Webber tops times but Alonso quickest in two sectors

2011 European GP FP1 analysis

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Valencia, 2011

The first practice session at Valencia gave few clues as to how the changes to the rules this weekend might affect the field.

Mark Webber was comfortably fastest but Fernando Alonso had some strong sector times.

Here’s all the data from the first practice session for the European Grand Prix.

Longest stint comparison

  • Early signs are the medium tyre was holding up very well – Sebastian Vettel and Jaime Alguersuari did ten-lap stints on it with little drop-off in pace
  • However the track was very dusty and slippery and will clean up as the weekend goes on – last year times were four seconds quicker in Q3 compared to first practice. This will put greater demand on the tyres


Sebastian Vettel105.045104.363104.392102.941103.639103.409103.506103.584108.352103.854
Mark Webber104.528103.823103.847103.806104.052104.663109.634102.747103.393
Lewis Hamilton103.33103.113106.131102.137
Jenson Button103.195104.587102.447106.578101.926103.921
Fernando Alonso103.547103.917104.774106.112105.65101.611
Felipe Massa104.536104.463102.53102.154119.381109.595101.758
Michael Schumacher111.029104.091103.357113.169109.678102.687
Nico Rosberg102.257112.068116.082105.49102.043116.126114.147
Nick Heidfeld104.143102.225110.492101.967101.58
Vitaly Petrov102.416111.578101.748106.221101.227101.799
Rubens Barrichello103.279111.175102.704105.967109.838
Pastor Maldonado110.992102.867103.191112.429103.492114.811107.962104.758106.588
Adrian Sutil103.487102.618108.302102.432102.006
Nico Hulkenberg107.942106.302104.929103.769
Kamui Kobayashi106.63107.279103.59106.286104.045
Sergio Perez106.502105.229104.93103.388114.409104.473103.07
Daniel Ricciardo104.186103.886109.083104.126104.574104.159104.542
Jaime Alguersuari102.584102.452109.583102.78105.54103.877102.216105.953102.739102.641
Heikki Kovalainen112.372107.373104.999107.364104.136108.041109.249104.136
Karun Chandhok
Narain Karthikeyan109.354106.926110.858116.598107.425108.658110.2
Vitantonio Liuzzi105.873113.176106.406105.494118.808106.01
Timo Glock106.807105.933105.221108.129105.336
Jerome d’Ambrosio110.517107.01108.416105.798105.289

Ultimate lap times

An ultimate lap is a drivers’ best three sector times added together.

  • Fernando Alonso clearly had some time in hand in this session. He was fastest of all in the first two sectors
  • Red Bull were finding a lot of time in the final sector – the only one with any high-speed corners – where Webber was quickest by over four-tenths of a second
  • Adrian Sutil also showed some pace in his Force India
CarDriverCarUltimate lapGapDeficit to best
12Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’40.3870.016
25Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’40.8660.4790.373
310Vitaly PetrovRenault1’41.2270.8400.000
414Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’41.2720.8850.683
53Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’41.2830.8960.227
69Nick HeidfeldRenault1’41.5381.1510.042
76Felipe MassaFerrari1’41.6291.2420.129
87Michael SchumacherMercedes1’41.7531.3660.517
94Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’41.7971.4100.129
108Nico RosbergMercedes1’41.8091.4220.234
1112Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’42.2071.8200.634
1219Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’42.2071.8200.009
1318Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’42.3882.0010.024
1411Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’42.6022.2150.102
1517Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’42.7022.3150.036
161Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’42.8702.4830.071
1716Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’42.9032.5160.298
1815Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’43.6633.2760.106
1920Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’43.7613.3740.375
2024Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’44.9654.5780.256
2125Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’45.0264.6390.000
2223Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’45.4875.1000.007
2322Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’46.8816.4940.045

Complete practice times

  • The Renaults showed promising pace, with both their cars in front of Mercedes
  • All drivers were able to lap within 7% of the fastest drivers’ time, which should mean all are able to qualify
CarDriverCarBest lapGapStint lapAt timeLaps
12Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’40.4038/85922
210Vitaly PetrovRenault1’41.2270.8245/67120
35Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’41.2390.8366/64622
43Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’41.5101.1071/37925
59Nick HeidfeldRenault1’41.5801.1775/56524
66Felipe MassaFerrari1’41.7581.3557/74723
74Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’41.9261.5235/65016
814Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’41.9551.5523/48920
98Nico RosbergMercedes1’42.0431.6405/78822
1019Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’42.2161.8137/108429
117Michael SchumacherMercedes1’42.2701.8672/58526
1218Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’42.4122.0093/58727
1311Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’42.7042.3013/58823
1417Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’42.7382.3354/47420
1512Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’42.8412.4384/65728
161Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’42.9412.5384/108223
1716Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’43.2012.7983/47718
1815Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’43.7693.3664/4227
1920Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’44.1363.7335/85717
2025Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’45.0264.6233/48617
2124Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’45.2214.8183/56319
2223Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’45.4945.0914/66424
2322Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’46.9266.5232/76227

Speed trap

  • The McLaren drivers are at the bottom of the times sheets. They were tested a revised rear wing and were not using their Drag Reduction System
#DriverCarEngineMax speedGap
112Pastor MaldonadoWilliamsCosworth317.9
28Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes317.60.3
37Michael SchumacherMercedesMercedes317.50.4
46Felipe MassaFerrariFerrari316.31.6
514Adrian SutilForce IndiaMercedes315.62.3
69Nick HeidfeldRenaultRenault315.42.5
710Vitaly PetrovRenaultRenault315.32.6
818Daniel RicciardoToro RossoFerrari314.83.1
911Rubens BarrichelloWilliamsCosworth314.73.2
105Fernando AlonsoFerrariFerrari314.63.3
1115Nico HulkenbergForce IndiaMercedes313.14.8
122Mark WebberRed BullRenault312.75.2
131Sebastian VettelRed BullRenault312.55.4
1422Narain KarthikeyanHRTCosworth312.55.4
1520Heikki KovalainenLotusRenault3125.9
1623Vitantonio LiuzziHRTCosworth311.96
1719Jaime AlguersuariToro RossoFerrari311.76.2
1816Kamui KobayashiSauberFerrari311.66.3
1924Timo GlockVirginCosworth311.26.7
2025Jerome D’AmbrosioVirginCosworth3116.9
2117Sergio PerezSauberFerrari309.18.8
223Lewis HamiltonMcLarenMercedes308.39.6
234Jenson ButtonMcLarenMercedes302.815.1
2421Karun ChandhokLotusRenault175.8142.1

2011 European 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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    28 comments on “Webber tops times but Alonso quickest in two sectors”

    1. It’s FP1. Half a dozen drivers will have beaten Webber’s time by the end of FP2, and hlf as many again by the end of FP3.

      Bottom line: FP1 times don’t mean anything.

      1. Half a dozen drivers will have beaten Webber’s time by the end of FP2

        Well, obviously – that’s track evolution, Webber will improve his time too.

        1. I just find it funny when you turn on the Australian coverage and they’re talking about how Webber was fastest in FP1 and that this bodes well for him in the race – but when they show the times for all the practice sessions and qualifying, his FP1 time probably would have seen him qualify about fifteenth or sixteenth …

          1. But, as Keith said, Webber’s time will improve too. The track conditions were the same for everyone in that session. Even if FP1 doesn’t mean much, I think being at the front generally bodes better for the race than being at the back dos, unless you solely concentrate on heavy fuel.

            1. I’m well aware of that. I’m just pointing out that early Free Practice times don’t really mean much – but because the media present them as representative of actual pace, people tend to read too much into the times.

          2. It’s not an problem exclusive to Australian TV. It’s just a general lack of knowledge across the general public as to how a track gets faster as a race weekend progress(ceteris paribus).

            Then when Q comes, it’s a bit like… huh?

          3. I just find it funny when you turn on the Australian coverage…

            I don’t care. I’m not Australia’s F1 broadcaster. If you have a problem with their coverage take it up with them, not here.

            1. You’re missing out on some quality idiocy. Makes you crave a James Allen-Jonathon Legard double-team in the commentary box.

            2. PM, saying ______ was fastest in the first and second practice sessions while _______ was fastest in __________ bodes well for their weekends’ DOES actually mean something.

              Just because they went outright faster later doesn’t mean anything. Because in relative performance terms they were the fastest then. And since everyone races at teh same time it is an interesting fact not a piece of useless numbers and hoopla.

              You said that it would be pointless because

              Half a dozen drivers will have beaten Webber’s time by the end of FP2

              Going by that logic Vettel’s times in Quali for the Abu Dhabi Gran Prix last year were pointless because other (much less experienced aswell) drivers beat his time during the rookie tests!!!!

              It didn’t mean Vettel’s times were useless, what it showed was that at the time that time was set Vettel was the fastest.

              Just as Webber was the fastest in FP1 compared to others who set their time with the same track conditions.

              You are the one who can’t see the logic.

              And yes I know no one is going flat out, but since everyone holds back a bit, it is a nice thing to have than not have and it’s better to be top of the list rather than bottom and it shows both car and driver SEEM to be pretty hooked up for the weekend and looks like a podium could well be on the cards.


          4. It’s also funny in Italy they say “who cares” of Vettel’s 16th place as he was running updates, but then Alonso’s 3rd place is not boding well for the race…

    2. Be interesting to see if Red Bull’s pace is affected as much as it looks from the clamp down on engine maps. Button and Hamilton were slowest in the speed traps as they didn’t use DRS at all in FP1, considering that, they look very strong around here.

      1. I don’t think you can explain away Button’s and Hamilton’s times as being a result of an inoperable DRS.

        Likewise, I seriously doubt Vettel’s lap times are a byproduct of Red Bull being affected by engine map clampdowns.

        1. No but you can almost dismiss their times as a comparison, due to the focus of their test session investigating new aero parts. PM if you are so negative and dismissive of the relevance of practice then why do you watch it? Granted most people often read too much into early signs, but there can still be clues as to race pace especially when many are looking to see how new reg revisions are impacting individauals and teams.

          1. No but you can almost dismiss their times as a comparison, due to the focus of their test session investigating new aero parts.

            True, but I get the impression a lot of people deliberaely misinterpret the times to convince them of certain things – like McLaren being compeitive, or Vettel’s dominant streak benig over.

    3. Hm, so we know everyone is working on improving their cars, but not too much is clear of how fast everyone really is.

      Classic friday running then. Shame the track is as boring and bland to look at.

      1. It’s a shame, because a few minor tweaks would make the circuit great. Iron out turns three and four so that they can be taken flat out, and extend the back straight so that there is only one hairpin instead of three.

    4. There is something wrong with the chart, I think.

      It is showing Petrov quickest with no drivers completing more than 10 laps?

      1. The chart is correct. It shows only the LONGEST STINT comparison of all the drivers. No driver did a stint longer than 10 laps in FP1

        1. Danke, I understand now.

    5. Vettel pole

      1. A wise man once said, “we will see”

        1. What “we will see” is Vettel on pole ;)

    6. from this data it looks like Hamilton did use DRS in the speed trap.

    7. Does anyone know why Alonso is losing so much time in secotr three? Or was it just traffic he got stuck behind? To go purple in two sectors but still only third in the standings (AND 0.5s behind Webber) is pretty dreadful and Alonso isn’t the kind of driver to make many mistakes…

      I know the F150 doesn’t have the aero grip that the RB7 does but I didn’t think it was so bad…

    8. I think this race will actually be very enjoyable. The new rules certainly livened up the Spanish GP – which is not known for being exciting… I’m feeling optimistic for this race. Should be another thriller!

      Can Lewis make it 4 European GP second places in a row?!

    9. I can’t help but wonder about how Button’s pace in the Canadian GP was clearly superior to RBR. Did McLaren perfect the off throttle diffuser for racing pace? If so, then the McLarens may have an advantage here before the complete ban in Silverstone. I am surprised that there hasn’t been more discussion about this fact. Both Button and Vettel were on tires of almost equal age, but McLaren did have an aero package for damp conditions ( so I remember the BBC announcers saying).

      So my big question is where did that ability to gain on Vettel at 1.5 seconds per lap come from?

      1. @AG –

        This is because McLaren had set up their car for a wet race in quali, whilst RBR choose a setup that was between a wet/dry one – This is why both Macca’a qualified down the grid past their normal quali pace.

        McLaren were vilified for doing this as it did not make sense at the time(Saturday) to sacrifice grid position for a better setup on Sun. As it tuned out, Button’s pace shows they were justified.

    10. Thanks for the clarification. It was hard to keep track of all the details when the coverage was spread out over five hours.

    Comments are closed.