But will he be able to keep Hamilton behind at the start of the race? Here are the fuel weights in full.
|Grid||Qualifying||Name||Weight||Fuel (kg)||First stint (laps)|
This grid is provisional. For more information on the starting order see here: Japanese Grand Prix grid (updated)
Vettel vs Hamilton
Who prevails between Vettel and Hamilton on the run towards the first corner will be crucial to the outcome of the race.
From third on the grid, Hamilton’s KERS boost should allow him to make short work of Trulli’s Toyota. But will he be able to get past Vettel as well?
The run to the first corner at Suzuka is not one of the longest. And the double right-hand first corner has a short braking zone, making it harder for Hamilton to steal an advantage.
If Hamilton can’t pass Vettel there, he will most likely have to follow the Red Bull until they exit the hairpin. That could give him the chance to use KERS to pass at Spoon, or on the exit from Spoon down towards 130R, or at the start of the following lap.
Keep an eye on both drivers when the tyres warmers come off at the start to see whether either of them has gambled on starting the race on soft tyres for a crucial extra burst of first-lap pace. However the soft tyres could be more prone to graining early in the race before the track has rubbered in – a particular problem for Red Bull this year.
But for Vettel this is everything he could have dreamed of: he’s starting from pole position with the Brawns tenth or worse, and more fuel on board than those closest to him. This gives him a precious opportunity to keep him championship hopes alive.
Japanese Grand Prix