Who will win the Italian Grand Prix? This has been one of the most open race weekends of the year with four or five cars capable of pole and of the win as well.
Who could win it? Well Hamilton, obviously, he’s on a two stop strategy so will have to drive flat out all three stints, but the McLaren has been quick all weekend. Sutil is a longer shot, not least because he will lose his second place to Raikkonen and Kovalainen at the start due to their KERS systems.
Raikkonen has more fuel than the other two stoppers and was the winner last time out in Spa, but I’m not sure the Ferrari has quite the pace to do it in the race. Both Brawns could win as they have the right strategy and start with good track positions, in 5th and 6th, however Alonso starts just behind them with KERS and is a threat to their plans off the start line.
Kovalainen looks like a good bet for the race win as he is the best placed of the cars able to one-stop in the race. He’s 4th on the grid with KERS and loads of fuel, so he’s sitting pretty. If he does it he’ll be the first Finn to win the Italian Grand Prix.
But there are still big question marks over his consistency in the race, where his pace seems to drop off. This race is a real acid test for him. With the McLaren’s speed and his strategy and grid slot he should win and he needs to show he’s capable of it. If he fades again….
Hamilton was half a second up on Raikkonen in qualifying, but the extra fuel would have slowed the Ferrari by just under three tenths. Kovalainen had eight tenths worth of extra fuel and is only 8/10ths behind so he did a similar job to Hamilton, a fraction faster in fact.
Compared to the Brawns, Lewis is 0.949s faster than Barrichello and the extra fuel Rubens has on board is worth 0.95sec!! So Barrichello is also a tad faster than Hamilton.
Sadly for him, it looks like he might have to have a gearbox change which would drop him down five places on the grid, as the unit is only two races into its four race span.
It looks like it will be tough for Red Bull to get ahead of the Brawns and they need to because the points gap is still large. They are behind with less fuel. Some rain, like that which fell on the Saturday afternoon GP2 race, would be welcome for them.
I can’t wait, it should be a terrific race.
Weight (kg) 1st stop
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 653.5 L15/16
2. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 655.0 L16
3. Raikkonen Ferrari 662.0 L17/18
4. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 683.0 L26
5. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 688.5 L28/29
6. Button Brawn-Mercedes 687.0 L28
7. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 679.5 L 25
8. Alonso Renault 677.5 L24
9. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 682.0 L26
10. Webber Red Bull-Renault 683.0 L26
11. Trulli Toyota 703.0* L33/34
12. Grosjean Renault 699.8* L32
13. Kubica BMW-Sauber 697.5* L31/32
14. Fisichella Ferrari 690.0* L27/28
15. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber 697.5* L31/32
16. Glock Toyota 709.8* L36/37
17. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 706.2* L35
18. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 708.6* L36
19. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 706.0* L34/35
20. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 706.0* L34/35