I n Interlagos counts a tenth of a second like 0.3 seconds elsewhere. The course with the shortest lap time in the field is not particularly selective. Nowhere else are the gaps so short. Nevertheless, training king Sebastian Vettel outpaced the best McLaren by 0.365 seconds and the best Ferrari by 0.673 seconds.
Red Bull foregoing top speed again
Mark Webber was also clearly ahead of the competition. The two Red Bulls almost starved to death on the straight. They didn't even get over the 300 km /h sound barrier. The McLaren and Ferrari were stopped seven km /h faster.
Does that mean you have to worry about Red Bull's pursuers with a possible rain race on Sunday? Or have McLaren and Ferrari gambled high and are now hoping for a dry race? Jenson Button waves it away: 'There is no secret behind it. We are already driving maximum downforce and no longer have it. That is why we should be well prepared for a rain race.'
McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa analyzes: 'Red Bull can evidently add downforce on this type of racetrack. But downforce is not gained particularly efficiently, which you can tell from the top speeds.' The middle sector of Interlagos with a total of eight curves proves de la Rosa right. Vettel and Webber flew away from the competition there.
Alonso and Button bet on rain
Fernando Alonso prays for rain: 'This is our only chance. If it stays dry, I now know already where I land. The rain opens up new opportunities for all Red Bull pursuers. ' Button warns: 'Whether it is rain or dry: Red Bull will be difficult to bend.'
The 31-year-old Englishman relies on his good rain statistics. Button won in both Montreal and Budapest. In his opinion, this is not an indication that the McLaren works better than the Red Bull on a wet track. 'From my point of view, that is difficult to say because I have no comparison values. The only thing that is certain is that it is more correct in the rain The timing of the pit stops is important. And I've had the better hand twice. '
A dry race would be inconvenient for Button for another reason. 'I have trouble with the soft tires here. The tread moves too much. I need a car that can be driven precisely.' The pace is right on the hard feet. But they are between half a second and a second slower. Button regrets: 'Be in a dry racewe ride on the soft tires most of the time. '