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Silverstone 2009: Post-Qualifying Car Weights

Silverstone 2009: Post-Qualifying Car Weights

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.

Silverstone 2009
Post-Qualifying Car Weights

Car Weight
Kilograms

Fuel Weight
Kilograms

First Stop
Estimated Lap

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.

Oliver White

3 comments

  • If nothing goes wrong, Vettel will win for sure. He might even lead every lap!

    And Button has 4 cars ahead of him that are heavier. So he can pretty much say goodbye to a home victory unless a miracle happens.

  • Do you know that this is the first I’ve seen of the bottom 10 fuel weights for Silverstone?

    I had no internet connection and it turns out the Kangaroo TV doesn’t give that sort of information. So I had to settle for sticking the top 10 weights (provided by Silverstone TV) into a Fuel Fing and then scribbling the stint lengths onto notepaper. Given the interest shown by other members of Copse E terrace, I get the impression that this information (full fuel weights and maximum stint lengths) needs to have greater circulation trackside – especially since Silverstone TV’s eventual guesses as to stint length were hopeless!

  • Do you know that this is the first I’ve seen of the bottom 10 fuel weights for Silverstone?

    Wow. Pleased to be of service, and genuinely surprised Silverstone TV didn’t show the bottom 10 fuel levels – are they somehow less important in their eyes!?

    I get the impression that this information (full fuel weights and maximum stint lengths) needs to have greater circulation trackside – especially since Silverstone TV’s eventual guesses as to stint length were hopeless!

    Silverstone TV: sort it out! 🙂

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