Vettel stays on top in Shanghai

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2011

Sebastian Vettel refused to release his grasp on the top spot in the second practice session in Shanghai.

He set a quickest time of 1’37.688 on his second quick run on soft tyres.

That was one tenth of a second faster than Lewis Hamilton’s first run on the same tyres.

Jenson Button was third-fastest but looked able to go quicker, before he was held up by Jaime Alguersuari.

The Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were foutrh and fifth ahead of Felipe Massa’s Ferrari.

An hydraulic problem kept Fernando Alonso in the pits for part of the session. He was able to get out later in the session but was held up by both HRTs.

For the second session row Nick Heidfeld hit a barrier. This time he ran wide at the first corner and skidded, running nose-first into the barrier at low speed.

Slowly he was able to extract the Renault from the barrier and drag it to an escape road where he was recovered, and returned to the track later in the session.

Paul di Resta was unable to run due to a fuel pressure problem. HRT’s Vitantonio Liuzzi also missed a large amount of the session.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGap11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’37.6883423Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’37.8540.1662234Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’37.9350.2473148Nico RosbergMercedes1’37.9430.2553457Michael SchumacherMercedes1’38.1050.4172966Felipe MassaFerrari1’38.5070.81936714Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’38.7351.0473589Nick HeidfeldRenault1’38.8051.11726910Vitaly PetrovRenault1’38.8591.17131102Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’39.3271.639331116Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’39.5381.850331212Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’39.6671.979371318Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.7712.08318145Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’39.7792.091171519Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.8282.140251611Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’39.9252.237321717Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’39.9532.265301820Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’40.4762.788301921Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’41.4823.794322022Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’42.9025.214252123Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’43.8506.16232225Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’44.0086.320352324Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’44.7477.05912

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    63 comments on “Vettel stays on top in Shanghai”

    1. Much closer than FP1, lets hope it stays that way for quali tomorrow

      1. bleeps_and_tweaks
        15th April 2011, 11:16

        Yeah I hope it’s as close as Q3 in Sepang, it was brilliant to watch. Although the Hamilton and Button didn’t sound to hopeful afterwards. Hopefully the Renault drivers are in the mix, and fingers crossed for Lotus upsetting the midfield asap.

        Keith, are you in China at the moment or do you follow things live on the web/tv?

        1. No I’m not in China.

    2. “and returned to the track later in the race”… session?

      1. Indeed – corrected it!

    3. Red Bull long run pace is….awesome!

    4. Only 3 other cars with fewer laps than Lewis – didn’t see FP2 but does that McLaren have reliability issues?

      1. I think he might be trying to save his tyres after last week’s issue in Malaysia.

        1. He doesn’t need to save them during the practice sessions.

          Although doing one lap on the soft tyre and then declaring it to be “finished” doesn’t sound too promising.

          1. Finished or not, Hamilton should have seen what the tyres were capable of doing and gathered some data. He doesn’t know if the degradation is manageable or if it levels out. As soon as he is unable to set the fastest lap, he seems to want new tyres, like with his pointless extra stop in the last race. This season, the tyres are going to be less than optimum for most of their life and he needs to work out how to cope with that.

      2. Dave Blanc could be right.. he must be saving up his allotted soft tyres. But the again, there could me more to it. Lewis just didn’t sound too pleased on the pit radio broadcasts today. I think he is frustrated with the tyre degradation, and that he cannot push hard enough without destroying his tyres.

        1. AFAIK, whatever tyres that are allocated for Free practice will be returned after the session gets over. So there is no saving tyres for qualifiying run.
          “With the current rules drivers use one set of primes in FP1 and one set each of prime and options in FP2 and FP3. So that leaves you with three new primes and three new options going into qualifying which is where it gets tricky.” – Excerpt from a espnf1 article

          1. Aaah. Didn’t know that. Thanks

        2. He’s going to have to get used to it.

          Tyre preservation (and brakes in those days too) was always a part of F1 during the mansell/senna/prost era.

          i think F1 drivers have been spoiled by the bridgestone era where they basically had such a wide working window.

          I think it adds to the interest for me, the rabbit and the hare approach is fascinating.

          1. I think taking care of your tyres definitely adds some spice to the racing.. but this year it just seems a tad too much. I dont know about you but, I hate to see drivers like Jenson just coasting for most of the race and taking care of the tyres, and then getting rewarded by finishing in 2nd. I much rather see driver pushing their cars to the limit without having to pay a ridiculously high price for it. I guess its just about finding the right balance of tyre management and balls out racing, and honestly, this year I think there is a little too much emphasis on tyre management.

            1. Could’t agree more

            2. I see some ballsy drives by the likes of Alonso and Webber — only Hamilton seems to be overly affected by this tyre management problem.

              If the new tyre rules shows Button in better light than Hamilton — well, it just shows that perhaps Hamilton is not such a well-rounded driver after all. Many of us have known that for several years, it’s just that so far the tyre rule had let Hamilton get away with it.

    5. Somewhat worrying looking for the virgins.

    6. HRT faster than the Virgins too!

      I know it’s only FP2, but it’s great for the teams morale!

      1. Liuzzi did only 3 laps, yet was faster than d’Ambrosio who did one of the most laps in the session.

        GO HRT!

        1. at this rate they will be on pole by korea!

          1. Ha can you imagine? Great for HRT though.

    7. I guess it shows the differences are not as enormous as it looked after FP1. But Red Bull will be keeping a fair bit back, i guess.

      For the rest, it looks like a tight battle. And HRT look pretty good while Virgin went out into the woods and hasn’t returned yet. What on earth are they doing there?

    8. HRT in front of the Virgins! Looks good for them :)

      1. Virgin had better give up this CFD only business and do things the conventional way

        1. Agreed. Think they need to get rid of Nick Wirth already. Any person who hasn’t designed a big enough fuel tank on the car, really needs to be fired.

        2. Or just do it the HRT way: No money, no problems!

    9. I wonder if Team Lotus are ready to slay a Williams.

      1. Not so soon. If they do, it might be down to luck, a bit. Wait for Catalunya though. There, they might slay the Williams, Torro Rosso and Force India all at once!

        1. Hispania will slay them all.

    10. Promising for the HRTs, amazing what a bit of running does for you times, same can be said for Mclaren.

      I looks like RBR have a bit more of an advantage here at the moment but anything can happen in FP3.

      Good times but Merc or are the top 4 holding a bit back.

    11. HRT finding their feet steadily. They about level with Virgin right now perhaps a tenth faster. But as they cover more miles I expect them to be ahead by the time they get to Europe

      1. Nick Wirth should be ashamed of himelf.

      2. Easily, Liuzzi was 2 tenths faster than Glock, and he only did 3 timed laps, so I think the pace is definitely there to beat the Virgins.

        1. Look, if Liuzzi finishes the race in front of both Virgins, and they finish the race, I’ll be happy!

      3. If they survive economically till then!

    12. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      15th April 2011, 9:11

      Virgins are slipping away not only did they % wise lose ground to Red Bull, HRT has overtaken them and Time Glock failed to set a time within 107% limit.

    13. Nick is having a wild ride in China. Good job for both the RBR,hope tomorrow Webber do a good job in qualifying & continue that in the race on Sunday.

    14. I can’t see HRT getting ahead of Lotus. MG expects a big upgrade in time for Barcelona which will include a Red Bull style exhaust system. I doubt HRT will have the money for that. Still, HRT has clearly started to dial the car in nicely and is making fools of the Virgin squad.

      I think we’re seeing the massive difference between zero wind tunnel hours and a handful of wind tunnel hours. Nick Wirth must be a very stubborn guy.

      1. HRT have not even started getting results from the wind tunnel.

        1. What are you talking about? How do you think they built the new car? They already used a wind tunnel in making it. Not many hours since they were renting and they don’t have much money but they used one.

    15. I dont know about everyone else but I’m loving HRT’s plucky underdog perfomances, and the chance as one poster put it of “A Lotus slaying a Williams” … Red Bull / Vettel, yeah great but the real action at the rear end of the grid for me. Tonio is my new fav driver!

      1. Tonio is my new fav driver!

        And last year everyone criticised him and I was the only one defending him (with Alonso and Joe Saward)…

        1. Just because people like the little train that could it doesn’t mean the criticism on Liuzzi was unfair.

          The guy has no barometer to be compared now so if HRT is improving is not exactly a metal for Liuzzi. For all we know other drivers could be a second faster with the same car. Narain isn’t exactly a stable measurement. The guy hasn’t raced for long and he never was the biggest talent around.
          I think it’s safe to say that if Liuzzi starts losing to Narain in the second part of the season, then he really ain’t much. If he wants to show that he can do better that what he has done until now then he must destroy the Indian driver beyond doubt.

    16. wouldnt be surprised if it was vettel pole and hamilton second every race this season at this rate

      1. Not sure about that … Button will beat Hamilton for sure at some point and Webber will get in amongst it also, problem for Hamilton is that he starting to complain too much instead of just getting his head down and adapting to the new tyres, I reckon Mclaren have a bit more in the set up if they have introduced some new components, Button looks like he is on it straight away and for me will be closest to vettel this weekend.

    17. What happened to Webber?

      1. He was probably doing a different programme to Vettel. Probably will see what the fastest times might be like in FP3..if it stays dry.

    18. 6th for sutil.FI car is gettin bttr on pace now. with major upgrades comming for the next event… unlucky di resta..

    19. Virgin should start thinking about using a wind tunnel some time soon I would like to think.

      Ferarri need to start thinking about fixing their wind tunnel because its obviously crocked. They have to get their act together as soon as the European leg starts because I dont expect Red Bull to mess up as many races as they did last year.

    20. Heikki is on fire!

      1. Yeah, look at the gap to Trulli!

    21. Really surprised with Mercedes’ pace. What is really happening there? They could hardly maintain P10 in the last two races and now they are competing with the McLarens!

      1. They were way up in free practice in Malaysia too, which didn’t yield much for them.

    22. Practice is not competing…I doubt they have found pace since last weekend, however, perhaps the track suits the car/tires better…one never knows…just glad to see NR ahead of MS, but again, it’s just practice…

    23. If Vettel is on pole and a McLaren is in 3rd behind a slower car on Sunday, I’m switching off!

      Really can’t watch another Vettel precession again. It worries me because we’re heading back to the Schumacher days where there’s 1 team and 1 driver who just had to not break down or hit anyone. Everyone else is free to battle for 2nd.

      1. This isn’t the first comment I’ve read likening Vettel today to Schumacher ten years ago and the comparison just does not stick.

        Schumacher had a much larger performance advantage and a team mate that wasn’t allowed to beat him.

        Not to mention we’re only two races into this season, there’s a long way to go yet.

        1. The Last Pope
          15th April 2011, 19:36

          I agree. Schumachers Ferrari was always the best car no matter what the track layout. At some point this year Ferrari will sort out their car, and no doubt will be very close at the front with RedBull and Mclaren, maybe at certain tracks (Monza?)the later two being ahead of redbull again.

    24. Entertaining enough for a practise session, worth getting up for.

      I liked Heidfeld’s 3 point turn, nice.

      When the HRT deployed DRS in front of Alonso it didn’t seem to open very far at all, still looks to do the job, but still, tiny.

      Better stuff from Mercedes and a decent session for Sutil.

    25. I enjoyed watching the Mercs thsi morning. Seemed quite tidy. And the bit with Liuzzi using his DRS at the end made me smile for some reason.

    26. how come Hamilton seems to do fewer laps than his team mate all the time? Cant McLaren work it out that the more lap you do on a new tyre the more data and understanding you have of the tyre? Strange really.

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