Vettel on top in Valencia with fastest-ever lap

2011 European GP third practice

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2011

Sebastian Vettel set a new fastest ever lap of the Valencia street track to head the times in final practice.

Vettel’s lap of 1’37.258 was three-tenths of a second faster than his pole position time from last year.

The two Ferraris showed good pace in the last practice session ahead of qualifying. Fernando Alonso was second fastest ahead of team mate Felipe Massa and Mark Webber.

It was a quiet session for the McLarens who ended up fifth and seventh. Lewis Hamilton had to back out of one lap when he caught a slow Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher ended the session eighth, two-tenths slower than his team mate, with the two Renaults completing the top ten.

Kamui Kobayashi had a dramatic end to the session as he spun off at the final corner, clipping the barrier and damaging the nose on his Sauber.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGap
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’37.25815
25Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’37.6780.42016
36Felipe MassaFerrari1’37.8400.58217
42Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’38.0680.81013
54Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’38.3261.06813
68Nico RosbergMercedes1’38.5801.32215
73Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’38.7411.48313
87Michael SchumacherMercedes1’38.7991.54114
910Vitaly PetrovRenault1’38.8221.56417
109Nick HeidfeldRenault1’39.1131.85515
1114Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’39.4112.15319
1217Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’39.7782.52018
1315Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’39.8232.56518
1416Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’39.8482.59018
1518Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.8882.63017
1611Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’39.9872.72918
1712Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’40.0042.74616
1819Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’40.2392.98120
1920Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’41.2674.00915
2021Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’41.6904.43218
2124Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’42.5575.29918
2223Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’43.2435.98517
2325Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’43.3096.05118
2422Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’44.6307.37219

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Total laps
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’42.9411’38.2651’37.25867
2Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’41.2391’37.9681’37.67873
3Felipe MassaFerrari1’41.7581’38.4431’37.84072
4Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’40.4031’38.5311’38.06861
5Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’41.5101’38.1951’38.74162
6Michael SchumacherMercedes1’42.2701’38.3151’38.79970
7Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’41.9261’38.4831’38.32657
8Nico RosbergMercedes1’42.0431’38.9811’38.58070
9Vitaly PetrovRenault1’41.2271’39.5861’38.82264
10Nick HeidfeldRenault1’41.5801’39.0401’39.11374
11Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’41.9551’39.6261’39.41170
12Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’42.7381’40.5311’39.77875
13Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’40.3631’39.82325
14Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’43.2011’42.0831’39.84870
15Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’40.4541’39.88849
16Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’42.7041’40.0201’39.98775
17Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’42.8411’40.3011’40.00478
18Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’42.2161’40.23949
19Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’44.1361’42.1561’41.26771
20Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’42.2391’41.69043
21Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’45.2211’42.2731’42.55758
22Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’42.41227
23Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’45.0261’42.8091’43.30971
24Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’45.4941’44.4601’43.24370
25Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’43.7697
26Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’46.9261’46.9061’44.63062
27Karun ChandhokLotus-RenaultNo time2

2011 European 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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    50 comments on “Vettel on top in Valencia with fastest-ever lap”

    1. Before anyone rushes to edit this lap time into the reelvant Wikipedia pages, remember that lap records can only be set under race conditions.

      1. You read my mind! But I’m aware that the lap record must be set during the race, so I stopped immediately.

      2. There’s a good chance the race lap record (Glock, 1’38.683) will be broken as well – they were only a tenth of it last year, and they’re clearly quicker this year.

        1. Oh, obviously. I’m just a regular contributor to the Formula 1 pages over at Wikipedia, and I thought I’d give a pre-emptive strike before an edit war began over there, like what happened when Button did a lap of Mount Panorama in last year’s Mclaren.

        2. I don’t think so – they’ll probably use primes in the last stint when they’re light, and they’ll be heavy when they’re using options.

        3. i doubt it’ll be broken during the race. the cars may be alot quicker this year, but the race laps are usually quite slow.

        4. The cars are slower Kieth, it is he free use of DRS and KERS this year that make the cars faster in qualifying when compared to last year. DRS and KERS may add upwards of half a second or 3/4 second in qualifying.

      3. I was thinking that you would need to set the lap time during a competitive session.

        1. But in Keiths defence don’t be surprised to see at least one of the top 10 on a 2 stop strategy.

    2. Hopefully Vettel will get bored with pole position and decide to aim for somewhere between 5th to 10th; just to give himself a bit of a challenge during the race.

      Hey, why not, eh? He has nothing to lose.

      1. this seems like a pretty good idea!

      2. That sounds like something crazy I would do.

      3. Very true! I would love to see that.

      4. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate arrogance, if he would start regularly doing that?

      5. What is he still wins?

        1. *if

          What IF he still wins?

    3. Vettel is still comfortably ahead, but the other postions are very fought.

      1. Yep.. If Seb retains his pole position after the 1st corner of the race, I’m guessing that he is cruising to an easy victory. Fernando, Mark and Lewis should have an interesting fight for the other 2 podium spots though.

        1. I hope he feels sufficiently ahead not to make pushing his team-mate of at the first corner his main priority.

    4. Ferrari and Mclaren should have a bit of a Melee, which should be fun!

    5. McLaren looked a bit off the pace during that session. Maybe remapping the car for qualifying has hit them the hardest? It’s interesting that according to the BBC coverage, Ferrari were the ones who pushed for the remapping change the most….

      1. It’s a return to the 80’s!

        Ferrari’s cars are not competitive so they’re whining to the stewards to get the rules changed to fit their car.

        1. They are competitive and they whined to the FIA along with some other teams, but it maybe that they whined just a little bit louder.

        2. Thats a pretty weak argument considering it all rumours.

        3. A return to the 80’s! I think you will find that Ferrari International Assistance has been given them the edge for the last 3 decades.

    6. Chief Macca Fan
      25th June 2011, 11:17

      im really prayin that the maccas were sandbaggin and runnin heavy,coz it just doesnt make sense how theyr running more rear wing,are faster in the speedtraps and still considerably slower than the rbs….anyone agree?

      1. Perhaps an indication that most of their downforce comes from their rear wing? Maybe in anticipation of not getting the benefit of a full on blown diffuser in the race? Faster down the straights may be just down to a better DRS.

      2. im really prayin that the maccas were sandbaggin and runnin heavy

        They have no reason to sandbag. It gets in the way of their testing program, and the program for FP3 usually revolves around doing qualifying simulations.

    7. so here me thinking that i should stay up for quali… ah not any more

    8. Alex_torquingf1 (@)
      25th June 2011, 11:17

      a mid 1:36 lap for pole is surely on for Vettel

    9. Himmat Singh
      25th June 2011, 11:25

      I am thoroughly perplexed by the fact that Lewis Hamilton’s time didn’t improve from yesterday. Vettel, on the other hand, has gone a full second quicker compared to yesterday.

      Could Hamilton be hiding something here? Does McLaren have more in reserve>?

    10. I’m already hearing conspiracy theories that Red Bull have found a way around the engine map ban by swapping out Vettel’s steering wheel during pit stops. However, since Vettel has a sixty-point lead over Button and wouldn’t need to cheat like that for a few extra points, Red Bull are smart enough not to play chicken with the stewards over it. Especially since such an abuse of the rules would likely result in a disqualification – if not a race ban – and erode Vettel’s points tally, doing it kind of defeats its own purpose.

      1. Changing engine mapping during a pitstop would not be against the rules, I think.

        1. No it isn’t. Takes about 2 minutes to do though.

        2. The ban starts when the circuit opens in Q1 and lasts until the first pit stop of the race. While changing a steering wheel would take too long under normal conditions, the conspiracy theorists claim that they could do it between qualifying periods, when they have much longer to prepare the car for the next session.

          1. But the mapping is in the ECU, not in the steering wheel, isn’t it? Don’t see how changing the buttons / hardware will update the Software.

      2. Swapping a steering wheel over would take too long anyway. Nothing illegal about swapping steering wheels during a race though.

        I read an article (not the free ones) on Autosport yesterday that suggested Red Bull would benefit most from the changes here at Valencia and Silverstone. I don’t think that they need to swap anything!

      3. Swap out the steering wheel? I’m curious, are the engine maps stored in the steering wheel or something? Or do you mean each steering wheel has a different pre-set map because the new regs won’t let drivers switch settings on the move?

        1. The controls for the engine settings are on the steering wheel. I imagine that they would be pre-programmed within a set range.

          However, you have to understand that I’m only repeating what the conspiracy theorists are saying. I don’t believe any of this for a moment.

          1. Didn’t someone swap out a steering wheel at Montreal during the length of a regular stop?

          2. The steering wheel engine/diff controls are data treaks to the main control program in the ECU. They’re like the wheel on a synthesizer that alters the pitch up or down by certain percentage.

            Think of the engine control program in the ECU as the BIOS program in your home computer. The BIOS itself (once it’s loaded) is otherwise locked from being altered. All you as a user can do is alter some of the data parameters it uses within limited percentages.

            (And the FIA is mainly concerned with what in PC-tech would be the CPU speeds – bus speed or multiplier. Those data alterations are off-limits.)

      4. If refined, changing the steering wheel could be done quicker, or as quick as changing the wheels.

        Eject, swap, slide in.

        1. The problem is that they would be running in qualifying mode until the first pitstop. And I’m guessing that would damage the engine and use a lot more fuel. On top of that, the map is not tuned for high loads of fuel.

        2. They’d better get on with it then, because at the next race in Silverstone it will be a completely different thing altogether. I’m also thinking that the FIA may be thinking that the map you start the race with should also be the map you finish the race with. Too many steering wheels!

        3. The steering wheel is nothing more than a race car equivalent of an X-Box controller – it is only for altering data parameters to the ECU. It doesn’t contain any ECU mapping programs whatsoever.

      5. They are still allowed to make changes to the engine mapping on the steering wheel: They are just not allowed to plug in a laptop. perhaps they could upload 2 engine settings and have a selector switch on the steering wheel.

        1. It says nothing of the sort!!!

          It’s only saying the drivers can still tweak the loaded engine mapping program through the steering wheel settings, like always.

          That has nothing to do with changing engine map programs or altering the current loaded program!

    11. Really glad Kamui didn’t destroy his car, I always like keeping an eye out for him in qualifying.

    12. John Cousins
      25th June 2011, 12:56

      I was under the impression, that the steering wheel was just like the hand controller on an aftermarket engine management system. There is a serial data interface between the steering wheel and the Mclaren built “control ECU”. The ecu spits a data stream to the display (which is the same for all teams) red bull mount their display in the cockpit…
      The switches can select different fuel and ignition maps stored within the ECU. That’s how I thought it worked anyway? The teams often refer to “selecting maps”?

    13. Question (it might sound like a daft one but I’ll give it a shot anyway): With Vettel setting the fastest lap ever at Valencia today, why doesn’t that count as the lap record.

      I know the lap record has to be set in the race but what is the reasoning behind this?

      Surely a fast lap is a fast lap, no matter when it is set?

    Comments are closed.