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Turkish Grand Prix – Vettel Hands Win to McLaren

by F1Fan on May 31, 2010

The Turkish Grand Prix was a mixed affair. Plenty of position changes in the first lap, then it settled down into a race between two teams Red Bull And McLaren who by the end of the race were over 30 seconds clear of the rest of the field. and then drama in the closing stages of the race.

The first few corners after the start were pretty frantic. Webber made a good start and maintained the lead, Vettel made a fantastic start from the second row getting by Lewis Hamilton into the first corner. Further back Shcumacher starting from the third row also made a cracking start getting by Jenson Button into fourth place as they came out of turn two.

Then Hamilton retakes Vettel on the outside going into turn 3 and Button uses the superior top speed of his Mclaren to retake fourth position back from Schumacher coming into turn 12 at the end of the fist lap. So the first lap ended up pretty much as it started with Red Bull in First and third and McLaren in second and fourth.

The McLarens were over 5 miles an hour faster than the Red Bulls through the speed traps at the end of the long straight coming into turn 12, but the Red Bulls dominated the second sector where maximum downforce is required to get through the challenging 4 apex Turn 8 which Webber and Vettel were able to take flat out. Each lap Hamilton would be fastest in the first and third sectors only to loose the time gained in the second sector. However McLaren’s is improving the MP4-25 race by race and their race pace in Turkey showed marked improvement, matching Red Bull’s pace throughout the race with the top 4 cars regularly swapping fastest lap, only tenths of a second apart.

In turkey Webber wasn’t able to drive off into the distance like he did in Barcelona and Monaco and Lewis Hamilton was challenging him for the lead at several points around the track. Even though the MP4-25 was significantly faster in a straight line, the lack of downforce cost Hamilton lost ground coming into the critical areas where he could use his speed advantage, just enough to be unable to overtake Webber.

During the first Pit stops for Red Bull and McLAren, Hamilton lost time in the pits allowing Vettel who had pitted a lap earlier to overtake Hamilton as he was coming out from the pits. So for the next 24 laps or so it was Webber in the lead followed by Vettel and then the McLArens of Hamilton and Button.

Red Bull looked set to claim another one two victory barring any mechanical failure and then Vettel decided to Challenge Webber for the lead. Webber held his line and Vettel who was trying to out-brake Webber coming down the inside into the corner suddenly turns right the two team mates collide, severely damaging Vettels rear wheel beyond repair and forcing Webber to drive off track to avoid the spinning Vettel, allowing both McLarens to sail by into First and Second place.

Webber had to pit again to change the nose section of his car because of a damaged front wing but luckily was still able to rejoin the race in third place.

Just nine laps after this incident Button decides to overtake Hamilton coming into Turn 12 and then Hamilton fights back retaking the position into turn one, briefly touching one another in what could have been another disaster. Luckily the McLaren drivers had given each other just enough room not to force an accident, but it was a close call.

After the race we found out that Webber was already in fuel preservation mode when Vettel decided to go for the lead. Something you would have thought the team would have communicated to both Drivers rather than risk a racing incident.

Turkey could have been the grand prix that gave Red Bull a commanding lead in both the Drivers and Constructors championship, but Vettels lapse of judgment cost the team that advantage and handed the Turkish Grand Prix and top position in the Constructors Championship to Mclaren on a plate. No wonder Lewis Hamilton was smiling from ear to ear.

Turkish Grand Prix Final Results (Top Ten)

PositionDriver
Nationality
DriverTeamGrand Prix
Points
1GBLewis HamiltonMcLaren25
2GBJenson ButtonMcLsren18
3AustraliaMark WebberRed Bull Racing15
4GermanyMichael SchumacherMercedes GP12
5GermanyNico RosbergMercedes GP10
6PolandlRobert KubicaRenault F18
7BrazilFelipe MassaFerrari6
8SpainFernando AlonsoFerrari4
9GermanyAdrian SutilForce India2
10JapanKamui KobayashiBMW Sauber F11
last updated May 30, 2010
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