Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Nurburgring, 2011

Alonso gives a sign Ferrari can fight for victory

2011 German GP FP1 analysis

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Nurburgring, 2011
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Nurburgring, 2011

Fernando Alonso showed Ferrari’s improved pace at Silverstone was not a one-off caused by the temporary change in the diffuser rules.

Even with the cars back in their Valencia configuration, his practice pace suggests Ferrari can rival Red Bull this weekend.

This was only the second time this year Ferrari have been fastest in the first practice session – Red Bull have done so seven times.

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

Longest stint comparison

  • Alonso did the fastest time of the session at the end of a seven-lap run, indicating he has more time in hand
  • There was little in the way of long runs in first practice, aside from Pastor Maldonado, which partly explains his low place in the final times.


Sebastian Vettel98.34898.07798.26898.22497.79797.65298.622101.772
Mark Webber98.54297.80697.79997.49100.88697.56698.045
Lewis Hamilton98.56793.79999.98494.332
Jenson Button97.60995.174105.6995.238
Fernando Alonso95.59596.27997.793102.778105.636109.2191.894
Felipe Massa96.94796.089102.10695.30994.78297.49694.742
Michael Schumacher96.91496.50196.42899.462
Nico Rosberg100.67895.82997.01896.8198.082
Nick Heidfeld102.38896.27195.85195.444
Vitaly Petrov95.36395.695107.12796.45196.307
Rubens Barrichello105.999101.03699.33105.425
Pastor Maldonado99.91998.04698.13397.73397.94798.15898.92897.68897.60297.54497.71599.112
Adrian Sutil94.09693.832102.22194.57994.59195.13397.87995.48694.90796.389
Nico Hulkenberg94.67193.85897.43493.93394.55795.02994.41696.74394.86495.462
Kamui Kobayashi101.074100.50298.26697.737103.96797.262
Sergio Perez97.31196.842100.785101.37796.371
Sebastien Buemi99.55898.51397.25997.627102.89496.92296.931
Jaime Alguersuari96.50496.58895.8395.53495.2695.229
Heikki Kovalainen99.14698.7998.145106.31398.1799.642102.5998.548109.37
Karun Chandhok114.984103.791102.383101.248106.709105.211
Daniel Ricciardo101.86100.79100.316100.299108.259100.595101.984100.575
Narain Karthikeyan105.211102.35101.389100.76100.407102.173101.226100.118
Timo Glock101.512101.944100.316100.109
Jerome d’Ambrosio105.348103.141102.377101.426100.428

Ultimate lap times

An ultimate lap is a driver’s fastest three sector times combined.

  • On more than one occasion Alonso set an improved sector time before having to back off, and sure enough the ultimate lap time reflects he had at least another tenth of a second in hand.
  • Karun Chandhok was some way off his team mate’s pace. Lotus said he “had traffic on his out lap and didn’t get the tyre heat where he wanted”.
CarDriverCarUltimate lapGapDeficit to best
15Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’31.7820.112
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’32.2170.4350.000
31Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’32.2660.4840.002
46Felipe MassaFerrari1’32.5420.7600.139
53Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’32.9141.1320.082
68Nico RosbergMercedes1’33.5071.7250.280
77Michael SchumacherMercedes1’33.5761.7940.287
84Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’33.6281.8460.000
914Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’33.7551.9730.077
1015Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’33.7952.0130.063
1110Vitaly PetrovRenault1’34.0942.3120.000
1219Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’35.0833.3010.032
1318Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’35.3023.5200.069
1411Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’35.3893.6070.000
159Nick HeidfeldRenault1’35.4383.6560.006
1620Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’36.3374.5550.055
1717Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’36.3714.5890.000
1812Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’36.6844.9020.158
1916Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’36.8825.1000.000
2023Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’38.1826.4000.322
2121Karun ChandhokLotus-Renault1’38.5336.7510.232
2222Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’38.8317.0490.448
2324Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’40.0858.3030.024
2425Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’40.3958.6130.033

Complete practice times

  • Although we don’t know what test programmes they were running, Narain Karthikeyan will surely take some pleasure from beating Daniel Ricciardo by over six-tenths of a second.
  • The Force Indias showed promising early pace, both drivers inside the top ten.
  • While most of the fastest drivers set times using the development soft tyre, not everyone did: Nick Heidfeld and both Virgin drivers were among those who only ran on the medium tyre, which seems to be around a second per lap slower.
  • Alonso’s best time gives a 107% time of 1’38.327, suggesting as many as five drivers may face problems in Q1.
CarDriverCarBest lapGapStint lapAt timeLaps
15Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’31.8947/79130
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’32.2170.3234/56424
31Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’32.2680.3746/66627
46Felipe MassaFerrari1’32.6810.7874/56523
53Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’32.9961.1024/43318
64Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’33.6281.7341/14722
78Nico RosbergMercedes1’33.7871.8934/47433
814Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’33.8321.9382/108027
915Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’33.8581.9642/107926
107Michael SchumacherMercedes1’33.8631.9692/46931
1110Vitaly PetrovRenault1’34.0942.2005/54322
1219Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’35.1153.2213/39123
1318Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’35.3713.4775/57219
1411Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’35.3893.4952/27424
159Nick HeidfeldRenault1’35.4443.5504/49122
1617Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’36.3714.4775/56922
1720Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’36.3924.4986/64429
1812Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’36.8424.9485/63329
1916Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’36.8824.9884/47227
2023Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’38.5046.6105/78822
2121Karun ChandhokLotus-Renault1’38.7656.8714/47819
2222Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’39.2797.3852/29224
2324Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’40.1098.2154/49223
2425Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’40.4288.5345/56622

Speed trap

  • The Mercedes continue to show excellent straight-line speed
#DriverCarEngineMax speedGap
17Michael SchumacherMercedesMercedes308
28Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes306.11.9
314Adrian SutilForce IndiaMercedes304.83.2
42Mark WebberRed BullRenault302.45.6
510Vitaly PetrovRenaultRenault3026
65Fernando AlonsoFerrariFerrari301.96.1
715Nico HulkenbergForce IndiaMercedes301.26.8
86Felipe MassaFerrariFerrari3017
917Sergio PerezSauberFerrari300.47.6
101Sebastian VettelRed BullRenault3008
113Lewis HamiltonMcLarenMercedes299.88.2
129Nick HeidfeldRenaultRenault297.410.6
1319Jaime AlguersuariToro RossoFerrari296.811.2
1416Kamui KobayashiSauberFerrari296.311.7
154Jenson ButtonMcLarenMercedes296.111.9
1620Heikki KovalainenLotusRenault295.912.1
1723Narain KarthikeyanHRTCosworth295.112.9
1818Sebastien BuemiToro RossoFerrari29513
1925Jerome D’AmbrosioVirginCosworth294.913.1
2024Timo GlockVirginCosworth292.715.3
2122Daniel RicciardoHRTCosworth292.515.5
2211Rubens BarrichelloWilliamsCosworth291.616.4
2312Pastor MaldonadoWilliamsCosworth290.717.3
2421Karun ChandhokLotusRenault288.219.8

2011 German Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 German Grand Prix articles

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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39 comments on “Alonso gives a sign Ferrari can fight for victory”

  1. What is the point in putting Karthikeyan in? It wasn’t a performance test for him, he’s not driving until India. And surely Liuzzi needs track time, he didn;t drive there in 2009.

    1. Yeah I didn’t get that. Is it just a one off? Or is he racing?

    2. streetfightingman
      22nd July 2011, 12:20

      What’s the point in anything HRT does?

      1. I understand your point but someone’s got to be last for sure. Take out the slowest and then what? Take out the next slowest? I think HRT just about make it on safety grounds so maybe they deserve a chance :-)

      2. What’s the point in anything HRT does?

        Completely agree. Logic is something HRT is clearly against

      3. You could have said that about Minardi but look where they are now, they have morphed into Torro Rosso.

        Everyone needs to start somewhere!

    3. I guess Karthikeyan’s agreement with HRT probably guarantees him at least participation in FP1 in case somebody else gets the race driver’s seat. Or maybe Karthikeyan has run out of money and now can afford only FP1 :) Anyhow, I believe this has something to to with the sponsorhip.

      1. Douglas 62500
        22nd July 2011, 12:56

        Yeah I guess thats’ to keep Tata happy ?

  2. Best lap Ferrari 1’31.782

    Worst lap Virgin 1’40.428

    an 8.534 sec difference… Incredible!

  3. Sauber are always low down in practice. Hopefully they can improve by Saturday.

    1. Always my favourite midfield team. But its been their status for so many years. What they need is a big budget and someone like Newey. I’d love to see them do a Brawn Racing just once.

  4. It’s a bit early to read anything from P1 surely Keith? Weren’t they running Pirelli’s new experimental tyres which throws yet another variable in the mix? It’s usually P2 and P3 that shows true pace IMO.

    1. Based on what we’ve seen so far I’m comfortable with what I’ve written.

    2. Actually I think the fact they had an extra set of fast tyres helped as almost everyone went on to put them to good use.

      Normally FP1 has the odd car on softs but most on harder tyres for big part of the session, doing all sort of things. This time it was pretty much on pace all the way and offered a good look at where everyone is about.

  5. Remember when Williams were good? :(

    1. Did you mean “great”? :)

      1. I think he means “not last among the established teams”. I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 seasons since their last podium finish (albeit under Crashgate).

  6. I agree, and really hope, that Ferrari can take a fight to Red Bull here. I’m no fan of Ferrari but I do like Alonso, but irrespective of any of that, I just want some challenging racing, the Red Bull domination was becoming too predictable and boring. I do not want to go back to the early 2000s!
    On another note, glad to see Karun back in the car, hope he does well for whatever that can achieve. Putting Karthikeyan in that car is just to please the sponsors and quite simply, the HRT driver shuffling circus is becoming annoying and pointless.
    Btw, does anyone else here think there’s still a chance for the driver’s title to go to someone other than “finger boy”?

    Also, Keith, do you know if Ferrari have brought in the new rear suspension this weekend?

    1. Btw, does anyone else here think there’s still a chance for the driver’s title to go to someone other than “finger boy”?


    2. According to the old points system, Vettel is now leading the championship by more than 30 points. I guess noone in F1 history has been able to recover such a deficit and become a champion. For sure, everything can happen but it seems very very unlikely.

  7. I 100% agree.

    I believe Ferrari is the fastest car right now actually. I don’t think its fastest by a huge RBR like margin, but a few tenths defiantly.

    Its a bit too soon to be getting excited after one Practice session, but the fastest car with the best driver is a good combination for Fernando.

  8. If the top 4 for Q3 were to stack up this way… would we say that that the Ferrari is faster than the RB, that Massa is underachieving, or that Alonso is getting more out of the Ferrari than the car has to give?

    1. or that Alonso is getting more out of the Ferrari than the car has to give?

      That is impossible but I know what you mean. Put say Massa and Button in the Ferrari and we would be saying the car is 2nd or 3rd fastest.

      1. evolunit_X (@)
        22nd July 2011, 15:39

        yea… i think good driver can make around 0.5 sec(pure guess) difference per lap against not so good driver and thats what can team move up or down in order

  9. there’s straight line speed, and then there’s DRS straight line speed.
    DRS- Mercedes we know is fastest.
    Non DRS- it is often cited that the Mclarens and Renaults are naturally fast in a straight line.

    1. Mclaren are not fast in any line at the moment.

  10. Just so much interesting data.


    Can this happen already??? Now McLaren is third fastest if not fourth. This dip in performance is unacceptable to say the least.


    1. a bit over the top maybe?

    2. succinct, and to the point.

    3. I don’t think firing whitmarsh will give the car more downforce, I maybe wrong.

  12. “Alonso did the fastest time of the session (at the) end of a seven-lap run…………..” You really need to start proof reading your typing if people are really going to take you seriously, Keith. Its just annoying to try and read. I know one ones perfect but… as a journalist you should at least try to be.

    1. What a ridiculous over-reaction to a minor typo. I’m perfectly happy to correct errors when they’re pointed out but most people manage to draw attention to them without such a bad attitude.

    2. Absolutely one ones never perfect.

    3. @Guerra
      “Its just annoying to try and read.” You might want to know that the correct spelling is “It’s just annoying” (and I’m not even a native speaker).
      Why don’t you proof read your own comments before making yourself a fool?

  13. Sorry theres no bad attitude in that all. I honestly see these little mistakes all the time and it really annoys me. I’m telling you how it is straight off the bat with no sugar baby. Don’t get all uppity n hippity at me. It’s not my site and i don’t know you from a bar of soap. You judge my attitude by type, you put your type out there and (you presume i judge) make minor typo mistakes and I honestly believe you should involve another person to do your proofing. I like this site, i want it to improve…. Its all good in my hood baby.

    1. Your entire post is an abuse of the english language.

      1. That really made me laugh.

        1. Oh dear, that blockquote fail didn’t however…

Comments are closed.