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Bahrain 2009: Post-Qualifying Car Weights

Bahrain 2009: Post-Qualifying Car Weights

With qualifying complete the FIA have released the weights of the cars so we can ascertain who did well and who did not during Saturday’s running. We can also take a look and see what the group outside the top-ten are doing with their strategies and providing rain or safety cars do not hamper the race, we can also take a guess as to when the drivers will be making their first stops and also how many stops they may make.

Bahrain 2009
Post-Qualifying Car Weights

Car Weight
Kilograms

1. Italian FlagJarno Trulli Toyota 648.5
2. German FlagTimo Glock Toyota 643
3. German FlagSebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 659
4. British FlagJenson Button Brawn 652.5
5. British FlagLewis Hamilton McLaren 652.5
6. Brazilian FlagRubens Barrichello Brawn 649
7. Spanish FlagFernando Alonso Renault 650.5
8. Brazilian FlagFelipe Massa Ferrari 664.5
9. German FlagNico Rosberg Williams 670.5
10. Finnish FlagKimi Raikkonen Ferrari 671.5
11. Finnish FlagHeikki Kovalainen McLaren 678.5
12. Japanese FlagKazuki Nakajima Williams 680.9
13. Polish FlagRobert Kubica BMW 698.6
14. German FlagNick Heidfeld BMW 696.3
15. Brazilian FlagNelson Piquet Jr. Renault 677.6
16. German FlagAdrian Sutil Force India 679
17. Swiss FlagSebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 678.5
18. Italian FlagGiancarlo Fisichella Force India 652
19. Australian FlagMark Webber Red Bull Racing 656
20. French FlagSebastien Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 667.5

From the above table we can see that Jarno Trulli managed to claim pole position with a heavier a car than his team mate, further emphasising the Italian’s ability to extract the most from his machine over the course of one lap. However, while being heavier will enable Trulli to run longer in the first stint, up to about 2 laps longer, it will mean he may be hampered at getting off the line. This could allow Timo Glock to squeeze into the lead of the race and control the pace from the front.

What is also very interesting is just how much heavier Sebastian Vettel is in comparison with the Brawns. Vettel was carrying 6.5kg more fuel than Jenson Button, but was able to lap the Sakhir circuit 0.026s faster. Further adding to the strangeness of the lap times set with weight being taken into consideration, Button is fuelled heavier than team mate Rubens Barrichello, but the Briton lapped the track almost 0.2s quicker.

The heaviest of the top ten are the two final placed drivers of Nico Rosberg (P9) and Kimi Raikkonen (P10), each carrying around 670kg of fuel. Felipe Massa is clearly scheduled to stop before his team mate, and Kazuki Nakajima will go a few more laps longer in to the first stint than Rosberg as well. By far the heaviest of all though are the two BMWs who look to be doing something strange. Both Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld are carrying around 697kg of fuel, compared to the next heaviest driver of Nakajima who is carrying 680kg.

With Bridgestone once again bringing the super soft compound to the race, it is unlikely that we will see drivers attempting a one stop race as the drivers have to use both types of tyre, and the super soft will simply not last long enough to enable such a strategy. Instead it is likely that the BMW drivers are just going to go very deep into the first stint before making another stop right before the end for the super softs.

As a final mention, Red Bull seem to be adopting a fairly aggressive strategy with Mark Webber, who is trapped towards the back in P18. On a similar strategy to his team mate Sebastian Vettel, it is likely that the team are pinning their hopes on Webber being able to use the superior chassis of the RB5 to push his way up through the field.

Oliver White

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