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

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

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  1. Giant21 said on 29th August 2009, 17:13

    This just gets weirder… I thought Barrichello would be the heaviest (Brawn is really having trouble this weekend). Good race for Trulli and for Vettel, if he can pass Glock and Raikkonen before the first round of pits…

    • Ronman said on 29th August 2009, 18:36

      My thoughts exactly, that Bar would be the last to pit of the top 5. now that we see it, Rosberg, Trulli, Raikonen are the ones that will have the upper hand, but if rain strikes, Hami, Button, and Alonso would do well granted they pick the right strategy.

  2. LC Coelho said on 29th August 2009, 17:14

    WOW!!!
    RB is the lightest in the grid, and take a look at button!
    Another big change in what we must consider strong. No Brawns, no Red Bulls, no Mclarens….
    Very weird…

    I’ll hope it’ll rain!
    Cheers

    • No Brawns, no Red Bulls, no Mclarens….

      Vettel has good possibilities. Fuel corrected he was 2nd, Trulli 1st.

      Tomorrow we will have an amazing 1st stint!

  3. mp4-19b said on 29th August 2009, 17:15

    Rubens Barrichello 644.5kg 39.5kg 11 lap

    ***?? so light??

    not too bad for fisi though :)

    even kimi is light, i thought he would be carrying atleast 20 laps worth fuel.

    hamilton is in 12th & carrying a petroleum refinery, if he can jump four places i.e to 8th ahead of vettel, he’ll definitely end up winning this race.

  4. SaloolaS said on 29th August 2009, 17:15

    30 laps? that’s 66% of the race!

  5. SaloolaS said on 29th August 2009, 17:16

    30 laps? that’s 66% of the race! some really are hoping for rain and safety cars, to make it a no pit stop race (Grosjean, Alguersuari)

  6. Shagrathian (@shagrathian) said on 29th August 2009, 17:16

    I’ll go for Kimi.

  7. sumedh said on 29th August 2009, 17:16

    Fisichella looks good for podium, not a totally unrealistic strategy by Force India.

    Trulli looks very good for the win though :-)

  8. mp4-19b said on 29th August 2009, 17:17

    Rubens Barrichello 644.5kg 39.5kg 11 lap

    what the hell?? so light??

    not too bad for fisi though :)

    even kimi is light, i thought he would be carrying atleast 20 laps worth fuel.

    hamilton is in 12th & carrying a petroleum refinery, if he can jump four places i.e to 8th ahead of vettel, he’ll definitely end up winning this race.

    • After the KERS start I doubt he’ll be able to keep up with the faster and lighter cars in front, they’ll just build a huge gap in no time.

      Trulli is looking very good for the win and it would be very nice for Toyota who are rumoured to consider dropping out. Raikonnen is likely to be very strong during the race here again and I think Vettel might be able to pull something off, his car is much heavier than those directly in front.

    • adz2193 said on 29th August 2009, 18:13

      Its not that bad considering this is only a 44 lap race… that’s 25%

  9. I really don’t think that Fisichella will be playing for P1. Force India must be aware of this and they will look to score few points instead of doing something fancy.

    • Ned Flanders said on 29th August 2009, 18:22

      It may be unlikely that Fisi will win… but everyone said the same thing about Vettel at Monza last year, and we all know what happened that day.

      I reckon Raikkonen has a great chance tomorrow, but the man I really want to win is Nick Heidfeld. He may not quite be top draw, but he’s definitely underrated, and he’s waited long enough now. So go Quick Nick!

      • Wesley said on 29th August 2009, 23:17

        hear….hear !!

        GO NICK!!!!

        But,my bet is on the Iceman for the win.He is in good condition and ready to pounce.He is strong at this track.

  10. Fer no.65 said on 29th August 2009, 17:20

    As an old Fisi fan IM SHOCKED!

    But i also think the strategy, even if it’s an aggressive one, it’s realistic!. The car was fast all weekend, if they can keep it up, it’ll be very interesting!

    Let’s not forget Trulli is not what we call “a fast driver” on sundays!

    • Ned Flanders said on 29th August 2009, 18:06

      Exactly… on paper Trulli may be the favourite to win, but how often does he improve on his grid position when it really matters?

  11. Giant21 said on 29th August 2009, 17:22

    Fisi should drive for Ferrari in Monza, a great way to end a career…

    • Random Chimp said on 29th August 2009, 18:29

      The way things are going at the moment, the Force Indias might actually be quicker cars than the Ferraris at Monza. How very emabarassing it could turn out to be for Ferrari if the replacement for Fisi at Force India beats Fisi when he’s driving a Ferrari.

  12. Rahim said on 29th August 2009, 17:25

    I think Heidfeld will get a better start from top three and then probably Kimi will surprise everyone from behind (i hope he does)….and trulli with a heavier fuel load on third will be fighting with kimi…..hiedfeld and fisi fighting….meanwhile if it rains it will either be trulli or heidfeld for victory and barrichello , fisi or kimi for podium..

  13. Hakka said on 29th August 2009, 17:26

    This is going to be a phenomenal race.

  14. David said on 29th August 2009, 17:29

    I’m surprised of Barrichello very light car.
    For the rest all the firs six/seven cars are really light, if they will not be able to carry a good pace at the beginning they risk to be attacked by the “mid of the group” (I mean Button, Hamilton, Alonso) at the first pit stop round.
    If it rains it will be even more hard.
    I think it is the most uncertain race of the year.

  15. Rahim said on 29th August 2009, 17:30

    i hope kimi performs well, it will bring tears into my eyes if i see him win

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