Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2011

Vettel edges Hamilton in second practice

2011 Italian GP second practice

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Monza, 2011

Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the second practice session at Monza.

He set a 1’24.010 using the soft tyres, edging Lewis Hamilton by 0.036s.

The track had warmed up to over 40C by the start of the session and the drivers struggled to beat the times from this morning. Vettel’s best was two-tenths off Hamilton’s mark from first practice.

Vettel led the way early in the session when all the drivers were lapping on medium tyres.

But Lewis Hamilton came to the fore halfway through the session when the soft tyres started to appear, taking over at the top of the times.

Vettel was delayed by traffic – Vitantonio Liuzzi and Felipe Massa – on his first run on soft tyres.

But he returned to the top of the times with a 1’24.010 later on. Now it was Hamilton’s turn to get held up in traffic as he caught Jaime Alguersuari.

The Toro Rosso driver had a near miss earlier in the session when he had to take to the grass at one of the fastest points on the circuit.

He had caught Adrian Sutil who appeared to move right to let him past as Alguersuari was already heading the same way. Alguersuari gesticulated angrily at the Force India driver having returned to the track.

Moments later the other Toro Rosso was in more serious trouble. Sebastien Buemi dropped the left-hand wheels of his car into the gravel at the exit of Parabolica, skewed sideways and hit the barrier hard with the left side of the car.

Fortunately Buemi was unhurt but the car was badly damaged and he missed the rest of the session.

Daniel Ricciardo missed much of the running due to an electrical problem on his car. He finally set his first lap with two-and-a-half minutes to go.

Kamui Kobayashi pulled over with an apparent technical problem at the end of the session.

Nico Rosberg was another driver whose running was curtailed by a problem earlier in the session. He ended up third from last while his team mate was third.

The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso completed the top five.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’24.01037
23Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’24.0460.03621
37Michael SchumacherMercedes1’24.3470.33739
46Felipe MassaFerrari1’24.3660.35633
55Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’24.4330.42331
62Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’24.4680.45832
74Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’24.5080.49830
817Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’25.0971.08739
916Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’25.1821.17237
109Bruno SennaRenault1’25.3251.31538
1110Vitaly PetrovRenault1’25.4501.44031
1214Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’25.4961.48639
1315Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’25.6831.67337
1419Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’25.7581.74829
1511Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’26.2022.19236
1612Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’26.3532.34340
1718Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’28.3474.3375
1821Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’28.5594.54932
1920Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’28.6054.59532
2024Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’28.8044.79425
2123Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’29.1625.15234
228Nico RosbergMercedes1’29.1845.17429
2325Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’29.6225.61234
2422Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’29.8415.8317

2011 Italian Grand Prix

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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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40 comments on “Vettel edges Hamilton in second practice”

  1. Looking forward to the Ultimate lap times to see how much Lewis lost behind the TR.

    1. I think if you combine his good first two sectors with the third sector from his first lap, you get around 1m23.4/1m23.5. Assuming he could have done a faster third sector as well, he might even have gone 1m23.2, in my estimation.

      The high-fuel runs have taken nothing away from my fears that McLaren are running way too much downforce. If you are not only slower on the straights, but also 1 second slower (than Vettel’s Red Bull), then the race prospects are looking slim, even if you lock out the front row.

      1. I agree with the first part of the post, but the second I would argue that we haven’t really got a true reflection of race pace yet.

        1. We do not truly know what fuel loads were being fun.

        2. Red Bull looked like they were running DRS around the track and McLaren were not.

        I think McLaren could be in a good position for a race win provided there are no poor maneuvers by Hamilton!

        1. Sorry run not bloody fun!

        2. Do you know if Hamilton used DRS on his fastest lap? I assume he did, otherwise quali might be quite straightforward for McLaren.

          1. He did yes, however he was on another storming lap but got blocked by Alguersuari

      2. if i remember correctly though, didn’t red bull have a similar long run advantage in P2 over mclaren in Germany?

        1. just checked and Lewis was between 0.5 – 1.0 second slower on his long run in Germany, with Ferrari also quicker. Do Red Bull run with less fuel in practise?

      3. why do you think that mclaren are 1 second slower then Vettel’s Red Bull????

        1. In the long runs, Vettel ran in low 28s, high 27s, whereas Button and Hamilton were in low 29s, high 28s, perhaps a little slower than Ferrari. This is only how I remember it, though, I suppose Keith’s analysis later will tell us more.

  2. You can combine the best sector time to have an estimation of how they could get in terms of time if they could have found a perfect and clean lap:

    Seb: 1:23.9
    Lew: 1:23.4

    I fear for Ferrari. The thing about conservative camber could be hurting them in his home race.

  3. When I look at the personal bests per sector, and build an ultimate lap time, with those, Lewis beats Vettel with half a second.

    He was 0.2 quicker in S1, 0.4 quicker in S2 and 0.1 slower in S3.

    Never look into Vettel’s times in FP to make predictions for Quali. Somehow he always manages to find several tenths in Q3. But based on the above, a perfect lap from Lewis could be a contender for pole.

    1. I reckon Vettel rocks in Q3 in part because Red Bull likes lots of camber, which heats the tires faster. It’s obvious even from the TV shots how much the front tires lean in. We will see what happens now that they have had their hands slapped away from this cookie jar.

      1. i reckon Vettel rocks in Q3 because he does good laps. He got pole with double diffuser, adjustable ride height, blown diffuser, dodgy camber. I think the conclusion is that he’s quite good on a qualy lap.

        1. exactly, vettel is great no matter what. he hasnt had the best car in many races this year and still got poles. others make errors and he doesnt in qualifying. but for vettel to get pole in monza, he will need a granduous error from hamilton, like spinning off the track. vettel may get 2nd but, as button isnt as strong a driver as hamilton/vettel.

          1. I don’t know about that. He’s had the best car in quali, if not the race, at virtually every round.

          2. At Hungary, Monaco and Malaysia, RB were evenly matched with Mclaren in qualifying and you-know-who came out on top.

  4. Hard to tell, if those times are slower than they were in the morning because of the heat, or from having a tad higher fuel loads.

    It is safe to say that after the first few runs most teams were focussing on race setup. McLaren look like wanting to have a go at a relatively high downforce setup, I am convinced that is what they were trying out by not using DRS.

    1. interesting.

    2. Agree with this.

      If higher downforce is the way to go for a fast lap in qualy, using DRS, great. But if it leaves you as a sitting duck in the race, without your DRS lap after lap, its no good.

    3. Oh, God how long I hadn’t heard that:

      Vettel says McLaren the team to beat at Monza

      “The car feels good and it looks like McLaren are the ones to beat,” said Vettel. “Obviously everyone’s [rear wing] is more-or-less the same except McLaren’s but we’ll have to take a deeper a look and see how quick they are and then make a decision.”

      1. yep, mclaren have the engine and kers advantage (mercedes do too, but have crap aero so dont take advantage of that). they can run more wing angle and be quick through the slow parts and still be quick in the fast parts.

  5. Hi All,

    I’m not as technically astute as most on this post seem to be, but I must ask a question concerning Mercedes GP.

    They seem to have good straight line speed at many of the circuits, but what is it about their overall design that compromises their overall performance? I read they have a smaller wheelbase than others but I can’t seem to grasp the shortcomings of this.

    Thanks in advance for your replies.

    1. You might be interested in episode 35 of the Flying Lap (at ), where this was one of the points discussed (I forgot the details).

    2. Hi, I don’t know if this is the actual answer but an obvious explanation would be that their car is lacking downforce. Downforce the key performance differentiator in F1 today. I can with less downforce runs slower through the turns but faster on the straights – however at most circuits having better cornering yields better laptimes.

      Also it’s a fact that Mercedes (with McLaren and Force India) have the most powerful engines.

  6. I only had a quick glimpse of KKs car when it was off the track but one thing I noticed was one of his RH tyres, the front I am fairly sure looked like it had failed, it was definitely soft and badly torn up. Anymore news?

    1. Yeah I think Peter Sauber said it was a tyre failure, but caused when he locked up. If you were watching it was the most almighty smoke cloud. Perez did the same thing moments after. Sauber have always had brake balance problems this season.

  7. A few things i found interesting:
    -hamilton was 4 tenths quicker then anyone in sector 2.
    -mclaren were 18 and 19th in the speed trap
    (This tells me they have the best car easily for this weekend, they can add downforce to the car, run high fuel and still be fastest, and hamiltons combined best sectors were about half a second faster then vettels)
    -vettel was only faster the mclaren in the final sector, where there is the high speed chicane and parabolica, which suits the redbull car.
    – vettel was last in the speed traps, petrov in another renault powered car was 20km/h faster. is this a bad setup gamble from vettel to try to keep up with mclaren? only one practice session left to work out the setup.

    – drs wont have much affect this weekend, even though hamilton thought it would add 20km/h to the top speed.

    ferrari didnt show much, and i dont expect they will for the rest of the weekend. i expect an easy pole and win for mclaren unless hamilton stuffs up yet again.

    1. Vettels high fuel runs give me some hope though for the race. you’d think they’ll all be running near full tanks to replicate the start.
      hammy may have done light runs in FP1 as his soft tyre run was slower in FP2.
      i am expecting a mclaren to get pole unless ferrari are sandbagging a lot, but i’m not sure the race is a done deal, and if they are carrying too much wing on the straights, the slightest error in the race and the door is open for others to get past.

      1. they wont carry too much wing, it is “more” wing then ferrari and redbull due to engine/kers advantage – the wing then giving them a corner speed advantage also, but it isnt “too much” wing

        1. I’m a little concerned about the amount of wing they will run too to be honest.

          I think this hurt them at Spa… They have this new rear wing that dumps tons more drag supposedly when DRS is open, but that’s only really a big advantage in quali. You can’t just use it everywhere in the race and then you lose tons of straight line speed.

          I’m sure the clever bods at McLaren have it all worked out but then I often think that and they do something stupid…

  8. Thanks for your replies!

  9. I feel top guys still has room to improve…I can’t wait FP3!

    1. Maybe Ferrari are concentrating on something else rather than pure pace in FP as to not show their opponents where they are? I guess Mercedes will still be the fourth team at Monza.

  10. i remember last year, wasnt hamilton the fastest easily on day 1, then stuffed up his setup on day 2, and mclarens slower driver ended up having a better weekend. there is no way he will get it wrong again, its a no brainer win for mclaren, and looking at the times, button is again shown as a second tier driver – he has the best car this weekend but wont make the most of it like hamilton, and he wont get lucky with rain. then again hamilton might crash for the 3rd monza race in a row.

  11. The temperature maybe the only con to Mclaren, good race in prospective, Ferraris need something extra a bit behind.

  12. Looks like Buemi is next on the list for the Heidfeld award for his crash at the Parabolica and could become the next guy out of Formula One.

    1. You will have to mention Hamilton if you expect a response.

  13. Mclaren are still there with the others.Feel bad for Nico.

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