Drivers face hard tyre struggle in the race

2011 Indian GP FP2 analysis

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Mark Webber, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2011
Mark Webber, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Drivers will want to use the hard tyre as little as possible during the Indian Grand Prix.

With the hardest tyre in Pirelli’s range offering little grip on the slippery circuit, drivers may try to get away with using it for just one lap in the race.

Longest stint comparison

  • Drivers had enough trouble getting the soft tyres to work on the low-grip track – the hard tyres proved very difficult to use. Felipe Massa said: “Probably the hards are too hard for this track and it would have been possible to run the same compounds we had in Korea in two weeks ago, because the track surface is very smooth.”
  • Kamui Kobayashi added: “With the hard ones you cannot really drive here, while with the soft tyres it was still not easy to heat them up and get them to work properly, but there is no comparison to the hard ones.”
  • Pirelli’s Paul Hembery admitted the tyre was too hard for the circuit at the moment: “Working out exactly how the tyres degrade is tricky because the track is still cleaning, having started off very dusty before clear racing lines emerged. This dust has a significant effect on tyre performance, as the tyres can grain due to sliding and rear wheelspin. As the performance gap between the soft tyre and the hard tyre is notable here, the key to race strategy will be getting the softs to last for as long as possible.”
  • Hembery added he expects a “two to three stop strategy” for most drivers in the race.
  • At this stage it seems likely drivers will spend very little time on the hard tyres in the race. Hembery said strategies could be similar to those seen in Germany, where Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa only used the harder tyres for one lap at the end of the race.

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

Sebastian Vettel87.71791.97486.49287.663103.33693.59790.04688.66686.32
Mark Webber87.36698.12487.08398.7286.5
Lewis Hamilton94.36194.94592.72592.739
Jenson Button93.49392.24191.58495.69991.54491.11290.97992.526
Fernando Alonso101.36386.458101.24786.21699.91692.24885.93
Felipe Massa91.42591.65891.17793.165
Michael Schumacher92.19893.06692.31592.45395.37491.80492.54393.89
Nico Rosberg93.60893.32993.79493.3393.20592.97292.85592.30594.17592.10499.627
Bruno Senna93.9692.78694.10692.11192.48692.78592.58192.0191.76494.39391.76391.368
Vitaly Petrov93.4493.15592.43392.78897.22791.50992.07991.52492.77292.11893.29791.02591.33
Rubens Barrichello89.36297.85691.88188.691102.46
Pastor Maldonado92.87493.97188.88789.293
Adrian Sutil94.88693.10693.35392.71195.28693.05593.04994.75592.611
Paul di Resta97.56295.81895.95595.13695.36694.48194.39394.048
Kamui Kobayashi94.95292.37292.58696.7692.2391.87691.759
Sergio Perez93.60593.29293.01793.30399.06492.96692.47796.345
Sebastien Buemi91.30692.18889.27295.50588.814102.62893.892.18187.868
Jaime Alguersuari94.04493.81893.94493.75793.20292.84692.971
Heikki Kovalainen93.88493.83594.44193.61993.88698.38693.3193.70193.388
Jarno Trulli95.38495.88594.45394.38593.9193.54693.91694.07593.90594.68894.71897.291
Narain Karthikeyan95.35994.9294.488100.57694.6294.14594.843
Daniel Ricciardo95.10396.50894.40795.14399.42296.37394.34193.673
Timo Glock93.1392.14891.63391.61596.103
Jerome d’Ambrosio95.94893.38392.593

Ultimate lap times

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

  • Lewis Hamilton was quickest in the first session but slipped to fourth in the afternoon. He said: “We looked quick this morning. This afternoon, however, I had a problem with the driveshaft ?ǣ it felt like it was causing some wear and tear so it prompted me to end the session a little early. We?ll fit a new gearbox for tomorrow, so the car will hopefully start behaving a bit better. That should make things closer at the front.”
CarDriverCarUltimate lapGapDeficit to best
16Felipe MassaFerrari1’25.7060.000
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’25.7940.0880.000
35Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’25.9080.2020.022
44Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’26.3790.6730.335
53Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’26.3820.6760.072
62Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’26.3860.6800.114
714Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’27.3161.6100.000
89Bruno SennaRenault1’27.4961.7900.002
915Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’27.7312.0250.122
1018Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’27.7802.0740.088
1110Vitaly PetrovRenault1’27.8622.1560.028
1216Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’27.9752.2690.075
1319Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’28.1312.4250.421
1417Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’28.2892.5830.000
1512Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’28.6802.9740.028
1611Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’28.6912.9850.000
1721Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’29.1873.4810.145
187Michael SchumacherMercedes1’29.2153.5092.589
1920Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’30.0014.2950.240
208Nico RosbergMercedes1’31.0385.3320.060
2124Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’31.2845.5780.185
2223Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’32.4496.7430.319
2325Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’32.5936.8870.000
2422Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’32.7697.0630.055

Complete practice times

  • Michael Schumacher had a problematic second session: “This morning, I was happy with the balance of the car,” he said. “However this afternoon was more challenging for us. We weren’t really able to get into working properly for various reasons, including the red flag, and therefore tomorrow we need to work on the set-up for both qualifying and the race.”
  • The Renaults were eighth and 11th, which Bruno Senna said was in line with expectations: “Both cars were in the positions they should be and the track looks like it could be an ally for our car.”
CarDriverCarBest lapGapStint lapAt timeLaps
16Felipe MassaFerrari1’25.7064/47333
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’25.7940.0884/46734
35Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’25.9300.2247/77534
43Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’26.4540.7484/46626
52Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’26.5000.7945/56830
64Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’26.7141.0084/43927
714Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’27.3161.6103/36534
89Bruno SennaRenault1’27.4981.7925/185235
915Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’27.8532.1473/36534
1018Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’27.8682.1629/92034
1110Vitaly PetrovRenault1’27.8902.1843/175136
1216Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’28.0502.3445/57134
1317Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’28.2892.5838/87135
1419Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’28.5522.8461/24431
1511Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’28.6912.9854/59128
1612Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’28.7083.00214/147122
1721Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’29.3323.62622/227538
1820Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’30.2414.53510/106840
198Nico RosbergMercedes1’31.0985.3925/53737
2024Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’31.4695.7633/37732
217Michael SchumacherMercedes1’31.8046.0986/87827
2225Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’32.5936.8873/33311
2323Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’32.7687.0625/51432
2422Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’32.8247.1184/56232

Speed trap

  • Sergio Perez topped the times and, as in Korea, the two Toro Rossos showed excellent performance through the speed trap.
#DriverCarEngineMax speedGap
117Sergio PerezSauberFerrari323.6
219Jaime AlguersuariToro RossoFerrari3212.6
318Sebastien BuemiToro RossoFerrari320.72.9
416Kamui KobayashiSauberFerrari319.14.5
512Pastor MaldonadoWilliamsCosworth318.45.2
611Rubens BarrichelloWilliamsCosworth318.45.2
77Michael SchumacherMercedesMercedes317.56.1
86Felipe MassaFerrariFerrari317.46.2
95Fernando AlonsoFerrariFerrari3176.6
103Lewis HamiltonMcLarenMercedes316.17.5
1115Paul di RestaForce IndiaMercedes3167.6
1210Vitaly PetrovRenaultRenault315.97.7
134Jenson ButtonMcLarenMercedes315.87.8
1414Adrian SutilForce IndiaMercedes315.77.9
159Bruno SennaRenaultRenault315.68
162Mark WebberRed BullRenault312.511.1
171Sebastian VettelRed BullRenault312.311.3
188Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes312.211.4
1924Timo GlockVirginCosworth309.813.8
2025Jerome D’AmbrosioVirginCosworth309.114.5
2121Jarno TrulliLotusRenault308.315.3
2222Narain KarthikeyanHRTCosworth308.315.3
2320Heikki KovalainenLotusRenault308.315.3
2423Daniel RicciardoHRTCosworth308.115.5

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    11 comments on “Drivers face hard tyre struggle in the race”

    1. Its intresting if any FI qualify and are aggressive can they possibly start on hards and pit in lap2.

    2. Need to watch FP3 before any predictions… IMO more unknowns than normal. Have to say Ferrari are looking better from that though.

      1. That FP3 proved to show a pretty usual picture, although the Ferrari’s seem to have closed up again

    3. A slow day for comments, so far (except for the ludicrously large discussion on penalties for failing to appreciate yellows), so I’ll put up some of my thoughts.

      A surprisingly strong Ferrari so far this weekend, which makes me wonder what the difference is between developing this year’s car and stopping the development of the car, and trying out bits from next year’s car. I also wonder whether Ferrari set its times on newer tyres than its rivals, since teams no longer followed the practice of first running on the harder tyre for the first hour of FP2, and then doing one run on the soft tyres for a quick time.

    4. I was thinking along the same lines as Hempbrey with regards to the Nurburgring strategy employed by Vettel and Massa. I imagine that Vettel will occupy his customary position, making sure he’s 1s ahead of the pack for the 3rd lap in. We might see him a little less conservative than usual for him to be able to pull out a gap sufficient enough to pit for the prime tyre.

    5. Both cars were in the positions they should be

      I agree with you Bruno, but Petrov probably not!
      But maybe they were on different programs and their places only indicate that.

      (hmmmm, commenting from PC, I love it, after iPhone)

    6. Start on hards and pit on lap 1. That’s my advice!

      1. Why is that better than start on the softs and pit for hard tyres on the last lap?

        1. Gives you a little more time to rectify any strategy problems you may have.

          You may not have the option of pitting on the last lap if you’re defending a position.

    7. As a comment on your comment on your lack of comments may I say nice comment.

    8. Not everyone can pit on lap one, unless they are all going to stack, 24 cars in the pit lane ?!

    Comments are closed.