2011 Chinese Grand Prix first practice analysis

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Shanghai, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Shanghai, 2011

First practice sessions tends to raise more questions than they answer and today’s was no exception.

Are Red Bull really as far ahead as they seemed to be? Sebastian Vettel had two seconds in hand over Lewis Hamilton.

They were comfortably fastest in first practice in Sepang last week but never had that kind of margin again through the rest of the weekend.

Here’s the data from the first practice session in Shanghai.

Longest stint comparison


Sebastian Vettel104.838106.001100.922105.014100.19399.54
Mark Webber105.221105.388105.338105.086104.828104.699104.953108.106105.446
Lewis Hamilton104.106111.736107.213107.331106.719
Jenson Button104.297103.842103.49103.484103.12103.562103.543
Fernando Alonso102.464101.434105.5105.412
Felipe Massa101.083110.584101.067108.15107.366101.493101.392
Michael Schumacher102.644102.301102.357107.254105.227105.389104.034106.706106.37
Nico Rosberg101.972101.64101.764103.553101.566101.361
Nick Heidfeld101.431100.987
Vitaly Petrov107.287109.261101.231101.727103.469101.857
Rubens Barrichello106.336106.618108.585102.951102.812111.842110.382
Pastor Maldonado106.059104.692102.783122.219102.399102.105
Nico H???lkenberg105.824102.891102.136107.195101.494
Paul di Resta119.165103.281101.922102.102110.015101.61
Kamui Kobayashi105.21105.822104.757106.215
Sergio Perez110.106109.114101.314102.151101.709106.318105.343
Sebastien Buemi106.489102.418102.206107.62103.181
Daniel Ricciardo105.06103.498103.438102.842101.953
Heikki Kovalainen109.248102.854102.16107.317101.579
Luiz Razia109.827106.094107.345105.415108.861104.542
Narain Karthikeyan105.249106.567107.111105.019
Vitantonio Liuzzi108.923106.825105.373
Timo Glock110.259112.308105.294104.784104.438108.4
Jerome d’Ambrosio107.037105.377104.595104.353104.089104.182

Ultimate lap times

CarDriverCarUltimate lapGapDeficit to best
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’38.6140.125
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’39.2390.6250.115
34Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.7942.1800.146
43Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.8392.2250.006
56Felipe MassaFerrari1’40.8412.2270.205
69Nick HeidfeldRenault1’40.9312.3170.056
710Vitaly PetrovRenault1’41.0692.4550.162
812Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’41.1342.5200.088
917Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’41.1362.5220.053
108Nico RosbergMercedes1’41.1412.5270.220
1118Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.2562.6420.072
125Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’41.2872.6730.147
1314Nico H???lkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’41.4942.8800.000
1415Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’41.4992.8850.111
1520Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’41.5792.9650.000
1619Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.6393.0250.113
1711Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’41.8613.2470.078
187Michael SchumacherMercedes1’42.1413.5270.160
1916Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’43.5284.9140.264
2025Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’43.9005.2860.189
2123Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’44.2975.6830.062
2224Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’44.4385.8240.000
2321Luiz RaziaLotus-Renault1’44.5035.8890.039
2422Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’44.8836.2690.136

Complete practice times

CarDriverCarBest lapGapStint lapAt timeLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’38.7391/55623
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’39.3540.6153/36127
33Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.8452.1064/42921
44Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.9402.2011/45422
59Nick HeidfeldRenault1’40.9872.2482/2614
66Felipe MassaFerrari1’41.0462.3077/73925
717Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’41.1892.4504/44320
812Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’41.2222.4831/27719
910Vitaly PetrovRenault1’41.2312.4923/68716
1018Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.3282.5892/48821
118Nico RosbergMercedes1’41.3612.6226/67523
125Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’41.4342.6952/47615
1314Nico H???lkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’41.4942.7555/54220
1420Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’41.5792.8405/54913
1515Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’41.6102.8716/64618
1619Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.7523.0131/48720
1711Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’41.9393.2003/46225
187Michael SchumacherMercedes1’42.3013.5622/97623
1916Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’43.7925.0531/36120
2025Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’44.0895.3505/65220
2123Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’44.3595.6202/27117
2224Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’44.4385.6995/69111
2321Luiz RaziaLotus-Renault1’44.5425.8036/6399
2422Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’45.0196.2804/49323

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

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    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    21 comments on “2011 Chinese Grand Prix first practice analysis”

    1. Vettel style pole position on the post.. more than a second quicker than anyone else

    2. Keith

      Have only just noticed this feature on your site (is it new?) Absolutely brilliant!


      1. No, been doing it since last year!

        1. i am using thw latest Firefox and the chart doesn’t show up. it works on chrome. do i need to do something?

          1. Using FireFox 4 and everything running smooth here.

            1. yep, firefox working fine. Keith, this is always awesome, thanks for this

    3. lol. That’ll teach me to pay more bloody attention then! Keep up the excellent work Keith

    4. Novice Question I Know. How many cars actually qualify for the race please ?

      1. Maximum of 26. There’s only 24 entries, so no problem there.

    5. Just noticed that Hulkenberg has been consistently been faster than Di Resta the whole of this session…………..

      1. Yeah I noticed that too. And di Resta is doing a good job against Sutil who I praise a lot, and if I’m right regarding this praise, then these three is a very very good driver line-up for Force India.

    6. Is there any reason as to why the second (or third) Team lotus reserve driver wasn’t in Kovalainens car in 1st practice?

      1. Do you mean Valsecchi? He didn’t drive?

        1. Yes.

          Has any reason been given for Valsecchi not running? Though it makes sense for Kovalainen to have run in FP1, the last I heard he wasnt supposed to. Have Team Lotus given a reason for changing their plans?

          1. I’ve asked but nothing yet.

    7. I tried to get something from longest stints comparison but I found very few drivers who were actually put in 8-10 laps of running in a consistent manner (which I think indicates that it really is a tyre evaluation test, or a race setup test etc.).

      And those who did gave verystrange results, namely an upside down pecking order which is obviously not possible unless we assume that the Williamses and Co. have run their respective longer stints on a cleaner track.

      And this could very well be the case as we saw that track is especially dirty.

      Not much to read into so far.

    8. This looks like a good showing from Razia, a respectable time all things considered. Ricciardo is miles behind Buemi though.

      Still, it’s only practise!

    9. What are the units on that graph?

      1. It’s the drivers’ lap times so it’s laps and times.

        1. I think something might be wrong there.

          The graph indicates that Seb’s fastest time was 99.54?

    10. metalhead013 (@)
      15th April 2011, 21:54

      is there a way you can compare more than only longest stints? ie you select a driver and then select one of his stints (or several stints)… that would be great, would give better picture…

    Comments are closed.