May 20, 2011
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Webber continued to lead in FP2
Mark Webber continued to lead proceedings in the Spanish Grand Prix second practice.
However, he was closely followed by Lewis Hamilton, as McLaren hone their latest updates.
Sebastian Vettel was 3rd, 3 tenths off his teammate. Jenson Button was 4th, while Fernando Alonso was held up on his fastest lap, but was still 5th.
Rosberg and Schumacher secured 6th and 7th for Mercedes. Both Saubers got into the top 10.
Vitaly Petrov was half a second slower than Heidfeld in 12th. The Williams drivers were 14th and 16th. Adrian Sutil was the only driver to have been slower than one of the 3 bottom teams. His teammate Paul di Resta was a full second faster than him.
The 107% rule only applied to the two Hispanias in this session.
Times from FP2:
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.22.470 35
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.22.509 0.039 27
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.22.826 0.356 37
4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.23.188 0.718 32
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.23.568 1.098 34
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.23.586 1.116 35
7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1.23.981 1.511 30
8. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.24.278 1.808 30
9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.24.290 1.820 33
10. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1.24.366 1.896 31
11. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1.24.483 2.013 38
12. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.24.786 2.316 43
13. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.25.296 2.826 33
14. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.25.303 2.833 38
15. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.25.457 2.987 34
16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1.25.603 3.133 43
17. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1.26.073 3.603 32
18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1.26.417 3.947 37
19. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.27.123 4.653 20
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1.27.189 4.719 34
21. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1.28.036 5.566 36
22. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.28.062 5.592 28
23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1.29.469 6.999 28
24. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1.29.476 7.006 31
May 20, 2011
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Webber was a second faster than Vettel
Mark Webber led teammate Sebastian Vettel by a full second in first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.
A 1.25.142 was 1.009 seconds faster than Vettel, who headed Nico Rosberg in 3rd.
It wasn’t a completely satisfactory session for the Red Bull team though, as Vettel was instructed to disable his KERS after another reliability issue early on in the session.
Fernando Alonso was 4th, ahead of Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton. Nick Heidfeld was the only Renault in the top 10, while Jenson Button struggled with his tyres and was 9th.
Daniel Ricciardo took over Sebastien Buemi’s Toro Rosso, and was 1.5 seconds faster than Jaime Alguersuari, although the Spaniard only completed 9 laps with an engine problem.
Felipe Massa was 16th, 3.5 seconds off the pace. Pastor Maldonado spun off, but was 13th.
4 cars were outside of the 107% rule: Both HRT cars, Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock.
Times from FP1:
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.25.142 27
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.26.149 1.007 20
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.26.379 1.237 29
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.26.480 1.338 27
5. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1.26.738 1.596 26
6. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.26.988 1.846 19
7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1.27.016 1.874 32
8. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1.27.132 1.990 21
9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.27.138 1.996 22
10. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.27.212 2.070 20
11. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.27.241 2.099 22
12. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.27.471 2.329 23
13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1.28.005 2.863 11
14. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1.28.027 2.885 26
15. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.28.163 3.021 22
16. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.28.654 3.512 28
17. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.28.819 3.677 23
18. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.28.995 3.853 9
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1.29.231 4.089 21
20. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1.30.896 5.754 18
21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.31.235 6.093 24
22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1.31.268 6.126 23
23. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1.31.418 6.276 12
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1.32.106 6.964 25
May 17, 2011
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The exhaust blown diffuser has been limited by the FIA
The FIA has informed all F1 teams of changes to the technical regulations concerning blown diffusers, which will come into effect at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
One of the main points of development for the teams this year has been the blown diffuser, which channels exhaust gases onto the diffuser, which initially only brought downforce benefits while the driver was on the throttle.
However, several teams, particularly Red Bull, have been believed to have exploited the blown diffuser, by allowing the system to work even while the throttle is not being used. A constant flow of gas through the exhaust system is rumoured to be the cause for this.
This is the innovation that the FIA will soon ban. They have written to all the teams, instructing them that the use of the throttle is only to increase torque, not for aerodynamic performance.
If any team is caught to evade this ruling, they will have broken Article 3.15 of the technical regulations, which bans movable aerodynamic pieces or devices.
McLaren believe that this exploitation may be the key to Red Bull’s scintillating qualifying pace, so it will be interesting to see how Vettel and Webber perform in Barcelona this weekend.
Update: The FIA has decided not to go ahead with this regulation for this weekend, after several “unforeseen and unintended consequences” were brought to their attention. However, they are planning to move ahead with the new ruling as soon as possible.
May 12, 2011
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Sutil and Eric Lux are at the centre of international media attention
Reports over the last few days have emerged claiming that Force India driver Adrian Sutil was involved in a fight in a nightclub after the Chinese Grand Prix.
Website 422race.com stated that the other person involved was Eric Luz, chief executive of Genii Capital, who owns the Renault F1 team. They also claim that Sutil injured Lux with glass during the altercation, which left Lux with blood streaming down his neck.
Lewis Hamilton was also at the nightclub at the time, as he is well known to be friends with Sutil. He was quickly rushed by his bodyguards out of the VIP room.
Interestingly, Adrian had to leave China the next day to escape legal trouble.
Neither Force India or Genii have issued statements, but Sutil has since apologised:
"In response to the rumours that have appeared in the media regarding an incident in
a Shanghai club, I wish to make the following statement:
After the Grand Prix in Shanghai I attended a party on the Sunday evening away from
the track where I unintentionally injured another guest. I have unreservedly
apologised for this.
As this is a private matter, which has nothing to do with Formula 1, I will make no
further public comments on this subject."
The FIA are not believed to be investigating this incident.
May 10, 2011
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DRS will be used in Monaco
The FIA has decided that there will be no ban on the Drag Reduction System for the Monaco Grand Prix, despite safety concerns from drivers.
The unlimited use of the adjustable rear wing in the tunnel is the primary concern from some drivers, who feel that it is an unnecessary risk.
However, some teams voiced their support for retaining the system, claiming it would be difficult to create a Monaco-specific rear wing.
Williams technical director Sam Michael has said that Charlie Whiting has told the teams there will be no ban, as only a handful of teams objected to the device:
"Charlie told us this morning. There were some teams that did not think DRS would be
good there, but other teams were saying they did not agree [with the ban] and did not
understand on what basis [it would be banned].
So Charlie was quite straightforward about it. He said that there wasn't a strong
enough argument to not have it, so it is staying. We were neutral on it, we didn't
On the other hand, several drivers are unhappy with using DRS on the street circuit. Rubens Barrichello in particular feels that the sport’s governing body has made the wrong call:
"I just think it is wrong. I would love the people at the top to sit in the car and
try to do the tunnel with the DRS open.
In my opinion, they are waiting for something bad to happen. And when it happens,
they will just say, 'oh, next year we will not have it for Monaco'.
The drivers have not been listened to right now and I think it is the wrong
I can see a race [filled] with safety cars. If they could listen still: I think
Monaco is what it is. It is not overtaking territory.
Do they think they can introduce overtaking through the DRS? They possibly can, but
they might hurt someone. That is a voice from experience."