Alonso very light and Button heavy with fuel (Hungarian Grand Prix fuel loads)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso will make his first pit stop very early in tomorrow's race
Fernando Alonso will make his first pit stop very early in tomorrow's race

Fernando Alonso used a very light fuel load to take pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Behind him, both the Red Bulls are at least 14kg heavier and Brawn’s Jenson Button has 27kg more than the Renault driver. Here are the fuel loads in full:

Grid Qualifying Name Weight Fuel (kg) First stint (laps)
1 1 Fernando Alonso 637.5 32.5 13
2 2 Sebastian Vettel 655 50 22
3 3 Mark Webber 652 47 20
4 4 Lewis Hamilton 650.5 45.5 19
5 5 Nico Rosberg 654 49 21
6 6 Heikki Kovalainen 655.5 50.5 22
7 7 Kimi Raikkonen 651.5 46.5 20
8 8 Jenson Button 664.5 59.5 26
9 9 Kazuki Nakajima 658 53 23
10 11 Sebastien Buemi 671.5 66.5 29
11 12 Jarno Trulli 671.3 66.3 29
12 13 Rubens Barrichello 689 84 37
13 14 Timo Glock 679.2 74.2 33
14 15 Nelson Piquet Jnr 667.7 62.7 27
15 16 Nick Heidfeld 658 53 23
16 17 Giancarlo Fisichella 680.5 75.5 33
17 18 Adrian Sutil 683.5 78.5 35
18 19 Robert Kubica 666 61 27
19 20 Jaime Alguersuari 675.5 70.5 31

Other strategies to note:

  • Lewis Hamilton is on a realistic strategy with almost as much fuel as the Red Bulls
  • But Heikki Kovalainen is fuelled to go a few laps further and could jump his team mate at the first round of pit stops if he can stay close
  • Rubens Barrichello, starting outside the top ten, is very heavy

Read more

56 comments on “Alonso very light and Button heavy with fuel (Hungarian Grand Prix fuel loads)”

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  1. No wonder Alonso said he doesn’t think he will win here. What is the point of having so little fuel when he will most probably end up in traffic after his pit-stop.

    1. And no wonder he told Eddie Jordan beforehand that he was sure he’d be on pole!

  2. Shagrathian
    25th July 2009, 18:43

    First of all, i hope a clean start. Then, i think Alonso and Hamilton are gonna fight for the podium.

    1. Not like the GP2 one then – bit of a shambles!

  3. Really sad. Why does Alonso pull this nonsense? Who is he trying to fool?

    He tried this stunt 3 or 4 times already and every time it ended in misery.

    Why not just start 5th or 6th with a proper fuel load?

    1. If Hamilton is second off the line with his KERS boost, and holds up those behind, Alonso might build enough of a lead to make the low fuel strategy work. And you never know about safety cars… Alonso takes risks, that’s what he does, and sometimes like in Singapore last year, they pay off!

      1. Alonso took a risk in Singapore? Piquet slammed into the wall handing Alonso a free pitstop by bringing out the safety car.

        Anyway, the safety car rules are completely different now.

    2. if the renault has found some pace with their upgrades (look at alonso’s Q2 timings) then i think their strategy might not be too bad.

      1. If Alonso stops on lap 13 and gets stuck behind Buemi, Trulli or Button then he might end up even lower than if he simply started where he normalyy ought to have.

        1. Thats why it pays to start in front, when he has fuel in his car he will simply wait for the cars ahead to pit, and of course, his lap times will not surfer too much as he is heavily fueled. Starting from 6th or 7th position, wont help his cause as the cars ahead are very fast.

          1. Like I said, he tried this “brilliant” strategy several times already. It failed horribly each time.

            If he stops that early he will be MORE likely to end up stuck behind a slow and fully fueled midfielder. That would completely ruin his three stop strategy.

            The only way I see this work is doing a fast short stint on an unfavorable tyre and then a long middle stint and longish last stint. That would help not being held up for the middle bit.

            Still, Alonso only had the pace for 7th spot so I guess it doesn’t hurt to gamble. I just think it’s a lame way to end up on pole.

  4. StrFerrari4Ever
    25th July 2009, 18:50

    I was optimistic but skeptical about Renault I had a feeling they had done what they did in China and they have which is rather sad because I was expecting Alonso uptop challenging. Red Bull still have the advantage but Mclaren are getting closer and this could be a worry for the Bull’s. Rosberg seems fast whether tommorow he can sustain his pace he could ruin a few people’s races and Jenson if his not careful might get jumped by Kazuki and possibly Buemi if he gets an astounding start. The conclusion i’ve come to is if Red Bull are ahead of Mclaren’s after first lap then they could go on to a 1-2 and there’s a high possibility of Button not finishing in the points.

  5. I agree with Patrickl – It could have something to do with ING sponsoring the race as well as the Renault team. I think this will backfire and he will probably finish behind Button for minor points. This should be a fight between Red Bull and Mclaren.

  6. Kimi was really on a hot lap but it was all messed up by them again

    1. Last GP Alonso did have the fastes laptimes. If he can do the same here I hope it will work.

  7. So that’s why Alonso was so confident earlier about being on pole (according to Eddie Jordan).
    Might be a smart move if he can stay ahead of the McLarens, and they hold the Red Bulls up.
    I’ll be keeping an eye on Rubens too.

  8. Why are people commenting that Hamilton will hold up traffic behind if he gets his KERS boost? Since Prac 1 on Friday morning to Q3 today Mclaren have genuine pace!!

    1. No. Webber was doing only race simulations and Hamilton did quali stints. In the longer stints Hamilton was actually about half a second off of Webbers pace.

    2. Well let me rephrase that. Obviously Hamilton has good pace, but he was slower than the Red Bulls. So he might hold them up.

  9. I think maybe Renault is hoping for same situation as Singapore last year. At same time Pitstop for Alonso and crash for Piquet = saftey car which will help Alonso. Otherwise i don’t find much sense in there strategy. It is something like Glock qulaifying 2nd in boring, dry Bahrain and he finished outside points.
    And looks like Hungry is also most probably going to be very similar.

    1. Safety car rules are different now.

  10. My 3 favourite drivers in the top 4. Brawns down in 8th and 12th. A Toro Rosso in the top 10. I couldn’t ask for anymore.

    Button is heavy but not that much more than Vettel. I hope Vettel doesn’t get held up by Alonso and Hamilton but it probably will happen

    1. StrFerrari4Ever
      25th July 2009, 19:32

      Yeah I agree with you I hope Seb doesn’t get held up by either of them because we’ve seen in the turbulent air the RB5 tends to struggle so if he can get first place he’ll streak off and be on his way to victory. Webber has to give it his all to get into second to maximize on the Brawn’s issues Button heaviest in Q3 but just a few laps more than Red Bull which shows that Brawn are possibly moving backwards Jenson could get mugged by Kazuki & Buemi. Buemi congragulations in 10th due to Felipe’s accident I think this will be the first time in the dry we see his wheel to wheel racing hopefully he can get into the points.

  11. Why is Hamilton strategy unrealistic? You don’t think he can go toe to toe with the Red Bulls and you thought some kind of Ferrari like strategy to do some overtaking on the pit stop would be better?… I think not!

    By the way – I read here somewhere a guy wondering that it could be Schumacher to take Massa’s place… That gave me a couple of minutes of laughs… LOL. Team have reserve drivers names written on a little list and delivered to Race Control or FIA… Is that news ?!?! DAH!

    1. Why is Hamilton strategy unrealistic?

      I said the opposite!

  12. So who is going to be racing for Ferrari in place of Massa?

    1. No one

  13. Once again, Webber has failed when it counted. He had been faster than Vettel throughout the P sessions, faster in Q1 and Q2, and of course in Q3, when it really counted, he again made the mistake. We now know he also was lighter than Vettel (just like at Silverstone, where he again was beaten to pole). That’s why I keep saying he is a mediocre driver and more often a liability than an asset, And the numbers in his career are there to prove it.

    And I will say again that there was only one thing he could possibly screw at the Ring, the start, and he almost did it, in fact he did it (not almost) by hitting Rubens (and then also making contact w/ Lewis). He was just lucky that he didn’t suffer a DNF in the first lap (which has been the case with him too often).

    1. completely agree. i don’t remember P1-P3 drivers moaning last year about who was behind them on the grid – webber moans when he’s at the back, at the front, if there are younger drivers, and so on…

      i can’t stand the guy! total hypocrite.

      1. Webber is one of the better qualifiers (not in the same league as Trulli, or Vettel, but better than most), but he’s definitely one of the worst at starting off the grid.

        So in that sense, moaning does have a certain amount of sense — if you tend to fall asleep at the start, you tend to get hit from behind, so when coupled with drivers who are known to be a bit reckless at the start, it’s a recipe for disaster.

        But yes, after Germany, when Webber himself was rather reckless off the start, he certainly cannot criticize others on safety grounds without being hypocritical.

  14. Things aren’t as bad as they look for Button. He only did one flying lap when the tyres were quicker on the second flying lap. Also, the lap he did do was scruffy by his own admission. This means the Brawn is quicker than it looks, and fuel-corrected Button is (even with a poor lap) only one-tenth off Kovalainen and 2-tenths of Hamilton.

    This means that if Hamilton can get ahead of the Red Bulls, Button should be able to stay within a reasonable distance, and with at least 5 laps more fuel then everyone in front of him, he has a decent chance.

  15. What surprises me is how Ferrari have such bad performance in Q3. Previous race too. They (or in this case Raikkonen) lose 2 seconds compared to Q2 where other drivers lose only about a second.

    Is it that they are saving tyres for the race? Or that they need all their fresh tyres to get into Q3 to begin with? What?

    1. StrFerrari4Ever
      25th July 2009, 20:20

      Looking at Kimi’s lap when he made that mistake it cost him time and he could’ve been slightly higher but I think they tend to try to save tyres for the race so will be interesting to see the Ferrari’s pace. Kimi could hold up Jenson which would make a train and help the Red Bull’s get further ahead leave Jenson open to attacks from cars behind him. Can’t wait :D

  16. Webber seemed a bit unhappy in the press conference being beind vettel but I cant see why because he is on the clean side of the track and at the Hungaroring the dirty side is known to be very dirty.

    Thats why i dont think Hamilton will get such a storming start with his KERS as he is also on the dirty side and i dont think that the run into the first corner is that long in Hungary(correct me if im wrong)

    Alonso Webber Hamilton top three going into the first corner is my prediction

    1. Zahir,

      KERS is worth about an 18-20 meter advantage here in Budapest. So even though Lewis starts from the dirty side of the track, which as you correctly mentioned does offer a disadvantage on this track, he should be able to pass both RBR’s going on the inside (which he has already done this season, I can’t remember in which race though). But even if this happens, in other words w/ Alonso, Hamilton, Webber and Vettel after T-1, I think Vettel still has the advantage since he will be stopping later than the other three. And it is certain that none of them will be able to open a significant gap on Vettel, the RBR is surely the quickest car here, again.

      I think the real intangible in the race will be the Safety Car, i.e. accidents. This track may be slow, but there have always been eventful races here. Under this light, I really think that Rubens may have something to say tomorrow. He is surely 1-stopping, and in case of an SC he will suddenly have a big advantage.

  17. Keith, do you have any news about the mess with the timings at the end of Q3 ?

    Nobody said nothing about it her in Brasil and I found it a quite strange and serious problem. All the timings were gone on TV transmission, on the website…

    and just in the moment the drivers were on their flying laps!

    odd to say the least

  18. keith do you think you could look up driver changes during a race weekend? ie. can someone replace massa?

    1. It has been answered in other threads – only before quallifying or if the stewards give a permission (which has never happend so far).

    2. I wrote about it here:

      Basically they can’t unless the stewards decide it’s ‘force majeure’, which I’m not aware of any precedent for.

  19. What’s with Massa then? is he getting replaced by Gene or something?

  20. Will they leave an empty space on the grid as Massa won’t be racing (if there isn’t a replacement) or does everyone get moved up a place?

    1. Looking at the rules it appears as though everyone gets moved up. See here:

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