Hamilton slightly lighter than rivals (Abu Dhabi Grand Prix fuel weights)

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Vettel has more fuel on board than Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton may be carrying a couple of kilos less fuel than his rivals – but will it be enough for them to keep up with him?

Here’s the fuel weights for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in full:

Fuel weights

GridNameWeightFuel (kg)First stint (laps)
1Lewis Hamilton658.553.518
2Sebastian Vettel6635820
3Mark Webber6605519
4Rubens Barrichello6555017
5Jenson Button6575218
6Jarno Trulli6615619
7Robert Kubica654.549.517
8Nick Heidfeld6645920
9Nico Rosberg6656021
10Sebastien Buemi661.556.519
11Kimi Raikkonen6928731
12Kamui Kobayashi694.389.332
13Heikki Kovalainen6979233
14Kazuki Nakajima7049935
15Jaime Alguersuari696.591.532
16Fernando Alonso708.3103.337
17Vitantonio Liuzzi6959032
18Adrian Sutil6969132
19Romain Grosjean710.8105.838
20Giancarlo Fisichella692.587.531

The fuel weights above are based on Williams’ estimate of 2.699kg/lap fuel consumption. However as this is the first race at Abu Dhabi they could prove less reliable than usual. If any new information on fuel use comes to light we can take another look at the predicted pit stop laps.

Anyone want to bet against Lewis Hamilton leading at the end of lap one? He’s starting from pole position and he’s got KERS, so unless he gets lost down one of Abu Dhabi’s many side-roads, he should be impossible to pass at the start.

However Kimi Raikkonen’s combination of a very heavy car with KERS should allow him to make up places at the start. That could be bad news for the likes of Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg and Sebastien Buemi.

Even if Mark Webber manages to get past Sebastian Vettel at the start, Vettel has a slight strategy advantage being able to stop later.

Jenson Button may have qualified behind Rubens Barrichello, but with a touch more fuel on board he will fancy his chances of getting past.

How do you expect to see the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix unfold? Have your say below.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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125 comments on “Hamilton slightly lighter than rivals (Abu Dhabi Grand Prix fuel weights)”

  1. wow. Hamilton really was flying. He could very mcuh sail off in to the distance with this one. Interesting to see if the red bulls can stay with him.

    1. That’s great for Lewis. 0.5s per 1lap => 9s faster than anyone.

      1. lol as if he is going to be .5 faster every lap from the get go…
        No thought about tyres, actual on track racing, if he is luck he may have 5-6 second gap but he wont save much fuel by doing that and will be in earlier than predicted as people always seem to forget he has kers weight and kers fuel economy in the car.

        If either the RBR cars can stay close enough in 1st stint it will there race to loose.

    2. Absolutely, he has been the man to beat all weekend. All thing held constant, with that extra pace, he should take this one home.

  2. Top 10 stopping between 17-21

    Bottom 10 stopping between 31-38

    Should be a good race. I predicted Hamilton, Vettel, Barrichello

    1. I actually wouldn’t rule Raikonen out of it too soon, KERS at the start will probably boost him up into the points and then take a couple more places on pit strategy. If he drives well could hit a podium

      1. There’s a very good chance of somebody binning it in that mad pit lane exit and a SC coming out or the pit lane being closed, leaving Kimi in a very good position.

        I wonder if Fisi could be persuaded to ‘do a Piquet’.

        With Koby-bashi on track there’s a VERY good chance of a SC.

  3. Thanks Keith
    Shame Kovy will have gearbox change penalty. I think podium will look the same as qualifying results. Kimi should hopefully move up a good few places and is fuelled very long compared to the drivers infront.

  4. Lewis for the Grand Chelem! :D

    1. Lewis for the Grand Chelem! :D

      Cant Happen, He needs to win
      Free Practice 1, 2 & 3
      As Well As
      Qualifying (P1, P2 & P3) & The Race & Fastest Lap.

      He Was 2nd In FR2 & 2ND In FP3

      But Still Mightly Impressive, 1st In All Quali Rounds :)

      Thats My Boy :)

      1. That would actually be Über Chelem…

        Grand Chelem just needs:

        1-Start from pole
        2-Be at all times ranking 1st
        3-Win the GP (obviously…)
        4-Do fastest lap

        The last one was done by Schumi, in 2004 (Hungary).

        Vettel almost nailed it in Suzuka, if not by Webber’s late flier.

        Hamilton has little chance of managing that, seeing as he’ll pit a couple laps before the competition (doubt that he’ll find a 20+ second gap by then…:P)

        Other than that, he has a pretty sweet chance of scoring yet another win!

        1. Lewis got so close to it in Hungary in 2007 that he was actually crossing the finish line as a Grand Chelem winner, Raikkonen however improved Hamilton’s fastest lap in the last lap. His provisional Grand Chelem lasted for 0.7 seconds :)

          1. You sound like Montezemolo! :)

  5. Hamilton may be lighter but 6 tenths….

  6. Does anyone have figures on how much time will be lost during pitstops?

    1. They can expect to be in and out of the pits in about 19 seconds or less.

  7. To end the season on and top note, after having the new World Champions found on the previous GP, nothing like the yet Champions to give us a great race and another victory and to prove that, even this season, a very strange and unexpected season, McLaren and Lewis can still have Poles and Victories!

    Next year will be different; they will be in front in all the races!!!

    GO LEWIS!!!

  8. I’m a little surprised about Lewis fuel level but I expect him to pull out a good kers lead to cover his options.

    On another note, it’s good to see Bruno Senna has been confirmed for the Campos Meta F1 team for next year…

    1. Additionally, looks like Heikki has been given a five place penalty for a new gearbox…

  9. Kimi will be challenging for podium or thereabouts. I reckon he’ll eat up the Brawns.

    1. Kimi is starting in 11th!

      Also he’s very heavy (negating the effect of KERS) and the first corner comes quickly after the start.

      1. You don’t think Kimi will win??

        Can’t wait to see Montezemolo’s forehead vein pop.

      2. First corner does come quickly after the start, but the long straigh will be very good for Kimi – he will probably overtake 2 or 3 drivers there.

  10. Hamilton needn’t have gone so light, he would have kept pole with another lap or two on board. That was clear from Q1 and Q2.

    Infact he could’ve fueled for 20 laps and even if he didn’t get pole he could’ve KERS himself into the lead on the straight. Pointless pole hunting from McLaren.

    Brawn aren’t going to catch Redbull I dont think. Button would have to absolutley smash the first few laps to get close. Still he’s on the clean side so I think he’ll take Barrichello.

    1. Pointless pole hunting from McLaren.

      Agreed. But it seems that Hamilton is hellbent on emulating Senna’s pole record. It was his 18th pole in 51 starts! Putting him equal with Alonso. Kimi is next with 16.

    2. Pointless pole hunting from McLaren.

      Now now, don’t get stroppy. Lewis’ Q1/Q2 pace was good, but I don’t think anyone was expecting him to go 0.7s clear.

    3. If he can maintain his 6tenths advantage per lap, by the time 18 laps are over he would be 10sec in front of Vettel.

      I dont see how any other driver can win

    4. Pointless pole hunting from McLaren.

      I disagree.. Mclaren want the Pole to let Lewis lead the Race before his Pitstops, meaning he can bridge a gap, whereas if he started maybe 2nd/3rd ok.. with KERS he most likely would of got ahead of them, but like Suzuka, he didnt get a good start, this leaves him behind a car and he isnt steaming clear..

      So Lewis starting P1 with a strong stratagy means he can dominate the first few laps and then get a strong lead into his first pit stop and then take the lead back.. So it is logical thinking from Mclaren Mercedes.

      But i do agree with some1 who mentioned they could of filed him few laps longer because it was 6 TENTHS!! wow Well Done Lewis :)

    5. I noticed Lewis started his final qualifying lap with a full KERS and ended with an empty KERS. He didn’t harvest energy on that last lap. Presumably this gave him a couple of tenths advantage in qualifying that he wouldn’t get in the race, because he has to recharge the KERS every lap in race conditions.

      1. Sorry but that doesn’t make any sense at all.

        1. Wow I am amazed by that comment. Do you spend long on f1 websites or even watching f1!!?? Stunned

      2. Maybe I’m being thick, but you seem to make a good point… I wonder if anyone could enlighten us on why it’s a stupid comment.

      3. Yoiu don’t understand KERS. It automatically recharges as the car goes over the start/finish line. I noticed that they were using the last little bit of Kers on the start of the Start/finish strait then immediately using some more as they crossed the line.

  11. Thank God… the final fuel weight prediction/analysis in F1 before refuelling is banned next year. Phew, and we won’t be seeing those wheel fairings/caps next year too! Glad.

    We’ll see who’s FLYING next year, I am putting everything on the excitement of qualifying in 2010. Ho ho ho!

    1. I am putting everything on the excitement of qualifying in 2010. Ho ho ho!

      Is Mrs. Claus looking forward to it as well?

  12. StrFerrari4Ever
    31st October 2009, 17:04

    Lewis lighter as I thought Vettel outqualifies Webber yet again on a heavier fuel load albeit one lap difference. Brawns should finish where they are don’t see them causing the Red Bull’s harm unless they have amazing race pace.
    Buemi surprised me I thought he’d be on a heavier strategy but seems like he failed to string a competetive lap in Q3 hopefully he’ll have race pace to do something tommorow.

    1. Red bull seem to have the closest matched drivers (maybe with BMW). They are quite close every time they both finish.

  13. Kimi Raikkonen with a heavy fuel load looks like he is on a one stopper. Make up two or three places to the 1st corner with KERS. Also make up more places on track and in the pits. Hamilton is gonna be pressured and make some mistakes, as usual.

    1. Kimi is definatley going to represent the nuisance factor for most of top ten, He could really put the spanner into someones startegy.

  14. I´m no sure, But Fisichella had no KERS in his car today in quali…

  15. Lewis is untouchable, his 2 laps’ worth of lighter fuel should have translated to not more than 2.5-3 tenths advantage in Q3. 7 tenths is enormous. He will walk the race tomorrow. Of the others Vettel is clearly the fastest. And here is a point I want to make. Button is 2 kg lighter than Rubens which is not even worth an extra lap (Button is heavier than Rubens, literally). So Rubens beat him by a tenth, fair and square. Vettel is 3 kg heavier than Webber and yet beat him to 2nd place. The point here is that a good (not even great) driver will more often than not outqualify his teammate even if he is a bit heavier. A mediocre driver, like Button, will instead be outqualified by his teammate. There is no excuse that Button’s supporters can use this time. No stress, he has won the WDC and this was the weekend that he was going to be “unleashed”. Well, go ahead and unleash the turtle …

    1. Weight includes the driver. Cars actually carry ballast to make the 605kg requirement of car and driver pre-fuel.

      Told you he was running heavier than Rubens! LOL

      1. That’s exactly my point. Total car weight = car+fuel+driver. Since Button is heavier than Rubens (by at least 3-4 kg I reckon) then he is not carrying more fuel, or if he is it’s in the grams, more kilos.

        1. I meant to say “in the grams, not kilos”.

        2. The 605 kg minimum weight INCLUDES THE DRIVER. So car+driver is 605kg.

          The difference between 605kg and the total weight in the list is ONLY fuel.

          So Button has 2 kilogram more FUEL on board than Rubens.

          1. Yes, you are correct. I took another look at the numbers. Even so, one lap’s worth of fuel is 2.7 kg here, so Button is not even carrying a lap’s worth of fuel more than Rubens. The point remains: the better driver is supposed to outqualify his teammate with this small of a fuel-weight difference. Vettel out-q’d Webber carrying 3 kg more.

            I just read Button’s list of excuses for losing top-3 in Q. The car all of sudden behaved differently in Q3 on new tyres/race load, vibration started appearing, blah, blah, blah, blah … have mercy, man !

            You know, this is why they are running all these laps in P1, P2 and P3, to see how the car behaves under different loads and tyres (new, used). So Button’s excuses are just crap. Every time there is a different excuse: the pressure got to me, I was being conservative, the car misbehaved, and on and on.

            Guys face it. He is a mediocre driver at best. It took him over 100 races to win one and when he won it, half the field crashed in the rain of the Hungaroring. And he won this title here because he had a very significant car advantage, OK ? Once everyone else caught up, he couldn’t win diddly-do ! Oh, and had the RBR had the double diffuser from the beginning, Vettel would be the champion now, no dount about it.

            Brawn, as a team, deserve the WDC. they worked smart and executed well. Button remains an average driver, at best, who lucked out once and won a title. He will be lucky to be 5th next year.

          2. Actually, the RBR has been the faster car over the whole season. Still Button was faster than both RBR drivers AND his team mate.

            He might not be the best driver, but he sure is one of the better ones. At least he’s the best out of the 4 drivers in the fastest cars.

        3. Sorry, so was that a yes you were right, Rubens was lighter? Know that was what you wanted to say, but missed it somewhere – forgive me, it’s a busy thread.

          Oh, and yes, we agree that Hamilton IS the fastest man out there. And unless Ferrari have a crystal ball, or the plans to the MP24, will continue to be so. But then…. it does come down to the car.

          1. Lewis **should** win easily tomorrow. But strange things happen sometimes in F1.

    2. Where you listening at the end? Buttons breaks where broken, this made the car vibrate under braking, what a poor flimsy drive to come a tenth behind your teamate in a car which vibrates when you should be making time.

      1. There’s always an excuse when Button loses, right ? What were the excuses for every other Q (and race) in the 2nd half of the season that Rubens beat him, when he finally had an equal car ?

        1. Rubens had an equal car all season. It suited Button before Silverstone and Barrichello after. If your making paranoid statements like that then you’ve clearly got a bias.

          Also I wasn’t making excuses for the other failures, infact I got very anoyed with Button for the amount he tightened up in qualifiying. Finally there haven’t really been physical excuses for losing to Barrichello a lot of the time and none have been made, this time there was. All I’m saying was this was a fairly decent performance from Button in a car that had a problem.

          you melon.

          1. No, they didnt had the same car all season. Rubens had different brakes wich made him run without the tire covers wich made the balance of the car different. Everybody knows that already. They changed his brakes after silverstone and from then on he has the same brakes as button.

          2. Yes they did. If they where on different brakes Rubens would have complained about an unfair advantage to Button and would have had every right.

            BOTH cars changed brakes at Silverstone.

            Buttons braking style means a gradual increasing of preassure, whearas Rubens perfers more imediate breaking. However Button eventualy applies more preasure than Rubens. Before Silverstone the material which both cars where using came up to operating tempreture slower suiting Button and the Cars set up.

            After both cars where set up to suit the cars upgrades and a new faster heating set of brakes where used suiting Rubens and the new car set up.

          3. Good point on the brakes Scribe, I was not aware of that one.

            But what all this with the Button bashing everyone!! Give him a break, he’s our new WDC!!

    3. Tazio is no longer with us

  16. Lewis taking pole is great for HAM fans like me but it’s nt good news for the race as he will dominate – and people will be flooding the live blog complaining the new track as being processional…

    1. Just because the leader may drive round making it look easy doesn’t mean the rest of the field will follow round in procession.

  17. Should be interesting wat tthe RBR’s can do wid 2 laps more than HAM, is Vettel gonna fly??

    1. RBR can do nothing about Lewis’s speed here. He said after Q that they should have put more fuel in his car, given the speed advantage. He should be able to separate from Vettel at a rate of at least half a second per lap (that’s how much KERS is worth in S2 alone), so after 18 laps he should be ahead by at least 10 seconds. That should do it right there. But I think he will have an even bigger margin, perhaps in the 15 sec range. Vettel should grab 2nd and somehow I think Rubens will steal 3rd.

      1. I agree, Hamilton is going to win this in a boring way and unless the difference in traction on the even side of the grid is significant, I think only reliability issues can keep Vettel and Webber from finishing in their starting positions.

        I’m mainly curious to what the one stoppers will be able to achieve, especially mad Kobayashi. :)

        1. Thing is even if it does make a big difference all that will happen is Webber will have a shot at Vettle and Button will get a shot at Barrichello.

  18. Whose Kimi Raikkonn? :P
    Wow F1fan you really don’t like Button? :P

    1. I don’t like him as a driver. I think as a person he is a good fellow, indeed. And the reason I don’t like him as a driver is that … he is not a good driver. And the facts are all there to back up that opinion, over the years.

      1. repudiation = 2004.

        if you know what your talking about there where lots of signs showing Button to be a pretty damn good driver, if sensitive.

        Driver of the year in 2004 and Ross Brawn rated him in 2008. So hush. Your opinion counts for a lot less than the opinions of Martin Brundle, David Coulthard and Ross Brawn.

        1. All british…

          Besides, it would look fairly bad if no one said the WDC was a good driver…

          Finally, even if I don’t go so far saying is not a good driver, I hold my opinion that he’s not WDC material… He’ll go down in history as one of the worst WDC, at least the worst in 10 years, and I would sincerely be surprised if he did anything remarkable next year, or any other, tbh.

          Not bashing Button, but everyone ranks the drivers, and he doesn’t rank quite high on my list. I rank Rosberg high and maybe someone else doesn’t. You Button fans need to stop taking it so personal whenever Button’s criticized…

          Best regards.

          1. Niki Lauda rates him, but I take your point.
            DC and MB are Brit Pundits so discounting them Brawn is a team leader, I would be suprised if he let nationality get in the way of how high he rates a driver.

            I am British but I am more of a Mclaren fan than a fan of any driver. I wouldn’t want Button at McLaren but if I was a team with a winning car then I’d sign Button given the chance.

          2. I find it strange that you consider Jenson as the worst WDC.

            Do you find last years champion Lewis one of the worst because he scraped in by one point passing an ailing Toyota on the wrong tyres at the last race, Being gifted at least 20 points by Ferrari due to the engine/pit error blunders? Crashing into parked cars in the pitlane? No.

            JB is as good a world champion as any of them IMO:

            He has won the most races (more than LH did last year)
            He has driven his car consistantly to its maximum
            He has, except Spa, consistently scored points when not winning
            He hasn’t crashed out due to erratic driving (take note LH)
            He has beaten everybody else so far when it matters, either winning or scoring points.
            He does not make silly mistakes when it matters i.e. in the race!

            He’s driven better then everyone else overall this season and fully deserves his championship win.

            And i don’t understand why you think he’s a bad driver either, He’s fast, Consistent, Experienced and Error free what more do you need?

            I think the way he drives is very smooth and very technical and is gentle on the car. However his setup requires a specific setup and the car needs to be 90-100% in order for him to get a good laptime out of it,

            He’s not so brillaint in bad cars compared to say Alonso for example, but lethal when the car, balance and setup is right, Vettel Barrichello and Webber simply couldn’t live with JB’s pace and consistency at the 1st half of this year, they had shopping lists of excuses.

            All in all i don’t understand why people say hes a bad driver etc, but your entitled to your opinion. :-)

          3. But come on. jenson won races when no other cars could match him. This is a fact. And all the past champion had to fight for victory with other drivers that CAN win races too from the 1st race.

      2. And the reason I don’t like him as a driver is that … he is not a good driver.

        You must love Lewis and Fernando! ;)

        1. And all the past champion had to fight for victory with other drivers that CAN win races too from the 1st race.

          I’m sorry, I take it you missed the years that Schumacher had a car advantage in his Ferrari such that the only other person who could have challenged him was his team mate who wasn’t allowed to. Was he an unworthy champion as well then???

  19. If Hamilton doesn’t win tomorow I’d be surprised. And if he’s not leading at the end of the first lap I’d be extremely surprised.

    But if people keep on insisting that Mark Webber is better than Sebastian Vettel even though Seb has just outqualified him with more fuel yet again- then I’d not be surprised at all.

    1. Ned if it wasn’t for the Ferrari issue I think we would pretty much agree on a huge amount. I think everything you said there was dead right

  20. Kimi….c’mon….time to show Ferrari they’ve made the biggest mistake

    1. He will show them next season when Hamilton and Kimi will clean Ferrari’s clock.

  21. Looks like Renault are getting some early full-tank testing in for next year.

    Is there a clean side and dusty side of the grid here? If so, it could give Webbo and Button a chance in what should be some race for 2nd.

  22. There are only two men that likes Herman Tilke.. Bernie Ecclescake and Lewis Hamilton.

    Great pole :)

  23. I fancy Alonso & Kovalainen for some points here. The short run off areas and slippery track are a recipe for spins with safety cars, so the heavy guys might just benefit.

    1. Only if Kovies gear box gremlins dont result in a grid penalty.

  24. Kov is set to receive a five-place grid penalty for gearbox change

    1. damn.
      poor guy
      lets hpe he Kerses and Kerses well.

  25. Hope Kobayashi scores.

    1. I get so tired of this Kobayashi infatuation. The kamikaze pulls some ridiculous defensive stunts against other cars while driving like a mobile chicane and all of a sudden he gets superhero status.

      Go watch bumpercars!

      1. yeah because it’s entertaining! with so little overtaking, Kobayashi is the next best thing.

        1. Yeah, let’s have everybody ram opponents off to prevent themselves be overtaken. We will have no overtaking anymor at all, but at least the bumpercar fans have their fun.

  26. The fuel weights above are based on Williams’ estimate of 2.699kg/lap fuel consumption. However as this is the first race at Abu Dhabi they could prove less reliable than usual.

    I think keith your figures are accurate enough to understand how many laps advantage /disadvantage drivers have. So +-10% it will not represent any significant variation.

    1. I think so. As ever, there’ll be variation in fuel use between the cars as well which is difficult to model. But here’s the great thing: next year it won’t matter because we won’t have refuelling!

  27. Grosjean to stop at lap 38?? Will tyres last that long or is he urged to crash? :P

  28. BBC site adjusted the fuel and suggested that Lewis take the pole today with a massive margin of 0.5 second to Vettel, the biggest gap this year:

    1 Lewis Hamilton (lap 17)
    2 Sebastian Vettel +0.496secs (lap 19)
    3 Mark Webber +0.721 (lap 18)
    4 Jarno Trulli +0.854 (lap 18)
    5 Rubens Barrichello +0.971 (lap 16)
    6 Jenson Button +1.001 (lap 17)
    7 Nick Heidfeld +1.186 (lap 19)
    8 Robert Kubica +1.196 (lap 15)
    9 Nico Rosberg +1.388 (lap 19)
    10 Sebastien Buemi +1.651 (lap 18)

    Very impressive team´s and driver´s job!

  29. speaking of ridiculous driving, did anyone pick on mark webbers defending against kimi in brazil?

    was very dangerous and similar to what Kobayashi did to nakajima. Seemed to get lost in the confusion of the start. It wrecked a very good result for kimi and possibly changed the outcome of the world championship?

    any thoughts??

    1. I think maybe it was brought up in drivers meeting but more focus was on Nakajima and Kobayashi and what happened there.

      1. i think webbers move was just as bad, he did the same in germany and got a drive through!

        Stewarding needs sorting asap, for a sport so rich its ridiculous, look how it can change the outcome of championships.

        1. Webber said that Kimi would have done the same thing to him when somebody brought his move up. We all know about Webber’s aggressive chops and slices, he should have been whacked upside the head for what he did to Kimi in Brazil. Great that Button stole his thunder…

    2. theo – Webber’s defending on Raikkonen was entirely consistent with driving we have seen before that has gone unpunished. More on the subject here: Kobayashi and Sutil spark complaints over driving standards after crashes

  30. Yeah, I think Lewis has been on fire all weekend. Barring any mechanical mishap or ill timed safety car he’s got this one in the bag.

    Interesting how everyone in the top 10 is 2 stopping, and everyone else is 1 stopping though.

    Kubica’s got his work cut out tomorrow.

  31. KOV is sadly behind that mad KOB. Lets hope KOB appreciates KERS than blocking a much faster accelarating vehicle.

  32. Raikkonen will get in to 7th place by using KERS at the start. He will then do a bit of skillful overtaking on the first few laps using KERS getting him into 5th. With the 10 laps extra fuel he will manage to jump 4th, 3rd and 2nd, into 2nd place, after first round of pits. Then 1st place will be on a two-stopper and when the race leader pits he will go into 1st place and it will be a easy finish for him.

    He will win his last race at Ferrari and move to McLaren.

    1. Good luck with that prediction :)

      1. yeah, good luck with that… I’m guessing you put Kimi for winner in the predictions

    2. YES.

      1. I disagree

        1. And stop SHOUTING

      2. Yes, I disagree. It would great to see for sure and it is not impossible but quite improbable.

    3. Anything can happen in Formula 1… And it usually does! :)

      1. for sure

    4. Jelle van der Meer
      1st November 2009, 6:30

      What could possibly be wrong with your prediction, let see:
      * Raikonnen being 30kg heavier = 1 second per lap for atleast the first 20 laps.
      * Raikonnen with extra wheight and 1st corner up quickly will not gain 4 places just at the start
      * Stuck at midfield cost any driver easily another 0,5 second per lap
      * Based on sum of best sector times so far, Mclaren is 1st and Ferrari 8th with a full second difference
      * Raikonnen best lap all weekend was 1.40,726 in Q2 with Hamilton carring 18 laps of fuel did 1.40,948

      So excluding safety cars and mechnical failure there is no way Raikonnen is gonna be anywhere near the podium.

      1. With Kobybashi on track and that insane pit lane exit, you can be assured of 2 things: 1. Safety Car 2. Kimi soaked in champagne.

        Ferrari were horribly foxed by the tyres. Chris Dyer said that they were clueless and were still trying to find out which tyre was best during Q1 and Q2! Kimi’s fule load, his position on the clean side of the track and his KERS should allow him to make up at least 4 places on the start, jump another 2 places during the pitstops and if there’s a SC, he will win the race.

  33. I think Mark Webber can catch Vettel and Lewis, to take your third victory in 2009!

    1. While I would love to see that, I don’t think it will happen. Pretty sure Hamilton will have this one sewn up. But, for what it’s worth, go Webber !

  34. What colour is the sky in your world, Don?

  35. Keith,

    I had a look at this too and tried to factor in some fuel-corrected times. Seems like a few people have had a guess at the figure but aren’t keen to reveal it. Is the lack of a definitive figure the reason why you haven’t mentioned any fuel-corrected lap times?

    (The post I am referring to is here, BTW…)

    1. No, I never bother with ‘fuel-corrected’ stuff because I find it a bit spurious.

      1. That’s a shame, because I think a lot of people do like to know, even if it’s just theoretical. I find it is the most read category on my blog…

        However, I can’t say I’m unhappy that I won’t have to spend my Saturday nights pouring over websites and spreadsheets in order to make the calculations anymore ;)

  36. I really hope Nakajima scores. Many worse drivers have landed in better cars and scored a few points in their careers.

    Kovalainen could be dangerous from the back. He will be mowing down people on the two straights with KERS, and he’ll leap frog a heap with his one stop. Wait, is that someone again pointing out that Kovalainen has a great car and potential winning strategy—hours before he just fades backward? Please, Kovy, get it done this time. Please.

    I’m kind of afraid for Hamilton. Having just lost his crown he will be out to make a devastating statement that he is still the best driver on the grid. He looks likely to completely show-up Button. But he may push it too hard and end up in a wall or lose a wing on a backmarker.

    1. I don’t see anything but good vibes coming from Lewis towards Button/Brawn. He’s really in no position to ‘show up’ Button anyway having just lost the title to him.
      What Lewis does want is to race and win. That’s it…

  37. I think something that nobody has mentioned is the advantage that Messer Herman Tilke gave to the KERS cars
    A 1.2Km straight that is nearly 4 cars wide and all the cars top out their top speed on the straight
    the KERS cars (if they are in range) should be able to pass at least one car each lap on that straight which means that even though Kovi is starting 13th he should be able to pass (theoretically) 55 cars by the end of the race

    according to this the result should be Ham,Rai, Kov, Fisi then the Redbulls, Brawns BMW Toyotas Williams Toro Rosso and Renault/Force India

    1. Love your optimism.

  38. Lewis winning it with Brawns & Red Bulls fighting for the podium.Kimi with a heavy car with KERS can be in the points.Buemi can be in the points.Surprised with Kubica lap may have made a mistake he is a long way down.

  39. I am here at the race and Lewis is visibly quicker! The boy is on it and unless he has a problem with his car he will win this race comfortably

    1. if Lewis does have a problem and doesn’t score and kimi gets a few points, then Ferrari will beat Mclaren in both championships.

  40. Putting my money on Vettel!! Lewis should have KERS adv to pull away in the first lap, but RBR handles like its floatin on water compared to ‘whatever’steer Macca is experiencing. Good for quali,but for the race I think/hope RBR catches him and gives a lesson on driving.
    Loved Seabass commenting ‘this kers button on my steering wheel doesnt work’ LOL.. waiting for 2010 when this KERS crap won’t be there…

    1. dont you remember horner saying that the rb5 is a dog in turbulence!

      even if vettel passes lewis in the pits im sure lewis is be able to put a pass on vettel on the track

  41. rbr need Webber in front of Hamilton. They need someone to race him and try a pass despite the aero + kers difficulties and Webber has been better at that all season. Webber was shading Vetel and beating Hamilton in sector 3 and that might be where he could have a go in the slow stuff, funny how rbr have improved so much there when everyone has them only on top in the high speed corners.

  42. Someone said that Button will not have an extra-lap on Rubens because he is only 2 kilos heavier, and lap takes 2,7 kilos. Now that’s not true, maybe Barrichello is fueled for 17 laps plus 0,7 kilos, and Button is fueled for 18 laps.

  43. im surprised with Kubica’s fuel load, he had no practice at night. It will be a hard race for him due to the combination of light fuel load and low top speed.

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