Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011

Red Bull’s advantage cut in Silverstone qualifying

2011 British GP qualifying analysis

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2011

Red Bull were half a second faster than their rivals on average in qualifying before the weekend.

But following the changes to the diffuser rules in Silverstone they found their margin cut to a tenth of a second over Ferrari.

Here’s all the data from qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

Qualifying times in full

  • Red Bull’s margin over their rivals in qualifying was 0.117 seconds. It’s only been lower than that once this year, in Malaysia (0.104s). Until this weekend they had enjoyed an average superiority of 0.517s.
  • Lewis Hamilton slumped to tenth on the grid. He started Q3 using a set of soft tyres he’d run briefly in Q1. But that will probably not even account for half of his yawning two second deficit to Mark Webber.
  • Sixth on the grid is Paul di Resta’s best result to date.
  • Adrian Sutil missed out on a place in the final ten by just three hundredths of a second.
  • Renault had their worst qualifying performance of the year with 14th and 16th on the grid. James Allison said the changes to the diffuser rules only partly explained the change: “The alterations to the engine rules have clearly upset the order somewhat, but that?s not where all our focus lies. The fact is that for the past three or four races we have been on a trend that is far from impressive and, at this event, we have been showing far less performance than we should be.”

Q2 (vs Q1)

Q3 (vs Q2)
1Mark WebberRed Bull1’32.6701’31.673 (-0.997)1’30.399 (-1.274)
2Sebastian VettelRed Bull1’32.9771’32.379 (-0.598)1’30.431 (-1.948)
3Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’32.9861’31.727 (-1.259)1’30.516 (-1.211)
4Felipe MassaFerrari1’32.7601’31.640 (-1.120)1’31.124 (-0.516)
5Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’34.2301’32.273 (-1.957)1’31.898 (-0.375)
6Paul di RestaForce India1’34.4721’32.569 (-1.903)1’31.929 (-0.640)
7Pastor MaldonadoWilliams1’32.7021’32.588 (-0.114)1’31.933 (-0.655)
8Kamui KobayashiSauber1’34.3241’32.399 (-1.925)1’32.128 (-0.271)
9Nico RosbergMercedes1’34.1861’32.295 (-1.891)1’32.209 (-0.086)
10Lewis HamiltonMcLaren1’33.5811’32.505 (-1.076)1’32.376 (-0.129)
11Adrian SutilForce India1’34.4541’32.617 (-1.837)
12Sergio PerezSauber1’34.1451’32.624 (-1.521)
13Michael SchumacherMercedes1’34.1601’32.656 (-1.504)
14Vitaly PetrovRenault1’34.4281’32.734 (-1.694)
15Rubens BarrichelloWilliams1’33.5321’33.119 (-0.413)
16Nick HeidfeldRenault1’35.1321’33.805 (-1.327)
17Heikki KovalainenLotus1’34.9231’34.821 (-0.102)
18Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso1’35.245
19Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso1’35.698
20Timo GlockVirgin1’36.203
21Jarno TrulliLotus1’36.456
22Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin1’37.154
23Vitantonio LiuzziHRT1’37.484
24Daniel RicciardoHRT1’38.059

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.

  • Mark Webber out-qualified Sebastian Vettel for the second time this year. One the previous occasion Vettel did not have KERS working.
  • Have the new restrictions on exhaust-blown diffusers played into Webber’s hands? Possibly – but this may be the only chance he gets to exploit it. The FIA has offered to reinstate the previous rules.
TeamDriverLap timeGapLap timeDriverRound
Red BullSebastian Vettel1’30.431+0.0321’30.399Mark WebberQ3
McLarenLewis Hamilton1’32.376+0.4781’31.898Jenson ButtonQ3
FerrariFernando Alonso1’30.516-0.6081’31.124Felipe MassaQ3
MercedesMichael Schumacher1’32.656+0.3611’32.295Nico RosbergQ2
RenaultNick Heidfeld1’33.805+1.0711’32.734Vitaly PetrovQ2
WilliamsRubens Barrichello1’33.119+0.5311’32.588Pastor MaldonadoQ2
Force IndiaAdrian Sutil1’32.617+0.0481’32.569Paul di RestaQ2
SauberKamui Kobayashi1’32.399-0.2251’32.624Sergio PerezQ2
Toro RossoSebastien Buemi1’35.698+0.4531’35.245Jaime AlguersuariQ1
LotusHeikki Kovalainen1’34.923-1.5331’36.456Jarno TrulliQ1
HRTDaniel Ricciardo1’38.059+0.5751’37.484Vitantonio LiuzziQ1
VirginTimo Glock1’36.203-0.9511’37.154Jerome D’AmbrosioQ1

Sector times

Here are the drivers? best times in each sector.

  • A slow first sector most likely kept Sergio Perez from reaching Q3.
DriverSector 1Sector 2Sector 3
Mark Webber28.525 (1)37.050 (3)24.824 (1)
Sebastian Vettel28.615 (3)36.879 (1)24.937 (2)
Fernando Alonso28.614 (2)36.897 (2)25.005 (3)
Felipe Massa28.805 (4)37.081 (4)25.238 (7)
Jenson Button29.008 (6)37.695 (8)25.179 (5)
Paul di Resta29.178 (10)37.588 (5)25.163 (4)
Pastor Maldonado29.144 (9)37.600 (6)25.189 (6)
Kamui Kobayashi29.011 (7)37.748 (9)25.369 (13)
Nico Rosberg28.912 (5)37.604 (7)25.238 (7)
Lewis Hamilton29.013 (8)37.919 (11)25.326 (11)
Adrian Sutil29.290 (12)38.065 (13)25.262 (9)
Sergio Perez29.443 (16)37.833 (10)25.312 (10)
Michael Schumacher29.196 (11)38.118 (14)25.342 (12)
Vitaly Petrov29.296 (13)38.005 (12)25.433 (14)
Rubens Barrichello29.415 (15)38.216 (15)25.488 (15)
Nick Heidfeld29.392 (14)38.567 (16)25.743 (16)
Heikki Kovalainen29.825 (17)38.901 (17)25.994 (17)
Jaime Alguersuari29.924 (18)39.184 (18)26.076 (18)
Sebastien Buemi29.964 (19)39.467 (20)26.230 (19)
Timo Glock30.242 (20)39.515 (21)26.385 (20)
Jarno Trulli30.412 (21)39.209 (19)26.757 (21)
Jerome D’Ambrosio30.525 (22)39.659 (22)26.819 (23)
Vitantonio Liuzzi30.553 (23)40.164 (23)26.767 (22)
Daniel Ricciardo30.621 (24)40.331 (24)26.984 (24)

Speed trap

Here are the drivers? maximum speeds.

  • As has often been the case this year, the Mercedes and Renaults are near the top of the speed traps.
PosDriverCarSpeed (kph)Gap
1Nico RosbergMercedes314.3
2Michael SchumacherMercedes314.0-0.3
3Rubens BarrichelloWilliams313.8-0.5
4Vitaly PetrovRenault310.9-3.4
5Nick HeidfeldRenault310.7-3.6
6Sergio PerezSauber309.6-4.7
7Pastor MaldonadoWilliams309.4-4.9
8Sebastian VettelRed Bull308.3-6.0
9Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso308.3-6.0
10Mark WebberRed Bull308.1-6.2
11Jenson ButtonMcLaren307.5-6.8
12Adrian SutilForce India307.4-6.9
13Felipe MassaFerrari307.4-6.9
14Paul di RestaForce India306.9-7.4
15Lewis HamiltonMcLaren306.9-7.4
16Fernando AlonsoFerrari306.6-7.7
17Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso303.2-11.1
18Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin302.6-11.7
19Timo GlockVirgin302.6-11.7
20Heikki KovalainenLotus302.3-12.0
21Kamui KobayashiSauber301.5-12.8
22Daniel RicciardoHRT300.5-13.8
23Vitantonio LiuzziHRT299.2-15.1
24Jarno TrulliLotus298.8-15.5

2011 British 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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28 comments on “Red Bull’s advantage cut in Silverstone qualifying”

  1. Trouble with all this with the rules mess is that I can see lots of teams asking for the points for the British Grand Prix this year not to count in the drivers or constructors championships, especially if the rules are going to go back to the way they were before, in a way I think it would be the sensible thing to do.

    1. I agree, this race is a joke. the FIA is out of control.

  2. The top 8 really impressed me today. JB, not so much I’ll admit but he has a lousy record here and at least he outqualified Lewis. Massa was still well off Fernando but he didn’t make the most of q3 and had looked a lot more on it before then so I’m stilly happyish with him. It was great to see Mark have something to smile about!

    I’m not really surprised Red Bull still seem so quick but now Mark’s turned up hopefully he can take some points from Seb. I think Mark’s finally getting to grips with the tyres (no pun intended) too regardless of this rule change as Newey commented at Valencia.

    What on earth is happening with Renault this season?

    1. What on earth is happening with Renault this season?

      If they go on like that, they will be beaten by HRT soon.

    2. Renault have certainly been dicing with different ends of the spectrum this season huh? From getting 2 podiums to fighting with with non-points scorers, I was expecting them to have a steady development rate but they’ve stood still which has inevitably made them fall backwards. It’s not like they can really blame the rule changes either since the past few races have yielded low points or less.

      Although I think the lack of consistency may have something to with Heidfeld and Petrov. Poor quali performances have forced them to make up positions which is putting them at a serious disadvantage straight away.

      1. Have Renault been bringing many updates this year? Last year there was a new front wing every session it seemed and yet I’ve heard almost nothing from them.

        1. I think they brought new Front and Rear wings for Turkey, but then again a lot of teams did, other than that I can’t remember any announced upgrades.

          Perhaps someone else can fill in Renault’s development path this season?

          1. You can see here for Renault’s updates. They did have something new..

        2. Last year pretty much every single update (even big ones like F-Duct) they brought on to their car worked. This year… it seems few and far between. Rumors of financial trouble might be true…

    3. Actually I think Button did a good job today, their car clearly suffered in Silverstone (a bit like it did last year here!). Mercedes also seems to have suffered from the rules gulash.

      I think both the Ferrari’s did a solid job, and if they can keep up tomorrow it might get interesting. Especially if they can do the super starts they have been doing lately.

      Webber hopefully keeps this going for a strong run mid season, that would get it a lot more exiting as well.

      Memorable effort from Team Lotus as well to get Heikki into Q2, now he is really in the mix to battle to would be lotus/jps cars on track!

    4. Not alot it seems! Disappointing, really disappoining. They peaked too early.

  3. I’m still amazed that Schumacher was 4 tenths off 5th yet still ended up 13th. No doubt it was a wrong place wrong time situation in terms of tyres but I’m quite excited for some potential close racing tomorrow. Especially since the Red Bull’s seem to have lost ground on Ferrari.

    1. Sorry I messed up the link, it’s kind of all over the same now :S

      1. Never mind, good read anyhow.

  4. Is it just me or is the new Silverstone:
    (1) a souless mess of wide expanses of tarmac?
    (2) almost impossible to work out where the cars are?
    (3) the most fan-hostile pit straight in the world?
    (4) the track with the ‘impossible to see’ pits?
    (5) a great venue wrecked?

    1. I’m not being so quick to judge it, well not until tomorrow anyway.

      I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to the pit straight being between Club and Abbey, but tomorrow shall prove interesting seeing the cars bullet through the kinks and up to the tight Turn 3.

      It’s the same Silverstone that we’ve had for years with the exception of the Bridge section (Although the straight isn’t a bad replacement). So as for your points:

      1) – Disagree
      2) – Some may find it different but I can always tell which part of the track a car is on.
      3) – How is it fan hostile?
      4) – The low stand doesn’t aid the fans at all but the extra build developments should take car of that.
      5) – Absolutely not, Silverstone will always be up there with the likes of Spa, Monaco and Montreal as a fantastic venue and I don’t think it will ever change.

      1. I agree, I think its an exiting way to rejuvenate a track that has been part of F1 since the very beginning.

        1. I love the new track, although I loved the old one as well.

    2. Laranja Mecanica
      9th July 2011, 23:46

      Agreed. But it’s not the “new” Silverstone, it was ruined 20 years ago, until 1990 Silverstone was a extremely fast, exciting circuit. Only Monza and Spa survive, all the rest are terminally bland.

  5. (6) Some people will moan about anything and everything.

    1. +10!

  6. Overall RBR have more of an advantage (or at least the same), look at the gaps to other teams.
    The only exception is Alonso in this particular race (where they have good upgrades anyway). Hamilton was as close in Malaysian(0.1s) but again that was a one off. There is no strong evidence that the gap is smaller.
    I hope Alonso can win tomorrow but the rules should revert to the previous rules and the attempt at race fixing by the FIA should end.

  7. Vettel did say he changed gear on the revlimiter, if I heard him correctly when he talked to Massa at the weigh station. Add to that the drizzle which meant the track got worse instead of better and he aborted his last run and there you have a potentially bigger gap than one tenth.

  8. John Cousins
    10th July 2011, 1:53

    I’m sorry but I have to say “I told you so”.
    FIA you are pathetic! I said it would be impossible to fairly control the OTEBD half way through a season…
    Well done for spoiling what should have been a special race!

    1. I said the same John, the FIA could not of handled this any worse.

      As for Redbull losing their edge, I can only say you’re clutching at straws Keith. Considering the conditions I am surprised to see you write such a thing. Ferrari have been closing the gap on their single lap pace for a while now and the limited time of clean running during qualifying is hardly a gauge.

      1. Me too. We are in agreement.

  9. Apparently Ferrari and Sauber have refused to sign up to the rule implementation being reverted. What a surprise, all teams will look after their best interests.

Comments are closed.