Hamilton’s light car leaves him vulnerable (Italian GP fuel weights and strategy)

Heikki Kovalainen's Mclaren has 20kg more fuel than the cars in front

Heikki Kovalainen's Mclaren has 20kg more fuel than the cars in front

Adrian Sutil will be able to go one lap longer than Lewis Hamilton at the start of the Italian Grand Prix.

But Heikki Kovalainen could be the man to watch as he’s fuelled to make his pit stop much later than the three drivers in front of him. Here’s the fuel weights in full.

Italian Grand Prix fuel weights and pit stop predictions

Grid Name Weight Fuel (kg) First stint (laps)
1 Lewis Hamilton 653.5 48.5 17
2 Adrian Sutil 655 50 18
3 Kimi Raikkonen 662 57 21
4 Heikki Kovalainen 683 78 29
5 Rubens Barrichello 688.5 83.5 32
6 Jenson Button 687 82 31
7 Vitantonio Liuzzi 679.5 74.5 28
8 Fernando Alonso 677.5 72.5 27
9 Sebastian Vettel 682 77 29
10 Mark Webber 683 78 29
11 Jarno Trulli 703 98 37
12 Romain Grosjean 699.8 94.8 36
13 Robert Kubica 697.5 92.5 35
14 Giancarlo Fisichella 690 85 32
15 Nick Heidfeld 697.5 92.5 35
16 Timo Glock 709.8 104.8 40
17 Kazuki Nakajima 706.2 101.2 39
18 Nico Rosberg 708.6 103.6 40
19 Sebastien Burmi 706 101 39
20 Jaime Alguersuari 706 101 39

The start

First-lap collisions and penalties are highly likely at Monza’s tight first corner.

The new kerbs at the Rettifilio have been lowered, but drivers are still going to want to steer clear of them. Anyone who arrives at the first corner too quickly and cuts it will have to give back any places they’ve gained.

Second on the grid with a pair of KERS cars behind him, Sutil is a sitting duck. There’s little chance of him keeping Kimi Raikkonen and Kovalainen behind at the start. This also means Hamilton’s chances of losing the lead at the start are pretty slim, unless Raikkonen makes a particularly good getaway.

Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean also have KERS at their disposal at the start and lts of non-KERS cars in front of them to pick off. Each could threaten the championship contenders – Alonso the Brawns, and Grosjean the Red Bulls. As at Spa two weeks ago, this could easily get very messy.

Another word on those chicanes – during the GP2 race drivers who cut them three times were automatically given drive-through penalties. We could see more of the same tomorrow, particularly if it rains…

Weather

After qualifying, the clouds arrived and transformed Monza back into the dark, drenched spectacle we remember from last year. The GP2 feature race was delayed for 40 minutes and was started behind the safety car.

The rainfall radar shows a chance of further rain, potentially quite heavy, around 2pm local time tomorrow. We could yet get another wet Italian Grand Prix, made all the more difficult by the fact the F1 cars haven’t had any wet running at the track yet this year.

If the rain arrives we can throw most of our assumptions about the race out the window. A rolling start behind the safety car would help Hamilton keep his lead and guarantee him a clear view of the track ahead. But it might also play into the hands of those with more fuel on on board, who could stop later.

Even without the rain, we’ve got a good chance of an excellent race tomorrow. Who’s your tip for the win?

Italian Grand Prix

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123 comments on Hamilton’s light car leaves him vulnerable (Italian GP fuel weights and strategy)

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  1. Funny ,about six weeks ago Alonso ran light to get pole,an this board whines… now Hammy does it…lots of homers here.

  2. martinb said on 13th September 2009, 16:59

    Italian GP (Monza): Comparing predicted and actual pit stops.

    Grid . . kg . .Pred. Actual . . . . Fin
    .. . . . . . . La. T La T La T La T 53Laps
    01k HAM  48.5  17  s 16 m 34 m 53!  12
    02  SUT  50.0  18  s -- - 18 m 38 - 04
    03k RAI  57.0  21  s -- - 19 s 38 m 03
    04k KOV  78.0  29  m -- - 28 s -- - 06
    05  BAR  83.5  32  m -- - 30 s -- - 01
    06  BUT  82.0  31  s -- - 29 - -- - 02
    07  LIU  74.5  28  s -- - 24r  -- - RET
    08k ALO  72.5  27  s -- - 27 m -- - 05
    09  VET  77.0  29  - -- - 28 s -- - 08
    10  WEB  78.0  29  - 01r  -- - -- - RET
    11  TRU  98.0  37  - -- - 36 - -- - 14
    12k GRO  94.8  36  - -- - 34 - -- - 15
    13  KUB  92.5  35  s 10!m 17r  -- - RET
    14k FIS  85.0  32  s -- - 31 m -- - 09
    15  HEI  92.5  35  - -- - 32 - -- - 07
    16  GLO 104.8  40  - -- - 39 - -- - 11
    17  NAK 101.2  39  - -- - 36 - -- - 10
    18  ROS 103.6  40  m 05!s 17 - 42 - 16
    19  BUE 101.0  39  - -- - 37 - 53!  13
    20  ALG 101.0  39  - -- - 20r  -- - RET

    k = KERS, m = medium tyres, s = soft tyres

    Drivers: Badoer loses Ferrari drive. Fisichella gets Badoer’s seat. Vitantonio Liuzzi gets Fisichella’s seat at Force India.

    Safety car: Last lap. Race finishes under safety car.

    Fine and dry.
    Temp. air: 26 C, track: 39 C
    Wind: 1 m/s

    Order at end of first lap:
    HAM, RAI(+1), SUT(-1), BAR(+1), BUT(+1), LIU(+1), KOV(-3), VET(+1), ALO(-1), KUB(+3), FIS(+3), HEI(+3), TRU(-2), ROS(+4), NAK(+2), GRO(-4), GLO(-1), BUE(+1), ALG(+1), WEB(-10)

    KERS at start:
    HAM(0), RAI(+1), KOV(-3), ALO(-1), FIS(+2), GRO(-5) allowing for Webber. Average -1 place.

    INCIDENTS
    (1)KUB hits WEB, damages wing; WEB pushed off track; GRO contact, damages tyre; (24)LIU stops on track
    (gearbox); (38)SUT hits mechanic on pit stop, knocks off mirror; (49)Toyotas contact, TRU loses places; (53)HAM spins off at Lesmo, S/C deployed

    UNSCHEDULED PIT STOPS
    (5)ROS (body damaged by debris, aerodynamics compromised); (10)KUB (front wing) afer getting black and orange flag; (17)KUB retires (oil leak in gearbox); (20)ALG retires (gearbox); (53)BUE pits

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