Most notably post-qualifying was the release of the race stewards decision that Toyota’s rear wing contravened Article 3.15 of the FIA technical regulations for 2009. This regulation prohibits the flexing of the rear wing and Toyota’s was found to be too flexible under load. Having made the decision, Toyota have been disqualified from the qualifying session rendering them on the back of the grid for the start of the Australian Grand Prix.
Also notable was the official protest by Williams concerning Ferrari and Red Bull Racing’s leading edge of the sidepod area. After deliberation and lengthy meetings, Williams F1 chose to rescind their official complaint and there was no further action taken.
Most McLaren fans were certainly aware of Lewis Hamilton’s gearbox troubles at the outset of Q3 but having been relegated to 15th, the team took the opportunity to change the gearbox which would place them last on the grid had Toyota not experienced their penalty. As it is, Lewis will start in 18th.
Also in the wake of qualifying, the FIA released weight specifications upon post-qualifying scrutineering. These weight details are interesting from a anorak’s position but I find myself not wanting to know. The weight details betray team tactics and as a ardent fan of F1 and the nuances that make the sport unpredictable; I am bereft of the logic of posting weights. It may be true that other teams already know what everyone is doing based on their embedded spy’s but as a removed fan with no intricate spy network and access to information within the paddock; the last remaining question has always been, “what strategy are they running?”. Of course this season has started with enough excitement but as an old-school fan; I just liked it better when i didn’t actually know that Brawn will start the GP with around 20 laps of fuel. But for those who love having this information, here it is:
1. Jenson Button, Brawn GP, 664.5kg
2. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP, 666.5
3. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 657
4. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 650
5. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 657
6. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 654
7. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 655.5
8. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 662
9. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 691.5
10. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 680.7
11. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 690.6
12. Nelson Piquet, Renault, 694.1
13. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India 689
14. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 612.5
15. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 675.5
16. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 684.5
17. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 662.5
18. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 655
19. Timo Glock, Toyota, 670
20. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 660
So now we know who is running heavy for a potential one-stop strategy and who is not. Nakajima’s fuel load is an interesting note.
The biggest tale from the numbers is that Brawn were not running light and are on a real pace and according BMW’s Robert Kubica; untouchable.