Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2013

Red Bull cautious despite strong Friday showing

2013 Italian Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2013Red Bull were comfortably quickest in the second practice session at Monza. However team principal Christian Horner isn’t taking anything for granted.

Sebastian Vettel headed the Friday ties by over six-tenths of a second but Horner pointed out the Italian Grand Prix hasn’t been their strongest event in recent years:

“Monza traditionally, bar 2011, has been a difficult hunting ground for us,” he said, “it’s exposed some of our weaknesses in previous years.”

“But we’re going to do the best that we can and for sure we know that Ferrari will be quick here, we know Mercedes will be certainly quick and McLaren aren’t too far away either this weekend.

“So I think it’s set to be a very competitive grand prix. We’ve seen so many times that Friday means very little so hopefully we can be on the podium here, that would be a strong result for us here.”

As we’ve become used to seeing in recent seasons, the RB9s are propping up the table in terms of straight-line speed. That could be a problem for them on Sunday if they are out-qualified by a Mercedes or two. As always, the sheer downforce of the RB9 more than makes up in the corners what it loses at the end of the straights.

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Monza, 2013Lotus led the charge against Red Bull and their drivers posted identical times in differently-configured cars. Kimi Raikkonen was using a version of the E21 with a longer wheelbase, and commented it “doesn?t feel much different to me”.

The team have indicated the car won’t reappear this weekend. It’s possible that was their intention all along, and the car’s real purpose was an evaluation with next year’s chassis in mind. Or they may have taken note of Romain Grosjean’s faster sector times in the normal car (see below) and concluded the longer version didn’t offer a sufficient step forward.

Felipe Massa warned the Ferrari faithful that it “won?t be an easy weekend” for them at home. “Our main rivals have set great lap times on both compounds and in race trim.”

As is always the case at Monza tyre degradation is low. Pirelli motor sport director Paul Hembery’s prediction that most drivers will prefer a two-stop strategy “with some cars perhaps trying a one-stopper” may prove to be an overestimation. Given how long some drivers were able to make their tyres last I suspect we’ll see most drivers one-stopping, as was the case last year.

One driver who was especially satisfied with his car’s pace over a race stint was Valtteri Bottas. “The positive thing today was the long run as we were competitive compared to Toro Rosso and Sauber,” he said, “and I think we can really challenge them in the race this weekend.”

Here’s all the data from practice for the Italian Grand Prix:

Longest stint comparison

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

Sebastian Vettel89.1688.67688.53488.38588.67589.06588.788.64788.48688.48688.27988.361
Mark Webber89.49589.11789.19489.14188.97488.94488.90689.64594.50188.55288.76388.72288.77389.42296.0488.84789.97789.607
Fernando Alonso93.6889.65489.47789.35689.91889.70389.18289.02989.02188.91688.83388.71890.30689.33689.52289.445103.54293.34390.16290.1390.2
Felipe Massa90.4789.83189.59789.81889.75790.16990.23189.718
Jenson Button89.89289.81989.66189.57389.58289.42590.55389.76489.70990.03789.4789.322
Sergio Perez89.74689.78694.2589.52489.66589.41889.63389.66390.30489.36189.56989.22889.54989.828
Kimi Raikkonen88.6188.79288.6988.88488.70988.89888.56888.72988.82588.362
Romain Grosjean89.4789.24790.11689.76589.71889.44289.85189.76289.32689.851
Nico Rosberg89.98393.05289.79289.8289.68794.52689.51489.5889.91989.49289.21489.28289.27589.21789.26989.59889.592
Lewis Hamilton90.76889.88989.52892.60689.3789.28489.46892.97389.28696.20389.40297.70990.015
Nico Hulkenberg90.40490.28490.38190.31790.33290.32390.05890.08293.35990.06890.30689.81489.78989.71989.63489.834
Esteban Gutierrez90.59390.78390.23990.0890.01289.94790.07989.89189.93390.25192.74189.84789.75889.67489.54689.46889.35690.139
Paul di Resta91.26390.67490.35690.16190.38590.20489.8789.79389.61989.65489.51189.315
Adrian Sutil89.03889.05289.16289.14689.618
Pastor Maldonado91.77890.92792.26590.48291.33291.40790.21999.67290.16889.96689.88190.45190.269
Valtteri Bottas90.24890.23989.98690.37790.33590.11490.04789.92790.39789.8389.8189.78689.54689.50589.54889.83290.027
Jean-Eric Vergne90.59490.26990.04689.95589.94790.12690.54591.01689.92689.87890.06990.006
Daniel Ricciardo90.61890.46790.26890.22690.17390.00690.17792.88789.97590.20389.9990.02589.69289.72989.80789.7890.65389.3789.85991.252
Charles Pic91.63493.12391.55392.12891.4691.31592.58192.01491.70992.08291.616
Giedo van der Garde93.39192.41292.11291.891.92792.27391.91893.67291.62291.60992.109
Jules Bianchi91.46391.40391.81291.30592.39692.31391.12991.112
Max Chilton91.45791.86591.01890.87691.10991.78891.36891.50891.23190.94791.36891.92291.16292.42392.391

Sector times and ultimate lap times

PosNo.DriverCarS1S2S3UltimateGapDeficit to best
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault27.634 (1)28.629 (1)28.171 (1)1’24.4340.019
28Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault27.698 (2)28.786 (3)28.380 (3)1’24.8640.4300.252
32Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault27.701 (3)28.879 (5)28.362 (2)1’24.9420.5080.134
47Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault27.864 (12)28.776 (2)28.412 (4)1’25.0520.6180.064
59Nico RosbergMercedes27.744 (8)28.837 (4)28.572 (7)1’25.1530.7190.214
610Lewis HamiltonMercedes27.721 (6)28.887 (6)28.558 (5)1’25.1660.7320.174
73Fernando AlonsoFerrari27.797 (9)28.890 (7)28.643 (9)1’25.3300.8960.000
85Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes27.724 (7)28.986 (9)28.673 (10)1’25.3830.9490.149
94Felipe MassaFerrari27.874 (13)28.925 (8)28.642 (8)1’25.4411.0070.078
106Sergio PerezMcLaren-Mercedes27.715 (4)29.120 (11)28.778 (13)1’25.6131.1790.014
1112Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari28.040 (17)29.120 (11)28.558 (5)1’25.7181.2840.170
1214Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes27.855 (11)29.108 (10)28.809 (14)1’25.7721.3380.058
1315Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes27.715 (4)29.263 (14)28.944 (15)1’25.9221.4880.106
1416Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault27.990 (16)29.229 (13)28.770 (12)1’25.9891.5550.149
1518Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari27.941 (14)29.416 (17)28.703 (11)1’26.0601.6260.164
1619Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari27.852 (10)29.282 (15)29.129 (18)1’26.2631.8290.336
1711Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari27.945 (15)29.388 (16)29.052 (16)1’26.3851.9510.000
1817Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault28.284 (19)29.509 (18)29.115 (17)1’26.9082.4740.290
1923Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth28.382 (22)29.528 (19)29.486 (21)1’27.3962.9620.152
2021Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault28.375 (21)29.930 (22)29.258 (19)1’27.5633.1290.208
2120Charles PicCaterham-Renault28.246 (18)29.847 (21)29.480 (20)1’27.5733.1390.123
2222Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth28.325 (20)29.681 (20)29.588 (22)1’27.5943.1600.463

Complete practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2Total laps
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’25.7531’24.45365
2Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’26.1031’25.07666
3Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’25.9411’25.11658
4Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’26.2951’25.11663
5Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’25.6001’25.33063
6Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’25.5651’25.34063
7Nico RosbergMercedes1’25.7041’25.36767
8Felipe MassaFerrari1’26.4491’25.51945
9Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’26.0351’25.53265
10Sergio PerezMcLaren1’26.0071’25.62763
11Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’26.5941’25.83053
12Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’26.1941’25.88865
13Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’26.02837
14Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’26.1491’26.13857
15Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’26.1551’26.22457
16Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’27.2241’26.38559
17Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’26.3871’26.59964
18Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’26.8021’27.19865
19James CaladoForce India-Mercedes1’27.04124
20Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’27.8691’27.54857
21Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’27.8181’27.69661
22Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’27.77138
23Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’28.05732
24Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’28.19221
25Rodolfo GonzalezMarussia-Cosworth1’29.52626

Speed trap

#DriverCarEngineMax speed (kph)Gap
119Daniel RicciardoToro RossoFerrari339.1
24Felipe MassaFerrariFerrari338.40.7
318Jean-Eric VergneToro RossoFerrari337.71.4
43Fernando AlonsoFerrariFerrari337.61.5
59Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes337.51.6
614Paul di RestaForce IndiaMercedes337.31.8
710Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes337.31.8
87Kimi RaikkonenLotusRenault337.21.9
915Adrian SutilForce IndiaMercedes336.82.3
1022Jules BianchiMarussiaCosworth336.13
118Romain GrosjeanLotusRenault335.73.4
1212Esteban GutierrezSauberFerrari333.35.8
1323Max ChiltonMarussiaCosworth333.25.9
1411Nico HulkenbergSauberFerrari333.25.9
155Jenson ButtonMcLarenMercedes331.87.3
166Sergio PerezMcLarenMercedes331.77.4
1721Giedo van der GardeCaterhamRenault330.28.9
1820Charles PicCaterhamRenault330.19
1917Valtteri BottasWilliamsRenault329.99.2
2016Pastor MaldonadoWilliamsRenault329.89.3
211Sebastian VettelRed BullRenault329.110
222Mark WebberRed BullRenault328.910.2

2013 Italian Grand Prix

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Images ?? Red Bull/Getty, Lotus/LAT

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21 comments on “Red Bull cautious despite strong Friday showing”

  1. My money is still on Hamilton for pole and Vettel for win!

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      6th September 2013, 20:50

      Yes, that prediction is paying off lately @sankalp88

  2. Now just wait for Hamilton to get pole and be surprised and amazed afterwards, and on Sunday Seb will get past during the first stop at the latest and Nando follows home in 2nd

    1. It’s like we’re in one of those Star Trek episodes where the Enterprise is stuck in a loop in time and the same events happen over and over. I can’t remember how they escaped. Something to do with a tachyon stream I think.

      1. @jonsan well, it appears we know what to do now then.

        1. Fraid not.
          I think this year’s regs prohibit intentional use of tachyon streams.

          1. @jonsan @philereid @nigel1 Warning, Warning, the Trekkies are taking over! Oh, wait a minute, that was Lost in Space………..

      2. Wasn’t that the one where they had to send the number ‘3’ to themselves to break the loop. And Alonso is driver no.3.

    2. David not Coulthard (@)
      7th September 2013, 5:28

      Seb will get past during the first stop

      Or Curva Grande……

  3. Kimi’s long-run pace looks basically the same to Seb’s, with Alonso not far behind. But with rain forecast for Sunday all of this will go out the window anyway. Button for the win?

  4. I’d be happy with a Button win. Put a few smiles on the McLaren boys faces and keep their records going for a while longer

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      6th September 2013, 20:51

      They need a loooooooooooooot of luck, not a real challenger at any of the main data stats (stint, speed, fastest lap)

  5. So I guess vettel is cautiosly running away with the title.

  6. Fastest in every sector (faster than everybody even on the hard tyres) and fastest long run. First down to Vettel…

  7. I see Red Bull are at the bottom of the speed trap times again. Surely some of the other teams should scrub a bit of straight line speed and run an ounce more wing after seeing the lap times Red Bull are putting in?

    1. @john-h it ispractice though, so we don’t really know how competitive that really is. 10km/h isn’t massive either – it’s been much bigger before! They’d still be within a chance of overtaking with a good exit from parabolica (which RB have been doing) and late braking for the chicane with DRS assistance however, so absolutely scrubbing some speed shouldn’t kill them.

    2. It hasn’t only to do with downforce. Vettel has been at the top during the intermediate speed traps: S1, S2 and S/F – looking at the F1 live timing results. It’s similar to when RedBull were the fastest out of Eau Rouge two weeks ago.

      RedBull are running a shorter gear ratio which means they will be quite long at the limiter on the start/finish-straight in qualifying. Overall this will give them quite an advantage (due to good acceleration) with heavy fuel like in 2011.

      1. @xenomorph91 precisely: as long as their drivers are challenging for the lead quickly I don’t think top speed will be a huge problem.

  8. If there’s just one track on the schedule where they should dispense with DRS, well, this is it.

    1. Not really, it is pretty hard to overtake at Monza and DRS effect is reduced dramatically here.

  9. Seems to me like Redbull are more confident, and run their old strategy of trying to get pole, and be fastest at the start of the race and pull a gap before DRS is enabled. Thereby sacrificing top speed. In SPA, they went the other way, which is interesting cause that work very well indeed. Redbull and the RB9 are very adaptable it seems.

Comments are closed.