Q3 qualifiying - average gaps 2011

J

johnnoble1990

Guest
I was just doing this for my own interest and thought, I may as well make it available to everyone on here. Obviously old news now - :p - but just reiterates the Q3 dominance of both Vettel in qualifying last year. Almost 0.4 seconds ahead of the closest competitor, team mate Mark Webber.

The times are calculated by taking the average gap of each driver from pole at each race, as a percentage, and then adds this to the average pole time for the season 01:28:305, to give a different weighting to the shorter/longer laps.
 

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RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Yeah looking at that I'm stunned how close to Webber Lewis is on average. I'd be interested to see the average gap between Red Bull and Mclaren if you took Vettel out of the equation. I think the Red Bull wouldn't look so dominant.

However whether thats because Vettel was great, Webber was rubbish or Vettel was given the superior equiptment is open to debate.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
However whether thats because Vettel was great, Webber was rubbish or Vettel was given the superior equiptment is open to debate.

...and timing, support, setup, engineering direction...etc.

When you have a clear number 1 in a team there are so many variables that swing in the favour of the chosen driver. These variables can add up to account for the majority of difference in performance between two drivers. Whilst Vettel has clearly improved, I think that the gulf we saw between Vettel and Webber last year was down to a lot more than natural driving ability.

That is not taking away from Vettel or making excuses for Mark. It is more a statement on Red Bull's philosophy on how to win championships.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
...and timing, support, setup, engineering direction...etc.

When you have a clear number 1 in a team there are so many variables that swing in the favour of the chosen driver. These variables can add up to account for the majority of difference in performance between two drivers. Whilst Vettel has clearly improved, I think that the gulf we saw between Vettel and Webber last year was down to a lot more than natural driving ability.

That is not taking away from Vettel or making excuses for Mark. It is more a statement on Red Bull's philosophy on how to win championships.

I think that one is open to debate as well. Yes Vettel is their number one and has been ever since 2009. The gulf we saw hasn't been evident until this season though so the question is what changed? I think a lot of people go by the theory that Webber struggled with the new tyres which is possible. I guess you could suggest Webber was given less support by the team than previously but he didn't make a lot of noise about it which he was doing when he felt hard done to the year before. Plus I Don't believe Red Bull would have risked dropping their support for their second driver as much as the gap between them shows - it only takes an injury to Vettel for Webber to be their only chance of the title and on top of that the constructors title is where they get their money. If we'd seen Webber following Vettel's pace through the race and always being just behind (Barrichello like) I'd have put it down to that - but we never did.

I think a combination of all these things is probably the answer.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
Yep. It's all open to debate. In answer to the question, "what changed?" - Vettel became the youngest world champion ever and the hottest commodity on the driver market right now. Also, having pitted their drivers against each other, Vettel came out on top. The evaluation is over as far as Red Bull is concerned, and that made a huge difference last season, and will make a huge difference now and in the future, unless for some reason Vettel falls from grace.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Yep. It's all open to debate. In answer to the question, "what changed?" - Vettel became the youngest world champion ever and the hottest commodity on the driver market right now. Also, having pitted their drivers against each other, Vettel came out on top. The evaluation is over as far as Red Bull is concerned, and that made a huge difference last season, and will make a huge difference now and in the future, unless for some reason Vettel falls from grace.

I still don't think that Red Bull would have let their second car be that much slower than the lead on purpose. I mean how many times have we seen someone lose a title due to a dodgy number 2 (snigger) not taking points off their rival?
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
I still don't think that Red Bull would have let their second car be that much slower than the lead on purpose. I mean how many times have we seen someone lose a title due to a dodgy number 2 (snigger) not taking points off their rival?

I'm not saying they made the car slower. I'm saying that the car would have been designed with a preference for Vettel's driving style, the team would have beeen more supportive to Vettel, any marginal decisions would have gone Vettel's way, the best qualifying slot on track would have been given to Vettel, any upgrades in shortage would have gone to Vettel. I could go on and on and on and on.

I'm not saying that they deliberately advantaged Vettel or disadvantaged Webber (well I am really), just that Vettel was their focus in all areas of competition. Now imagine the knock on effect that this has for the driver's own mentality and then the futher knock on effect this might have for a driver's personal performance.

All of these factors and many more, which all swung Vettel's way, would undoubtable have a positive effect on Vettel's performances and a negative effect on Webber's performances.

I am not knocking this approach, but rather observing their approach to racing. In the pre and early Vettel period Red Bull's focus was on building a contender and on finding a driver to utilise it. They achieved this goal about 18 months ago and now their focus is very different. They can afford to operate under a different philosophy, and you have to say that it is working very well for them, albeit at the expense, ultimately, of Webber - but even he knows that and has accepted it.
 
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