Hungarian GP fuel load analysis - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 07-25-2009, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
CH4S Artist
Teutone's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
Posts: 33,431
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Quoted: 935 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
(Thread Starter)
Hungarian GP fuel load analysis

Hungarian GP fuel load analysis

Sunday, 26 July 2009 00:00

The FIA has revealed the fuel loads with which all 20 cars will start the Hungarian Grand Prix. We analyse the data here.

Sometimes the publication of the car weights does little to alter our perception of qualifying performances and the way the race will unfold.

Not so today. The figures reveal that Fernando Alonso achieved his pole position with the aid of a much, much lighter fuel load than his rivals – some 17.5kg less than his front-row partner Sebastian Vettel, worth nearly two-thirds of a second.

Adjusting the grid order for fuel weights, Vettel was comfortably the quickest man in Q3 and sits on pole by 0.25s from team-mate Mark Webber – confirming that Red Bull is now the team to beat on all types of circuit, in qualifying at least.

Alonso tumbles all the way down to seventh, 0.6s off the pace, and it is Nico Rosberg who emerges as Red Bull’s closest contender on pace, one-third of a second shy of Vettel.

Rosberg’s pace shows the excellent job Williams is doing at the moment in the development stakes; for the first time in years the Grove squad seems to be gaining rather than losing ground as the season progresses.

Lewis Hamilton’s estimate on Friday that McLaren is between 0.4s and 0.5s behind the quickest cars looks pretty well spot-on if you look at the fuel-corrected times – Hamilton and team-mate Heikki Kovalainen slot into fourth and fifth, respectively 0.4s and 0.5s adrift of Vettel.

Jenson Button’s Q3 was compromised by the fact that he was only able to do one run, after Brawn decided to replace the same rear spring on his car that had come adrift from Rubens Barrichello’s machine and struck the unfortunate Felipe Massa.

It was a sensible precaution but meant that Button qualified with four laps more fuel than planned.

Stripping that out of the equation Jenson was still some 0.55s slower than Vettel, having been less happy with his car’s handling in Saturday’s cooler conditions than he was on Friday.

Alonso’s aggressive strategy paid off in qualifying, but will the resultant short first stint backfire in the race?

Based on fuel consumption of 2.17kg per lap here at the Hungaroring, the Spaniard’s light fuel load will take him only as far as lap 12, whereas the next eight cars on the grid can go to lap 18 or further.

It’s axiomatic that track position matters more here than anywhere else but Monaco, hence the temptation of going light in qualifying, and at least Alonso put the Renault on pole and gave himself a fighting chance of making a three-stop strategy work.

But if the Red Bulls shadow him through those first dozen laps, they will easily leapfrog him once the pit stops play out, and Alonso risks drifting inexorably down the order as he rejoins in the midfield traffic.

Alonso has admitted that he is unlikely to win, so on the assumption that he is racing the likes of Rosberg and the McLarens, the ploy could just work – but it relies on the field spreading out quickly in the opening laps, allowing him to set some decent lap times after his first stop.

The Red Bulls, McLarens, Williams and sole Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen are all on similar strategies, with first pit stops scheduled for between laps 18 and 21.

Give or take one lap either way, Webber, Hamilton and Raikkonen are due in on lap 18, Rosberg on lap 19, Vettel and Kovalainen on lap 20 and Kazuki Nakajima on lap 21.

Vettel looks well-placed, with at least one lap more fuel than Webber, maybe two, and Rosberg should be able to hold his own if he can fend off the KERS-equipped cars at the start.

Vettel admitted the McLarens in particular – starting directly behind him on the grid in fourth and sixth – were a big concern, with the longish run to turn one giving them the opportunity to exploit their power boost to good effect.

Hamilton must fancy his chances of taking the lead off the line, and if he can do so he will instantly become a threat to win given the nature of the circuit and McLaren’s current pace.

But after a first-lap puncture ruined his chances at the Nurburgring, Lewis may be a little chary of banzai moves and will no doubt aim to get his moves done before the braking area.

Button did not plan to be carrying 24 laps’ worth of fuel, but will have to see if he can turn it to his advantage.

The good news for him is that the Brawn is relatively kind to its tyres in hot conditions, so if he can avoid too much drop-off in performance near the end of the first stint, he should be able to pick off a few cars then.

The bad news is that he has three KERS cars just ahead of him on the grid, and may find it hard to make too much headway on the opening lap.

Overtaking is an underrated strength of Button’s, but he will have to be aggressive and opportunistic if he is to get himself into the hunt.

Car weights including fuel (in kg, by grid order)

1. ALONSO Renault 637.5

2. VETTEL Red Bull 655

3. WEBBER Red Bull 652

4. HAMILTON McLaren 650.5

5. ROSBERG Williams 654

6. KOVALAINEN McLaren 655.5

7. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 651.5

8. BUTTON Brawn 664.5

9. NAKAJIMA Williams 658

10. BUEMI Toro Rosso 671.5

11. TRULLI Toyota 671.3

12. BARRICHELLO Brawn 689

13. GLOCK Toyota 679.2

14. PIQUET Renault 667.7


16. FISICHELLA Force India 680.5

17. SUTIL Force India 683.5

18. KUBICA BMW 666

19. ALGUERSUARI Toro Rosso 675.5
Teutone is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Mercedes-Benz Motorsports & Racing

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    Analysis of Barcelona fuel loads Teutone Mercedes-Benz Motorsports & Racing 2 05-12-2009 11:08 PM
    Hungarian GP Results xvvvz Mercedes-Benz Motorsports & Racing 4 08-04-2008 12:57 PM
    Hungarian Bolshevism Botnst Off-Topic 0 07-28-2008 04:22 PM
    McLaren Mercedes at Hungarian GP xvvvz Mercedes-Benz Motorsports & Racing 4 08-28-2007 05:55 AM
    oil analysis tomsawyer W210 E-Class 1 04-29-2004 05:30 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome