Lack of dry running leaves drivers in the dark

2011 Korean GP practice analysis

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Hamilton was fastest on a wet day in Korea

Pirelli’s choice of tyres could make for an unpredictable race in Korea.

Today’s rain meant drivers had no meaningful running on the soft and super soft tyres.

Lewis Hamilton, who was fastest in the second session, expects to be able to challenge Red Bull for pole position. Red Bull have claimed pole position in all of the 15 races so far.

The two practice analysis articles have been combined into one due to all of Friday’s running being affected by rain and not all drivers setting times in the first session.

Longest stint comparison: second practice

  • Today’s rain is expected to be followed by two days of sunshine. With no chance to do high-fuel runs on slick tyres the teams don’t know how long their tyres will last in the race. They may get a chance in tomorrow’s final hour of practice.
  • In yesterday’s press conference Sebastian Vettel raised the possibility of there being up to five pit stops during the race. This seems unrealistically high, though we have seen four-stop races already this year.
  • We can expect drivers to do everything they can to save fresh tyres for the race, so expect to see some teams opt not to set times in qualifying again.
  • Mark Webber summed up about the only conclusion to be drawn from the second practice lap times: “McLaren looked very strong in the intermediate conditions”.

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint:

Sebastian Vettel116.604114.34121.399113.592119.952113.569118.461112.956
Mark Webber116.634115.152122.312114.179118.495113.654
Lewis Hamilton114.022112.659113.503117.503111.189119.493110.828
Jenson Button119.067114.447129.451112.664124.088111.798122.67111.334
Fernando Alonso117.617121.305113.158112.774
Felipe Massa114.027127.874117.971113.707
Michael Schumacher119.764124.769116.829116.471118.449
Nico Rosberg117.891113.974125.553113.914
Bruno Senna118.655116.1115.751120.924117.488115.187115.35
Vitaly Petrov118.993117.078126.669115.643129.918115.651
Rubens Barrichello116.083129.211115.315126.997114.831124.784126.791120.782
Pastor Maldonado117.635116.799134.382116.55
Adrian Sutil117.395115.658115.001122.834121.505
Paul di Resta114.811115.068125.414114.914128.377113.957
Kamui Kobayashi121.763117.144125.764117.989116.299
Sergio Perez117.766117.73128.506132.655121.979116.58115.664121.613119.247115.203116.589
Sebastien Buemi115.134114.162114.732114.179114.01114.239114.372
Jaime Alguersuari114.296120.863114.543123.21114.109114.149113.438113.402113.465
Heikki Kovalainen123.195121.118119.306118.443118.068124.168117.275117.484116.669
Jarno Trulli124.104121.672119.335118.479118.069125.368118.268117.999117.173
Daniel Ricciardo124.972127.789133.763122.322121.576127.236124.587120.854120.312119.958
Vitantonio Liuzzi121.224127.875120.168120.241120.165
Timo Glock124.559121.64118.848119.168
Jerome d’Ambrosio124.892125.845120.007119.458

Ultimate lap times: second practice

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

  • McLaren’s performance in the second session, coming off the back of Jenson Button’s Suzuka win, gives Lewis Hamilton cause for optimism ahead of qualifying: “It would be great to get the pole here tomorrow: it’s difficult to read too much into today’s times – the lap on slicks at the end was impossible – but I think we are quick, the car is good and Jenson showed at the last race that we can be very competitive. So I have no doubt that we’ll be able to challenge the Red Bulls in qualifying.”
CarDriverCarUltimate lapGapDeficit to best
13Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’50.5810.247
24Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’50.8590.2780.073
31Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’52.2061.6250.440
45Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’52.5191.9380.255
52Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’52.7182.1370.331
619Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’53.1532.5720.249
78Nico RosbergMercedes1’53.5132.9320.401
818Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’53.5302.9490.418
96Felipe MassaFerrari1’53.5993.0180.108
1015Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’53.8143.2330.143
1110Vitaly PetrovRenault1’54.0673.4860.133
1216Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’54.1733.5921.371
1314Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’54.2503.6690.142
147Michael SchumacherMercedes1’54.5493.9680.416
1511Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’54.6714.0900.160
169Bruno SennaRenault1’54.8994.3180.288
1717Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’55.1564.5750.047
1824Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’55.2504.6693.019
1912Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’55.7875.2060.280
2020Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’56.6696.0880.000
2121Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’57.0626.4810.111
2225Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’59.2538.6720.205
2322Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’59.7519.1700.207
2423Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth2’00.0029.4210.163

Complete practice times: first practice

  • Six drivers elected not to do times in the very wet first session.
CarDriverCarBest lapGapStint lapAt timeLaps
17Michael SchumacherMercedes2’02.7843/39110
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault2’02.8400.0565/5938
315Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes2’02.9120.1281/19312
414Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes2’03.1410.3571/29012
518Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari2’03.1820.3985/5669
616Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari2’03.2920.5084/57213
73Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes2’03.3910.6072/2576
88Nico RosbergMercedes2’04.3111.5271/38712
917Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari2’04.7972.0132/2758
102Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault2’05.1832.3992/2905
1121Karun ChandhokLotus-Renault2’06.3503.5667/79311
1212Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth2’06.8524.0682/48711
1319Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari2’07.5414.7576/6789
1411Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth2’08.2185.4341/2845
1523Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth2’08.8326.04811/119214
1622Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth2’09.2326.4483/39314
1725Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth2’12.6589.8743/3837
1824Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth2’14.50811.7241/1814
9Bruno SennaRenault1
10Vitaly PetrovRenault1
4Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1
20Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1
5Fernando AlonsoFerrari5
6Felipe MassaFerrari1

Complete practice times: second practice

  • Kamui Kobayashi said the conditions in the second session exposed one of the weaknesses of his Sauber: “The track itself has a very low grip level, and on top of that our car doesn’t make very good use of the intermediate tyres. In general I don’t mind driving in the rain, and with the full wet tyres it was no problem, but later with the intermediate tyres I was struggling a lot.”
CarDriverCarBest lapGapStint lapAt timeLaps
13Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’50.8287/72526
24Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’50.9320.1042/33419
31Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’52.6461.8184/46730
45Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’52.7741.9464/45625
52Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’53.0492.2215/54927
619Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’53.4022.5748/93925
76Felipe MassaFerrari1’53.7072.8794/48424
88Nico RosbergMercedes1’53.9143.0864/44717
918Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’53.9483.1201/23827
1015Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’53.9573.1296/68532
1110Vitaly PetrovRenault1’54.2003.3725/56726
1214Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’54.3923.5644/43526
1311Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’54.8314.0035/88330
147Michael SchumacherMercedes1’54.9654.1371/33821
159Bruno SennaRenault1’55.1874.3596/76428
1617Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’55.2034.37510/112924
1716Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’55.5444.7161/15023
1812Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’56.0675.2393/33122
1920Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’56.6695.8419/92220
2021Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’57.1736.3459/92219
2124Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’58.2697.4411/17525
2225Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’59.4588.6304/49026
2322Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’59.9589.13010/102519
2423Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth2’00.1659.3375/53020

Speed trap: second practice

  • Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport’s F1 support leader, explained the challenges of selecting the gear ratios for this race: “The long straight from turn two to turn three means we have to have the right top gear to both attack cars ahead under the tow, and defend from those behind and make allowances for the wind which can change quickly here and affect outright pace.”
  • In dry conditions last year the fastest cars were hitting 320kph on the approach to turn three.
#DriverCarEngineMax speedGap
119Jaime AlguersuariToro RossoFerrari305.1
27Michael SchumacherMercedesMercedes304.80.3
310Vitaly PetrovRenaultRenault303.71.4
48Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes303.51.6
59Bruno SennaRenaultRenault301.14
614Adrian SutilForce IndiaMercedes299.55.6
718Sebastien BuemiToro RossoFerrari299.45.7
82Mark WebberRed BullRenault299.25.9
923Vitantonio LiuzziHRTCosworth298.26.9
1012Pastor MaldonadoWilliamsCosworth2987.1
1122Daniel RicciardoHRTCosworth297.87.3
1215Paul di RestaForce IndiaMercedes297.27.9
1321Jarno TrulliLotusRenault296.88.3
1420Heikki KovalainenLotusRenault296.38.8
151Sebastian VettelRed BullRenault295.69.5
165Fernando AlonsoFerrariFerrari294.410.7
1716Kamui KobayashiSauberFerrari293.611.5
1824Timo GlockVirginCosworth293.411.7
194Jenson ButtonMcLarenMercedes292.212.9
2025Jerome D’AmbrosioVirginCosworth291.813.3
2117Sergio PerezSauberFerrari291.114
226Felipe MassaFerrariFerrari290.714.4
233Lewis HamiltonMcLarenMercedes290.714.4
2411Rubens BarrichelloWilliamsCosworth290.314.8

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    30 comments on “Lack of dry running leaves drivers in the dark”

    1. Again, I think it’s going to be a busy P3.

      As for who will be able to get the most out of his DRS is likely to be determined by then, as the teams have to set up their final gear ratios by tonight, I believe.

      1. @atticus-2 now that is almost a certainty after the wet friday!

        Agree on choosing gear ratio’s being very important for how the race pans out on Sunday.

    2. Today’s rain meant drivers had no meaningful running on the soft and super soft tyres.

      And that’s what makes it fun.

      1. Certainly. It’d be good if we had rain all day tomorrow as well and then a dry race.

        1. that would be fantastic, wet qualifying, dry race…

          1. @us_peter Said that myself earlier today, a mixed grid is wonderful but I prefer a straight-forward race.

          2. When was the last time that happened? I mean, when was the last time it rained in every session but the race?

    3. Lewis Hamilton – second last in speed trap and yet beat the rest in lap times.

      1. But, as has been pointed out, the times aren’t really representative of anything since nobody got any dry-weather running in when clear conditions are predicted for the race of the weekend, and they don’t have data from 2010 to fall back on.

      2. so? how many times have we seen the Red Bulls slow on the speed trap, yet beating everyone to pole by miles?

        1. Or McLaren faster on Friday only to be beaten to pole by Vettel. Still… I get the impression that McLaren really might have a shot at pole tomorrow.

    4. “The long straight from turn two to turn three means we have to have the right top gear to both attack cars ahead under the tow, and defend from those behind and make allowances for the wind which can change quickly here and affect outright pace.”

      I noticed that a lot today; I was using the Live Timing on to follow free practice, and from the weather data, I could see that the wind kept changing direction, and quite frequently to boot. Not only would the drivers have been buffeted by crosswinds down the three straights, but it would have flet like it was coming from all directions at once in the labyrinth final sector.

      1. That’s what sitting next to the ocean does for a track, I guess.

    5. I can’t imagine any other then Vettel for pole. McLaren shines on inters all year long, but when it’s dry it’ll be RedBull again.
      And since we still have constructors championship, I expect RB to go for it.
      Maybe after they’ve clinched that as well, they Will try some things for next year and compromise à bit.
      But untill then they Will continue their dominance. I know McLaren are close, but I think Suzuka is an exception because of that tarmac.

      1. I’m not so sure on this one. I’ve had a suspicion that Red Bull have stiffened up the front of the car since they pretty much won the WDC. I might be completely wrong of course, but that picture of the underside of Webber’s car at Monza with the front floor wear was certainly ‘interesting’.

        McLaren or Ferrari for pole I think… but as always… I’m usually wrong.

        1. I do hope you’re right though. I’m not one of those people that doubt Vettel’s overtaking ability but I’d definitely like to see it and I don’t think I will if he starts on the front row as usual.

    6. I’ve got a feeling Lewis will be fantastic this weekend. He just seems to make sense for the first time in ages without sounding too meek. It feels like he’s regained his confidence but has humbled down.

      I’m obviously just saying that on the basis of one Ted Kravitz interview, but he doesn’t seem downbeat anymore, responded to Felipe’s moaning without being full of himself and seems to have accepted Jenson’s current superiority and rather than being frustrated by it he is out to change that.

      Then again we might see him do something silly again, but some inner voice tells me Hamilton has had a good night’s sleep and has understood his limits.

      1. I really hope he has a good race, He deserves it I think given all the rubbish he gets to put up with.

    7. You never know….Monsoons are over here in India…but it has been raining heavily here in south since few days….and i think it might be heading towards Delhi for the Race.. :)

      1. I’ve been in Greater Noida for the last 4 months,it hasn’t rained much here even when Delhi experienced heavy downpour.So the chances of having rain for Indian GP is almost nil and by Oct 28 the weather will be quite pleasant.

    8. Lack of dry running leaves drivers in the dark

      2010 repeat?

      1. @fixy

        Ah, very good!

        1. @keithcollantine

          leaves drivers in the dark

          Last year this happened during the race, literally.

    9. I’m glad next year’s race will be in March. At least it won’t be raining then. But if it stays cold it may snow… Hmmm
      Maybe they can talk to the WRC about borrowing snow tires…

    10. I wish uncertainty would shuffle performace…

    11. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      14th October 2011, 18:16

      Why is FIA making the same mistakes? Last year’s race was delayed by the rain and then the track was so dark to drive safely. If that’s the thrill FIA plans, to make best races of the world drive blind?
      Times must be adjusted to the local area, not to the regular TV viewer confort. It’s great to have F1 in more countries, but if the problem is visibility, turn Korea into another night race with lots of bright ights

    12. I would love if there actually were five pit-stops.

      The two compounds has done far less to mix up the strategies than I’d hoped they would. Everyone at the front tend to just use as many sets of options as they can and then deal with the primes. So if your car is better at managing the primes than others are at managing the softs, then that’s an advantage lost. It would be interesting to see how teams would cope having to use every set of tyre that have, even if only once a year.

      1. I hope so as well. It’d be really interesting to see them manage that many sets of tires.

      2. I agree with the both of you, it would be nice to see really different options working for one car then for the other.

    13. GO KAMUI !!!

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