The post-qualifying car weights ahead of this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir have again thrown up a number of surprises – with the Brawn GP's lack of pace transpiring to be very real, and one man in particular looking to be in the pound seats come lights-out on race day.
Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock stormed to a front-row lock-out for Toyota in the desert kingdom, with the supremacy of the Italian's stunning lap time underlined by the fact that his car was running 5.5kg heavier than that of his team-mate.
If the Brawn GPs of sixth-placed Rubens Barrichello and fourth-placed world championship leader Jenson Button are carrying more fuel on-board, then it is barely very much – a fact that is only likely to exacerbate the former Honda F1 outfit's dismay at its second and third row starting positions. Though Button and Barrichello were similarly further down the grid than expected a week ago in Shanghai, fuel-corrected they were still the quickest. In Bahrain that is patently not the case.
The driver who appears to be in strongest shape, indeed, is Chinese Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel, who – at some 10.5kg heavier than Trulli and with 15.5kg in-hand over Glock – must surely fancy his chances of a second consecutive triumph this weekend and in so doing throw his hat firmly into the ring for a title challenge with Red Bull Racing.
Elsewhere inside the top ten, world champions Fernando Alonso (Renault) and Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes) seemingly used relatively low-fuel strategies to earn themselves respectively fifth and seventh places on the grid, with Felipe Massa alongside the Briton on the fourth row looking to be going rather longer into the race, as are Williams ace Nico Rosberg and the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen a row further back on the edge of the top ten.
In the intra-team comparisons, the KERS-heavy BMW-Saubers (Robert Kubica carrying 2.3kg more than team-mate Nick Heidfeld), Red Bull Racing duo Vettel and Mark Webber (the German's car 3kg heavier), the Brawn GPs and Toyotas are the most evenly-matched, with the greatest discrepancies at McLaren, Force India and Renault, where more than 25kg separates the two cars in each case.
The full list is as follows (their actual starting position is in brackets at the end):
Brawn GP-Mercedes 649.0kg
Force India-Ferrari 652.0kg
Brawn GP-Mercedes 652.5kg
Red Bull Racing-Renault 656.0kg
Red Bull Racing-Renault 659.0kg
Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 667.5kg
Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 678.5kg
Force India-Ferrari 679.0kg