With the car weights from qualifying now published, we can see who did well during Saturday afternoon’s running and who did not. We can also work out how much fuel was in the cars and therefore how far they each go into the first stint before stopping. The key figure comes from Williams, who say that a lap of Silverstone uses about 2.48kg of fuel. Taking away the car and driver combined minimum weight of 605kg, and minus a couple of laps for grid formation and margin, we can divide the remainder by the per-lap amount and see who is going for a two stopper and who is heavy and going for a one stop race.
|1.||Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing||666.5||56.1||23|
|2.||Rubens Barrichello Brawn||657.5||47.6||19|
|3.||Mark Webber Red Bull Racing||659.5||49.6||20|
|4.||Jarno Trulli Toyota||658||48.1||20|
|5.||Kazuki Nakajima Williams||652.5||42.6||17|
|6.||Jenson Button Brawn||657.5||47.6||18/19|
|7.||Nico Rosberg Williams||661.5||51.6||21|
|8.||Timo Glock Toyota||660||50.1||19/20|
|9.||Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari||654||44.1||18|
|10.||Fernando Alonso Renault||654||44.1||18|
|11.||Felipe Massa Ferrari||675||65.1||27|
|12.||Robert Kubica BMW||689.5||79.6||33|
|13.||Heikki Kovalainen McLaren||695.5||85.6||35|
|14.||Nelson Piquet Jr. Renault||682.5||72.6||30|
|15.||Nick Heidfeld BMW||665.5||55.6||23|
|16.||Giancarlo Fisichella Force India||668||58.1||24|
|17.||Sebastien Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso||687.5||77.6||32|
|18.||Adrian Sutil Force India||692||82.1||34|
|19.||Lewis Hamilton McLaren||666||56.1||23|
|20.||Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso||672.5||62.6||26|
From the table we can see that both Brawns are on the same strategy, supposedly pitting on the same lap, although it is likely that one of them would be brought in earlier than anticipated. Button is likely to be on the most flexible of strategies because the team will want to know how to play his race out after the opening lap. Therefore it is Button who may be brought in first. Interestingly though, to highlight Button’s troubles with the car, both he and Barrichello had the same fuel level on board, yet Rubens went 0.4s faster.
We can also see that Sebastian Vettel took pole comfortably from the Brawn pilot, but Vettel was in fact heavier than his team mate Mark Webber. Therefore, Webber’s performance in Q3 earlier has to be questioned. The Australian looked good all day, but then in the final 10 minutes appeared to be struggling, before finally getting distracted by a very slow Kimi Raikkonen who was sitting on the racing line.
Kazuki Nakajima is considerably lighter than those around him, including his team mate who he managed to out-qualify today. Also of note are Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando, who are on the same fuel load in P9 and P10 respectively. Considering their lap times in qualifying were only 0.03s apart, one can presume that at Silverstone, the pace of the two cars is fairly even. So either Ferrari are having a bad weekend or Renault have improved.
Outside of the top-ten, where the car weights are declared by the teams rather than weighed in Parc Ferme, we can see that Heikki Kovalainen is once again the heaviest on the grid. And again it has to be asked why McLaren feel it necessary to fill Heikki up so much; has it actually worked yet in the past year and a half?
Nick Heidfeld and Lewis Hamilton are relatively light and will be looking to make places up at the start. And for the last mention, look out for Giancarlo Fisichella. the force India driver is on a strategy that implies he his competitive, and given that the car has looked good until qualifying went horribly wrong, I think the Italian could make a few places up. Adrian Sutil could also come into play for a top-ten finish later on, the German being heavier than his team mate and playing the long-game.
- The qualifying results can be viewed here: Silverstone 2009: Qualifying Result.
- The qualifying report can be viewed here: Silverstone 2009: Silverstone 2009: Sebastian Vettel Romps To British Pole
- The grid can be viewed here: Silverstone 2009: The Grid