Webber quickest in middle sector at Nurburgring

2011 German GP qualifying analysis

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Mark Webber, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2011

Front row starters Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton were separated by less than a tenth of a second at the Nurburgring.

But their cars are strong in different parts of the lap: Hamilton was quickest in the first and last sectors, but only fourth-fastest in the middle.

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

Qualifying times in full

  • Webber said he’d not had a clean lap in Q2 which partly explains why he found more time than the other drivers in Q3.
  • Unusually, three drivers weren’t able to improve on their best times in Q3.

Q2 (vs Q1)

Q3 (vs Q2)
1Mark WebberRed Bull1’33.0961’31.311 (-1.785)1’30.079 (-1.232)
2Lewis HamiltonMcLaren1’32.9341’30.998 (-1.936)1’30.134 (-0.864)
3Sebastian VettelRed Bull1’32.9731’31.017 (-1.956)1’30.216 (-0.801)
4Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’32.9161’31.150 (-1.766)1’30.442 (-0.708)
5Felipe MassaFerrari1’31.8261’31.582 (-0.244)1’30.910 (-0.672)
6Nico RosbergMercedes1’32.7851’31.343 (-1.442)1’31.263 (-0.080)
7Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’33.2241’31.532 (-1.692)1’31.288 (-0.244)
8Adrian SutilForce India1’32.2861’31.809 (-0.477)1’32.010 (+0.201)
9Vitaly PetrovRenault1’33.1871’31.985 (-1.202)1’32.187 (+0.202)
10Michael SchumacherMercedes1’32.6031’32.180 (-0.423)1’32.482 (+0.302)
11Nick HeidfeldRenault1’32.5051’32.215 (-0.290)
12Paul di RestaForce India1’32.6511’32.560 (-0.091)
13Pastor MaldonadoWilliams1’33.0031’32.635 (-0.368)
14Rubens BarrichelloWilliams1’33.6641’33.043 (-0.621)
15Sergio PerezSauber1’33.2951’33.176 (-0.119)
16Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso1’33.6351’33.546 (-0.089)
17Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso1’33.6581’33.698 (+0.040)
18Kamui KobayashiSauber1’33.786
19Heikki KovalainenLotus1’35.599
20Timo GlockVirgin1’36.400
21Karun ChandhokLotus1’36.422
22Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin1’36.641
23Vitantonio LiuzziHRT1’37.011
24Daniel RicciardoHRT1’37.036

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.

  • Hamilton was much quicker than Jenson Button – he had over a second in hand over his team mate.
  • Michael Schumacher was even further behind Nico Rosberg. He said: “In qualifying I was still nearly a second away and couldn’t have matched his time, so we have to analyse deeply what could be the reason for it. Obviously then, I tried to push even harder to compensate which lead to a mistake in the last chicane on my last lap, probably costing me P8.”
  • Adrian Sutil out-qualified Paul di Resta for the third time in ten attempts, with a comfortable margin of three-quarters of a second. Interestingly, di Resta described his set-up as “race-orientated”.
  • In his second race, Daniel Ricciardo all-but matched team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi’s qualifying time.
TeamDriverLap timeGapLap timeDriverRound
Red BullSebastian Vettel1’30.216+0.1371’30.079Mark WebberQ3
McLarenLewis Hamilton1’30.134-1.1541’31.288Jenson ButtonQ3
FerrariFernando Alonso1’30.442-0.4681’30.910Felipe MassaQ3
MercedesMichael Schumacher1’32.482+1.2191’31.263Nico RosbergQ3
RenaultNick Heidfeld1’32.215+0.2301’31.985Vitaly PetrovQ2
WilliamsRubens Barrichello1’33.043+0.4081’32.635Pastor MaldonadoQ2
Force IndiaAdrian Sutil1’31.809-0.7511’32.560Paul di RestaQ2
SauberKamui Kobayashi1’33.786+0.4911’33.295Sergio PerezQ1
Toro RossoSebastien Buemi1’33.546-0.1521’33.698Jaime AlguersuariQ2
LotusHeikki Kovalainen1’35.599-0.8231’36.422Karun ChandhokQ1
HRTDaniel Ricciardo1’37.036+0.0251’37.011Vitantonio LiuzziQ1
VirginTimo Glock1’36.400-0.2411’36.641Jerome D’AmbrosioQ1

Sector times

Here are the drivers’ best times in each sector.

  • Hamilton was fastest in two out of three sectors but admitted afterwards he was surprised by his performance: “I don’t really know where I found the time, and to be honest I’m going to get a recording of the onboard footage and watch it back because I’d love to see it.”
  • However he gave a clue to what’s behind McLaren’s improved pace, referring to changes made to the cars “engine modes”.
  • Red Bull’s performance advantage in sector two – predominantly mid-to-high speed corners – is exactly what we’ve come to expect of the RB7 and, indeed, its recent predecessors.
DriverSector 1Sector 2Sector 3
Mark Webber29.831 (2)36.883 (1)23.282 (3)
Lewis Hamilton29.713 (1)37.257 (4)23.164 (1)
Sebastian Vettel29.921 (3)37.073 (2)23.222 (2)
Fernando Alonso29.934 (4)37.167 (3)23.341 (5)
Felipe Massa30.136 (6)37.372 (5)23.343 (6)
Nico Rosberg30.246 (7)37.628 (6)23.307 (4)
Jenson Button30.100 (5)37.767 (7)23.401 (7)
Adrian Sutil30.496 (10)37.809 (9)23.481 (8)
Vitaly Petrov30.506 (11)37.768 (8)23.711 (10)
Michael Schumacher30.471 (9)37.830 (11)23.541 (9)
Nick Heidfeld30.441 (8)37.815 (10)23.712 (11)
Paul di Resta30.525 (12)38.216 (15)23.737 (12)
Pastor Maldonado30.736 (13)38.002 (12)23.897 (13)
Rubens Barrichello30.801 (15)38.144 (13)23.994 (16)
Sergio Perez30.797 (14)38.150 (14)23.908 (14)
Sebastien Buemi30.965 (17)38.566 (18)23.968 (15)
Jaime Alguersuari30.964 (16)38.385 (16)24.077 (17)
Kamui Kobayashi31.074 (18)38.402 (17)24.125 (18)
Heikki Kovalainen31.515 (19)39.565 (19)24.427 (19)
Timo Glock31.726 (20)40.081 (23)24.593 (21)
Karun Chandhok31.784 (21)39.822 (20)24.539 (20)
Jerome D’Ambrosio31.934 (22)39.978 (21)24.729 (24)
Vitantonio Liuzzi32.087 (23)40.027 (22)24.663 (23)
Daniel Ricciardo32.188 (24)40.175 (24)24.647 (22)

Speed trap

Here are the drivers’ maximum speeds.

  • No surprises here – Schumacher’s Mercedes is the fastest car in a straight line again.
PosDriverCarSpeed (kph)Gap
1Michael SchumacherMercedes310.4
2Nico RosbergMercedes310.3-0.1
3Felipe MassaFerrari309.8-0.6
4Paul di RestaForce India306.9-3.5
5Adrian SutilForce India306.9-3.5
6Fernando AlonsoFerrari306.2-4.2
7Lewis HamiltonMcLaren305.8-4.6
8Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso305.7-4.7
9Vitaly PetrovRenault305.5-4.9
10Nick HeidfeldRenault305.3-5.1
11Jenson ButtonMcLaren304.6-5.8
12Pastor MaldonadoWilliams304.4-6.0
13Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso304.2-6.2
14Rubens BarrichelloWilliams303.8-6.6
15Sergio PerezSauber303.4-7.0
16Timo GlockVirgin302.1-8.3
17Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin301.8-8.6
18Kamui KobayashiSauber301.8-8.6
19Mark WebberRed Bull299.1-11.3
20Sebastian VettelRed Bull298.9-11.5
21Heikki KovalainenLotus298.2-12.2
22Karun ChandhokLotus298.0-12.4
23Vitantonio LiuzziHRT294.3-16.1
24Daniel RicciardoHRT294.1-16.3

2011 German 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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    36 comments on “Webber quickest in middle sector at Nurburgring”

    1. My fave part of the weekend, cheers for the numbers Keith.

      Jenson must be weeping…

      The Bull’s are vulnerable without a doubt. Look at that speed trap. They’ll get gobbled up with DRS!

      1. Yeah, but the activation point is at the end of the second sector, their best bit!

        A very interesting race for tomorrow!

    2. Very good effort by Daniel – although Liuzzi complained about the car and probably didn’t push too much knowing he had a grid penalty.

    3. the feraris and the macs will get sweep past if they find their cars behind the red bulls at drs zone.

    4. ralph schumi
      23rd July 2011, 18:37

      Can someone please explain what changes are made to the set up and balance of a car when it has a wet weather setup?

      1. Ideally the suspension is softened, the ride height raised and the brake balance moved toward the rear of the car.

        Parc Fermé conditions limit what they can actually do these days though, and more often then not it’ll probably just be a change on the engine mapping or diff settings.

        1. So that might mean it makes sense for Buemi to start from the pitlane tomorrow after his time has been scrapped.

    5. i dont think mclaren has found anything extra, look at the speed traps yesterday, they were down by about 11km/h to schumacher and were obviously running high fuel. now with the rules on the exhaust blown diffusers back to how they were pre silverstone it is no surprise to see them at the top again, they had the fastest car in race trim in many of the races leading up to the rule change.

    6. Some unbelievable driving! (I’ve only just caught up with the qualifying as I’ve been at work!) Best qualifying this year surely. Absolutely speechless at Lewis’ lap!

      Perhaps Michael Schumacher has a too lower downforce setup. I’m thinking this as he seems to be faster than Nico in a straight line. If it rains, then his setup will obviously be more downforce orientated, and we know what he can do in the rain so it’s not the last we’ve seen from him. He’ll probably make a good start and have great race pace as usual so we’ll see.

      Cannot wait for this race though.

    7. Hamilton is very fast in the slow bits of S1 and S3 which suggests that his car is compliant over curbs and has good traction, i.e, it is soft at the back and has some roll. These are good traits for rain.

      Ferrari’s drop off is perplexing. I was cold, but it was cold in Silverstone too. Given that the tires look set to last for half the race, it doesn’t seem like Alonso will see Hamilton and the RBRs fall back toward him due to tire consumption this time.

    8. Bueni has been excluded due to fuel irregularities

    9. hamilton has a dry setup,while the bulls and the ferraris have a in the middle setup to (rain and dry). Button has a setup for wet.
      Hamilton and button are risking it, hamilton hopes it it does n’t rain otherwise he is toasted while button prays for rain.
      That’s why there’s the massive difference between hamilton and button. there’s not way hamilton is 1.1 seconds faster than button. he is 2-3 tenths at best.

      1. georges10099
        23rd July 2011, 22:03

        stop being so pessimistic ;) give the guy praise as he surely deserves it!!!

        1. no pesimistic,realistic!!

          1. Great comment and very realistic, that is the difference between the two drivers. Hamilton will drive the wheels off his car set up on the edge, Button prefers a more conservative approach and always looks ahead to the race as his single lap pace is never as quick as Lewis’s. Looking forward to a great race.

            1. georges10099
              24th July 2011, 9:25

              hmm. i cant say i agree there as most of the races this season lewis has finished ahead of jenson!

      2. On what basis do you claim that mate? I’d love to believe you but ???

    10. By my reckoning, Alonso has won this year’s qualifying battle against Massa, 10-0. I’m sure this isnt going to do Massa any favours in negotiating the slim chances of a further extension to his contract next year

    11. This is the first race this season where I haven’t backed Hamilton to win. His qualifying lap left me speechless.

    12. Also, these stats are very interesting. No surprise to see the Red Bulls quick in the 2nd sector, but Hamilton quicker in the other 2 is a shock. If he gets off the line well, he could pass Webber in the DRS straight. Also, Hamilton seems to be the best at managing his KERS, which could be big to decide the race. But no-one has taken into account that Hamilton started 5th, and was 2nd by turn 1. It might have been helped by KERS, but he is a lot futher back then he was then. The start will be crucial here, as it has been proved hard to overtake in recent years. Come on Lewis!
      Also,Keith, when i post a comment, i have to refresh then post. I can’t reply either.

      1. That is if they fuel him enough to get to the finishline ;)

    13. I think Lotus are mad now if they don’t give Trulli his seat back. Chandhok has not done awfully but he is brilliant plus he slipped off again. How many cars does his contract allow him to write off?

      1. EDIT: Not brilliant.

      2. To be fair, he hasnt had a lot of running this year. The few practice sessions he has taken part in have only see him do a handful of laps for various reasons.

        On this basis, should we be saying that Ricciardo should be dropped as he has qualified last in both sessions he has taken part in?

        1. Ricciardo should be in the Lotus then he wouldn’t be last, but rumours have it that Karun paid for his drive not something everyone can afford.

          1. Also Riccardio Matched his teammate in only his 2nd quali ever…thats a bit of a different story to what we are talking about here.

    14. So, he will be jumped at first, or people will get to him on third sector.

    15. 19th and 20th in the speed traps?? Hmm…

      1. Also, Merc have nothing to lose, so they’re praying it doesn’t rain, to give them an advantage on the straights

      2. Wet setups!?

    16. Way to gO WEBBER !!

    17. Massa says he has the maximum downforce possible onboard. maybe they mixed up buemi’s fuel sample with his…

    18. Vettel was clearly slower in mid sector. I wish this continues :D

    19. Schumi was sliding around, Massa was sliding around, Button was sliding around, Di Resta was sliding around …. driver or engine driveability? Take it down Charlie Whiting, throw it out of the sport. 1 brand of car, 1 engine software map, 1 engine mode, no exceptions.

    Comments are closed.