Today was nothing short of extraordinary, with Giancarlo Fisichella taking the pole for Force India ahead of Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld and tomorrow should be a really exciting Grand Prix. A lot is likely to change from the top ten we have on the grid and any one of three or four drivers could win the race.
The pace of Fisi and the BMWs in particular caught out the Red Bull team who were competitive in Q2, especially with Sebastian Vettel and so went for the slightly higher fuel load in Q3, as part of their standard tactic of countering the KERS threat from Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari.
Fuel adjusted, Vettel set the second fastest lap behind Trulli, but a mistake by Vettel meant that instead of being around where Barrichello is, P4, with a great looking strategy, he is in P8 with some work to do. Judging from the long run times in Friday practice the Red Bull is easily the fastest car in race trim. But Vettel has to attack at the start and try to make up as many places as possible if he is to try to challenge for the win tomorrow.
Barrichello will fight Trulli and Raikkonen for the win. The Brazilian has a bit of a compromised strategy, pitting on lap 10, but the field will have spread out a lot by then, especially as many of the cars outside the top ten have put a lot of fuel in. Jenson Button has gone for a long first stint and like all the big names who are outside the top ten, he’s hoping for a safety car.
The Toyota was pretty quick on long runs and cannot be discounted while Raikkonen has the advantage of KERS on the opening lap so he should be able to get into a position to challenge. He has a great chance of getting Ferrari’s first win of the season
Pos Driver Weight (kg) First stop lap
1. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 648.0 11
2. Trulli Toyota 656.5 13/14
3. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber 655.0 13
4. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 644.5 10
5. Kubica BMW-Sauber 649.0 11
6. Raikkonen Ferrari 655.0 13
7. Glock Toyota 648.5 11
8. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 662.5 15
9. Webber Red Bull-Renault 658.0 14
10. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 670.0 17
11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 678.5* 20
12. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 693.5* 24
13. Alonso Renault 684.4* 22
14. Button Brawn-Mercedes 694.2* 24
15. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 697.0* 25
16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 685.0* 22
17. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 704.5* 28
18. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 706.1* 29
19. Grosjean Renault 704.7* 28
20. Badoer Ferrari 691.5* 23