July 30, 2011

Q3 Magic Button

So how does Red Bull and to some extent Mclaren, suddenly manage to find an extra full second in Q3? Extraordinary drivers? Some don't buy it and even though Alonso's "magic button" was just an off the cuff remark, the suspicion must be there, lurking in the paddock..

In a game of hundredths, ever a second is enormous, certainly more than can be attributed to any possible driver advantage: Vettel's Q2 time was a 1:21.0, Q3 1:19.8. Hamilton also, a full second. Enquiring minds want to know.

For tomorrow's race, looks like Hamilton is in the catbird seat at least in regards to available new tires. Hungary being what it is the conventional wisdom is, boring race. But then again these guys were passing in Monaco so, there is hope!

Pos  Driver                Team                 Time          Gap   
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m19.815s
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m19.978s + 0.163
3. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m20.024s + 0.209
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m20.350s + 0.535
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m20.365s + 0.550
6. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m20.474s + 0.659
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m21.098s + 1.283
8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m21.445s + 1.630
9. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m21.907s + 2.092
10. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari No time
Q2 cut-off time: 1m23.067s Gap **
11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m22.256s + 1.994
12. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m22.284s + 2.022
13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m22.435s + 2.173
14. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m22.470s + 2.208
15. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m22.684s + 2.422
16. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m22.979s + 2.717
17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth No time
Q1 cut-off time: 1m23.285s Gap *
18. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m24.070s + 2.492
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m24.362s + 2.784
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m24.534s + 2.956
21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m26.294s + 4.716
22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m26.323s + 4.745
23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m26.479s + 4.901
24. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m26.510s + 4.932

107% time: 1m27.288s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2



  1. Hamilton ran the softs in Q2, so no "magic button" there. Not sure about Vettel's Q2 lap though.

  2. Yeah I was gonna say... Hamilton's sort of makes sense -- Softs in Q2, Super Softs in Q3. But almost nobody else makes any sense.

    What makes even less sense to me is why everyone else with a competitive car ran Super Softs during Q2? I would imagine the Ferrari is worse on the Softs, but is Redbull also so terrible on the softs they thought they couldn't make it out of Q2 without them?

  3. This isn't that different from most other quali sessions. Ferrari, Mclaren, and (especially)Red Bull sandbag q1 and q2 very frequently. It's almost like trying to use the practice sessions to try and predict the race... impossible.

  4. @tekniq I think Hamilton is the only one who did not use options in Q2.

    Whatever it is, it's amazing how Vettel's Red Bull always has something in reserve.... What's that 8 out of 11 now?

  5. Maybe it is not the car but the driver, only when the car is right. Vettel said he was not happy with the car last weekend and this weekend all he did was praise the amazing job the mechanics/engineers did rethinking the setup and making it right for him for Saturday.

    If you look at morning practice, Seb ran a 1:21.16 vs. his pole run of 1:19.81 or 1.35 seconds faster. Hamilton ran 1:22.66 vs. his P2 run of 1:19.97 or a 2.69 second improvement.

    Hamilton improves almost 3 seconds from the morning practice and Vettel only improves a tad over 1 second. Who has the magic button?

    1 second is huge, 3 seconds is a miracle.

  6. Well, one thing's for sure, there's no such thing as miracles in F1.... :)


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