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BBC Sport's fuel-corrected Bahrain grid

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F1 Mole | 16:59 UK time, Saturday, 25 April 2009

Jarno Trulli was the out-and-out quickest guy around the Bahrain Grand Prix circuit on Saturday - the Italian won pole position, and he was also fastest of all once the amount of fuel in the cars is taken into account.

The cars in the top 10 shoot-out are not allowed to refuel between qualifying and race, so their speed in the final part of qualifying is dictated by their fuel load. The fuel load also dictates how many laps a car can do before making its first pit stop.

Every extra kg of fuel costs a Formula 1 car 0.035 seconds around the Sakhir circuit, and the cars use an average of about 2.6kg a lap.

Once that is taken into account, along with the fuel used by the cars on the laps before the start, the Bahrain fuel-corrected grid, with estimated first pit-stop laps, looks like this:

1 Trulli - lap 13
2 Vettel +0.216 - lap 17
3 Button +0.4725 - lap 15
4 Glock +0.473 - lap 11
5 Hamilton +0.6247 - lap 15
6 Barrichello +0.79 - lap 13
7 Massa +0.827 - lap 20
8 Rosberg +0.933 - lap 21
9 Alonso +1.076 - lap 14
10 Raikkonen +1.144 - lap 22

A couple of things can be extrapolated from that.

Firstly. Vettel has to be the favourite to win the race - which would be his second victory in a week following his brilliant drive in the rain in China last week. On one-lap pace at least, he has the edge on Jenson Button, and the German is also stopping two laps later than the Englishman.

Button believes his Brawn has better and more consistent pace over a long run, but Vettel has two more laps than his rival before his first pit stop so the world championship leader will not be able to use that superior pace to get track position - at least not before the first stops.

On paper, Trulli has better pace than either of them - at least over one lap. But it remains to be seen whether the Italian can translate that into the race.

Lewis Hamilton is right to be happy after qualifying

The second big conclusion is that McLaren have made a genuine step forward on pace this weekend - Lewis Hamilton's fifth place was won on merit.

And although his car is not as strong as the Red Bull or the Brawn, he could mess up the races of Vettel or Button if his Kers power-boost system allows him to jump one or both at the start.

Given that this will probably be the first time the true pace of the cars will be seen throughout a whole race this season, it promises to be an intriguing Grand Prix.


  • 1. At 6:00pm on 25 Apr 2009, Lavendyr01 wrote:

    Webber must be absolutely gutted to have been blocked by Sutil - based on that information about Vettel, Webber should have had a really good chance to start close to the front.

    The start should be interesting as well - Trulli always seems to have problems pulling away from people behind him (my other half has dubbed such situations the "Trulli Train") - and certainly Vettel, Hamilton and both Brawns will be on the attack straight away. Not to mention Glock who is light and needs to make up some places right from the start if he wants to capitalise on that.

    I'm not convinced by Button's comment that the Brawns are more consistent. The Red Bull is at least as consistent, based on past evidence. I will be surprised if Button makes it onto the podium this weekend.

    My prediction: Vettel 1st, Glock 2nd, Hamilton 3rd. Should be a cracking race!

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  • 2. At 6:43pm on 25 Apr 2009, extraordinarysimon wrote:

    Hamilton I believe is the highest Kers car on the grid. So he needs to have a very good start, if so, he can be around the front before the first corner.

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  • 3. At 6:45pm on 25 Apr 2009, webby252 wrote:

    Is it me or is the "Eddie Jordan show" starting to annoy anyone else. this is a crying shame as the BBC have really got this coverage right.....with the exception of ED.

    last weeks coverage was so much the better for his absence. I'm sorry to rant as he seems a really nice bloke, but he does insist on arguing against everything DC or the other presenters say and making peronal heart felt statements when interviewing, rather than talking on behalf of the BBC and the viewers.

    Edddie Jordan - less talk more listen

    my prediction: Button 1st,Vettel 2nd, Glock 3rd. Game on!

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  • 4. At 6:50pm on 25 Apr 2009, mdgunner wrote:

    Fair play to Trulli, hopefully he gets away at the start and doesn't falter under the pressure, will be interesting to see if Lewis can keep his cool at the start knowing he has got KERS, I would be suprised if he isn't thinking top three by turn 1! Just more thing, if Trulli has 43.5kg of fuel (648.5-605) and uses approximately 2.6 kg per lap, then how come you have him to stop on lap 13? I make 43.5/2.6= 16.7 so even including the warm up and getting to the grid lap he should stop no earlier than 15? Works out the same for everyone else too? Can't wait to the soft tyres going off too!

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  • 5. At 6:58pm on 25 Apr 2009, extraordinarysimon wrote:

    I think Eddie was a tiny bit better this week, but I think most people agree that Mike was a lot better, his technical knowledge is a great asset to the BBC coverage!

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  • 6. At 7:12pm on 25 Apr 2009, waraj3 wrote:

    Definetly KERS is an advantage here. As Jenson said earlier he might as well be 5th, because Lewis will pass him like dust.
    At a press of a button you get 80 more BHP, Too fast Too Furious.

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  • 7. At 7:52pm on 25 Apr 2009, gromcom wrote:

    My Prediction:

    1st Vettel
    2nd Button
    3rd Hamilton

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  • 8. At 7:55pm on 25 Apr 2009, Lavendyr01 wrote:

    Mike Gascoyne was massively better than Eddie Jordan in coverage last week - concise, accurate and informative. This is my heartfelt plea that the BBC engage him and get rid of EJ, who seems incapable of making sensible comment on what is happening. When Webber was blocked today he tried to excuse Sutil's behaviour by saying that Webber was on an outlap - except Webber was on his flying lap, the last flying lap he could get in!

    Thank heavens for DC and the excellent Jake Humphrey, but please, let's get MG in full-time and lose EJ.

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  • 9. At 8:13pm on 25 Apr 2009, Glen Phillips wrote:

    Early days, but Vettel is beginning to look a very good bet for the Championship. With the closeness of the grid making things unpredictable and the pecking order seemingly changing from race to race, just about the only 'given' so far this season has been that Vettel is always there or thereabouts at the important moments.

    And since others have brought it up, I'm also going to add my weight behind the Eddie Jordan criticism. I much preferred Mike Gascoyne's intelligent technical input last week to Eddie's nonsensical rambling.

    When you're not even getting your facts right (at 35 and with 12 years F1 experience, I really don't think Jarno Trulli can be classed as a "young driver" anymore, Eddie!) it makes your opinions all the more difficult to take seriously.

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  • 10. At 8:29pm on 25 Apr 2009, FastBBBB wrote:

    Prediction -


    Something like the above. I don't think Hamilton has the pace fo podium just yet. I don't Barcelona to come

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  • 11. At 9:16pm on 25 Apr 2009, kevfullo wrote:

    eddie is classic, keep him in at all costs!

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  • 12. At 9:20pm on 25 Apr 2009, La Pantera Rosa wrote:

    I'm interested in the whole business of using KERS off the start line, because how much energy will be stored up? As I understand it, KERS 'stores energy otherwise lost during breaking'.

    My first question is, is the energy potentially stored during qualifying still available the next day (if not already used during said drivers hot lap during qualifying)? I presume the battery can store energy for long periods, but the fly wheel some cars might be using I'm not so sure about. And are the drivers allowed to store energy from qualifying or are the forced to start with a clean slate?

    If this is the case, not much energy will be stored up, as the only breaking being done will be on the practice lap, when the cars aren't under as much breaking stress as they are in race conditions.

    Apologies if all that is hard to understand and my style of writing is confusing! I've no idea why this query popped into my head, I never think of things like this!! But if anyone has any ideas/knows then that would be good!!

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  • 13. At 9:37pm on 25 Apr 2009, mdgunner wrote:

    I think they are allowed to charge the KERS up in the pits. very environmentally friendly!

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  • 14. At 9:55pm on 25 Apr 2009, kill4it wrote:

    They will be able to charge the KERS on the formation lap so will be ready to go by the start of the race.

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  • 15. At 10:12pm on 25 Apr 2009, La Pantera Rosa wrote:

    Thanks mdgunner and kill4it! If that is true, I should have guessed! Very environmentally friendly indeed, and doesn't it sort of defeat the point of it a bit?! Anyway, thanks, that's that question answered!

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  • 16. At 11:40pm on 25 Apr 2009, finolait wrote:

    GJ's Cider Army - I saw that question being answered in another F1 forum. The cars do not charge up the KERS in the pits as that will surely defeat the purpose of the system, which is to recuperate energy under braking. But they can charge up the system on the out lap to the grid, and on the formation lap too. So they arrive at the start ready to go.
    In my own opinion, KERS is a waste of money, and not mention, dangerous. Remember a BMW mechanic who received a shock when touching a KERS car, and the sight of smoke pouring out of Kimi's cockpit due to KERS shortcircuiting. So far this year no KERS equiped car has won a race. Now teams are instead beating a path down to their factories to develope new diffusers instead. In F1, speed boils down to raw engine power and good aerodynamics.

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  • 17. At 00:37am on 26 Apr 2009, TheLaughingGooner wrote:

    This is much better.

    There needs to be a fuel load analysis feature every week. It's certainly interesting.

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  • 18. At 02:37am on 26 Apr 2009, f1_life wrote:

    The Toyota duo did a great job in qualifying but Vettel and Red Bull were definitely in a league of their own. What I find interesting is Red Bull's performance given it has no double diffuser. What will happen when they finally get the double diffuser? I sense when that occurs Brawn may no longer be the leader of the pack.

    As for Bahrain, I would love to see Vettel take another victory it would mean a great quarter season start.

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  • 19. At 07:42am on 26 Apr 2009, Darren wrote:

    Eddie Jordan is to F1 what John McCririck is to Horse Racing!

    A clown!

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  • 20. At 08:04am on 26 Apr 2009, smifffies wrote:

    With reference to the KERS questions the system is charged by the engine not the brakes so will be fully charged at end of formation lap

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  • 21. At 08:10am on 26 Apr 2009, Josh Van Düss wrote:

    i mean, you guys should have a bit respect for people that brought glory to your country. Calling Eddie Jordan or John McCririck a Clown is totally unacceptable, ur comment is totally nonsense.

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  • 22. At 08:56am on 26 Apr 2009, julianlzb87 wrote:

    I'm not at all impressed by EJ but on the other hand
    I find Anthony Davidson a great addition to the

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  • 23. At 09:17am on 26 Apr 2009, Nadaliator wrote:

    When the weight of a car is given, does it include the driver? I ask this because last week Alonso was by far the lightest car, but Button was only fuelled to go 2 laps further even though he was significantly heavier.

    A great blog Mole. Fuel analysis is something you should consider doing for every Grand Prix.

    Predictions for today? It's a really tough one actually, so many competitive cars this weekend.

    1. Timo Glock
    2. Jenson Button
    3. Lewis Hamilton
    4. Kimi Raikkonnen
    5. Fernando Alonso
    6. Filipe Massa
    7. Nico Rosberg
    8. Rubens Barrichello

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  • 24. At 09:47am on 26 Apr 2009, mugen1 wrote:

    I think the big problem with Eddie Jordan is that he doesn't seem to have a view on anything. he just takes the opposite view.
    This was ok when i was giving the occassional interview but now that he's on as a presenter it's just boring, he's defo mr predictable

    that said when eddie starts talking it's a good time to go and get a coffee

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  • 25. At 09:55am on 26 Apr 2009, smifffies wrote:

    ref post 23
    FIA technical regulations 1.9 states
    1.9 Weight :
    Is the weight of the car with the driver, wearing his complete racing apparel, at all times during the Event.
    Hope that helps

    With reference to the final weights after qualy bear in mind that Lewis Hamilton has kers which adds another 30+kg so is likely to be somewhat lighter than Jenson. Still think it will be a scrap between Jenson and Sebastian for win

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  • 26. At 10:05am on 26 Apr 2009, lesterforbes wrote:

    EJ's comments & predictions are usually spot on! he's widely respected by the F1 paddock and knows a lot more than Coulthard about the politics of it all. The BBC should let EJ & DC develop, right now they seem to be very wooden on screen, but that's expected since none have any presenting or interviewing experience, there seems to be some underlying tension between them, i think BBC should let that grow, Famously Murray Walker & James Hunt didnt get on, the hated each other, but made for a GREAT commentary team. Jake is the man who glues it all together :)


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  • 27. At 10:26am on 26 Apr 2009, sirjensonhamilton wrote:

    The only problem with the BBC coverage is tea/coffee/toilet breaks! Thanks to sky+ i have that one covered or my new addition - EJ+! When I want a wee I wait for the EJ+ to start speaking and I can go with the assurance that I will not miss anything of any substance, and return to the live coverage relieved and without pushing any buttons! Brilliant!

    I recommend to you all - EJ+ - its free ( subject to licence fee ) and requires no contract or maintenance.....

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  • 28. At 10:28am on 26 Apr 2009, sirjensonhamilton wrote:

    The red button practice coverage is nothing short or a revelation! My F1 weekend is now longer, more enjoyable and interesting! With the snooker aswell...... the BBC is fast growing to be my best friend!

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  • 29. At 10:48am on 26 Apr 2009, andybliss65 wrote:

    You have made it so hard to find fuel loads/qualifying weights, please put a link on the f1 homepage and publish all of the weights not just fuel corrected, some of us have a brain and would like to see just the information. ............. i had to revert back to the itv website to get the info i wanted, surely not what you want.
    Thanks, Andy.

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  • 30. At 10:52am on 26 Apr 2009, andybliss65 wrote:

    for all those who feel the same as me here are the starting weights of the cars.

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

    1. TRULLI Toyota 648.5
    2. GLOCK Toyota 643.0
    3. VETTEL Red Bull 659.0
    4. BUTTON Brawn 652.5
    5. HAMILTON McLaren 652.5
    6. BARRICHELLO Brawn 649.0
    7. ALONSO Renault 650.5
    8. MASSA Ferrari 664.5
    9. ROSBERG Williams 670.5
    10. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 671.5
    11. KOVALAINEN McLaren 678.5
    12. NAKAJIMA Williams 680.9
    13. KUBICA BMW 698.6
    14. HEIDFELD BMW 696.3
    15. PIQUET Renault 677.6
    16. BUEMI Toro Rosso 678.5
    17. FISICHELLA Force India 652.0
    18. WEBBER Red Bull 656.0
    19. SUTIL Force India 679.0
    20. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso 667.5

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  • 31. At 11:31am on 26 Apr 2009, Lavendyr01 wrote:

    I have a strong feeling that Glock will pass Trulli off the line. Vettel may be able to do so as well, but Button should be able to get ahead if Trulli gets a poor start as that will hold up Vettel as well.

    Hamilton should absolutely spring off the line with KERS working for him (and it does seem to work well for him). Trulli will need a perfect start if he's going to retain lead of the race from the start.

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  • 32. At 11:44am on 26 Apr 2009, Gwilym wrote:

    Is it not a bit unnecessarily complicated regarding fuel? Why not just let them start with a full tank and refuel when it is running out or whenever they want?

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  • 33. At 11:48am on 26 Apr 2009, Gwilym wrote:

    On Spanish TV all the adverts star Alonso whether it is for cars, petrol, oil, shampoo, dog food & all, but they do keep the race on a samll section of the screen which is noble of them.

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  • 34. At 12:16pm on 26 Apr 2009, Bobert wrote:

    Vettel should win based on his current position and fuel load. Hope he does cause he is a talented driver and looks exciting for the future. For those "Eddie Jordan Bashers", give the guy a break, he is a legend and has the experience to comment on whatever he likes in F1.

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  • 35. At 12:21pm on 26 Apr 2009, wedwivwage wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 36. At 7:27pm on 26 Apr 2009, Slater582 wrote:

    "And although his car is not as strong as the Red Bull or the Brawn, he could mess up the races of Vettel or Button if his Kers power-boost system allows him to jump one or both at the start."

    Good predicting!

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  • 37. At 11:45pm on 26 Apr 2009, Mark Adler wrote:

    Well thats great if Eddie Jordan knows alot about the politics of the sport. He s boring and very negative at times which seem to be personal assumptions. BBC should rather get a fan in there irrespective of whom they support as they would make more sense than Eddie Jordan. One word to sum him up:


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  • 38. At 10:23am on 27 Apr 2009, merryshadyone wrote:

    I agree with webby and others, Eddie Jordan is a nice guy but not in the least suited to his current role with the beeb. Mike Gasgoine provided a more effective and informative job.
    That said, what a great race on Sunday, long may it continue and continued success for Brawn GP,Button and Barrichello.

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