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.
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