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Turkey GP – How the race will play out
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Turkey GP – How the race will play out
Posted By:   |  06 Jun 2009   |  3:47 pm GMT  |  21 comments

The fuel loads have been published by the FIA and, as expected the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel is a shade lighter than Jenson Button’s Brawn. Vettel will stop on lap 15, two laps before Button.

Button has the tactical advantage for the race because his team will be able to watch what Vettel does at his first stop and will then have around 2 minutes to calculate what strategy to employ for Button at his first stop to give him the best chance of winning the race. Button will have to watch out for Webber, who is on the same strategy as him.
Picture 12

The fastest way to race at Istanbul is to run a two stop strategy with the first stop around lap 20, a slightly longer middle stint and then a shorter final stint, which will probably suit the way the tyres have been working this weekend. The least favoured race tyre, which ought to be the soft, would be the final stint on that basis. Vettel may look at using it for the opening stint, as his is only 15 laps long. It will go off by around six tenths of a second over the 15 lap stint.

The tyre degradation is quite small this weekend on the hard tyre.

Each lap of the 3.33 miles circuit requires an average of 2.6 kilos of fuel. However we have seen that some engines are more thirsty than others. The Ferrari for example, seems to go a couple of laps shorter on a typical two stop fuel load than a Renault engine. So these are guide figures.

Fernando Alonso is the lightest car, he will go only to lap 13, while Sebastien Bourdais is towing a caravan around with him tomorrow – or at least it will feel that way. He’s stopping on lap 34.

Sebastian Vettel – 649.5 kg – Lap 15
Jenson Button – 655.5 kg – Lap 17/18
Rubens Barrichello – 652.5 kg – Lap 16
Mark Webber – 656 kg – Lap 18
Jarno Trulli – 652 kg – Lap 16
Kimi Räikkönen – 658 kg – Lap 17
Felipe Massa – 654 kg – Lap 15
Fernando Alonso – 644.5 kg – Lap 13
Nico Rosberg – 660 kg – Lap 19
Robert Kubica – 664 kg – Lap 20/21
Nick Heidfeld – 681.5 kg – Lap 27
Kazuki Nakajima – 680.4 kg – Lap 26/27
Timo Glock – 689 kg – Lap 30
Heikki Kovalainen – 665 kg – Lap 20/21
Adrian Sutil – 668.5 kg – Lap 22
Lewis Hamilton – 696.5 kg – Lap 32/33
Nelson Piquet – 689.6 kg – Lap 30
Sébastien Buemi – 686.5 kg – Lap 27/28
Giancarlo Fisichella – 688.5 kg – Lap 29
Sébastien Bourdais – 701 kg – Lap 34

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21 Comments
  1. talkingfuture says:

    Looks like Jenson’s in a good position, hopefully we’ll get a good battle between Brawn and Red Bull to keep it interesting before Button wins the race.

  2. Joe Szpara says:

    Kubica did quite well in the Improved F1.09

  3. M__E says:

    Massa was looking like a dark (prancing?) horse, I thought he dropped the ball on his Q3 lap, but he said himslef that it was the race fuel that made the car handle differently compared w/ Q2. But can he nail raikkonen (dirty side slower start) Trulli (non kers) and webber (dirty side AND non kers!) into the first corner, and jump to 4th, then things could get interesting for Ferrari and Massa.

  4. Tom says:

    Anyone any thoughts on how much the respective cars will suffer on the softs tomorrow? It’s fair to say that the Brawn and the Ferrari are far easier on their rubber than the Red Bull and the Toyota, but will the latter two cars really struggle or should they get away with it?

    The track temp is supposed to be pushing 50 degrees tomorrow so Jenson looks well-placed judging by how well he’s known to look after his tyres.

  5. GG says:

    If Kimi and Webber can hang in there they may have a chance of nicking it :-)

  6. Dominic J says:

    Since Ross Brawn said “we are going to lap 17″, I guess we can rule out Button going further, unless Rubens could stretch his fuel load by that extra lap.

    Do you know who has 2 new sets of hard tyres left?

    Also, Massa, with KERS, low fuel and (presumably) soft tyres should be worth watching off the clean side of the grid at the start (last year’s 1st, 3rd and 5th became 1, 2 and 3 at the first turn).

  7. chris says:

    Button is in an immense position tomorrow. I think Vettel has to gamble and start on the option tyre and try and keep button behind him. The option might help him off the line better too. Button should nail this one.
    Don’t see ferrari as much of a threat for the win.

  8. CMR says:

    I hope this turns into a classic race, it has the makings of one. As mentioned already those that look after their tyres the best will make places towards the latter stages.

    Vettel is so fast and starting on the right side of the track, he could make up enough of a gap to keep first place after the first pit stops, but this is a race to the end of the second pit stop, and that is when the best tyre management could work in your favour.

    I don’t see a safety car period,

    my money is on JB after 2nd stop after sun cunning Brawn strategy

  9. pbyrne says:

    Button’s smooth style is playing real dividends in the races this year IMO. With the FIA shenanigans usually dictating that there is a bigger gap between softs and hards Jenson’s ability to preserve tyres is a big advantage. If he has no problems I think he’ll have the beating of Vettel tomorrow.

    Great job by Ferrari in clawing their way back. I don’t think the car was ever as bad as the McLaren or Renault but they’ve done the best job of closing the gap.

    Nobody seems to have noticed but Lewis was beaten fair-and-square by Kovi today. The car looked woeful but I think there is a bit of petulance in his driving and comments this weekend. Monaco was his big chance to demonstrate superstar quality and he blew it. Maybe he’s still smarting?

  10. Paul says:

    James two things, firstly was Webber faster than Vettel fuel adjusted??? Secondly do you reckon the Brawns use a bit more fuel, they always seem to pit a lap or two earlier than expected????

  11. Richard Dreyer says:

    I’m English and although deep down I want Button to win the championship I hope he retires from the race and it’s a Red Bull 1-2. We need it for the championship. At least this ends Eccelstone’s stupid idea of medals – if Button wins tomorrow the championship would be over. Points is what is needed. At the start of the season I was thinking, ‘why has Vettel gone to Red Bull, surely he should’ve gone to BMW’. But I’ve been proved totally wrong and I really hope he runs Button close as the season progresses. My friend is an engineer on the brake pedals for Force India so I hope they can sneak a point! (there is no chance of that though..!)

  12. luciano says:

    Good job by Webber. Also good job by Vettel……. but somehow Vettel seems to get the headlines…..

  13. Dom Leste says:

    This arctile doesnt mention barrichello at all is he invisible?

    I hope webber or barrichello win tomorrow it will be a tough race!

  14. Martin says:

    James,

    Do you know anything about the accuracy of the scales? We get a precision of 0.5 kg, but is that always repeated? It’s now 24 years ago, but when Alain Prost was disqualified from the San Marino race for being two kilos underweight, I remember Ron Dennis asking for the car to be re-weighed and the second measurement was another two kilos lighter.

    I haven’t checked on what is allowed in F1, but for road car fuels, V-Power is denser than regular Shell unleaded, and similar variations between fuels could contribute to what is assumed to be increased fuel consumption. In this area of engine freezes, tweaks to the fuel probably take a lot of effort, so there might be more to be gained in the oils to reduce friction losses.

  15. Kenny says:

    If Jarno gets a good start, then Kimi, Felipe, and everyone behind them have had it…the Trulli Train again. If they can get by on the first lap, then we might see a very close six car race for the win.

  16. gourami says:

    A bit too hard on Webber as he’s racing better than ever this year and really holding onto Vettel as his leg improves… Webber will have 1 lap on Kimi and Button.

    If he keeps pace and has a clear in-lap first round he might pip one or both of them.

    Wouldn’t it be great to see Webber take his first win?!

    And isn’t this a great circuit?!

  17. Jit Mistry says:

    I think vettel will stay ahead of button and the brawns in the 2 pitstops as they really have the pace on the harder tyre to stay ahead.but when they put on the softs they will be vunerable and it’ll be all about whether vettel can manage the tyres better than he did in Monaco if he doesn’t then it’s buttons as you can overtake on track here in Istanbull. Ferrari will pick up the pieces behind the brawns and red bulls if nothing goes wrong. As for Mclaren they were awful the car is a dog.

  18. phil c says:

    Vetell and Rubens 1, 2 first corner, button third with trulli fourth and webber fifth, massa 6th and kimi 7th.

    Massa and kimi will hit KERS button, and take webber, trulli, Massa will keep moving forward and kimi will start thinking of what vodka he wants to drink after the race.

    Rubens wins the race, vetell second and button third

  19. Tobias McKenzie says:

    Hey James,

    Thank you for your great insight. Do you still believe, after the race in Turkey, that Ferrari engine is more thirsty than other? In Spain Felipe was a bit shorter than the predictions, but in Turkey and Monaco they seemed to go longer than anticipated. If I remember correctly Felipe had a problem with the fuel readings in his car (they even said he could finish the race in his normal pace), maybe it contributed to their early stop in Spain. There can be several possibilities, like saving fuel or rivals pitting earlier for some reason, but I don’t believe they are that far behind.

  20. sd says:

    Good point about the Brawn fuel consumption, I had wondered that too.

    I’d also like to know which drivers have the advantage in terms of grip off the line – I know the racing line passes along the right hand side of the pit straight, so does that mean the drivers in the _even_ numbered slots will have better traction?

  21. MichaelC says:

    There are 17 races so you would need to win 9 to be sure of winning the title under a medal system. Button has 5 so far so would need another 4 to make it academic vs Vettle or 8 against anyone else.
    Both Nigel Mansell and Michael Schumacher achieved 9 wins in a season (MS three times).

    It will be intersting to see at what point the title is decided and if it would have been longer under medals or points, bearing in mind that the drivers know that they need points and not wins of course.

    I’m against medals by the way

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