Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Nurburgring, 2011

Alonso leads the Red Bulls in first practice

2011 German GP first practice

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

Fernando Alonso was fastest for Ferrari in the first practice session at the Nurburgring.

The British Grand Prix winner served further notice of Ferrari’s improved pace by edging the Red Bulls to fastest time by two-tenths of a second.

Lewis Hamilton led the way early on, using Pirelli’s new development soft tyre to set the quickest time.

The Red Bulls showed their hand soon after, Sebastian Vettel displacing Hamilton at the top of the times.

Meanwhile Alonso was running the standard medium tyre and lapping around a second off the pace. When he switched to the development tyres he was instantly on Vettel’s pace.

The pair traded quickest time briefly, separated by a few hundredths of a second, before Alonso went decisively faster. Mark Webber improved to second place, a little over two-tenths of a second off Alonso, with Vettel close behind.

Alonso was on course to improve later in the session before being held up by Nick Heidfeld at the chicane.

Heidfeld was testing a revised exhaust configuration on the Renault which blow gasses out of the rear of the car instead of the side. But some smoke from the back of the car was noticeable during the session.

Michael Schumacher had a few off-track moments during the session, losing the back of the car at the Dunlop hairpin and bouncing through the gravel. He at least took the opportunity to wave to the fans as he passed close by the barrier.

He had a similar problem at the first hairpin on one lap, catching a sudden slide as the car got away from him.

He was far from the only driver to run in trouble at turn one – Rubens Barrichello and both Sauber drivers did likewise.

Karun Chandhok had a problematic start to his first F1 race weekend for over a year as his wing mirror fell out on his way down to the Dunlop hairpin.

He ended up 2.4s of team mate Heikki Kovalainen’s pace, and two-tenths off fellow Indian Narain Karthikeyan, who was driving Vitantonio Liuzzi’s car for this session only.

The session ended with a dramatic moment for Sebastien Buemi who spun off the track at turn five. The Toro Rosso briefly flew the air as he bounced over two gravel traps and a tarmac access road.

That didn’t trouble Alonso who, further up the road, lowered his best time once again to leave the Red Bulls over three tenths of a second behind.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGap
15Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’31.89430
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’32.2170.32324
31Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’32.2680.37427
46Felipe MassaFerrari1’32.6810.78723
53Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’32.9961.10218
64Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’33.6281.73422
78Nico RosbergMercedes1’33.7871.89333
814Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’33.8321.93827
915Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’33.8581.96426
107Michael SchumacherMercedes1’33.8631.96931
1110Vitaly PetrovRenault1’34.0942.20022
1219Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’35.1153.22123
1318Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’35.3713.47720
1411Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’35.3893.49524
159Nick HeidfeldRenault1’35.4443.55022
1617Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’36.3714.47722
1720Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’36.3924.49829
1812Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’36.8424.94829
1916Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’36.8824.98827
2023Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’38.5046.61022
2121Karun ChandhokLotus-Renault1’38.7656.87119
2222Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’39.2797.38524
2324Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’40.1098.21523
2425Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’40.4288.53422

2011 German Grand Prix

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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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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32 comments on “Alonso leads the Red Bulls in first practice”

  1. Although it is premature to get excited by FP1, we could have fight for win in germany & possibly this season.. interesting to see how FP2 pans out..

  2. Looks likely that Ferrari have got upto RBRs pace
    sad that mclaren seem to have fallen behind..
    may be mercedes can catch mclaren and make for exciting battle for points

    btw the future of racing Ricciardo, was slower than Narain..i wonder why?

  3. The usual trend.Ferrari leading the way on Fridays and Redbull blowing everyone away on saturdays. I am sure Vettal will take pole, But will be troudbled by fast starting Ferraris.

    1. That’s only the second time Ferrari have been fastest in first practice this year. Red Bull have been fastest seven times in first practice.

      1. To be fair, he did say ‘on Fridays’ and Ferrari have been fastest in FP2 in the previous four races.

  4. Not looking good for McLaren, unless they’re holding something back they might get troubled by the Mercs.

    1. I think they will be thereabouts in the race again. But at least Ferrari look like they kept momento going for them to push the Red Bulls. And Webber showed he likes the track as well.

    2. They’re the third fastest, which isn’t bad, considering how close the top three are.

  5. Sounds interesting for Ferrari. You can say they will be quick since Massa is right behind RedBulls.

    1. Massa is not right behind them though, he’s 8 tenths behind

      1. Massa is 5 tenths behind the Red Bulls, and he’s usually the slowest Ferrari, so even if Alonso will be behind the Red Bulls he will still be very close.

  6. I think this puts to rest the theories by some guys that the reduction of gas though diffuser was the only reason that ferrari challenged rbr in silverstone.

  7. 8 seconds a lap is a long way off. I reckon that the 107% is 1’38.32 meaning Karun , both HRT’s and both Virgin’s would fail. obviously Q3 will be run on hard tyres so that effectively adds a second to the fastest time (and 107% equivilant) but nonetheless that would still lose the Virgins. Let’s hope they improve, we haven’t worries about this for a while now but with the front teams starting to improve I fear the “new” teams could struggle late in the season. Remember if you fail the 107% in qualifying they look at Practice.

    1. Virgin tweeted they did not use the softer tyres, so that makes quite a bit of time difference. Might be the other backmarkers were doing the same.

      1. Ah, good shout mate. Custard was at 109.3% tho so thought i’d point it out :) Might be close!

  8. Ferrari seemed to have upped their game, so it seems like the Silverstone regs did not purposefully favour them. They have been doing some key development. Credit where it is due, they have done a good job.

  9. Come on Fernando!!!

  10. Looks to me like McLaren’s season is over. Button a whole second off Massa. They are nowhere near the other two teams now. Ferrari have found A LOT from somewhere. Alonso said it was down to sorting out issues with their wind tunnel a few weeks ago. Looks like he was spot on. McLaren need to take heed.

    1. It could be, but on the other hand, earlier in te season McLaren have often ran friday with more fuel or less engine power, or something not showing all their pace until saturday. As has Red Bull. I would like Alonso to be clearly on par with Red Bull, but let’s see what this afternoon and tomorrow brings first.

  11. IceIcePenguin
    22nd July 2011, 11:20

    Alonso should be on or near the top here. It’s a Santander sponsored race after all and there seems to be a trend of Alonso taking the Santander cups home.
    I imagine his excitement peaked when he was awarded the big yellowish cup and not another Santander logo again.

    1. The British GP winner’s trophy was certainly not a santander cup! It was a nice traditional gold trophy!

      ….although did anyone else notice he gave it back to an official after the podium ceremony? and in their team victory photo he had a lame santander logo trophy???

        1. I saw it and remained

          1. *remained amazed.

  12. Did anyone listening to the 5 Live Sports Extra commentary hear Crofty mention F1 Fanatic?

    Keith was schooling Crofty on F1 trivia via twitter.

  13. You’ve done it with the Brits at Silverstone. Now let’s shut some German mouths at Nurburgring, Fernando!!!

  14. Anyone know why the Force India’s are suddenly so quick? Top teams sandbagging? or FI back to 2009 where they go bleedingly fast in certain tracks and suck in the rest???

    1. If you had noticed, the Force Indias are always in top 10 in the FP1.

      1. oooo okay thx :)

  15. If even Massa is 4 tenths quicker than Lewis, certainly, Ferrari is decisively quicker than Mclaren.

    Lets see what happens on saturday

  16. So is Ferrari charging or Red Bull have things in bag.

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