Malaysian GP fuel weights and strategies

Here are the starting weight of each car and their projected first stint length. At Sepang the cars use fuel at a rate of approximately 2.38kg 2.64kg per lap (figures revised below accordingly).

Grid Qualifying Name Weight Fuel (kg) First stint (laps)
1 1 Jenson Button 660 55 20
2 2 Jarno Trulli 656.5 51.5 19
3 5 Timo Glock 656.5 51.5 19
4 6 Nico Rosberg 656 51 19
5 7 Mark Webber 656 51 19
6 8 Robert Kubica 663 58 21
7 9 Kimi Raikkonen 662.5 57.5 21
8 4 Rubens Barrichello 664.5 59.5 22
9 10 Fernando Alonso 680.5 75.5 28
10 11 Nick Heidfeld 692 87 32
11 12 Kazuki Nakajima 683.4 78.4 29
12 13 Lewis Hamilton 688 83 31
13 3 Sebastian Vettel 647 42 15
14 14 Heikki Kovalainen 688.9 83 31
15 15 Sebastien Bourdais 670.5 65.5 24
16 16 Felipe Massa 689.5 84.5 32
17 17 Nelson Piquet Jnr 681.9 76.9 29
18 18 Giancarlo Fisichella 680.5 75.5 28
19 19 Adrian Sutil 655.5 50.5 19
20 20 Sebastien Buemi 686.5 81.5 30
Malaysian Grand Prix drivers' first stint projections (click to enlarge)

Malaysian Grand Prix drivers' first stint projections (click to enlarge)

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45 comments on Malaysian GP fuel weights and strategies

  1. Daniel said on 4th April 2009, 14:43

    How can Glock and Trulli both stop and lap 21?

  2. Daniel said on 4th April 2009, 14:44

    How can Glock and Trulli both stop on lap 21?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th April 2009, 14:47

      Presumably they’ll bring one in before the other.

    • I’m beginning to like Toyota more and more; seems like they’re treating both drivers equally (thus we won’t have a he’s-faster-but-he’s heavy speculation like Hamilton vs Kovalainen).

      Though since Trulli is starting ahead, having the same fuel load means that Glock will most likely have to pit first (if he’s still behind Trulli at the time) and thus will lose out on time.

      Rather worrying to see Vettel’s super-low fuel load — I was hoping to see him on the podium! Oh well, let’s see if Barrichello can challenge the Toyotas and Ferraris from his position.

    • matt said on 5th April 2009, 0:38

      “(thus we won’t have a he’s-faster-but-he’s heavy speculation like Hamilton vs Kovalainen)”

      In this session they’re both on the same fuel load, which may be of marginal interest.

  3. Robert McKay said on 4th April 2009, 14:47

    Interesting numbers. A bit different from James Allen’s analysis, which puts Trulli/Rosberg/Glock/Webber pitting on lap 15, with Button one lap longer on 16 and Kubica on 17, and Vettel stopping on lap 11.

  4. Varun Murthy said on 4th April 2009, 14:51

    How long is the race?? hopefully will start pouring immediately after the frontrunners pit..thats going to shake up things

  5. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th April 2009, 14:52

    James Allen is predicting far shorter first stint durations: lap 15 for Rosberg, Trulli, Glock and Webber for example. The data above is based on Williams’ fuel consumption figure of 2.38kg per lap. I’m not sure why there would be such a large discrepancy.

    • Robert McKay said on 4th April 2009, 14:54

      Something to bear in mind for the live blogs tomorrow, lets note the two sets of predictions and see who’s closest. As Harry Hill says…there’s only one way to find out – FIIIIGGGHHTT!!! :-D

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th April 2009, 15:02

      OK Williams’ figure was actually 2.64kg/lap – I’ve updated the data accordingly. But there’s still a discrepancy: If Glock & co. are stopping on lap 15 then they’re apparently using 51.5kg of fuel in 15 laps, a rate of 3.43kg per lap, which is still higher than what Williams quote.

  6. James said on 4th April 2009, 15:14

    Keith you’ve got Nakajima & Heidfeld with different weights, but the same first stints!

  7. epi said on 4th April 2009, 15:18

    The Williams’ website says…
    “To complete a normalised distance of 5km around the Sepang circuit requires 2.38kg of fuel”
    With each lap being 5.543km long, that brings fuel consumption up to 2.64kg per lap.
    Maybe with drivers being more aggresive in the early parts of the race and burning more fuel this would increase for their first stints?

  8. Robert McKay said on 4th April 2009, 15:20

    Also, I think Hamilton has more fuel than your table says, assuming dry weight is 605 kg, his weight of 688 means 83 kg not 63 kg.

  9. Bigbadderboom said on 4th April 2009, 15:30

    Hamilton is same weight as Kovi (typo from Keith) Hamis fuel load is about 83kg. Very strange strategy from vettel, he new he had 10 place penalty, you would think that would make him go long, i see a long day in traffic for him!

    Very suprised how light Sutil is as well.

    Varied figures, this race will take some following as fuel strats will take a while to unwind.

    • He’s probably banking on an early rain shower. Does anyone know if/when Red Bull’s KERS will be ready?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th April 2009, 23:27

      They’ll be using Renault’s KERS, and Renault are already running it, so presumably it’s their choice.

      But Newey tends to design cars that are more marginal on cooling than their rivals, so perhaps they’re concerned about running it reliably?

  10. 159Tom said on 4th April 2009, 15:44

    All the KERS cars are starting with lots of fuel. Apart from Raikkonen, but his KERS battery didn’t appear on TV during qualifying – has he given up on it after it filled his car with smoke?

    Shame, I’d have liked to see someone like Lewis starting light and having an early charge through the field.

    • Prateek said on 4th April 2009, 16:11

      Doesn’t sound likely, but is there any possibility that Ferrari can be allowed remove the KERS system from either of their cars before tomorrow’s race.

      If they don’t intend to use it, then they’ll just suffer from poor weight distribution without 6 seconds per lap of 80hp extra, to compensate.

      Could they cite safety as a concern?

  11. martinb said on 4th April 2009, 16:11

    “Icyballs” Vettel should be weighed with his dry ice as well.

    Anyone notice his funny comment on

    Q: You replaced veteran David Coulthard at Red Bull. Can you guess how many interviews he sat through during his F1 career?

    SV: He was in Formula One for 15 years, so my guess is that it is probably three times the amount of women he had – something around 30,000?
    Incorrect – 55,400 (we’ve no idea about the women!)

  12. pSynrg said on 4th April 2009, 16:36

    Do we actually know for a fact that the dry weight is 605kg (inc driver). Also I thought the KERS runners were about 30kg heavier dry?

    • gabal said on 4th April 2009, 17:02

      Yes, all cars are designed to be under the minimum weight limit – the excess weight is then applied with ballast in order to improve cars balance and handling.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th April 2009, 17:24

      I thought the KERS runners were about 30kg heavier dry?

      KERS does weigh around that much, but even with KERS the teams still use ballast to get the minimum weight – they just use less of it.

  13. Guy said on 4th April 2009, 16:40

    Nakajima should come in on Lap 29 by my reckoning.

  14. DAve said on 4th April 2009, 16:49

    I think the difference in the two predictions is just that James Allen assumes that there will be 4 laps of fuel left in the car when they pit. This seems sensible as it allows room for errors and mistakes. In anycase there is no way that they would run the cars totally dry before a stop, so the above prediction is bound to be a bit high.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th April 2009, 17:22

      That would add up but it’s surprising they would leave four laps worth of fuel in. I mean, some of the drivers are going without dry ice to save a little weight – and it’s painfully hot over there – and some are using special extra-lightweight race suits in qualifying. Given that it’s hard to believe they’re going to drag around an extra 10-plus kilos of fuel for a full stint. One or two laps maybe, but four? How often does a driver miss his pit stop once lap, never mind three laps in a row?

    • Especially now that the ridiculous pit-lane closure rule has been scrapped, there is no need to carry that much extra fuel.

  15. Good qualifying session ! ! !Although; watching Brawn & Toyotas fight at the top is not half as fun; as seeing Ferraris and Mclarens fight.

    BTW; Keith; I hope you read this.

    Of late, Your website has been too too slow; especially on race weekends. I can see why more and more people flock to this website; It is by far the best site for quick and accurate F1 news. I have been regularly posting on this website since last 1.5-2 years; and I don’t remember ever seeing 250-300 comments on just the “predictions” post. But shouldn’t you upgrade your server too to accommodate the rush ?
    I connect to f1fanatic from Chennai, India; from a 100 MBPS broadband connection. Still; It takes atleast 1 FULL MINUTE for the homepage to load on firefox.

    I hope you will do something about this. :) Keep rocking :)


    • Try reading the site through NYU’s Coral CDN. In any case, you’re probably not getting the full 100 Mbps when accessing sites outside India (or even outside Chennai). Most ISPs are very optimistic when quoting their bandwith.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 4th April 2009, 21:07

      Thanks sumedh – I understand some people are having these problems, I’m struggling to replicate them myself though.

      Any information you can supply me with would be useful, and that goes for anyone who’s having trouble seeing the site any time:

      Contact F1 Fanatic

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