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Monza form card

Tuesday, 08 September 2009 00:00

Spa's bizarre grid and action-packed race defied all pundits' predictions, and Monza's one-off nature could make this an equally bizarre weekend.

Undeterred, brings you up to speed with the form of all 20 drivers going into what is always one of the highlights of the Formula 1 season.

1. Lewis Hamilton (GB) - McLaren

Championship position: 7th, 27 points

McLaren's mighty comeback came to an abrupt end at Spa, but there is every reason to believe that this was a blip. The majority of the time was lost in the fast corners of the middle of the track, and while that might make Suzuka next month a bit of a headache, the rest of the tracks on the calendar should be far better for the McLaren MP4-24 - especially KERS-friendly Monza this weekend.

Last five race results: R / 2nd / 1st / 18th / 16th
(most recent first)

2. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) - McLaren

Championship position: 10th, 17 points

Sixth place in the Belgian GP from 15th on the grid was a great effort for Kovalainen, but when teams are picking drivers for next year, it's the higher profile performances like wilting from the front row to fourth in Valencia that will stick in the mind. If the McLaren is the car to beat around Monza as many are predicting, then Kovalainen needs to make sure he is the driver who gets the most out of it.

Last five race results: 6th / 4th / 5th / 8th / R

3. Giancarlo Fisichella (I) - Ferrari

Championship position: 14th, 8 points

Fisichella's out of the blue second place at Spa was the shock of a already surprise-packed season. Clearly Force India had improved its package massively, but how much of it was down to Fisi raising his game after months of drifting in the hope of impressing Ferrari? Whatever, it worked, and he will certainly be giving his utmost to impress the Tifosi as he lines up in scarlet overalls for the first time. But don't underestimate how much he will have to adjust to after his sudden team switch.

Last five race results: 2nd / 12th / 14th / 11th / 10th

4. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) - Ferrari

Championship position: 5th, 34 points

As he drifted so anonymously through so much of the gap between his Spain 2008 and Belgium 2009 victories, there were times when it was hard to imagine Raikkonen ever winning another GP. But with a little help from a KERS button, Kimi has tasted victory again, and with two podium finishes before that, is the man in form right now. When everything is to his liking, the Iceman is virtually unstoppable, and with Monza also set to suit Ferrari's package and Raikkonen potentially needing to impress new employers if Alonso is taking his seat, you wouldn't bet against the winning streak continuing.

Last five race results: 1st / 3rd / 2nd / R / 8th

5. Robert Kubica (POL) - BMW Sauber

Championship position: 15th, 8 points

Like Raikkonen, Kubica is mounting a bit of a resurgence at the moment, and came close to snatching a podium finish at Spa. Monza has often been a strong track for BMW too - indeed Kubica ran with the leaders and took third in only his third F1 start here two years ago. The superstar giantkiller of 2008 was in danger of becoming a forgotten man as BMW struggled earlier this year, but now Kubica is starting to remind everyone that he would be quite a catch for whoever snares him for 2010.

Last five race results: 4th / 8th / 13th / 14th / 13th

6. Nick Heidfeld (D) - BMW Sauber

Championship position: 13th, 10 points

Only Fisichella's amazing weekend prevented Heidfeld's third place on the grid and fifth in the race from being the sensation of Spa. He was frustrated to be elbowed out of podium contention on lap one in Belgium, and such missed opportunities could be costly as he seeks a 2010 drive. Heidfeld had the upper hand on Kubica as BMW struggled, but now it's gaining ground it's the Pole who is getting the results - and featuring much more strongly in silly season chatter than Heidfeld.

Last five race results: 5th / 11th / 11th / 10th / 15th

7. Fernando Alonso (E) - Renault

Championship position: 12th, 16 points

Amid the flying wheels, bans, rescinded bans and dark talk of conspiracies and race fixing that are turning Renault's summer into a nightmare, Alonso is still driving better than pretty much everyone else on the grid. He would have converted 13th on the Spa grid to a podium if his car had lasted. This weekend he has KERS to play with too, so could really shake things up. Will he shake up the driver market too by being announced as a Ferrari driver?

Last five race results:R / 6th / R / 7th / 14th

8. Romain Grosjean (F) - Renault

Championship position: 22nd, 0 points

Practice and Valencia qualifying proved that Grosjean is already closer to Alonso's pace than Piquet invariably was, and the French rookie insisted his poor Spa grid position was due to traffic, not a lack of speed. But the current worry has to be how incident prone Grosjean has been in the races. His hard-charging, all or nothing style lit up F3 and GP2, but F1 is an unforgiving place and he needs some consistent Sunday afternoons.

Last five race results:R / 15th / - / - / -

9. Jarno Trulli (I) - Toyota

Championship position: 8th, 22.5 points

After an abject Valencia weekend and amid growing hints that his days as a Toyota driver are numbered, Trulli needed a big weekend in Belgium. And having qualified second behind a lighter Force India, the race should have brought a vital win. Instead it all turned to dust in a La Source traffic jam - but Trulli is expecting similar pace and a chance of redemption on home ground this weekend.

Last five race results:R / 13th / 8th / 17th / 7th

10. Timo Glock (D) - Toyota

Championship position: 11th, 16 points

Topsy-turvy times at Toyota. Glock comprehensively outpaced Trulli in Valencia on a weekend when the car was nowhere near the points, then got thoroughly out-qualified by the Italian (who was carrying more fuel) when the car was quick at Spa. The 5s lost to a fuel rig glitch didn't entirely explain Glock's descent from an early fourth to an eventual 10th on race day either. Monza needs to be better.

Last five race results: 10th / 14th / 6th / 9th / 9th

11. Jaime Alguersuari (E) - Toro Rosso

Championship position: 22nd, 0 points

Clattering into Hamilton as the world champion avoided an accident ahead on lap one at Spa was the first real moment of rookie clumsiness of Alguersuari's F1 career, and he's allowed a few stumbles given his inexperience. A return to quietly gathering experience should be the goal for Monza.

Last five race results: R / 16th / 15th / - / -

12. Sebastien Buemi (CH) - Toro Rosso

Championship position: 16th, 3 points

A year ago Toro Rosso took pole and won at Monza with Sebastian Vettel. Even with another downpour, Sebastien Buemi won't be able to repeat that result this season. The amazing events of late 2008 now seem a very long time ago for this team, which is currently treading water - not what was expected given parent team Red Bull's achievements this year.

Last five race results:12th / R / 16th / 16th / 17th

14. Mark Webber (AUS) - Red Bull

Championship position: 4th, 51.5 points

The momentum Webber built up around his Nurburgring win suggested that he was the man mostly likely to chase down Button in the title race. That now looks less likely after two consecutive finishes outside the points. A drivethrough penalty spoilt his Spa weekend, but he shrugged off the same punishment in Germany and won. Red Bull no longer has the superiority it enjoyed a few weeks ago, and that makes Webber's title hopes look slim.

Last five race results: 9th / 9th / 3rd / 1st / 2nd

15. Sebastian Vettel (D) - Red Bull

Championship position: 3rd, 53 points

Getting back on the podium at Spa following a pair of retirements was vital for Vettel - but probably wasn't sufficient on a day when he needed to really, really capitalise on Button's disaster. It was a step in the right direction, though. Now he returns to the scene of his majestic first F1 win knowing he requires something similar to keep his title bid on course - but also aware that those KERS cars will be tough to contain at Monza.

Last five race results: 3rd / R / R / 2nd / 1st

16. Nico Rosberg (D) - Williams

Championship position: 6th, 30.5 points

Williams had its least competitive weekend of the season in Belgium, slightly to its surprise, yet Rosberg still managed to sneak into the top ten on the grid and to snatch a point for eighth. It was a quietly excellent performance - and a timely one given the big role he is playing in silly season speculation. Can he conjour up something similar if Monza proves to be a trial for Williams too?

Last five race results: 8th / 5th / 4th / 4th / 5th

17. Kazuki Nakajima (J) - Williams

Championship position: 19th, 0 points

Tough times for Nakajima. Williams and Toyota appear to be divorcing, which means Nakajima will be looking for a new drive (although rumours already link him to the factory Toyota squad). He is fortunate to have the safety net of Toyota's patronage, for having failed to score at all this year and beaten only Badoer in Belgium, his chances of a place on the 2010 grid would otherwise be very slender.

Last five race results: 13th / 18th / 9th / 12th / 11th

20. Adrian Sutil (D) - Force India

Championship position: 18th, 0 points

It must have been frustrating for Sutil to see Fisichella getting the podium glory and the plaudits in Belgium, for he has beaten the veteran Italian for much of their time together at Force India. But he failed to capitalise on the team's pace last time out, only qualifying 11th. That left him in the thick of the first corner trouble, although he produced some excellent passing moves as he tried to fight back after repairs.

Last five race results: 11th / 10th / R / 15th / 17th

21. Tonio Liuzzi (I) - Force India

Championship position: 24th, 0 points

Liuzzi is back, with a massive point to prove, on home ground, and in a car that was quick enough to win the last race. That should add up to a pretty exciting package around Monza. The Italian wants to show the world that he is still the driver who took the junior series by storm rather than the man who underwhelmed at Toro Rosso. If Force India still has its Spa pace, then this is a big opportunity for Liuzzi, as long as he isn't too rusty.

Last five race results: - / - / - / - / -

22. Jenson Button (GB) - Brawn GP

Championship position: 1st, 72 points

Button's losing streak is getting longer and longer, and Spa was the lowest point yet. Way off the pace in qualifying, his race barely got going before he tangled with Grosjean. None of this will matter all the time that his title rivals are still scrabbling for odd points, though. That early season dominance - and the massive points lead he accumulated in the process - is proving vital as Button's tribulations drag on.

Last five race results: R / 7th / 7th / 5th / 6th

23. Rubens Barrichello (BR) - Brawn GP

Championship position: 2nd, 56 points

When he qualified 10 places ahead of team-mate and title rival Button in Belgium, Barrichello surely hoped to close the championship gap by more than two points. That cost him momentum after the brilliant Valencia win, for his only chance of beating Button is to carve into that points lead every week rather than nibbling at it. A repeat of his 2004 Monza victory would help.

Last five race results: 7th / 1st / 10th / 6th / 3rd's top tips for Monza

Winner: Hamilton

A KERS button will make a huge difference at Monza, especially in the race, and with the track featuring plenty of McLaren-friendly chicanes and few of the fast corners that hampered his car in Belgium, this should be a golden opportunity for the world champion.

Star performer: Alonso

The terrible results and ominous controversies are overshadowing Alonso's continued brilliance behind the wheel (13th to third at Spa before he had to retire), and now he has KERS to play with again as well.

Disappointment: Fisichella

Fisichella will probably do an excellent job this weekend - the trouble is that his Ferrari arrival has attracted so much attention that expectations might be unrealistically high. He will do great things for this team, but he needs time to settle in first, so don't expect miracles at Monza.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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FIA confirms higher kerbs for Monza race

FIA confirms higher kerbs for Monza race

08/09/09 19:35

A common sight at the Italian Grand Prix
Measures have been taken to dissuade drivers from cutting the chicanes during the Italian Grand Prix weekend at Monza this weekend.

The FIA announced on Tuesday that 'combination kerbs' have been installed at the apexes of turns 1, 2, 4 and 5 - the first two chicanes, known as Rettifilo and Roggia respectively - at the famous venue located north of Milan.

It was explained that the same sort of kerbs are also featured at the chicane towards the end of the Nurburgring layout, and also at the new chicane in Barcelona.

F1's official website reports the Monza kerbs are higher than before "in a bid to stop drivers cutting the track's famous high-speed chicanes."

Source: GMM
© CAPSIS International
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 06:04 AM
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Nice write up. Fisi will have to find some instant chemistry with the new team if he is to do well. This is still a team sport.

Thursday's announcement of Santander going to Ferrari will start shaking things up; there will be many distractions in the pits and garages this weekend.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Italian GP (Monza): Formula One - Renault Technical File

Formula 1 News
Italian GP (Monza): Formula One - Renault Technical File
Italian GP (Monza): Formula One - Renault Technical File :: PaddockTalk :: F1, Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, MotoGP, ALMS, And More!

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza provides today's Formula One cars with perhaps the most severe test of the year. Nowhere is tougher on the engine or the brakes and the teams have to prepare a special package to cope with the unique challenge of Monza. And while it may look deceptively simple for the drivers, the circuit only gives away its secrets slowly, and the challenge of consistently finding the limit in low downforce configuration demands skill and finesse.


Monza is the fastest circuit on the calendar with an average speed of around 250 km/h and demands the development of a one-off aerodynamic package in order to attain competitive top speeds of around 340 km/h. This is often termed an "ultra low downforce" package, but the critical parameter is actually drag, and namely minimising its effects in order to achieve target top speeds. In the wind tunnel, the teams concentrate on ultra-efficient wing designs, which often vary quite significantly up and down the pit-lane. Naturally, these efficient low-drag wings also produce less downforce. The Monza aero package generates approximately 10% to 15% less downforce than the package used at the last race in Spa.


Mechanical grip, stability and ride are major set-up parameters in Monza. This is firstly because the low downforce levels place a premium on mechanical grip, secondly because good braking stability is essential as the drivers spend nearly 15% of the lap on the brakes, and thirdly to ensure the drivers can use the kerbs aggressively in the chicanes in order to gain lap time. The set-up compromise must provide the drivers with a good change of direction in the low and medium-speed chicanes, while also ensuring strong traction exiting the slower corners. Equally, it is important to achieve good braking stability in order that the drivers can attack the heavy braking zones with confidence. The engineers will try and run the cars as low as possible for maximum aerodynamic performance. To avoid "touching" at high speeds, when the bottom of the car effectively drags along the ground, we use bump rubbers in the suspension and the car will ‘sit' on these at high speed.

Fernando explains: "The Ascari chicane is one of the most enjoyable parts of the lap. You need to be aggressive under braking and then very smooth with the steering and throttle application through turns 9 and 10. The key to being quick is to take the straightest possible line, but it's not easy as the car always feels light with such low downforce and wants to oversteer on the exit of turn 8. As with all the chicanes in Monza, carrying good exit speed out of turn 10 is important so you don't come under pressure on the approach to Parabolica."


The cars spend nearly 15% of the lap braking, meaning this is an area in which lap-time can be gained. The mechanical set-up will be tweaked to improve the driver's confidence in the car's braking stability, while the braking system itself is accorded special attention. The brakes are worked very hard at Monza, with the highest braking energies of the season, particularly into turn 1 where the drivers experience braking forces that peak at 4.5G. The cars must negotiate four big braking events from over 320 km/h, and special attention is paid to brake cooling to ensure optimum performance for minimal drag penalty.

Fernando explains: "The biggest braking zone of the lap is turn one, which is a very tricky corner as you have to slow the car from over 340 km/h to 60 km/h. It's easy to lock a wheel under braking and run wide which will cost you a lot of lap time. You also need to use the kerbs to straight-line the chicane as much as possible. It is possible to overtake here if you get a good slipstream down the main straight and dive down the inside."


Monza has always been known as the ultimate test of a Formula One engine. The engines spend 75% of the lap at full throttle, significantly above the season average of 62%. Furthermore, the engine must be capable of operating effectively over a 275 km/h range, from a maximum speed of around 340 km/h on the pit straight to the minimum speed of around 65 km/h in the first chicane. The longest time spent at full throttle is around 15.5 seconds, from the exit of the Parabolica to the braking point at the first chicane. The engine mapping must provide the drivers with good power delivery from low speed, and is also tuned for smooth high-speed response on the exit of corners such as Parabolica.


In addition to the challenge of the heavy workload Monza imposes on the engine, the slow chicanes pose challenges for engine reliability. The drivers must use the kerbs aggressively to carry good speed through the corners, but there is a risk of excessive use of the rev limiter when the cars are in the air, and transmission damage when the spinning wheels land. Engine ancillaries must also be monitored to ensure they can withstand the severe demands of a lap at Monza.

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Jensen and Fisi are struggling mightily in practice 2.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 06:23 AM
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Great qualifying session. Hamilton nipped the pole at the end of the session, he was flying. Sutil grabs P2 for Force India, Raikkonen grabs P3. Kovalanen got P4 and Barrichello got P5. Button was 6th.

Fisi struggled a bit in the Ferrari, I bet he wished he was in the Force India car after seeing Sutil do so well. He ended up 14th.

1 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:23.375 1:22.973 1:24.066 23
2 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:23.576 1:23.070 1:24.261 24
3 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:23.349 1:23.426 1:24.523 28
4 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:23.515 1:23.528 1:24.845 27
5 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:23.483 1:22.976 1:25.015 23
6 22 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:23.403 1:22.955 1:25.030 26
7 21 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:23.578 1:23.207 1:25.043 26
8 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:23.708 1:23.497 1:25.072 25
9 15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:23.558 1:23.545 1:25.180 23
10 14 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:23.755 1:23.273 1:25.314 24
11 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:24.014 1:23.611 20
12 8 Romain Grosjean Renault 1:23.975 1:23.728 22
13 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:24.001 1:23.866 17
14 3 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari 1:23.828 1:23.901 24
15 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:23.584 1:24.275 14
16 10 Timo Glock Toyota 1:24.036 11
17 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:24.074 9
18 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:24.121 12
19 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:24.220 12
20 11 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:24.951 11
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Fisichella not regretting Ferrari switch (GMM) At the race after his pole and podium, and with his former teammate Adrian Sutil on the front row of the grid at Monza, it was suggested on Saturday that Giancarlo Fisichella might be regretting his decision to trade in his Force India for a Ferrari.

The Roman had earlier described the move as a "dream" near the end of his F1 race career, but in his red-colored car at Monza he was slowest on Friday before crashing in practice and qualifying just fourteenth for his home race.

It was an improvement for the Italian team's car number 3 after two consecutive races off the pace with Luca Badoer, but Fisichella would have been forgiven for casting a rueful eye on the continuing astonishing pace of the Force India team he recently left.

"I'm happy for them but the chance to be a Ferrari driver was the chance of my life. Even if they (Force India) win the next five races I don't change (my mind)," he insisted.

Fisichella's replacement Tonio Liuzzi is seven places ahead of his predecessor, but Fernando Alonso is skeptical the Silverstone based team can keep up its pace once F1 moves away from unique high-speed venues like Spa and Monza.

"It would be a surprise if they are at the top come Singapore," the Renault driver said. "I think (them) fighting for wins has to do with the characteristics of these circuits."
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Analysis of Italian GP fuel loads

Analysis of Italian GP fuel loads
F1 | ITV Sport

Saturday, 12 September 2009 00:00

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

The fuel weights reveal an unusually clear picture about the strategies teams have adopted for Sunday’s race.

A pit stop at Monza incurs a greater time penalty than at any other track, since cars taking the long main straight at racing speeds are travelling at 160mph as they come onto it and 215mph by the end of it, while pit callers trundle along at the speed limit.

The lap time penalty of carrying fuel is also smaller at Monza than at many other tracks, around 0.28s per 10kg.

The Italian Grand Prix is therefore one race where a one-stop strategy is the faster option – at least in theory – rather than simply the fallback position of those who have qualified outside the top 10 and need to roll the dice.

Only three drivers in the 20-car field are fuelled for two stops – unsurprisingly, the top three qualifiers Lewis Hamilton, Adrian Sutil and Kimi Raikkonen.

The question is whether the grid position their lighter cars ‘bought’ them in qualifying will allow them to build enough of a cushion to keep the one-stoppers at bay throughout the 53-lap race.

All three had fast cars anyway, so the fact that they went for two stops indicates that the favoured strategic option here is far from a one-way bet.

Even though the ‘fuel effect’ isn’t that high at Monza, the fuel-adjusted grid looks quite different to the actual starting line-up simply because there is such a large variation in the amount of the stuff being carried by the top 10 qualifiers (see table below).

Thus, Heikki Kovalainen’s McLaren weighed in 29.5kg heavier than the sister car of Hamilton, and when the associated 0.826s lap time penalty is taken into account the Finn was marginally (0.047s) faster than his team-mate.

In fact, Kovalainen emerges with the fuel-adjusted pole by a hair’s breadth from Rubens Barrichello, who was marginally the faster of the heavy-fuelled Brawns.

Hamilton was a fuel-corrected third quickest ahead of championship leader Jenson Button, the quartet covered by a scant 0.073s!

Indeed the field concertinas dramatically when the fuel loads are factored in, with just 0.469s blanketing the entire top 10.

Sutil’s superb performance was no mirage: he was only 0.2s off the fuel-adjusted pace, fifth overall ahead of Raikkonen’s Ferrari.

Tonio Liuzzi’s seventh place on his F1 return looks even better when you consider that he was lugging an extra 24.5kg around compared to team-mate Sutil – cutting his real deficit to the German from 0.782s to just 0.096s.

By any standards, that’s a stellar effort from someone who has barely driven a grand prix car all year and hasn’t taken part in the pressure cooker of knockout qualifying since 2007.

The fuel-adjusted times confirm that Red Bull Racing isn’t on the pace of Brawn here, with about 0.4s separating the BGP 001 from the RB5.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have slightly lighter fuel loads than the Brawns and are starting behind them, so will need to do something special to claw back ground from their championship rivals here.

The two-stoppers can be expected to pit for the first time between laps 15 and 18.

Sutil is fuelled one lap longer than Hamilton, and may even be able to eke out an additional lap if Force India can reproduce the frugal fuel mileage Giancarlo Fisichella displayed at Spa.

The more pressing problem for Sutil will be to avoid getting swamped by the phalanx of KERS cars surrounding him on the grid.

Raikkonen can go a couple of laps further than Hamilton and Sutil, so may be in the best shape of the two-stoppers come the end of the opening stint.

As the highest-placed of those on the preferred one-stop strategy, Kovalainen clearly has a great opportunity to score his first win of the season.

To do so the Finn will need to answer the questions about the consistency of his race pace and withstand what is likely to be a two-pronged challenge from Brawn.

Barrichello and Button are fuelled slightly longer than Kovalainen and will be looking to dispatch him in the first pit stop cycle, as Rubens did in Valencia last month.

One wild card that was little discussed going into the weekend is the possibility of rain, which would throw all pre-planned strategies out of the window.

Saturday’s GP2 race was hit by a deluge, and some radars are showing a possibility of rain falling on Sunday afternoon.

No doubt Vettel, who mastered a flooded track here last year to claim that memorable first win for Toro Rosso, would welcome just such divine intervention.

Alex Sabine

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

1. HAMILTON McLaren 653.5
2. SUTIL Force India 655
3. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 662
4. KOVALAINEN McLaren 683
5. BARRICHELLO Brawn 688.5
6. BUTTON Brawn 687
7. LIUZZI Force India 679.5
8. ALONSO Renault 677.5
9. VETTEL Red Bull 682
10. WEBBER Red Bull 683
11. TRULLI Toyota 703
12. GROSJEAN Renault 699.8
13. KUBICA BMW 697.5
14. FISICHELLA Ferrari 690
15. HEIDFELD BMW 697.5
16. GLOCK Toyota 709.8
17. NAKAJIMA Williams 706.2
18. ROSBERG Williams 708.6
19. BUEMI Toro Rosso 706
20. ALGUERSUARI Toro Rosso 706
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