The post-qualifying car weights published by the FIA ahead of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix – the so-called 'jewel in the Formula 1 crown' – as ever make for interesting reading...or slightly unnerving reading if your name happens to be Sebastian Vettel.
Having been tipped to challenge for pole position or at least the front row of the grid around the narrow, tortuous streets of the glamorous Principality, Red Bull Racing star Vettel ultimately qualified just fourth, almost four tenths of a second away from the top spot. That had the paddock sages surmising that the young German – in company with team-mate Mark Webber – had fuelled long for the race. Not so, it seems.
Not only does Vettel have the lightest car in the field but, according to the governing body's publication, he is some 10.5kg lighter than anyone else, and Webber's fuel load is much of a muchness with his immediate rivals on the starting grid. The drivers arguably in the pound seats for race day are Brawn GP duo Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, first and third in the top ten shoot-out and the two heaviest cars inside the top eight contenders.
The Ferrari of fellow front row sitter Kimi Raikkonen is 3.5kg lighter than Button, but perhaps most interestingly of all, Vettel aside the top eight are covered by just six kilograms, meaning all can be expected to pit for the first time within barely a handful of laps of each other – placing the emphasis on getting ahead on the pit crews rather than on quick laps out on the race track.
And, lest we forget, should the KERS-equipped Raikkonen gain the jump on Button when the lights go out, it could change the entire complexion of the race altogether...
The full list is as follows (their actual starting position is in brackets at the end):
Red Bull Racing-Renault 631.5kg
Red Bull Racing-Renault 646.5kg
Brawn GP-Mercedes 647.5kg
Brawn GP-Mercedes 648.0kg
Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 670.0kg
Force India-Ferrari 670.0kg
Force India-Ferrari 693.0kg
Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 699.5kg