Qualifying showed Red Bull have found a huge performance advantage over their rivals in the final sector of the lap at Melbourne.
But Mark Webber was not able to find the same size of advantage as team mate Sebastian Vettel.
The final sector begins with the high speed turns 11 and 12 – exactly the kind of corners that Red Bull thrived on last year.
Neither of their drivers used KERS during their lap. When asked about it Vettel joked that he “couldn’t find the button”. They were ranked 17th and 18th through the speed trap with only the HRTs, Virgins and Lotuses behind them.
There are now rumours the team have a special, smaller KERS, designed only to be used at the start of a race, which allows them to package their car more tightly at the rear and generate more downforce.
Qualifying times in full
- Sebastien Buemi put Toro Rosso in Q3 for the first time since 2009 but he didn’t have any new soft tyres left, which is why his Q3 lap was slower.
- He was aided by Rubens Barrichello and Adrian Sutil losing time with spins
|Driver||Car||Q1||Q2 (vs Q1)||Q3 (vs Q2)|
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’25.296||1’24.090 (-1.206)||1’23.529 (-0.561)|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||1’25.384||1’24.595 (-0.789)||1’24.307 (-0.288)|
|3||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’25.900||1’24.658 (-1.242)||1’24.395 (-0.263)|
|4||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||1’25.886||1’24.957 (-0.929)||1’24.779 (-0.178)|
|5||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||1’25.707||1’25.242 (-0.465)||1’24.974 (-0.268)|
|6||Vitaly Petrov||Renault||1’25.543||1’25.582 (+0.039)||1’25.247 (-0.335)|
|7||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||1’25.856||1’25.606 (-0.250)||1’25.421 (-0.185)|
|8||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||1’26.031||1’25.611 (-0.420)||1’25.599 (-0.012)|
|9||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||1’25.717||1’25.405 (-0.312)||1’25.626 (+0.221)|
|10||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’26.232||1’25.882 (-0.350)||1’27.066 (+1.184)|
|11||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes||1’25.962||1’25.971 (+0.009)|
|12||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’26.620||1’26.103 (-0.517)|
|13||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||1’25.812||1’26.108 (+0.296)|
|14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’27.222||1’26.739 (-0.483)|
|15||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Cosworth||1’26.298||1’26.768 (+0.470)|
|16||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’26.245||1’31.407 (+5.162)|
Compare the best times of each drivers in the last of part of qualifying in which they both set a time.
- Sebastian Vettel had a particularly large margin over Mark Webber, who said he was “mystified” by the gap.
- The extent of Nick Heidfeld’s problems in Q1 are clear from his 1.6s deficit to team mate Vitaly Petrov
|Team||Driver||Lap time||Gap||Lap time||Driver||Round|
|Red Bull||Sebastian Vettel||1’23.529||-0.866||1’24.395||Mark Webber||Q3|
|McLaren||Lewis Hamilton||1’24.307||-0.472||1’24.779||Jenson Button||Q3|
|Ferrari||Fernando Alonso||1’24.974||-0.625||1’25.599||Felipe Massa||Q3|
|Mercedes||Michael Schumacher||1’25.971||+0.365||1’25.606||Nico Rosberg||Q2|
|Renault||Nick Heidfeld||1’27.239||+1.696||1’25.543||Vitaly Petrov||Q1|
|Williams||Rubens Barrichello||1’26.270||-0.028||1’26.298||Pastor Maldonado||Q1|
|Force India||Adrian Sutil||1’31.407||+4.668||1’26.739||Paul di Resta||Q2|
|Sauber||Kamui Kobayashi||1’25.405||-0.703||1’26.108||Sergio Perez||Q2|
|Toro Rosso||Sebastien Buemi||1’25.882||-0.221||1’26.103||Jaime Alguersuari||Q2|
|Lotus||Heikki Kovalainen||1’29.254||-0.088||1’29.342||Jarno Trulli||Q1|
|HRT||Narain Karthikeyan||1’34.293||+1.315||1’32.978||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Q1|
|Virgin||Timo Glock||1’29.858||-0.964||1’30.822||Jerome d’Ambrosio||Q1|
An ultimate lap is a driver’s best time in each of the three sectors that make up a lap combined.
- Both Mercedes drivers had the performance in hand to qualify better
- Four drivers did all their best sectors in one lap, including Vitantonio Liuzzi in his effort to break the 107% barrier.
- Vettel was more than half a second faster than any non-Red Bull driver in the final sector.
|Pos||#||Driver||Ultimate lap||Gap||Deficit to best||Actual position|
|17||15||Paul di Resta||1’26.739||3.286||0.000||14|
Here are the drivers’ best times in each sector.
|Driver||Sector 1||Sector 2||Sector 3|
|Sebastian Vettel||28.088 (1)||22.320 (1)||33.045 (1)|
|Lewis Hamilton||28.149 (2)||22.399 (2)||33.609 (3)|
|Mark Webber||28.197 (3)||22.643 (6)||33.400 (2)|
|Jenson Button||28.237 (4)||22.556 (4)||33.777 (4)|
|Fernando Alonso||28.427 (5)||22.549 (3)||33.998 (6)|
|Vitaly Petrov||28.443 (6)||22.662 (7)||34.142 (8)|
|Nico Rosberg||28.499 (7)||22.563 (5)||34.041 (7)|
|Felipe Massa||28.561 (9)||22.764 (8)||34.202 (11)|
|Kamui Kobayashi||28.619 (10)||22.828 (11)||33.904 (5)|
|Sebastien Buemi||28.727 (12)||22.983 (15)||34.172 (10)|
|Michael Schumacher||28.548 (8)||22.815 (10)||34.349 (14)|
|Jaime Alguersuari||28.809 (14)||23.030 (18)||34.171 (9)|
|Sergio Perez||28.635 (11)||22.833 (12)||34.246 (12)|
|Paul di Resta||29.108 (18)||22.968 (14)||34.663 (17)|
|Pastor Maldonado||28.787 (13)||23.013 (17)||34.482 (16)|
|Adrian Sutil||28.902 (17)||22.803 (9)||34.475 (15)|
|Rubens Barrichello||28.842 (15)||22.998 (16)||34.275 (13)|
|Nick Heidfeld||28.883 (16)||22.866 (13)||35.328 (18)|
|Heikki Kovalainen||29.947 (20)||23.586 (19)||35.623 (19)|
|Jarno Trulli||29.645 (19)||23.754 (20)||35.863 (20)|
|Timo Glock||30.023 (21)||23.853 (21)||35.953 (21)|
|Jerome d’Ambrosio||30.169 (22)||24.048 (22)||36.365 (22)|
|Vitantonio Liuzzi||31.250 (24)||24.577 (23)||37.151 (23)|
|Narain Karthikeyan||30.991 (23)||24.740 (24)||37.809 (24)|
Each drivers’ highest speed through the speed trap.
|Pos||Driver||Car||Max speed (kph)||Gap|
|7||Adrian Sutil||Force India||311.7||-2.5|
|9||Paul di Resta||Force India||311.4||-2.8|
|13||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso||309.7||-4.5|
|16||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||309.5||-4.7|
|17||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||308.3||-5.9|
|18||Mark Webber||Red Bull||308.3||-5.9|
2011 Australian Grand Prix
- Hamilton and Button expect more from McLaren
- Sauber will not appeal Australia disqualification
- 2011 Australian Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Who was the best driver of the Australian Grand Prix weekend?
- No home advantage for Webber at Red Bull
- Relief at McLaren after last-minute changes pay off
- Ferrari look for answers on missing pace
- Collisions spoil Mercedes’ start to the season
- Petrov fires Renault with fine drive to first podium
- Unreliability and driver errors hold Williams back
Browse all 2011 Australian Grand Prix articles
113 comments on “Final sector key to Red Bull’s advantage”
26th March 2011, 14:25
Redbull wing flex and refined bodywork is key…
Once McLaren refine the bodywork & get a flippin flexy wing then they should be challenging them!
26th March 2011, 14:33
They knew it since last year i wonder why they haven’t tried something similar?
26th March 2011, 15:22
I think it’s quite a lengthy process to develop the special weave of carbon fibre to make the flexi wings, a process RBR may have started a long while ago. I read that during all the controversy about the wings last year, but unfortunately I can’t find an article to support it online. The bulge on the nose at the Barcelona tests is a blatant sign that Mclaren are trying to measure the flex of their wing, and maybe increase it.
The improvements they’ve made with the floor and exhausts are unbelievable. I’m really hoping that in terms of pace it’s going to be really close between RBR, Mclaren and Ferrari this season.
26th March 2011, 16:42
Yeah, Red Bull had the luxury of optimizing the RB6, whereas the other teams wasted the time designing and building their cars from the ground up.
But they’ll catch Red Bull sooner or later.
26th March 2011, 21:29
Newey have been doing this a long time. Already 2005 people where talking about flexing wings on the Mclarens.. Newey’s cars.
26th March 2011, 17:36
They still don’t get it, that’s the reason…
26th March 2011, 14:34
I’m sure mclaren tried to figure out the secret of flexy wings last year and didn’t suceed. What makes you think that this year will be different?
Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo)
26th March 2011, 14:57
If they’d spent half as much time researching it as they did talking about it I’m sure they would have figured it out.
26th March 2011, 15:04
Good point Toro Stevo, the front end of the McLaren is as stiff as a barn door, they complained far too much about the flexy wing and should’ve looked into it.
26th March 2011, 15:13
Well, this is what they were testing with the dolphin nose we saw at Barcelona no? The ‘support arms’ coming from the nose were likely for measuring tension, hence flexing of the front wing.
26th March 2011, 16:04
I thought they were air flow probes?
26th March 2011, 19:22
The MP4-26’s front wing is already flexing, but not nearly as much as the RB7. Many widely available photos from Australia describe a sagging McLaren wing.
You would imagine further revisions and upgrades to said front wing will try to further bridge the current gap, either that or the FIA will finally figure out a proper test that actually works to enforce their own rules.
And since you decided to have a snide pop at someone’s spelling down below, I’ll point out that the metaphor is ‘big as a barn door’, not stiff. Barn doors aren’t in anyway known for their rigidity.
26th March 2011, 16:39
People don’t seem to realise that there isn’t just one person working at a team.
While the team princible and drivers can talk about it, the engineers can r&d.
26th March 2011, 16:59
They were convinced it was illegal though so why would they waste resources on something that would in their eyes possibly be banned?
Helps if you spell Principal correctly too.
26th March 2011, 18:23
Picking on someone’s spelling doesn’t make you look better though.
It doesn’t matter if they thought it was illegal. Everyone though double deck diffusers were illegal and the sure as hell were researching those, obviously they all look at controversial concepts just incase they are legal.
26th March 2011, 18:54
Correct spelling builds character lol…anyway if what you are saying is true then Red Bull obviously have a better development team than McLaren then, even when they are “supposedly” researching an already created aspect of a car.
27th March 2011, 2:04
and being illegal doesn’t stop them from developing their own. far from it: almost all new developments in F1 are claimed to be illegal by the competition.
Like the double diffuser situation, where McLaren were: “oh it isn’t illegal? ok we will put ours on the car then”
Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo)
27th March 2011, 4:31
My point was more a less than thinly veiled swipe at the constant chatter about it last year. The flexing wings became all the drivers, team principal, and even the bbc commentators and every commenter on this website were talking about. It became tiresome, and I see it happening again.
Red Bull had a big moan about the double diffuser in 2009, but they didn’t prattle on all season about it. They went to the judiciary, and eventually the ruling went against them, but in the mean time just set about building their own.
26th March 2011, 18:15
From their testing with that nose bulb sensor thing, they are still working on understanding how to do it.
26th March 2011, 16:15
mclaren’s flexi wing is old news already. watch a good onboard shot of the mclaren and see the front wing flex downwards and then upwards under braking .
26th March 2011, 14:27
Final sector time and speed trap record is interesting. and Alonso did his cleanest lap! even though it’s not enough.
26th March 2011, 18:26
Wowee, didn’t spot that. Only driver to get the maximum out of himself and you’d assume his car.
I’m getting serious de ja vu from last year. Everyone is going on about how Ferrari are due to restart their rivalry with Redbull from last year. As i remember it, it was Mclaren first half and Ferrari second. With Redbull taking the prizes in the end.
Not twice please?
26th March 2011, 19:17
Petrov did his ultimate lap as well… I have a feeling Alonso might be in for a season of a lot of racing alongside of Petrov. I’m hoping he is anyhow…
Last Pope Eye
26th March 2011, 22:20
hahaha nice to see them racing again. I’m a new Petrov fan now. :)
26th March 2011, 14:27
Good comparisons, but the teams don’t match up with the correct drivers under DRIVER COMPARISONS -Vettel and Webber in a Mclaren- ha ha.
26th March 2011, 14:32
Yeah and Schumacher in a Ferrari – utter nonsense!
26th March 2011, 14:39
The teams are put in 2010 order, the drivers in 2011 order.
26th March 2011, 14:41
The Saubers really slow too
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
26th March 2011, 15:07
Sorry, have fixed that.
26th March 2011, 19:28
In the last table Vettels ultimate lap is listed as 1:23.453, – where did that come from, when his fastest lap was 1:23.529?
But good and impressive fast analysis despite a few errors with the teams and driver pairing.
26th March 2011, 20:19
Red Bull are going to Infiniti and beyond!
26th March 2011, 14:32
Could someone please explain to me what
Beacause i don’t see any apparent different at the rear of the cars. I tried to find out what the small williams rear is and i still can’t figure out. For me they are all the same…
26th March 2011, 14:49
F1lover, “to package their car more tightly” generally means to have fewer obstructions blocking the air to the rear wing & diffuser. With the banning of double diffusers this year teams have gone to extra lengths (such as the William’s gearbox and Renault’s front exit exhausts) to recover lost downforce at the rear of the car.
26th March 2011, 15:50
Thanks Jungly that was one area that i didn’t get properly now it makes sense.
26th March 2011, 14:52
Its funny to read that you don’t see the differences (especially with such nickname), but check out these drawings:
And Williams’s rear end: http://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/williams-fw33-lowline-gearbox/
26th March 2011, 16:48
Mateuss, I wanted to thank you for these links. I just read through them. What a great site. It’s no wonder F1 is so difficult to compete in as there’s so much to be considered and taken into account. I wonder how many people could do better than HRT, let alone Ferrari, Mcl, RedBull et all.
26th March 2011, 14:53
From the ever-excellent Scarbs blog, hope they explain, or help you understand. The basic gist is, the less obstruction to the diffuser and wings, the more airflow can hit them and make more downforce.
26th March 2011, 14:54
lol, beaten to it by Mateuss and Jungly.
26th March 2011, 15:49
Lol@mateuuss, I love F1 but it’s not my strenght to see such details. But i’ve become more interested to better understand the technical stuff this year. Thanks
Thabks@S.J.M that’s explains it more clearly
26th March 2011, 15:42
Well, if all looked the same to you, why bother for explanation?
Anyway, take a look at the back of the Williams, you will see a bronze-rod that went steep downwards to the central section and compare it to other cars.
Also, try to find the pull rod at the back of the cars (except the F150) and not in front as all cars have push-rod in there.
26th March 2011, 15:56
BBQ2 this what the article says,
“Williams said their new car would be aggressive, but at first look the FW33 seemed quite conventional. Until the area above the gearbox is looked at. ”
Which means you don’t just notice it at a glance, Unless you know the stuff. I wasn’t interested in those aspects before but i do now that’s why i asked.
Thanks for still contributing to my understanding…
26th March 2011, 17:06
Best of luck. I am also watching the sport from last 10years but as i m not a engineering guy so it seems very tough for me to follow the sports, but i tried my best and now started to understand a lot of things. you may try the following link which has a lot of useful resource to understand F1.
http://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/ is also one of the best blog for formula one to understand the sports. Wish you luck. :-)
26th March 2011, 17:09
26th March 2011, 14:35
Great analyses Keith. It clearly shows Sutil was doing pretty fine until he got overzealous with the KERS and the DRS there.
Liuzzi was probably driving one of the best laps in his F1 career there. Just imagine him pulling along that car, shedding pieces all the while. Impressed.
Vettel … where to start, him and this Red Bull are just the ultimate qualifying package. Red Bull got us looking for their magic bit again this year. Interesting to see where Webber lost out to Seb as well.
26th March 2011, 14:36
In the driver comparison, the teams don’t match up to the drivers :)
26th March 2011, 14:38
Did we have 3.5 seconds separating first and tenth last year?
I thought teams were going to get closer this year…not happening at least in round 1.
26th March 2011, 14:44
Any news yet on HRT getting a dispensation to race?
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
26th March 2011, 15:05
They aren’t: Liuzzi: HRT “will be up to speed” in Malaysia
26th March 2011, 14:56
Perez’s Time in Q1 would have been sufficient for Q3 if he did it in Q2… That must be quite frustrating !
26th March 2011, 15:13
Still, he has had a very impressive weekend and is proving that he is not there only because of Mr Slim.
26th March 2011, 15:08
Interestingly (at least I think it is) apart from Lewis (who had quali problems in 2010) Vettel is the only driver to improve his time compared to last year’s qualifying. Once again Adrian Newey and his team have made the best interpretation of the new regulations and have another early advantage. Expect 3 poles from Vettel in these first 3 flyaway races.
26th March 2011, 15:55
well, lets not jump the gun just yet. I know mclaren are supposed to have updates in Malaysia and id bet some others do to. But il admit that its very possible if theres no interuptions or bad weather…
26th March 2011, 15:09
Really confused!! I see qualifying times in full, driver comparisons, and ultimate laps. Where oh where is the sector 3 timetable that would correspond to the title of this thread?
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
26th March 2011, 15:11
26th March 2011, 15:23
This will be very worrying for the other teams as the next four fast flowing tracks are even better suited to the RB7?
26th March 2011, 16:08
If he is that fast in sector 3 i suppose it will be hard to be close enough to him to be able to use DRS against him.
26th March 2011, 15:14
regarding the start only KERS. The technical regulations define KERS as:
“A system that is designed to recover kinetic energy from the car during braking, store that energy and make it available to propel the car.”
Surely if RBR aren’t recovering energy from braking, it isn’t KERS and therefore isn’t legal
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
26th March 2011, 15:15
What makes you think they aren’t?
26th March 2011, 15:24
Ted Kravitz wrote:
I understand – and rivals believe – that Red Bull have built a Kers system with a smaller battery which is charged before the race, discharged only once at the start and not used again.
The system would still need a fairly large battery to deliver the high current needed but weight could be saved because the parts needed to charge the battery during the race would not be required
26th March 2011, 15:51
It just doesn’t make any sense to me. There is more to it. If its “one use only” then why not use it once on the hot qualifying lap, like I said it makes no sense.
I assume it does still trickle charge (but not enough to be used frequently or a second time) otherwise it is not KERS and should be illegal.
The truth will out… this story is just breaking, it could be a while before we find out but I believe what has been reported so far is not actually factual correct and an ill conceived guess at what’s going on at the moment. Why didn’t they use it on hot laps?
26th March 2011, 16:12
Good point, it doesn’t make sens at all. Especially in Webber case, when he so much wants to beat sebastian at his home GP. He said he did his best? How can you do your best without using a tool that is suppose to boost your speed?
26th March 2011, 16:23
The story is just breaking…
It makes me laugh at how quickly the teams come to these obvious conclusions – why didn’t they think of it over the winter then!
26th March 2011, 17:39
I don’t buy it. Even if the battery and total kit is half the size, it becomes dead weight–non-ideal distributed mass–after the first turn. If you are going to shift the cars internal organs around, and integrate the electric motors into the drive train, you need to get a return on that design compromise more than 4 seconds on lap one. Even if the overall package is stellar with a mini-KERS, they’ll be sorry if Vettel, say, gets stuck behind a Force India armed with KERS and Mercedes ICE, i.e., unpassable, DRS or no.
26th March 2011, 17:47
Its much more likely they just didn’t need to use it, I just watched an interview with Horner and I reckon the reason they didn’t use it was because they were focusing on the DRS and qualifying without the distraction of KERS (keeping a bit of performance back?). I believe they agreed amongst themselves as Horner said not using KERS cost Webber the front row.
26th March 2011, 17:53
But after quali the cars go into parc ferme, so it couldn’t really be recharged. Being the only car in the top 10 without KERS could be a bit tough on the opening lap.
26th March 2011, 20:29
The parts needed to charge the batteries are the same parts that deliver the power.
All of the electric systems use a combined generator/motor to collect and deliver power. Any GCSE physic’s student will know an electric motor and a generator are basically the same device. The switching electronics would weigh a couple of grams at most. Although a saving would be made aerodynamically in not having to cool the whole KERS during the race.
27th March 2011, 3:40
Considering the first part of your comment is wrong, the second is remarkably insightful.