132.62434.66836.64338.34339.03137.01728.2629.94957.1560.38563.02765.9868.44470.94873.33175.39878.11377.18670.18162.63866.10669.23673.51277.01381.46285.994.179117.376121.739124.183126.052127.682129.589128.705113.714115.081117.495119.334123.776126.397128.073131.209134.622137.061141.994145.443147.565149.234
Jarno Trulli11.96817.22521.85924.37426.14928.71831.934.52436.84939.22141.37843.26845.50174.34471.08273.97877.09979.78382.33884.67287.46689.61291.44593.67593.67787.80781.23285.19288.66593.264102.194
Timo Glock11.6217.33822.57226.429.96633.70737.52341.35244.45547.86550.46951.96851.81242.83539.5543.32451.56676.0479.55583.50687.12791.90995.675100.026101.33296.17390.04893.85597.758103.064110.807117.519122.954132.139157.234160.158163.064165.974169.306174.971177.257162.221165.886170.597174.763180.461185.802189.742196.003199.348204.704210.737215.565220.933
Jerome dAmbrosio12.54518.01523.04126.89631.03635.04438.90142.92446.89950.36654.19957.70556.62248.07146.02451.46462.34290.08592.69695.37397.864100.93105.059108.531109.675104.03697.993103.233108.707114.255119.877126.165133.136140.071151.037175.468179.74182.52185.187187.894187.761172.059
Vitantonio Liuzzi13.04919.27624.90430.0334.75639.94944.61149.54254.19560.18364.38868.00567.83661.19159.93766.42779.341111.299120.061126.241130.335134.345139.807147.404148.854143.815138.326143.399148.636153.803158.641165.113171.469177.1182.761190.849197.746214.867247.101255.32260.35245.511250.696272.986318.37333.287
Narain Karthikeyan13.66220.46626.81732.86437.87143.10248.24453.67159.89767.21872.39577.43579.43476.96

Lap chart

This chart shows the drivers’ positions on each lap.


Sebastian Vettel111111111111113111111111113111111111111111111111111111111
Lewis Hamilton2333333333336105422222222265222222222236544333333333367777
Mark Webber3991010109101010111715141187666667111088755555777777655458776665544444
Jenson Button444444444444347544444444776433333333323433222222222222222
Fernando Alonso577776666666521653333333321544444444442222544447777776666
Nick Heidfeld622222222222239765555555434866666555554377765554444433333
Felipe Massa76666555555545131088777766542377777666665888886665556655555
Vitaly Petrov855557777777762299888887657610999988888876667799988888
Nico Rosberg913131313131313131313121212141417151313131212121211111212121515141212121212121213151515151515141414131313121212
Kamui Kobayashi1010109991099999974337111111111110111010108888899991110101010999888999998888
Michael Schumacher11888888888888881612111010101010989999131111111111111199999101111111111111111111110999
Sebastien Buemi1212121212121212111110101096914121212121616161515151515151414151616151515151514131313131313131313141414131313
Jaime Alguersuari1311111111111111121212111111101113161414141313131313131313111212121415141414141415141414141414151515151515141414
Paul di Resta1414141414141414141414141817161310109999989121211111010101010101010101111111111101010101010101010109101010
Rubens Barrichello1515172424242424242323232323232222222222222222
Sergio Perez161716151515151515151513131312121113151515141414
Adrian Sutil171615212323232323212020191817171517161616151515141414141414131313151413131313131212121212121212121212121211111111
Pastor Maldonado181818161616161620
Heikki Kovalainen1919191717171717161616151415151519181717171717171616161616161616161313161616161616161616161616161616161616151515
Jarno Trulli2021201818181818171717161616212121201919191918181717171717171717
Timo Glock21202119191919191818181817191818161418181818191918181818181818181717171817171717171717171717171717171717171616
Jerome dAmbrosio22222220202020201919191920201919181920202020202019191919191919191818181718181818181818
Vitantonio Liuzzi2323232221212121212021212121202020212121212121212020202020202020191919191919191919191918181818
Narain Karthikeyan242424232222222222222222222222

Fastest laps

Webber set the fastest lap of the race shortly after his last pit stop.

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’40.57146
2Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’40.7170.14649
3Vitaly PetrovRenault1’41.0540.48349
4Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’41.2640.69350
5Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’41.5120.94154
6Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’41.5390.96833
7Nick HeidfeldRenault1’41.5470.97647
8Nico RosbergMercedes1’41.7781.20745
9Felipe MassaFerrari1’41.9991.42841
10Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’42.0951.52439
11Michael SchumacherMercedes1’42.4911.92045
12Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’42.6592.08836
13Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’42.8832.31248
14Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’42.9732.40234
15Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’43.2982.72719
16Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’43.6773.10643
17Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’43.7443.17337
18Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’45.2804.70923
19Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’45.3464.77541
20Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’45.3574.78650
21Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’45.5164.94510
22Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’45.6895.1185
23Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’46.5215.95042
24Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’49.3858.8145

All lap times

A poor pit stop for Felipe Massa allowed Alonso to get ahead of him. Alonso then drove a surprisingly fast second stint, cutting the gap to leader Vettel.

Alonso said afterwards that his collision with Hamilton cost him a podium and on the strength of this it looks like he was right.

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times.


Sebastian Vettel109.614104.539104.209104.369104.378104.265104.541104.568104.782104.945105.798106.893110.561125.241105.211105.36104.026103.993103.45103.393103.52103.5103.447103.435105.734122.148102.582102.259102.688102.043102.284101.668101.539102.003102.387102.704102.798102.901102.774102.823105.479121.36102.31101.876102.237101.711102.004102.746102.018102.012102.072101.858102.38101.992102.861105.543
Lewis Hamilton112.046105.508104.721104.879104.663104.423104.996105.063106.162105.9106.58111.199124.252105.676104.079105.445104.102103.388103.304103.299102.919102.966103.009105.618122.238103.322102.733102.258102.457102.732102.333102.617102.525102.782103.144103.61106.927124.636103.305102.769103.276102.937102.579103.035103.781103.841103.77103.617103.587103.556103.855111.722120.472101.512101.888101.776
Mark Webber116.366106.656107.142105.651105.887106.843106.738107.346106.181109.035122.007104.27104.184105.599103.961104.57104.431104.835103.872104.511104.341108.908119.513103.351101.6101.642102.307102.295101.981102.332102.939105.969120.064102.232102.5101.423102.135103.514103.125103.22102.867103.048105.367119.397100.736100.571100.789101.091103.57101.76101.111101.228101.405102.481102.488102.831
Jenson Button113.644105.759105.101105.203105.419104.914104.961104.753105.203105.665106.391107.557110.787123.347106.36104.098106.241103.673103.315103.411103.158102.798105.666119.681102.17102.592102.589102.133102.081102.618102.427102.417102.482102.874103.437103.595104.183107.026119.845101.388101.748102.361102.39101.713101.615101.625101.471102.12101.896101.264101.777102.722101.881102.408102.446102.694
Fernando Alonso115.143105.931105.505105.57105.898105.085104.948104.912105.18105.325105.775106.296107.215108.8123.818104.128104.478103.511102.602102.739103.121103.012103.042103.36103.496106.769122.365102.633102.406102.572103.273102.868102.726102.184102.384103.566103.147102.993103.017103.399106.315121.352101.81102.04103.721110.259123.135100.737100.717100.933101.406101.207101.374101.999102.094102.789
Nick Heidfeld111.553105.025104.629104.815104.826104.763105.013105.148105.871106.039106.711107.944111.911126.584105.316105.109104.767104.399103.832103.531103.204107.084103.586104.136104.677106.991121.444102.668102.713102.559102.444102.544102.982102.722103.045102.723102.757103.43106.076120.537102.075102.859104.012102.442102.487101.711101.547102.181102.37101.953103.02102.683101.949102.802102.579102.129
Felipe Massa114.814105.731105.408105.534105.293104.973104.963104.688105.248105.148105.783107.451110.942131.733106.332104.098103.63103.689103.271103.176103.215103.791103.762103.858104.445104.603107.718121.044102.109102.246102.617102.357102.57102.831103.143103.091103.302105.772121.506102.353101.999102.563102.909103.402102.407102.971102.105102.305103.6105.008102.733103.321103.582102.882103.147103.618
Vitaly Petrov114.438105.53105.451105.737108.704106.032105.52105.235105.138105.723105.648106.496107.601107.773111.124124.569104.045103.916103.442103.41104.194104.117103.711104.065104.392106.559108.677121.946102.689102.578103.21104.115103.752103.038103.014103.162102.673103.328103.459103.527104.125104.615105.112108.969125.963101.383101.311102.302101.054101.511101.16101.404
Nico Rosberg118.442107.775106.438106.506106.436106.709106.604106.901107.296107.115107.531108.402109.919112.379114.635126.808105.561104.036103.825103.76103.774103.82103.965104.129104.467104.692107105.839109.314122.38103.332104.747103.77103.747104.09104.827105.737107.103107.088110.601121.645102.22101.982102.081101.778103.595101.968102.294105.561104.193102.294102.133103.573105.332103.621
Kamui Kobayashi116.818106.952105.888105.665105.734107.798106.124106.983105.739106.045106.24107.034107.123107.276107.209108.327112.179123.613103.305103.453103.566104.226104.835105.252104.58105.22105.402104.662104.448104.057104.883104.917105.738105.279106.12109.776122.584103.095102.095102.334102.758104.618102.308102.547103.355102.47102.126104.922102.934102.725103.321103.365103.938103.552104.005104.753
Michael Schumacher115.519106.714106.209105.897105.888107.025106.357106.329106.175106.424106.778107.407109.622114.37123.978105.112105.604104.639104.305104.212103.91104.316104.344104.852105.414104.878105.971110.291122.752105.02103.721103.272103.312103.743103.664103.646104.286104.056103.78103.954104.027112.297121.177102.923102.491102.566102.623102.678102.646102.738102.658103.217103.641103.522103.527104.251
Sebastien Buemi117.754107.232106.614106.41106.15106.18106.927106.583106.136106.008106.198106.695107.761110.257112.749126.057104.473104.256104.001107.502129.619103.831104.091104.53104.78104.428105.038105.167106.448106.084107.411112.502127.209102.667102.774102.659102.818102.983103.269102.922103.026102.951103.261103.703103.386103.753104.544104.665105.098108.275107.654106.958108.013109.03112.231
Jaime Alguersuari117.325107.095106.764106.094106.284106.472106.515108.608106.73106.849107.341107.754109.606110.285111.221116.329125.113103.997104.428104.053104.195104.014104.439104.26104.972105.194105.677105.812106.544107.925107.936111.898123.134105.324104.285104.063103.744105.841104.398106.036104.55103.904104.046104.311104.495104.608107.475105.917107.132106.11106.281106.74109.076108.234111.675
Paul di Resta118.56108.196106.889106.487106.567106.526106.573106.927107.068107.204111.14122.994104.647104.738105.143106.297104.961104.738104.268104.116104.476104.539104.795108.237122.559103.675104.392103.905103.894103.58104.3104.338104.709105.059105.049106.878109.276125.093103.302102.982103.066103.159103.86103.947103.464103.48103.438102.883102.99102.941103.146103.759103.651106.41105.488106.636
Rubens Barrichello118.865110.03171.696135.217108.949107.345106.083106.116106.1105.516107.056106.866106.752108.52107.6109.053116.058126.386105.706105.694105.953125.988
Sergio Perez120.065108.738107.417105.798105.78106.585106.527107.029106.89107.186107.447107.418109.262108.872110.306111.462114.012123.605103.298103.352103.408103.649104.091
Adrian Sutil119.476108.797114.942133.388104.525104.385104.736104.995105.015105.014105.594106.604106.089105.686108.887109.307123.382104.953104.348104.277104.372104.505104.519104.592104.999104.737105.282105.272105.86106.908106.904110.045122.742102.973103.583103.619103.591103.604103.562103.791103.483103.454103.549103.529103.327103.314103.248103.418103.364103.615103.818103.467104.319105.125104.818105.503
Pastor Maldonado120.256108.862108.662106.036105.689108.326107.825120.529
Heikki Kovalainen120.654109.141108.68106.576106.643107.07107.232107.111106.826106.92107.498107.581108.547109.364114.02132.561107.261106.635106.403105.857106.024105.883105.514106.15104.807104.882105.3105.727105.818106.319105.785106.117105.977110.282125.584107.067105.242104.77104.404104.73104.595106.369103.677104.29104.076106.153104.625104.422105.154105.425104.511106.791105.829104.114104.53
Jarno Trulli121.582109.796108.843106.884106.153106.834107.723107.192107.107107.317107.955108.783112.794146.964109.069108.256107.147106.677106.005105.727106.314105.646105.28105.665105.736106.017106.268106.219106.161106.642111.214
Timo Glock121.234110.257109.443108.197107.944108.006108.357108.397107.885108.355108.402108.392110.405109.144109.046109.134112.268128.467106.965107.344107.141108.282107.213107.786107.04106.728106.718106.066106.591107.349110.027108.38106.974111.188127.482105.628105.704105.811106.106108.488107.765106.324105.975106.587106.403107.409107.345106.686108.279105.357107.428107.891107.208107.36
Jerome dAmbrosio122.159110.009109.235108.224108.518108.273108.398108.591108.757108.412109.631110.399109.478109.57110.284110.8114.904131.736106.061106.07106.011106.566107.576106.907106.878106.248106.8107.499108.162107.591107.906107.956108.51108.938113.353127.135107.07105.681105.441105.53105.346105.658
Vitantonio Liuzzi122.663110.766109.837109.495109.104109.458109.203109.499109.435110.933110.003110.51110.392111.476111.077111.85116.94135.951112.212109.573107.614107.51108.909111.032107.184106.848107.354107.332107.925107.21107.122108.14107.895107.634108.048110.792109.695120.022135.008111.042110.509106.521107.495124.166147.621116.628
Narain Karthikeyan123.276111.343110.56110.416109.385109.496109.683109.995111.008112.266110.975111.933112.56115.647

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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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58 comments on “Ferrari stronger in race but Hamilton struggles”

  1. Lewis did 3 stints in a row on the hard tyres? Of course the 3 laps at the end didn’t count much but still, and Jenson went Soft 3 times and only hard once.


    1. I think the hards were all he had left

      1. exactly, he ruined some softs on saturday.

    2. Hamilton’s lap times when he went into the pits are terrible compared to his teammate – in the first pitstop he did a 124.25 to Button’s 123.35. Although the times improved by the next stop when he did a 122.24, Button still managed a better lap time of 119.68 – almost 3 seconds better than Hamilton. However the third stop was simply put a disaster. He could only managed a 124.64 against Button’s 119.84 – that is 5 seconds slower!

      From these times, my theory is that so long as Jenson was within a couple of seconds to Lewis, McLaren always knew he was going to take 2nd away from the younger former WDC. They probably knew that he was on a strategy that could not deliver 2nd place anyway or knew something was wrong with how the car was handling the hard tyres from the practise sessions – at least in his hands.

      I will definitely be watching his lap times very closely in China.

    3. So Jenson went soft 3 times and hard just the once, poor Jessica!!

  2. Buemi was right to complain about getting a stop and go instead of a drive-threw. The judges were overstrict today with the exception of Vettel.

    1. yeah u got the likes of vettel and petrov weaving about all over the show.

      and you got lewis and fernando who were racing fair, even despite the small contact. it was a fair battle. yet they get a penalty.


      1. UKfanatic (@)
        10th April 2011, 23:32

        you are right, in melbourne no one was penalised for weaving or passing of the racing line today it was only the ones that already had their races ruined

  3. Jenson is my driver if the day,great stuff.

    Would have been Alonso had he not crashed into Hamilton. Alonso drove a frantic last stint. Ferrari race pace was good, both guys were going well, hope fully we can expect a podium next week

    1. Likewise. Compare his ‘gap to leader’ graph to Hamilton’s. Slipped back slightly at the start (looking after the tyres?) but then as Hamilton was just sliding away in the last stint he’s edging towards Vettel.

  4. Interesting to note Seb’s fastest lap, he was a whole second behind race fastest lap. Maybe he had a lot more pace in reserve than he would want us to know?

    1. More than likely yes! No need to burn an engine out.

      1. Laranja Mecanica
        10th April 2011, 20:15

        He also said his tyres weren’t quite all right in the final laps. If Button had come a bit closer we would know.

        1. I remember Vettel complaining of a vibration too, nothing seemed to come of it though.

  5. Keith how can say Lewis had a problem with tires. I am looking at the times above and I see a different story.

    His first sting on hard tires was 11 laps: average 102.76
    Then his next stint also on hard tires, 13 laps with average 103.3
    That’s 0.6sec per lap slower AND carrying 15 laps worth of fuel LESS. Doesn’t make sense to say tires are to blame.

    IN, OUT and Alonso fight times excluded.

    Here is how I see the situation:

    Lap 34/35 (Both above 103sec wheres all other laps are in mid 102) something on his car breaks and he loses a bit of performance.

    Team thinks his tires are gone and calls him in. He then drives around showing the same performance (mid 103, only 2 laps are in high 102).

    I also don’t see why they called him in for extra stop. His was doing steady lap times. Maybe they saw pressure loss from his tyre , that I can only speculate about.

    Conclusion: Car performance dropped or Lewis didn’t feel his best.

    1. Ted Kravitz said on his Malaysia from the pit lane, that Lewis insisted on coming in and it was his call, not the team’s.

      1. That’s why drivers should not be making these decisions, they just don’t have enough information available to them.

    2. This is how I see it.
      The first set of hards is good, the 2nd set is lemon. Basically when Hamilton use his 2nd set of hards he didn’t gain any laptime.

      The last stop according to Kravitz is down to Lewis. The team asking him to stay out, but Lewis want to pit. If that is true, obviously it was not the brightest decision, since he probably only gain a maximum of 15s compared to 22s lost on pit.

      1. Laranja Mecanica
        10th April 2011, 20:23

        Too late obviously but he seemed to be doing well with the last tyre set. A problem with the thirs set seems morte likely than something broken in the car

        1. Laranja Mecanica
          10th April 2011, 20:26

          oops: third, more

        2. Look again on the chart:

          Button 0.3 faster with tires that have been used for 11 laps (thats almost the whole stint) and with 4 laps worth more of fuel. than Lewis with fresh tires.

          1. I thought they carry the same amount of fuel or did you notice any driver refueling?

        3. Oliver, look when the fastest times were set. Button in fact had a reason to save tires, Hamilton didn’t.

    3. Or they gave him a bad set of tyres on his 3rd stop. On his first set of hards his pace was fine he was maintaining the gap to button whilst button was on the softs and vettel pulled away to about 8 secs which is to be expected due to the performance difference in the compounds. So why the hell did they pit him so early? and to top it off they give him the worst set of hards imaginable where he was massively slow from the first lap on them. Lewis needs out of mclaren and sign with the drinks company asap. Mclaren seem to go out of there way to hinder him

  6. Also it looks like Lewis was doing better lap time on hards than Alonso on softs and Button (although he had a car in front so doesn’t really count)

  7. Most excellent analysis – and very fast done, too!

    Just wanted to say: thank you, Keith!

  8. Lewis problem came after his 3rd pitstop. He was 2 seconds off the pace in his 4th stint with the hards tires. I don’t think it had nothing to do with tire management or degradation. He never put not even one decent lap on them. Mclaren need to analyze what happened there. I have a feeling they gave him a wrong set of tires.

    1. Yet Button said he felt his car “came alive” when the hards went on. So it looks like they had each other’s perfect strategies!

  9. Great work Keith, that mainframe you have in your attic churning out endless data.
    If Mclaren wanted lewis to do fewer stops they kept calling him in early which defeats the whole purpose. There was lots of unused tyre life left on his first 2 sets of softs. Thd hards were obviousy trojans.
    I can understand why he would want to pit . The team couldn’t find any fault with the car perhaps, hence it had to be the tyres and how can we tell if his next lap wouldn’t have been 10seconds slower if he had continued on.

  10. Kobayashi did longer stints on any set of tyres. I wonder what Mclaren was smoking when they were talking of Jenson doing the longest stint on the hards. Yet Kobayashi got into several tussles on track and made some spectacular passes. Made Schumacher feel like a juvenile.

    1. Yeah, I was wondering about that when they said that during the race. I was sure Kobayashi had done a longer stint on the tyres he’d qualified on, nevermind the hard tyres, but wasn’t sure at the time.

  11. Clear the gap of lap times and then click both McLaren drivers. I must say Jenson did a good job today, he was often in touch with Hamilton even before his 4th stint.

    Team mate Jenson Button fared better and said afterwards he’d increasing his front wing angle in his pit stops to improve the balance.

    Makes you wonder why they didn’t give the idea to Lewis, or if he did, why it didn’t work or if and why he rejected it.

    I’m really puzzled about the choice to go on hard tyres for the third stint. I can’t think of anything that would explain him having one less set of softs. I know he did a second run late in Q2, but that wouldn’t explain it; he must have used both sets from Q3 during the race, so what was wrong with the Q2 set? There’s no way McLaren would have thought they could have lasted to the end, but did they just want him to get the hards out of the way there and then, so he could do a banzai stint on the softs on the lowest fuel possible, but the hards went off quicker than expected because of balance issues? But then he went back onto hards again, so that wouldn’t explain it. There’s a key piece I can’t work out.

    I hope McLaren give us a full picture of what happened.

    1. that is exactly what I cant understand

      1. also though when looking at the graph with just hamilton and button between laps 27 and 37 their laps were pretty similar but hamilton was on hards and button on softs the quicker tyre, so hamiltons pace was fine in that stint, why no pace on next set of hards for the get go

        1. I get the impression that they asked him to save them but he wasn’t putting enough heat into the tyres so they went off anyway.

        2. Wasn’t Button stuck behind Hamilton at that particular point in time?

  12. really dont understand the lose of performance after the third stop for hamilton, his first stint on the hard tyre was fine. He was in second on hards, button and alonso was on softs and he was maintaining position.

    However after that third stop(which lost him 3 seconds to button which caused button to get the jump) button pulled away comfortably straight away, so this had nothing to do with tyre deg.

    Also I dont understand why hamilton went soft,soft,hard,hard when most others around him went soft,soft,soft,hard which is getting a stint of the quicker tyre

    As for the pen’s for both hamilton and alonso, what are the fia thinking what a joke.
    If hamiltons defending is deemed illegal than how about vettel at the start. When you see it again he goes right,left,then right to block, then left to take line, what is the difference then?
    Also yeah alonso hit hamiton but this was a racing incidentand as brundle said on a tweet, that having to pit for new wing pen enough

    1. Abolutely agree about Vettel at the start: this is not correct.

    2. “Equally, we weren’t able to give him a second stint on Option tyres today because they’d been damaged in qualifying yesterday”
      Martin Whitmarsh

      So theres the answer as to why hamilton used hards instead of softs

      1. Presumably Whitmarsh meant switching him onto options at his second stop i.e. his third stint. Thanks for that, it explains a lot.

        But that does make McLaren’s strategy even more confusing as to why they brought him in so early for his second stop, his times were very consistent.

        His car set-up must have just not liked the hard tyres.

  13. Very impressed with Jenson this weekend, he really showed that preserving his tyres does him well, and without the changes to the front wing, he may have even had the pace to challenge Vettel, but I guess we’ll nevebr know.

    Also interesting to note that Sauber once again did a stop shorter with Kobayashi only stopping twice. Which makes it more of a shame that Perez retired early on.

    1. Perez was never going to make it into the top 10. I doubt he’d have been able to make his tyres last longer than Kobayashi’s either.

  14. Jenson just did his usual casual race that was probably going to get him on the podium, he never challenged any driver hence his tyres were in a better state.
    Lewis on the other hand had several cars to contend with during each of his stints apart from probably the last, deite that he was in contention for the win until he got on the hards.

  15. Great stuff from Kobayashi with the tyres, pity he couldn’t take any more positions than he did.

    A less than 6s gap between Webber and Liuzzi’s fastest laps is very respectable, HRT should be very proud. Take note Virgin, seriously.

    I really love these new analysis pages.

  16. Tyres were dud tyres. Mclaren were just to ashamed to admit they gave the guy the wrong set. Those tyres probably had 20 laps in them even before they went on Hamilton’s car!

    1. Haha that is a possibility. Mistakes can Happen. The final sets he sent on was much faster it seems.

      1. He was obviously going to go a bit faster on new tyres for the last few laps of the race.

        Hamilton’s first set of hard tyres were brand new.

        1. Yes and they were working fine so why did they bring him in so early??

  17. A single fastest lap does not a race win make.
    Webber set the fastest lap but Vettel finished the race in the fastest time which is what matters. And the chart will show that Vettels average lap time was much faster than Webber’s.

  18. Kers might have helped!!! – webber was the driver of the day, how unlucky to have 2 races in a row with car problems! But he showed his true grit by never giving up and still collecting 4th with a faulty car! Other drivers would have just had a sunday drive. How much would that have hurt emotionally at the start with all these cars just driving by! You’d feel like going home after lap 1! Great effort from a true competitor!

    1. Do agree I thought after the first lap that he won’t be in the points at all but great driver from him.

  19. I do wonder whether Sauber & Torro Rosso are setting up their car less aggressively which will help them to last their car longer?

  20. Hamiltons trouble with his tyres could even mean even more conservation of tyres in qualifying, which is bad news for us viewers.
    I was very disappointed to see only McLaren and Red Bull competing in the first part of Q3. We may not see any cars out in the first 5 minutes next time!

    1. yep exactly, may see them just do one run so have a set of softs for the race

  21. Observations:
    1) Hamilton has been off since about 3/4 the way through last year.
    2) Alonso wrings more out of his car than any other driver, then screws up.
    3) Kobayashi single-handedly provides about 75 percent of the excitement in F1.
    4) The movable wing has put an ended to the rolling roadblock (when it works, as shown by Alonso’s problem).

  22. you always have nice charts and graphs, but the analysis is about 10/15 lines. kinda weak. i think if you put more effort into a proper race analysis, the site would be even better

    1. There are also individual analyses for each of the teams, the first of which has just gone up.

  23. Jenson button has been going on about the 3,2 sec gap between him and Vettel at the end. the gap for 6.1s till the last corner when Vetttel slwed down swerving the car to pass the finish line.

    In the last stint Button only made up 2 secs also becaus vettel was just controlling the pace in the closing stages. don’t know why him and mclaren are making such a big deal of it.

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