Trulli in strong position to beat Fisichella (Belgian Grand Prix fuel and strategy)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jarno Trulli's heavier fuel load should work to his advantage
Jarno Trulli's heavier fuel load should work to his advantage

Giancarlo Fisichella’s light fuel load could leave him vulnerable to attack from Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld in tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Trulli is carrying 8.6kg more fuel than his fellow Italian who he shares the front row of the grid with. Here’s the fuel weight in full and a look ahead to tomorrow’s race:

Grid Name Weight Fuel (kg) First stint (laps)
1 Giancarlo Fisichella 648 43 12
2 Jarno Trulli 656.6 51.6 15
3 Nick Heidfeld 655 50 14
4 Rubens Barrichello 644.5 39.5 11
5 Robert Kubica 649 44 12
6 Kimi Raikkonen 655 50 14
7 Timo Glock 648.5 43.5 12
8 Sebastian Vettel 662.5 57.5 17
9 Mark Webber 658 53 15
10 Nico Rosberg 670 65 19
11 Adrian Sutil 678.5 73.5 22
12 Lewis Hamilton 693.5 88.5 27
13 Fernando Alonso 684.4 79.4 24
14 Jenson Button 694.2 89.2 27
15 Heikki Kovalainen 697 92 28
16 Sebastien Buemi 685 80 24
17 Jaime Alguersuari 704.5 99.5 30
18 Kazuki Nakajima 706.1 101.1 31
19 Romain Grosjean 704.7 99.7 30
20 Luca Badoer 691.5 86.5 26

The Red Bulls also stand to gain positions as they are fuelled at least as heavily as all of the cars in front of them.

However Timo Glock will be ruing qualifying five places behind team mate Trulli despite carrying considerably less fuel.

Trulli looks like Toyota’s best hope of finally winning a Grand prix. The prospect could hardly come at a better time – the company’s budget for 2010 will not be decided on until November and there are fears its parent company could pull them out of F1.

Jenson Button, who starts a dismal 14th, is running a long first stint in the hope it will help him gain places on his championship rivals.

The start

The short run to the La Source hairpin has caused plenty of trouble for drivers in the past. So how will the start unfold this year?

Fisichella will start from the right-hand side of the grid – i.e. with the inside line for the first corner. The racing line cuts diagonally across the grid and so the ‘clean side/dirty side’ effort is not especially pronounced here.

Inevitably these days you look for the KERS-powered cars to make the biggest moves at the start, and once again these are the Ferraris and McLarens.

In the last four races Kimi Raikkonen has gained at least two places at the start and at the Circuit de Catalunya he made up six. Getting into the lead from sixth on the grid will be a bit of a stretch, but with the long straight towards Les Combes to use it’s definitely possible.

Further back the two McLarens have a lot of places to make up from 12th and 15th. Jenson Button will be hoping Lewis Hamilton can get in among the Red Bulls – but he’s probably already resigned himself to losing a place to Heikki Kovalainen at the start.

How do you think the Belgian Grand Prix will unfold? Have your say in the comments.

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