2011 Chinese GP – Saturday Practice Results


Sebastian Vettel is looking in complete control of the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend after making a clean sweep of practice session honours. Although McLaren are fairly close to the leading Red Bull’s pace, it must be said that Vettel could still have a bit of speed in reserve. After setting the fastest time on the harder of the two compounds, the world champion switched to the softer tyres and effortlessly went to the top once again, beating whatever McLaren, Ferrari or Mercedes could come up with.

The same can’t be said of his team mate Mark Webber, who has been having a disastrous weekend so far, with the KERS on his car consistently proving to be unreliable. Today it was an ‘electrical problem’ basically meaning that his KERS wasn’t working. It is quite strange then that the energy boost system is working perfectly well on Vettel’s car without a hint of a reliability problem. In fact, from the first race of the season, it is the Aussie who has been bearing the brunt of KERS failures. With Sebastian in the midst of a mighty purple patch, Webber’s woes couldn’t have chosen a worse time to hit him.

Once again, the Mercedes cars were very impressive, with Nico consistently staying in the top 5 and Schumacher more or less up there with him. How much of this will be translated into race pace remains to be seen. The team with strong performance in race-trim, Ferrari, did reasonably well to put in the 5th and 6th fastest laps, with Alonso ahead. Heidfeld meanwhile, must be ruing the two front wings he wrecked yesterday, with the older rear wing clearly not cutting the mustard here. Force India put in some good lap times at the end, but considering their form in the first two races, that may well prove to be a low fuel run.

Down the grid, Virgin were relieved to get both their cars back ahead of HRT, after speculation that they might miss the cut in qualifying. All the 24 cars seemed to be capable of making it within the 107% rule here, and we will soon know, in a couple of hours time.

Here are the results :

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One Response to “2011 Chinese GP – Saturday Practice Results”

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