Teams mix set-ups expecting rain on Sunday

2011 Canadian GP qualifying analysis

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Nick Heidfeld, Renault, Montreal, 2011

With rain expected for tomorrow’s race, some teams have compromised the set-ups on their cars to maximise their chances.

The results can be seen in the data from qualifying, with drivers running more downforce finding their cars slower on the main straight.

And the question is, will it pay off for them in the race?

Qualifying times in full

  • Only two drivers failed to improve their times from Q1 to Q2 – Adrian Sutil and Rubens Barrichello
  • Sebastian Vettel lap time was eight-tenths of a second off the fastest ever lap of the current configuration of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, a 1’12.275 by Ralf Schumacher in 2004

Q2 (vs Q1)

Q3 (vs Q2)
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull1’14.0111’13.486 (-0.525)1’13.014 (-0.472)
2Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’13.8221’13.672 (-0.150)1’13.199 (-0.473)
3Felipe MassaFerrari1’14.0261’13.431 (-0.595)1’13.217 (-0.214)
4Mark WebberRed Bull1’14.3751’13.654 (-0.721)1’13.429 (-0.225)
5Lewis HamiltonMcLaren1’14.1141’13.926 (-0.188)1’13.565 (-0.361)
6Nico RosbergMercedes1’14.9201’13.950 (-0.970)1’13.814 (-0.136)
7Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’14.3741’13.955 (-0.419)1’13.838 (-0.117)
8Michael SchumacherMercedes1’14.9701’14.242 (-0.728)1’13.864 (-0.378)
9Nick HeidfeldRenault1’15.0961’14.467 (-0.629)1’14.062 (-0.405)
10Vitaly PetrovRenault1’14.6991’14.354 (-0.345)1’14.085 (-0.269)
11Paul di RestaForce India1’14.8741’14.752 (-0.122)
12Pastor MaldonadoWilliams1’15.5851’15.043 (-0.542)
13Kamui KobayashiSauber1’15.6941’15.285 (-0.409)
14Adrian SutilForce India1’14.9311’15.287 (+0.356)
15Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso1’15.9011’15.334 (-0.567)
16Rubens BarrichelloWilliams1’15.3311’15.361 (+0.030)
17Pedro de la RosaSauber1’16.2291’15.587 (-0.642)
18Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso1’16.294
19Jarno TrulliLotus1’16.745
20Heikki KovalainenLotus1’16.786
21Vitantonio LiuzziHRT1’18.424
22Timo GlockVirgin1’18.537
23Narain KarthikeyanHRT1’18.574
24Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin1’19.414

Team mate comparisons

Compare the best times of each team’s drivers in the last part of qualifying in which they both set a time.

  • Paul di Resta beat Adrian Sutil for the sixth time in seven races, by half a second. Sutil said: “I made a mistake in the hairpin on my last lap. I hit a bump under braking which caused the rear tyres to lock and I slid wide”.
  • Fernando Alonso maintained his unbeaten record against Felipe Massa but it was much closer between the two Ferrari drivers
TeamDriverLap timeGapLap timeDriverRound
Red BullSebastian Vettel1’13.014-0.4151’13.429Mark WebberQ3
McLarenLewis Hamilton1’13.565-0.2731’13.838Jenson ButtonQ3
FerrariFernando Alonso1’13.199-0.0181’13.217Felipe MassaQ3
MercedesMichael Schumacher1’13.864+0.0501’13.814Nico RosbergQ3
RenaultNick Heidfeld1’14.062-0.0231’14.085Vitaly PetrovQ3
WilliamsRubens Barrichello1’15.361+0.3181’15.043Pastor MaldonadoQ2
Force IndiaAdrian Sutil1’15.287+0.5351’14.752Paul di RestaQ2
SauberKamui Kobayashi1’15.285-0.3021’15.587Pedro de la RosaQ2
Toro RossoSebastien Buemi1’15.901-0.3931’16.294Jaime AlguersuariQ1
LotusHeikki Kovalainen1’16.786+0.0411’16.745Jarno TrulliQ1
HRTNarain Karthikeyan1’18.574+0.1501’18.424Vitantonio LiuzziQ1
VirginTimo Glock1’18.537-0.8771’19.414Jerome d’AmbrosioQ1

Sector times

Here are the drivers’ best times in each sector.

  • Once again, Vettel was the fastest driver in all three sectors
  • Mark Webber’s KERS problem cost him the most time down the long straight in sector three
  • Renault confirmed Nick Heidfeld is carrying more downforce than Vitaly Petrov in anticipation of rain tomorrow, which is reflected in their contrasting sector times
  • Likewise McLaren, despite Jenson Button’s words to the contrary, are believed to have run with more downforce. Martin Whitmarsh said: “Perhaps our cars had a little bit too much downforce for today’s qualifying session, which was dry; but, if it rains tomorrow, which is what the weather forecast tells us it will probably do, then we should be in good shape”
DriverSector 1Sector 2Sector 3
Sebastian Vettel20.258 (1)23.195 (1)29.401 (1)
Fernando Alonso20.292 (3)23.404 (3)29.474 (2)
Felipe Massa20.286 (2)23.381 (2)29.485 (3)
Mark Webber20.339 (5)23.430 (4)29.660 (8)
Lewis Hamilton20.402 (6)23.472 (5)29.659 (7)
Nico Rosberg20.419 (7)23.683 (9)29.573 (4)
Jenson Button20.310 (4)23.589 (6)29.687 (9)
Michael Schumacher20.430 (8)23.680 (8)29.618 (6)
Nick Heidfeld20.620 (9)23.604 (7)29.838 (11)
Vitaly Petrov20.668 (10)23.736 (10)29.608 (5)
Paul di Resta20.910 (15)24.021 (14)29.721 (10)
Pastor Maldonado20.802 (12)23.911 (11)30.330 (17)
Kamui Kobayashi20.834 (13)24.124 (16)30.089 (13)
Adrian Sutil20.851 (14)23.976 (13)29.906 (12)
Sebastien Buemi20.950 (16)24.138 (17)30.245 (14)
Rubens Barrichello20.774 (11)23.964 (12)30.303 (16)
Pedro de la Rosa20.964 (17)24.021 (14)30.362 (18)
Jaime Alguersuari21.289 (18)24.555 (19)30.267 (15)
Jarno Trulli21.427 (19)24.700 (20)30.605 (19)
Heikki Kovalainen21.528 (20)24.452 (18)30.676 (20)
Vitantonio Liuzzi21.938 (21)25.221 (23)31.152 (22)
Timo Glock21.942 (22)25.183 (21)31.266 (23)
Narain Karthikeyan22.147 (23)25.185 (22)31.093 (21)
Jerome d’Ambrosio22.312 (24)25.548 (24)31.554 (24)

Speed trap

Here are the drivers’ maximum speeds.

  • Lewis Hamilton believes he is in good shape for the race despite his low straight-line speed. He said: “We’re losing a couple of tenths along the back straight, which hurt us in qualifying. We’ve got a long seventh gear – a bit too long for qualifying perhaps – but that should be good for overtaking and will be a help when I’m slipstreaming as it means I won’t be on the limiter.”
PosDriverCarSpeed (kph)Gap
1Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso324.2
2Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso323.6-0.6
3Adrian SutilForce India322.0-2.2
4Michael SchumacherMercedes321.3-2.9
5Nico RosbergMercedes321.3-2.9
6Paul di RestaForce India320.5-3.7
7Sebastian VettelRed Bull320.0-4.2
8Vitaly PetrovRenault319.8-4.4
9Fernando AlonsoFerrari319.6-4.6
10Nick HeidfeldRenault319.5-4.7
11Felipe MassaFerrari319.3-4.9
12Mark WebberRed Bull318.3-5.9
13Heikki KovalainenLotus316.8-7.4
14Jarno TrulliLotus316.7-7.5
15Jenson ButtonMcLaren316.7-7.5
16Vitantonio LiuzziHRT316.0-8.2
17Rubens BarrichelloWilliams315.4-8.8
18Pastor MaldonadoWilliams315.2-9.0
19Lewis HamiltonMcLaren314.5-9.7
20Narain KarthikeyanHRT314.3-9.9
21Kamui KobayashiSauber312.7-11.5
22Timo GlockVirgin312.4-11.8
23Pedro de la RosaSauber311.1-13.1
24Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin307.6-16.6

2011 Canadian Grand Prix

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    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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    47 comments on “Teams mix set-ups expecting rain on Sunday”

    1. I find it strange Mclaren are effectively gambling on what should be their strongest circuit, but perhaps they expected everyone else to do the same?

      I think back to last year when Button “gambled” on a higher downforce set-up but in reality, it was everyone else gambling. We might be proven wrong again tomorrow.

      1. Never underestimate McLaren’s ability to ruin the race of their drivers. Whether it’s strategy, pits, or whatever, McLaren have made too many mistakes and taken too many pointless risks.

        As you say, why would they gamble on what should be one o their very best tracks? Given that their race pace is strong, they could qualify near (or ahead) of Vettel and then race him. Instead, they have taken a risk to either be embarrasingly slow or dominate the race!? What they should aim to do is to win by as little as possible, thereby reducing the risk of strategy and the danger of crashing or overworking the car. They don’t need to dominate: a win is a win is a win. They certainly don’t need to be swamped by the pack…

        1. i don’t think they would have their advantage in rain… considering the DRS ban in wet condition and red bull’s general downforce

          but i’m not sure…

      2. From what I read, they might just have not brought the perfect package here. Maybe lucking into having rain rather than choosing to setup for it.

        1. well it’s raining out here in india like crazy. maybe i could set up a fan and blow some of the clouds over?

          I havent seen sunlight since morning!

          1. @Haterbreeder
            its raining here in Nigeria like crazy as well and is Sunday 10am. perhaps i could follow your cue and blow some cloud over, lol

            1. @leslesxx
              I did not know there are F1 fans from Nigeria on this Blog, i thot i was the only one for a while.

            2. Its raining here in CE Europe as well, so i guess all of us just need to send a bit over.

            3. And here in London! Gosh, it seems like Montreal’s just waiting to catch up with the rest of us!!

        2. I watched the Whitmarsh interview in qualifying; he certainly didn’t give the entire story about the choice of setup.

          Actually he looked as though he’d realised just in time he was about to give something away, and then started talking about percentages and how it made sense.

      3. Check the BBC weather it’s predicting heavy storms during the race, so Mclaren may yet be vindicated

        1. i wouldn’t bet too much on the BBC’s weather conditions

      4. We should discuss this tomorrow. Ferrari have ran a dry setup because the track was dry, McLaren have run a wet setup because the track might be wet today.
        Ferrari have set up their cars according to the actual conditions, McLaren according to possible conditions.

    2. dyslexicbunny
      12th June 2011, 0:10

      I am somewhat surprised at how badly sutil is getting owned by his teammates. It isn’t even remotely close on Saturdays.

      Also nice to see ferrari back to form. If mclaren is going to gamble on setup and it fails, hopefully ferrari can take the fight to red bull.

      1. It is actually close when tou consider mistakes and luck. Usually if you add Sutil’s sectors together they’ll be about equal. He’s only have been less than one tenth off if he’s repeated his q1 time in q2.

      2. What are you talking about? I am suprised by how much Di Resta is owning!! i dont know why you used plural with teamates, Sutil always used to beat his team mates in previous years!

    3. Mclaren need another get out of jail free card, they’re going to look foolish if it’s dry tomorrow… Imagine sacrificing raw speed in 2-DRS Montreal.

      But I understand the need for an out of the ordinary strategy, what else can they do when they can’t beat RedBull in normal circumstances?

      1. They could split their strategy and have one car on wet and the other on dry. That way they are guaranteed to be right once.

    4. I doubted Hamilton at the start of last year. Took him more than a minute…

      1. This was a reply to a post that isn’t here any more!

    5. How close are some of these times!? There is half a tenth between Rosberg and Schumacher, and Button is between them!

      1. But there’s no surprise as to who’s on pole… It’s got so bad, I was almost cheering for Alonso.

        1. Me too -and I can’t stand him.

          1. And in fifteen years time everyone will be talking about how good the Vettel Red-Bull combination was and how it was a privilege to watch!

            1. Or that vettel had no competition.

            2. Only if this lasts for a few more years and they will also be talking about how he didn’t have any competition or how how he had a supreme car etc.

            3. You gotta be kidding right? I still remember Senna walking away with it in 1998 and was thoroughly BORED by that season. Same for Mansell in 1992 when he was lapping his own teammate in 2nd place regularly … and I was a big Mansell fan!

              Unrivalled domination in any sport is not good viewing, unless you’re a rabid fanboi for that team and/or driver.

            4. Senna walking away with it in 1998 and was thoroughly BORED by that season

              BORED – I would be SCARED, definetly not BORED

        2. I almost was too. Oh God! what is F1 turning into in 2011? No real competition?

    6. The Last Pope
      12th June 2011, 1:23

      I think Sauber still have the Monaco setup on the by accident lol. Gambling on full wet setup?

      1. Whereas, McLaren are gambling on a moderately moist track…? They should have done exactly what the RBRs did: then, they would have a good chance of beating them tomorrow. Now, they’ve given themselves a lot of work to do; and a lot of luck to play its part.

        1. that exactly what i thought. how about if the track was only moderately wet

      2. they smashed all there Montreal parts this weekend, they must have been using some parts from the last race

    7. How much KERS-related bad luck can one man have? Hopefully Webber recovers tomorrow.
      Vettel just continues to amaze though…

    8. As far as rain… has a 50% chance of rain shown at race start, but 70% chance a couple hours before, so even if it doesn’t rain during the race, there’s a good chance the rubber will all be washed off the track…

      1. yeah, looks like slippery is for certain, with a bit of everyone looking for rain to decide their stops and maybe a wed/dry/wet race.

    9. Hamilton: “We’re losing a couple of tenths along the back straight, which hurt us in qualifying. We’ve got a long seventh gear – a bit too long for qualifying perhaps – but that should be good for overtaking and will be a help when I’m slipstreaming as it means I won’t be on the limiter.”

      Can anybody explain to me what that means? A long seventh gear? Does that mean he actually has a much higher top speed, just that it will take longer for him to reach there? And that with the double DRS available to him, he will pass through the cars ahead? Thanks.

      1. As i understand it longer gear ratios compromise acceleration, so its fine having a long seventh gear but you may run out of road before you get the benefit.

        1. Yeah DMC’s explained it perfectly. In addition though; you’ll receive an increased benefit if slipstreaming someone..

    10. What about the tires? who have ( & how many) fresh tires? Of course that is relevant only if it will be a dry race..

      1. I’m not sure but I think it will be less relevant here. Many teams were able to maintain performance on the super softs for 20 laps in practice – hence the 3/4 runs in Q3.

    11. ScottishNotBritish
      12th June 2011, 9:47

      Another great performance from Di Resta. Last year Sutil outqualified his teammate Liuzzi 16-to-3. Di Resta is now 6-to-1 up on Sutil…

      The most impressive F1 debut since Lewis Hamilton?

      1. ScottishNotBritish
        12th June 2011, 9:52

        And Liuzzi is 7-to-0 up on Karthikeyan this year… By my calculations that makes Paul ten thousand times a better driver than Narain. Haha.

        1. Di resta to replace Webber at RedBull or Schumacer at Merc!

        2. Yes but look at the difference this time. So small between the Indian and Luizzi. This just shows Liuzzi is slow and that HRT might have from half to a whole second more pace in the hands of a Hamilton or Alonso.

    12. Seems RBR have Montreal sorted. Fastest through all 3 sectors is impressive for such a high downforce machine, particularly sector 3.

    13. ogunwumiju ayo
      12th June 2011, 12:37

      @ lesleeXX. Can’t believe that there’s another f1fanatic in Nigeria. I’m gonna catch the race on Supersport. The one with the BBC audio feed from DC and MB. I think we’re gonna see a partially wet race. I’ve been looking a lot meterological data from NASA, the Met office, and local amerian radar data and it might well rain (80% probability)

    Comments are closed.