The qualifying weights of the top-ten qualifiers and the declared weights of the remaining ten drivers have been published by the FIA and from what we have been told we can work out who did well in qualifying and who didn’t do so good. We can also estimate the first pitstop of each driver going by Williams’s prediction of fuel consumption around the 4.309km Interlagos circuit. With the race being 71 laps we can also suggest what kind of strategy each driver is aiming to run during tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
From the table below we can see that Rubens Barrichello was indeed one of the lightest drivers in qualifying, but the difference to those around him isn’t a great deal and the Brazilian pilot should be pitting at around the same time as Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso. However, the extra two or three laps his rivals have on-board will make his job of winning tomorrow’s race a little trickier than perhaps he would like.
Looking closer at the top ten, Sebastien Buemi stands out as a driver who performed well in qualifying yesterday, the Swiss rookie having placed his Scuderia Toro Rosso in P6 with the second-heaviest car, only having less fuel than Kazuki Nakajima who is in P9. A mighty effort from the young driver who will surely be pleased with his efforts. Also performing well was Adrian Sutil who is on par with those around him and Nico Rosberg isn’t running as heavy as I had imagined earlier in the day, aiming to stop around lap 25.
Everybody in the top ten appears to be going for a two-stopper with the possible exception of Kazuki Nakajima who has given himself some flexibility. Outside the top ten, a one-stop race appears to be the preferred option, with only Heikki Kovalainen (who I think for the first time in his career is fueled lighter than his team mate), Lewis Hamilton and Nick Heidfeld looking to run aggressive two-stop races.
The heaviest drivers on the grid are Giancarlo Fisichella and Sebastian Vettel, each hoping to get as far as lap 38 or so, and the lightest drivers are Rubens Barrichello and Nick Heidfeld who will only go as far as lap 21. Of course, all of this is dependent on a dry opening stint and no safety car, which after witnessing qualifying is perhaps a little overly optimistic.
|1.||Rubens Barrichello Brawn||650.5||41.6||21|
|2.||Mark Webber Red Bull Racing||656||47.1||24|
|3.||Adrian Sutil Force India||656.5||47.6||24|
|4.||Jarno Trulli Toyota||658.5||49.6||25|
|5.||Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari||651.5||42.6||22|
|6.||Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso||659||50.1||25|
|7.||Nico Rosberg Williams||657||48.1||24|
|8.||Robert Kubica BMW||656||47.1||24|
|9.||Kazuki Nakajima Williams||664||55.1||28|
|10.||Fernando Alonso Renault||652||45||23|
|11.||Kamui Kobayashi Toyota||671.5||62.6||32|
|12.||Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso||671.5||62.6||32|
|13.||Romain Grosjean Renault||677.2||68.3||35|
|14.||Jenson Button Brawn||672||63.1||32|
|15.||Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India||680||71.1||36|
|16.||Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing||683.5||74.6||38|
|17.||Heikki Kovalainen McLaren||656.5||47.6||24|
|18.||Lewis Hamilton McLaren||661||52.1||26|
|19.||Nick Heidfeld BMW||650.5||41.6||21|
|20.||Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari||683.5||74.6||38|