A brilliant race in Turkey shows F1 is on the right track (Making F1 better)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

The top three were covered by less than a second in Turkey
The top three were covered by less than a second in Turkey

The Turkish Grand Prix was a fantastic race – and it didn’t need a single drop of rain to liven things up.

F1 Fanatic readers rated the Turkish Grand Prix higher than any other dry race weekend since our “Rate the Race” polls began at the start of 2008.

After the criticisms of ‘boring F1’ following the Bahrain Grand Prix, what conclusions can we draw about the state of F1 fro the Turkish GP?

Why we saw a great race

Why did we see such a good race in Istanbul? Rob put forward one convincing explanation:

From my technically ignorant viewpoint, it seems that the McLaren and Red Bull cars? handling characteristics ?ǣ one faster in slow corners and in a straight line, the other faster in high-speed corners ?ǣ combined with a track which has a good variety of fast and slower sections, and the grid positions of the top four drivers all combined to keep them racing together.

Rob’s dead right. But there was one other element which conspired to keep the front runners close together.

The top three were covered by less than a second on some laps. And for that we have the refuelling ban to thank.

Last year Lewis Hamilton would have had a much easier job winning this race. McLaren would have fuelled him up for his middle stint, brought him in later for his final stop to leapfrog the Red Bulls and collected an easy victory.

The great strength of the refuelling ban is it forces drivers to to fight for their wins on the track.

And when F1 drivers spend lap after lap in close proximity with their rivals, you’re far more likely to get the kind of drama we saw on Sunday.

What F1 can learn from it

Just as it would have been foolish to rush into knee-jerk changes following the Bahrain Grand Prix, it would be wrong to conclude from one great race that everything is fine in Formula 1 at the moment.

It wasn’t just at the front of the field that we saw quicker cars trying to pass slower ones. But not only were passes for position still in short supply, there were several examples of how it was impossible for some drivers to get close enough to even try a pass.

And Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica crossed the line separated by less than two seconds – but it rarely looked as though any of them might try a move on the other.

Jaime Alguersuari caught the Sauber drivers by up to three seconds per lap at the end of the race, yet couldn’t get close enough to overtake.

This is the long-lamented aerodynamic problem again. If drivers cannot get close enough to their rivals to put pressure on them, we’re not going to see close racing.

We already know the teams are banning the powerful double diffusers next year to reduce the cars’ aerodynamic downforce. They should seriously consider further reductions in wing size to make it easier for cars to run closely together.

If all they do next year is push the balance further towards less grip and more power, that will be of far greater benefit to F1 than unnecessary changes to the race format. As John H put it:

This was a great race.

We always look to the past with rose-tinted spectacles (??look at this, wheel to wheel stuff they?re almost touching?? Mansell gets in there?? etc…??) but try to imagine Murray and Hunt commentating on today?s race and you?ll realise F1 is in good shape these days ?ǣ not bad.

We don?t need overtaking every five minutes to make a great race. Keep races long. Stay away Briatore!
John H

What do you think made the Turkish Grand Prix such a good race? Was it a one-off or the sign of things to come? have your say in the comments.

Race rating data

The chart below shows the result of over 67,000 votes cast rating the last 42 races out of ten:

F1 races rated out of ten, 2008-2010
F1 races rated out of ten, 2008-2010 (click to enlarge)

This is part of “Making F1 better”, a series of articles looking at ways to improve Formula 1. Fore more information see the introduction: Making F1 better: a discussion series

Making F1 better

Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images

149 comments on “A brilliant race in Turkey shows F1 is on the right track (Making F1 better)”

  1. Istanbul Park is the right track for F1. It’s just a shame that it’s difficult to get to.

    1. Did you go this year? I’ve not being before, but I found the transport that was laid on excellent and, certainly relative to Silverstone, getting to/from the track via public transport a breeze. Given that EasyJet fly into the airport just down the road and the general admission prices are so cheap, you could conceivably do it in a (very long) day for around £150 (if the flight schedules were correct – which they currently aren’t).

      1. I went this year and found it easy to get to if a little long with the shuttle buses from Taksim square. The track is excellent but the facilities are lacking. Research before the race led me to believe there was a lot more areas with TVs for the general admission areas. This wasnt the case tho and TVs were only supplied with the stands. Which is fine if they had have made it clear beforehand. You also couldnt buy a kangaroo or upgrade your tickets. It looked like they had downgraded the place from last year after the low turnout. This year the turnout was great and what a race. Definitely go back with maybe a grandstand ticket.

    2. gosh i hate alonso hopefuly he will save this year but we needed an inspired raikkonen

  2. graham228221
    2nd June 2010, 12:57

    John H’s comment is spot on. The biggest gripes I have with this season so far are the woeful FOM footage and the dire Jonathan Legard. Every single qualifying session has been ruined by Jonathan SHOUTING TO MAKE EVERYTHING EXCITING EVEN THOUGH THERE’S STILL SIX MINUTES LEFT while we spend half the time looking at a drawn-out shot of a girlfriend/wife/boss/previously eliminated driver.

    1. Jonathan Legard is dire especially in qualifying. At first I thought they need an idiot to communicate with the masses that don’t understand F1. Then Martin can educate him and hence the masses during the course of the show. However, his enthusiasm at completely the wrong moments creates such confusion especially in qualifying. F1 is full of very subtle but significant rules that require great care in explaining. His approach and seeming complete lack of learning curve highlights why F1 is so hard to get into.

    2. Magnificent Geoffrey
      2nd June 2010, 14:14

      Magnificent Geoffrey presents: Jonathan Legard – a short tribute.

      Down the hill,
      And towards turn one,
      Jenson BUTT-on,
      Pushes on.

      Pole for Ferrari,
      Is going to be tough,
      Here comes Fernando,

      Webber is flying,
      But so too is Vettel,
      As Nico Rosberg,
      Is joining the battle.

      Is that a Ferrari?!
      Nope, it’s actually,
      Jaime Alguersuari.

      SOOT-il has lost it,
      And KOO-bica too!
      That was the last thing
      They needed to do!

      I’m sorry there Martin,
      You’ll just have to wait,
      I’ve just been informed,
      That Petrov is eighth.

      Hamilton wins!
      He’ll surely be happy,
      But will he be champion,
      Come Abby-Dabby?

      1. graham228221
        2nd June 2010, 14:22

        That’s absolute genius!

        “I’m sorry there Martin,
        You’ll just have to wait,
        I’ve just been informed,
        That Petrov is eighth.”

        Couldn’t help laughing out loud in the office at that one!

        1. My favourite verse too.

          Fantastic :D

      2. you need more pauses between words when he gets excited “here comes webber……round……the last corner………can he do it……… yes……..pole…….pole for webber”

        Ps i really dislike him also

      3. Robert McKay
        2nd June 2010, 14:27

        That….that IS magnificent, Magnificent Geoffrey.

      4. Yes that is brilliant! I really do think his commentary does pretty much ruin the BBC coverage…perfect example would be if you watch the replays of BBC commentary of the Vettel-Webber incident, Coulthard is describing it and Leggard just jumps in shouting over him! He doesn’t seem to understand that for TV coverage we can see whats going on, we want an educated informed insight from people who know what they’re talking about! he is USELESS!

        p.s. Yes the FOM could do better with the shots of wags, but I think the BBC’s repeated interviews of Hamilton’s girlfriend really was a low point. Please, we are not interested in what she has to say, we care about the teams, cars and drivers not the commentary of a half witted singer!

        1. To be fair, she just butted in for one of those.

        2. Tom Johnson
          3rd June 2010, 9:40

          Carping. You have options, 5 Live or no commentary, use them. The BBC had two brief words with Sherzinger both initiated by Brundle and Coulthard. So what are you on about?

          1. graham228221
            3rd June 2010, 9:42

            The 5 live commentary isn’t always available, or at least it isn’t for me. Didn’t the tennis stop this option being available last weekend?

      5. theRoswellite
        2nd June 2010, 15:58

        This is the kind
        of comments we need,
        presenting it all
        and all up to speed.

      6. Ned Flanders
        2nd June 2010, 16:08

        Keith, I know you’ve mentioned you don’t have a problem with Legard’s commentary, but on behalf of the majority that do can you make this song-comment of the day? It deserves it!

      7. Scott Joslin
        2nd June 2010, 17:16

        Magnificent Geoffrey – Absolutely Brilliant – Love it!!

      8. Blimey that was well done.
        I agree with Ned, COTD!
        The worst bit, is that as I watch the race and listen to the commentary, I find myself regulary in this situation.

        A shot of one car flying past clearly shows a piece of wing flying off a car.

        Me: A bit just fell of his car.
        Me: I clearly saw a bit just fell of his car.
        Me: I have seen a bit just fall of his car.
        brundel: I think I might have seen a piece fly of his car.
        Me: Thank you Martin.
        A replay clearly showing a piece flying off a car
        Legard: I HAVE NO IDEA what we are SEEING IN THIS replay!
        Brundel: I’m sure I just saw a bit fly of his car.
        Legard: Really? WE MUST NOT have SEEN it WHEN it actually HAPPENED!
        Me: well, clearly you didn’t…. sigh….

      9. Definitely COTD! That is brilliant! Sorry, magnificent! :D

      10. that is great! Your Magnificent

      11. Dave in NZL
        2nd June 2010, 22:54

        What a great comment. Thanks – it made me laugh in the office.

        I too detest Legard – I watch GP with my wife and she often says, after some woeful commentary “that’s the one you don’t like, isn’t it Dave?”. “Yes, Sarah. That’s the one”.

      12. Nathan Bradley
        3rd June 2010, 10:05

        Magnificent! Best comment since W154’s Jim Clark interview quote at South Africa 1962.


      13. Excellent. But you missed Legard’s dumbest catchphrase. “BUT WHAT ABOUT…!!!!??????”

        Usually, ‘But what about Button/Hamilton’ when they’re doing nothing of any note whatsoever and we’re trying to focus on something interesting.

      14. Andrew White
        3rd June 2010, 13:31

        Well done Magnificent Geoffrey. That’s a real shot in the arm for poetry.

    3. wish I could get the 5 Live commentary on iplayer… I’m pretty sure Legard aids in making F1 seem boring because you just want him to shut up the entire race

      1. You could play both the streams in separate windows and mute the bbc1 audio.

        1. haha, pity about syncing issues

  3. MouseNightshirt
    2nd June 2010, 12:59

    “Just as it would have been foolish to rush into knee-jerk changes following the Bahrain Grand Prix, it would be wrong to conclude from one great race that everything is fine in Formula 1 at the moment.”

    Never a truer thing said Keith. There’s still too much “dirty air” contaminating the racing.

    On a side note, I’ve noticed something on that graph. Spain has featured in 5 of the bottom 10 grand prixs over the last few years (including Valencia). So why are is F1 insistent on having two races there per season?

    1. I think that quote: “Just as it would have been foolish to rush into knee-jerk changes following the Bahrain Grand Prix, it would be wrong to conclude from one great race that everything is fine in Formula 1 at the moment.” should be the gist of the post.

      The simple reason why the Red Bulls and Mclarens were so close is because the faster car was behind the slower car.

      Overtaking is no more easier in 2010 than in 2009, except that it is now imperative to pass on-track than through pit stops. Which means we have lesser passing for positions but more ‘meaningful’ passing.

      I am going to whine about the ‘Schumacher train’ though. As the season progresses, this train is gonna cause havoc for all its bogies. Less than half-way through a race, the guys ahead of Schumacher can afford to touch lose a front wing, dive back into the pits and still come out without losing position. And no passing occurs whatsoever behind the Schumacher train due to 1) the cars’ pace is so closely matched 2) the complex aerodynamics on each of them.

      Aero-problem still needs to be solved, only then will F1 be on ‘the right track’ IMO.

      1. Yes, the Schumacher train has begun to irritate me more and more as well

      2. hopefully someone gets impatient behind him and rams him off the track a few times, might have a closer fight at the front then

      3. I’d like to present a different point of view:
        How about the other drivers qualify better than him and/or have better starts than he does?! If they can’t, they don’t deserve to be ahead of him and clearly its not his fault that the MGP is not among the fastest cars, even though he might want to drive it around the track a little faster (I hope he will find a bit more speed inside of him).

      4. No no no, it has to be alliterative, or else it doesn’t work. Schumacher Sled? Schumacher Sleigh? Schumacher Succession?

        C’mon people, cast your votes here!

        1. Schumacher S-Bahn
          (what they call local train in germany)

          has an “f-duct” ring to it too!

  4. Good article, shame that its going to take the cars to stay evenly matched if we’re going to have another tense race like last weekend, and I think it was the nature of the track which allowed them to be so. The two cars are quick on different track parts – McLaren on the straights and RBR in turn 8 – and so because the track contained both they were “evening out” each others strengths and weaknesses. Won’t be any such luck in Montreal, thats got ‘McLaren Track’ written all over it.

    Oh, and nice one Keith for your ITV-F1 feature :). One off piece, or were they just not crediting you before?

    1. No, today’s was the second and there should be more in the future. I’ll give them a plug in the daily round-up:


  5. McLaren2010
    2nd June 2010, 13:02

    Perhaps we should have Martin Brundle doing the commantry alone or have DC with him, Legard is just poor, surely the BBC can see this??

    1. MouseNightshirt
      2nd June 2010, 13:07

      Brundle, Croft and Davidson. Dream team right there.

      1. McLaren2010
        2nd June 2010, 13:16

        Brundle & Croft YES, Davidson NO, he is so bitter about not getting a drive that he makes all what the drivers do sound so easy. He should stick to the practice sessions!!

        1. MouseNightshirt
          2nd June 2010, 13:34

          I generally find Davidson quite knowledgeable and generally likable. He’s quite frank as well.

      2. “Brundle, Croft and Davidson. Dream team”
        Agreed! Croft has the easy but genuinely passionate style, Davidson is always knowledgeable and really showed his sharpness on the F1 forum on Sunday.

      3. Put Jackie Stewart there as well

        1. No! Keep him to practices.

      4. That is my perfect line up, too. Brundle has such a good ability to read the race. Davidson always has relevant driver POV and technical info, and Croft makes it exciting and entertaining.

  6. For anyway who wants to know what F1 should aspire to just youtube keke rosberg.

  7. Great article Keith. Increase power, reduce grip, although i’d say from from aero, increasing mechanical grip is fine, definatley the way foward.

    As well as some more gimmic removal, quali tyre rule, silly, doesn’t work, tyre gap, also doesn’t add anything, four tyres of the same compound, doesn’t add anything, mandatory pitstops and compound changes. Etc etc.

    The purer the racing the more varied an less forced into these optimum patterns it will become.

  8. Did the threat of rain make the race any more exciting?

    1. It did put some tension in at a time when nothing much was happening, so yes.

      1. It did add a bit of excitment but as brundle said he has been lyin to the fans for years because the silly radar is far too sensitive.So to be honest i really did not think it would rain.

        On a side note I remember reading Eddie Jordans book and he was talkin about wet weekends and the unreilable forcasts so his solution he sent to of the team members 1 mile and 2 mile respectively up wind and told them to ring if it was raining if the teams don’t do this any more there very foolish.

        1. That’s kind of clever, but not also fully reliable.

          Also, they weren’t lying about the rain at Turkey. In the “Brits on Pole” article, the writer said specifically there was a short spurt of rain. And you could see it on the camera lenses during the broadcast. It wasn’t much actually coming down, but the threat was real and as they said, when it’s warm like that there’s always the threat of a summer storm really pouring.

          1. true and i accept your point maybe using a combo of the two would be the best.

          2. I was on the race and rain was indeed falling for a while. However, the rain cloud was small and the rain didn’t fall strong enough – most of it evaporated on a hot asphalt but it was a nice refreshment in what was a very hot day…

    2. Oh yes!!

      A threat of rain is almost as good as real rain as demonstrated by this race.

      It is exciting to watch a race as long as the viewer *thinks* that it is going to become more exciting later on, which was the case of Turkish GP 2010.

    3. I don’t think the drivers or teams reacted to the threat of rain by changing their tactics at all, so I’d say no.

      1. I’m pretty sure someone stayed out a lot longer on softs in what seemed like an attempt to hit the rain. can’t remember who it was though

  9. Lack of refueling. It means the drivers on a team are almost guaranteed to be on the same strategy, which effectively bunches the cars in pairs (more or less). Then the teams are themselves in bunches: Red Bull and McLaren, followed by Renault, Mercedes, Ferrari, etc.. When Ferrari and McLaren were close, say, in 2008, the different fuel and pit stop strategies still meant there was little cat and mouse stuff to heighten the tension.

    However. Overtaking is still evidently a bit too difficult. I think the way to go is (non-catastrophic!) driver error: fully manual gear changing, so maybe drivers can bodge the gear change, and slightly less effective brakes to increase the braking zone.

    1. I think two things are doing more to prevent varied strategies at the moment:

      First, the combination of the “top ten tyre rule” and the “mandatory pit stop rule”, as we discussed here the other week: The top ten tyre rule is a failure

      Second, the aerodynamics which make passing next to impossible.

      The Toro Rosso example from this race shows this up perfectly. They gambled on a second pit stop but they wouldn’t do it until they had enough of a gap to the car behind (Liuzzi) to come out in front of them.

      Toro Rosso knew that even though Alguersuari would be two seconds per lap faster than Liuzzi after his second pit stop, he still wouldn’t have a good chance of passing him and it wasn’t worth bringing him into the pits until he was clear of the Force India.

      1. Totally agree about the top ten tyre rule and aero, Keith. I just think all driver assistance should be minimized as far as possible (while remaining within reasonably safe limits) as driver errors and glitches are obviously a great way for them to lose speed and allow others overtaking chances. They also throw the onus entirely on the drivers (remaining calm under pressure) rather than the cars (relative ability to be overtaken).

  10. Ha, you got the first one prove for it, Keith. The refuelling ban is starting to force drivers and teams to do it on track!

    This is what we were looking out for. A shame that most tracks are not such a nice combination to make different approaches to cars even out. Montreal will be McLaren, but i expect Red Bull to make a push to get their B-duct working there and maybe Ferrari finally gets it tuned.
    It also starts working for Mercedes, but they are no match for McLaren at the moment, and Kubica really likes Montreal so i hope to see him right at the front as well.

    The season really is turning into a classic, we had 4 great races, a good Monaco, 1 pretty boring race with a revelation driver in Webber and a borefest where the FOM forgot to show us the action in the backfield.

    Also a nice good weekend/bad weekend on ITV.

    1. er… BBC?

      1. I suppose that last sentence was about your ITV-F1 feature Keith :-p

        Wait, B-duct?

        1. Thanks for clearing that point, yes i ment the ITV website.

          As for “B-duct”, well, McLaren have the F-duct, as it is at the F in voda Fone on the rear wing. Therefore red Bull would probably have it in the B, making it a B-duct :O

  11. Hamiltons harrying of the Red Bulls was a main contributor to the tension and excitement. I know Jensen was playing a tactically sound game in waiting it out behind the front three but I would have liked to have seen him give Vettel more grief while Lewis was attcking Mark.

  12. I was wondering Keith if you could get an average of each tracks score of the past 3 years and see which race has been voted the best. I ask this because I noticed the Australia has 3 of the top 10 races.

    1. Can do but perhaps best to wait until the end of the season when we’ve got a full three years’ data.

      1. You’re ITV.com/F1 article is up… unmistakable style :) Knew it was you from the formatting..


  13. Collantine preaching his dogmas… The jury is still out on the refuelling. I miss it because it was a decisive and powerful strategic element, which could help technologically weaker yet smarter teams. It is now gone – reduced to predictable parody of boring changes from/to option tires. I also miss refuelling because F1, especially during the last 20 laps of 2010 races, has become “economy racing” – saving fuels, tires, revs and lots of stuff which inhibit true racing. Constraining and sabotaging racing to the finishing line by means of refuelling bans in order to blindly make racing “more equal” is definitely not the way forward. Hopefully KERS and better tires/tire regulation next year will modify the current “cheapskate formula”…

    1. Robert McKay
      2nd June 2010, 15:08

      Sounds like you’ve got a couple of dogmas yourself to preach.

      1. Ah – discussing the issue at hand?

        1. Robert McKay
          2nd June 2010, 15:49

          You can’t go on about people preaching their “dogmas” and then list your own without someone calling you on it.

          If you’d said “Keith has his own opinions on things but mine are different” then I would have had no problem with your post…you raise interesting discussion points, even if I don’t particularly agree with them.

    2. Constraining and sabotaging racing to the finishing line by means of refuelling bans in order to blindly make racing “more equal” is definitely not the way forward.

      I don’t understand your point. Refuelling was banned to save money, not to make things “more equal”.

    3. How often were there big positional changes in the last 20 laps of a race during the refuelling years?

      As far as I remember all the position changes were done with after the final round of pitstops typically, as everyone had the same fuel and freshish tyres.

    4. if Vettel hadn’t crashed into mark, we could of had the best end to the race of the season. all the cars were pushing too hard to keep up the pace until the end of the race, yet they all wanted to win. could of been a very interesting battle :)

    5. Saving the car has always been a big part of motor racing, Le Mans – one of the oldest racing competitions – is an endurance race, same with the Indy 500 and various rally events.

  14. I’ve been in favor of the refuelling ban all along: pitstops only kill overtaking as it is much safer to do in the pits. Drivers are now coming to terms with the fact that they have to gain positions on the track. We still need the mandatory tire change to go and we’re back where we should be. We indeed find that the original problem of turbulence has not gone away, since they haven’t done anything about it. Hopefully, the diffuser is indeed to blame and next year will be better in the sense that they can close up more.
    I must say that the middle part of the race is now the most boring: the start is always exciting but then we have to wait for the ‘wear & tear’ to do its work in the middle to see who’s where on tire and fuel status at the end. MW tuned down his engine to make SV’s move possible, otherwise they probably would have finished the way they were. Nice and close though and a large possibility of overtaking.
    I think the budget restrictions should also take some credit as it keeps the relative performance close enough. Hopefully, as these become more severe at the end of next year, this will start to contribute even more. In that respect, Ferrari seem to have their work cut out for them as they seem to be going backwards even without the restrictions …
    As I stated before, I think F1 is going in the right direction. Even the points system starts to show its merit: MW’s rise with his 2 wins shows that.
    2011 will be interesting for tires as well: they apparently design their cars for Bridgestone, but will receive Pirelli’s or Michelins instead.

  15. A sidenote: why doesn’t the FIA allow the driver’s briefings to be broadcasted ? It would be interesting again to hear what they will have to say on ‘cutting across’ in Montreal.
    Also: how can we get access to the car/pit communications ? I would like to know exactly what RBR told MW and SV instead of having to guess about it. What Maclaren told JB and LH would be of interest as well.
    If I remember correctly, in Oz 2009 we got to hear/read the comms to LH after the races. So this all seems feasible…

  16. The cars were so close, but they were unable to pass… Fernando had to wait much and much time to pass Petrov and also Kubica has been unable to pass Rosberg who was in trouble with tyres

  17. Great race, though I still think they should place greater emphasis on the tracks rather than the aero problems. May not be quite what Macca’s after but look here for the circuits with the best record for overtaking:


    I personally loved the refuelling because it added that extra dimension to strategy, etc. Also, surely the reason the McLarens couldn’t get past the Red Bulls was because they fell back in turn 8 – this was nothing to do with the Red Bulls’ wake.

    1. Also, surely the reason the McLarens couldn’t get past the Red Bulls was because they fell back in turn 8 – this was nothing to do with the Red Bulls’ wake.

      Fair point. In practice they were about 0.3s off in the second sector but I must say it looked like more than that in the race. Not got the data to hand though.

    2. It goes to prove how unfairly criticised the Fuji Speedway is. The last dry race there produced more overtaking than the last 14 races at Suzuka (including that 2005 race).

  18. Definitely on the money here in my view, Keith. The track did help, but the lack of fuel strategies helped even more.

    One point I disagree with is the ban on double diffusers being a good thing. By generating downforce at the rear of the car, it’s not as sensitive to turbulent air as the even greater downforce-generating device on the cars, the front wing. They should be reducing the front wing first and then the DDD if it’s still proving to be a problem in creating more wake (opinion is divided, like in your Adrian Newey article about the DDD ban) or merely because it further upsets the mech/aero balance. Those wings generate something like 75% more downforce than the diffusers, I read somewhere (possibly in one of John Beamer’s excellent articles).

  19. I seriously doubt that Istanbul was a good Race. It was rated relatively higher than other race was probably because of the crash between Mark and Vettel. Before that, I was finding the race annoyingly boring. Cars cant pass cars…. Lewis would of gone pass Webber, Schumie would of been a lot closer to the front, and the Renault would surely have trouble keeping the Ferrari behind them if it wasnt 2010 rules…

    I miss refueling….. I want to see more team work involved, and more strategic move rather than pure racing…. You need a good car + good team + good strategy + good driver to win, in contrast, all we need in 2010 is a good car and a decent driver.

    1. Christopher Vissing
      2nd June 2010, 15:00

      Go get the “yes”-hat on again, bitte :D

      I think it was a fantastic race.. Like 100 times better than last years race!

    2. Wait… so you’re saying that the race wouldn’t have been as interesting if one of the significant events of the race hadn’t happened? That’s very insightful :)

      I like to think that without the crash Hamilton would’ve passed Vettel or Vettel would’ve passed Webber and there’d have been another fight between Hamilton and Webber.

      Who can say for sure though?

      1. I didnt say not to happen. I just want to see a more significant involvement from the team. If racing is all about overtaking … then why’s f1 different to Nascar?

        In regard to Hamilton passing vettel, it is possible… and I beleive hamilton can do it, but it wasnt easy. Hamilton failed to pass webber on their first stints.

        I want more uncertainties, more surprises from the race.

      2. Maybe using another analogy… like Basketball… Not sure about you, but I wont like watching a pure One on One game as much as NBA, where teams vs teams with proper strategies used….. if u know what i mean.

        Its good to see drivers compete with each other, i just want to see a greater involvement from the teams over the race.

    3. You need a good car + good team + good strategy + good driver to win, in contrast, all we need in 2010 is a good car and a decent driver.

      I don’t agree.

      Why did Hamilton fall behind Vettel in the pits? Because his team fumbled his tyre change.

      Why was Alguersuari able to pressure the Saubers at the end of the race? Because he ran a different strategy.

      1. I agree that strategy do play a role in 2010 season, as Keith has pointed out. However, what I meant was it isn’t as significant enough.

        Like Bahrain GP for example, teams are rushing in the pit at around the similar lap, similar pit stop time, and similar fuel load weight. It is good that it is fair, and the race is then depends on the drivers and the car, and thats racing… I think thats fair way to view it.

        But hope some of you can rethink what I said and try and understand my point of view. Racing isn’t all about “racing” only. I like to see strategy playing a larger role in f1 racing and also provide a bigger room for teams to use different strategy to generate different result. Some good strategy like Alonso’s pit stop in Monaco was something different to gain the advantage of the safety car.

        Maybe the life of the tyres can also alter this. I just dont want to see cars following each other and you know it isnt easy to overtake with the reliance of aerodynamics downforce in this year’s F1 cars.

        1. I agree, great strategy has a part to play in F1. But when running a lap or 2 longer in the middle stint became the teams’ sole method of overtaking, it needed getting rid of.

          1. Yes Correct, that should not be the only method.

      2. The pitstop is even more important this year. Usually they can get away with the mistake McLaren did on Hamilton pitstop, but right now everything counts. Combined with the safe release rule then the window for mistake is very little.

  20. Robert McKay
    2nd June 2010, 14:22

    It’s kind of an odd one. It was a great race, no doubt, but on a different day perhaps all four would have simply been stuck where they were and cruised across the line all split by 2 seconds, and we’d have been sitting saying “well if we had refuelling there might have been some position changes or opportunities to switch things around”.

    That’s not a defence of refuelling, I agree with the ban. The point is the margins seem quite fine at the moment in determining good race/bad race.

    The fact is that Webber was not quick in the race, and there were three guys that could all run him hard. The fact that one of the greatest proponents of overtaking, Hamilton, struggled to pass him even with the F-duct is still a big problem.

    Having said that, attempted passing is still very exciting even if it doesn’t come off. Schumacher’s vigorous defence of Button in Barcelona was still pretty good to watch, even if no actual overtaking occurred. Same was true in Turkey – watching Hamilton hound Webber was still good, even if he couldn’t make it stick.

    Bahrain was dreadful because there wasn’t even any attempted passing, not really.

    Plus it’s rare these days that the leader seems to be slower than the guys behind him, which always helps in a battle for the lead, difficult aero or not.

  21. Keith, look again to Rob. This race was sui generis. It says nothing to recommend the refueling ban.

    In fact, it suggests the opposite. You miss the context of the only passing among the top four, which totally undermines your argument. The passing was driven by the inability of the cars to make the distance at full power with fuel on board. This led to one (failed) pass that was contrived by RBR in a foolish attempt to address this situation, and one pass made possible by confusion at VMM about the instructions to NOT pass, made to permit the cars to finish. The only bona fide pass at the front was Hamilton on Button, which wouldn’t have been necessary except for the fuel situation, and would not have been less likely with refueling anyway. Oh, and Vettel’s pass of Hamilton in the pits, just like in olden days.

    If in fact the refueling ban forces drivers to pass on the track, rather than the pits, it was not the case in Turkey. What the refueling ban may do is force teams at certain tracks to concoct strategies to limit consumption, with perforce means forbidding teammates to race each other. Anyway, if this is the kind of drama we like, then allowing refueling would make it even more exciting, by allowing teams to manage the fuel to an advantage they can capitalize on the track by leapfrogging the other guy in the pits.

    As Rob said, the design of this track and the relative strengths of the cars, allowed VMM to exert a strategy, based on fuel consumption, that allowed them to push RBR from behind. This will not occur elsewhere, perhaps save Malaysia and Monza. And at the normal consumption tracks, like Barcelona, (in the dry) we will see the same sort of process: a leap-frog opportunity at 1/3 distance. Then a tire-preservation exercise to the end.

    As before, the refueling ban means the strategies for stopping are identical across the top of the field, and the only real opportunity to pass still occurs in the pits. This time there is only one such opportunity, and no opportunity to adjust fundamentally the strategy mid-stream.

    I also remember the suggestion that the ban would mean, toward the end of the race, different cars would be on vastly different paces due to differential skills in tire management and in set up. That also is not appearing to be the case, notwithstanding the illusory claims that Ferrari or whoever had awesome “race pace” and that people like Button would prosper because they were not impetuous and knew how to manage their tires.

    The refueling ban is a failure. It’s taken away elements of strategy and competition and added nothing.

    I know that the problem with passing is aerodynamics, because that is always what you add in defence of the ban. But that has nothing to do with the merits of refueling, as the cars would be fundamentally the same, aerodynmically, either way.

    1. Hand on, I’m going to go look up sui generis and then I’ll get back to you…


      “of it’s own kind, unique”

      Ah, OK.

      the refueling ban means the strategies for stopping are identical across the top of the field

      As I said to David earlier, I think it’s more the tyre rules and aerodynamic problem that are preventing variety in strategy:


      And again, I don’t see how a race where Hamilton would had the option of passing the Red Bulls by running a long middle stint and passing them via the pit stop would have been better. Like the Spanish or European GPs last year – look how popular those races were.

      1. Agree Keith. When they introduced refueling, it had some novelty value of how some teams were bad (williams, often), and others incredibly good (Schumi/Brawn) at getting the strategy right, but on track there was a lot less real racing happening. (I did very much enjoy Alonso/Ferrari strategy in Monaco, and how McLaren were first to counter with Hamilton, but that is not all I want to see in F1).

        I have to say, for me it is not really that I want a lot of overtaking to happen, but I do want to sit in anticipation of a nice move being attempted and being happily surprised about how well it is countered, or finally succeeds.
        If it is too easy or too hard, and thus becomes predictable, it just isn’t very interesting to watch.

        That is what has made Hamilton a pleasure to watch for me during the season (including Turkey), and Alonso as well in China/Australia.

        1. [quote]it is not really that I want a lot of overtaking to happen, but I do want to sit in anticipation of a nice move being attempted and being happily surprised about how well it is countered, or finally succeeds.
          If it is too easy or too hard, and thus becomes predictable, it just isn’t very interesting to watch.[/quote]

          totally agree mate! good point. well said

  22. BTW, that chart of race ratings is excellent. You should compile these graphics, with your notations and comments, in a book for the end of the season. I’ll make my deposit when you are ready.

  23. So now we have come to a point in F1 where if there are two attempts to overtake in the whole race, the race is brilliant ???

    Come on Keith, you know better. If that was a brilliant race, then what were races of the past where we had 15-20 overtakes all over the field ?

    1. I didn’t reach the conclusion that it was a good race on my own. 2,885 votes were counted for the Turkish GP poll. Of those, just 190 rated it lower than six. That’s pretty emphatic.

      1. I think many like myself rated the race very high for the Result fo the race. When the poll comes up right after a race you are on an emotional high that your favorite driver has won the race, that you make an emotional decision rather than a logical one.

        I’ll bet if the same number of overtakes happened and Hamilton did not win, the results of the Poll would have been much less.

        This is afterall a UK site. Not saying that there arent international people on it. But I’d say the fair majority of readers come from the UK.

        1. That was not true for me and from the posts here, there are quite a lot of non UK visitors (Australian, American, German, Italian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese, cant remember any others right now, sorry).
          Second, i am not a Hamilton fan. For me what did it was:
          – the start was great with a nice first lap.
          – some action with Hamilton all over the back of Webber.
          – Pitstops where Webber countered Hamilton and Hamiltons crew messed up
          – nice shots of cars getting close and having a try at others
          – some tension weather there might actually fall rain
          – Vettel crashed into Webber bringing Lewis and Button in front
          – Button having a go at Lewis
          – Alonso passing Petrov
          – The comments made by Vettel and RBR treating him like a little boy who needs consoling for a big bad teammate
          – the press conference with Webber and Lewis on Vettel.

          All of it made it a great race for me. I don’t even care very much who won (but having a 5th winner is good).

        2. Glenn,

          very good point, and I believe it does reflect reality.

          Keith will tell you that I was on his live chat during the race and at one point around the middle of it I commented that it was starting to get boring. The only thing that happened to spice it up a bit was the RBR incident and Button half-hearted attempt to pass Lewis. That was it.

          And we also have Alonso’s and Massa’s comments that their race was boring. This confirms that not much really happened elsewhere on the field except the RBR incident.

          So indeed this was far from a ‘brilliant’ race. And Keith knows it, even though he pretends he doesn’t.

          1. Hey I dont mean my post to go against Keith and everything that he does. In fact his site is the most informative on the Web for me and always entertaining to chat about something that we all love. I mean must of us are grown men and women sitting in between work and what have you to discuss F1. I think it brilliant. His information that he has (via his polls) give him information based on the fans of this site. Not his own beliefs. But I think the fans of this site, while some are very knowledgeable Id say the majority are just fans, Who will vote for the British Team and British drivers.

            I mean looking at the races that are voted the highest, How many of those races where won by Mclaren or a british driver?

            Now think of this. If there where a Italian equivilant of F1Fanatic on the web. Let say for ***** and giggles, F1fanatico.IT . And they rated the Turkey GP, Would you think it would fare the same result as this poll?

        3. Fair question:

          Over the past month, just over 30% of traffic to this site has been from the UK. The next largest sources are the USA, Australia, Canada and Poland, Spain and India, which together contribute about 31%.

          But what matters far more than nationality is intention. The vast majority of people who respond to the ‘rate the race’ polls understand that what we’re interested in is how good the race was, not whether their favourite driver won.

          If you look at the vote results I don’t think there is a correlation between which driver wins and how high a score a race gets. For example, the highest and lowest-rated races were both won by Felipe Massa.

          Lastly I would say, look at the highest rated races and ask were they the most exciting ones, and look at the lowest rated races and ask were they the least exciting ones. I think they are.

      2. It was rated good because they had too much red bull and crashed into each other.

        We should have a poll pin pointing how significant was the crash to the quality of the turkish race.

  24. In my opinion Turkey was a great race. This is in part to McLarens’ development of their car and the circuit characterirstics. However I believe that what we need for better action to happen is for aero to be reduced to a 2004 level (with no flip-ups etc), stall development there into yearly or 6 monthly phases where design an developments can be added (so a high downforce package, medium and low downforce package produced at start of year for use until either next season or 6 months time for changes), increase tyre performance and increase tyre wear (make them faster and wear quicker – its a “little” boring watching the cars doing 1 stop as it reduces strategy and puts almost all cars in a 5 lap window), finally increase engine performance so it to has more effect on car performance but also make them less driveable so the driver has to have a bigger input into throttle application if this means increasing bhp and torque to make it difficult then so be it but make sure there is a bhp ceiling so 1 engine cant rule them all) Just an idea maybe it would work maybe it wouldn’t but it would reduce the aero problem as it were, The FIa pushed the teams down the aero route when they said no more engine development and only 1 tyre supplier. Also 2 or more tyre suppliers with more choice of tyres over weekend but less sets per drivers e.g soft medium or hard availible but fewer sets for whole weekend ( maybe 3 for race, 2 for quali and 5 for practice with teams choosing which sets to give up – thus choice, strategy and overtaking with any luck). just an idea sorry its so long winded…..

    1. As a spectacle it was far from great. It was a decent race, but not great. In terms of results I can understand why people like you found out great, since your favorite team won. That’s good, but it does not make the spectacle of the race great. There was not much happening around the field, as Alonso and Massa said afterwards.

      1. I’d disagree. The top four were always within 10 seconds of each other the whole race and that’s what made the race ‘great’ I thought. There was always the possibility of something happening that meant more than the ‘battle for eighth’ because there were more points at stake.

        If it was Alonso and Massa battling the red bulls, I’d have felt exactly the same. Wheel to wheel action between teammates is always good – perhaps that’s why China got voted so highly too, because of Massa and Alonso in the pitlane.

        It’s too easy to say it’s because ‘your favourite team won.’ That’s a little patronising to be honest with you :)

  25. Prisoner Monkeys
    2nd June 2010, 15:50

    Formula 1 hs certainly gotten better, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. To me, the ideal version of Formula 1 is one where driver skill takes priority over everything else. Get rid of aerodynamics, re-introduce KERS with more power and more options (ie 80bhp for twenty seconds per lap or 160bhp for ten) and ban shark fins on aesthetic grounds. Increase the number of races to twenty-four or twenty-five, and shorten the race weekend. Instead of having four hours’ practice over two days, give them two hours on Saturday morning. Make it as hard as possible for a driver to succeed; show us that they are the best drivers in the world.

    1. The introduction of blue shells which put the leader back to last, and banana peels drivers could fling to ward off their opponents, would also appeal to your ideals.

      In all seriousness: if you want a spec series with all emphasis placed on the driver, go watch NASCAR. Leave F1 to the people who understand it.


      2. The introduction of the old spiky blue shell, eh?

        got a lol from me :D

        HRT might have more success developing that than adding downforce to the car…

  26. Great race, but holding judgement for a few more races. Overtaking is still an issue, and it seems to be more about attrition be it tyres, brakes or fuel. Also team orders due to fuel robbed us of a ‘natural’ conclusion to the race.

    Hoping for more of the same in Canada, RBs qualify ahead of the Macs, Macs quicker in race pace… only this time they all have enough fuel to fight to the finish.

  27. Hey, the Turkey onboard is up on F1.com with Hamiltons hotlap, pay attention to his left hand. Still think the RW80 is knee operated?

    1. mateuss, sorry, couldn’t see him do anything unusual with his left hand other than reach down to adjust the brake bias shortly before turn 12. Did I miss something?

      1. I saw Jenson doing the same at the final turn in Barcelona.

      2. Here I made some screenshots where it is obvious. http://i.imagehost.org/0976/ham.jpg

        1. Magnificent Geoffrey
          3rd June 2010, 7:26

          I’m fairly sure that what Jenson is operating there is the brake balance controls. We used to see that happen (drivers changing something with their left hand) prior to the F-Duct ever coming into existance.

          1. I’m pretty sure Jenson isn’t in that picture…

            also, his hand is on the bottom of the wheel, not past it/below where they would go to adjust brake balance. it’s a lot more obvious if you watch the video :D

    2. when you mentioned this I thought this was a brake bias adjustment. but, watching the lap it doesn’t seem that way.

      every straight he hold the low part of the wheel with his left hand and seems to keep that arm perfectly still. I’m starting to think it is operated by the elbow or something.

      1. Yes, atleast somebody spotted what I was talking about. But I dont think he is using his elbow but defenetly his arm or hand in some way.

  28. theRoswellite
    2nd June 2010, 16:32

    Enjoyed the race immensely, especially as it reflected on the inter-team relations at both RB and McL. And, after seeing the debacle of the front runners, the attempted pass by Button was icing on our cake.

    I would also guess that Hamilton’s reassertion of his leading position might be more than just a “statement”, as it seemed quite authoritative.

    It’s too bad, that we seem to, of late, be having our best racing between teammates. (considering, however, the portent for an evolving post race drama, my complaint must be filed under..”Dim and Feeble”.)

  29. No doubt it is a great track, & after seeing that amount of racing this season I am sure that it will be on the calender for a very long time just as Bernie has hinted us yesterday. As I said in the past the only thing that is required is to do more publicity of F1 to local & especially they need to make it affordable to the local.

    But still the FIA need to put more emphasis on reducing the aero effect of the car.

  30. Something else ive noticed and this may need an article in its own right but ive seen far more cars oversteering than i can remember this season. Two stick out, the Virgin through the tunnel at Monaco as it was hunted down by Alonso and Jamie Alguesuariin qualifying for Turkey. Awesome to see, breathtaking in fact.

    Are the drivers better, are the cars easier to hold? Do the tyres have a more progressive loss of traction??? Keith do you know???

    Personally i enjoy seeing a car sideways as much as i enjoy an overtake – sometimes more. The overtake seems to be obsessed over but not the ability of a car to go sideways. Its certainly made me watch dikes on bikes or motogp as i believe it to be commonly know

  31. So, biggest question to come from the race – is adjusting fuel mixes and turning revs up and down from the pit lane the same as intentionally crasing a car and causing a safety car incident?

  32. Matt

    answer: No.

  33. Attempts at an overtake is sometiems better than an overtake. You’ll relize that wet races and races where the fight is for the top spot often rate the best. You’ve got the races like Melbourne this year or Brazil two years ago, scores of overtaking here and there that you forget the dominance of 1 team which is probably half a lap ahead.

    Then you’ve got the races like Turkey this year and Spa last year, while overtaking was difficult, drivers attempting to pass or placing alot of pressure still generate alot of excitment. It sure did for me. Sutil behind Kimi and Lewis hounding Webber.

    Not very often you see races where the top 2 or 4 cars are so close together with a chance of an overtake or a crash. There’s still the problem with the Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes train but fans love it when the attention is for the victory. Not 14th place.

    1. Magnificent Geoffrey
      2nd June 2010, 21:46

      I absolutely agree.

      Overtaking is the one thing that excites us the most as viewers, especially so if a move is made for the lead or near the end of the race say. Like you say, a race with little overtaking but a genuine battle up front can be more exciting than a race with lots of overtaking down the field that’s dominated by a driver leading by 30+ seconds the whole race.

      It’s a bit like in football, there can be such a thing as a 0-0 draw that is still an incredibly close, tense and exciting match to watch that viewers could even enjoy more than a 5-0 match where you know who’s going to win within five minutes of the game starting.

      Turkey was just the sort of scenario we wanted, no strategy to mess things up and just a straight race to the line. Having the top 4 all together like that was exactly what we wanted to see. If we can find a way of tackling the ‘dirty air’ issue and are lucky enough to have such close performance between the top teams like that again, I can’t think of anything more that I’d want.

  34. Anyone posted a video,of LH an JB duel ?

  35. There’s also another reason, that unfortunately can’t be transformed in a rule: Turkey 2010 was such a good race also because the top teams had top drivers capable and allowed to race each other hard (sometimes too hard)…

  36. i was there in Valencia in 2008 and i’m still receiving therapy to get over it!! but as for the race in turkey. One swallow does not make a summer. F1 still needs a shake up from top to bottom.

  37. F1 is indeed in great form.. and that has been since the control tyre imo.
    Next year the ban on the Double diffuser is great!
    Now we need the new engine rules and then see we can get some more or less stable rules. That always loses the field up. And never go back to a tyre war! Tyres have a to big of an influence.
    Being ill this week I discovered the bbc iplayer free practice with Croft and Davidson, great commentating.
    It’s great to see how much Davidson knows. He’s was spot on with everything that happend on track (failures)

  38. This was a great race if only for the fact that the body language of the drivers after the race was as much anticipated as the race itself.

    Lets face it – spicing up intra-team rivalry is way more effective at improving the drama than anything else.

  39. Finally got time to put a comment up. I went to Turkey, started bad with a nightmare Taxi journey from Attaturk airport to the Hotel (on the Asian Side), and thought that this was just the start of things to come, how wrong I was! The Hotel (Hotel Park156) was fantastic, despite my worries over booking something over the internet as a result of a google search for ‘Hotels near Istanbul Park’, travel to and from the circuit was only marred by my own incompetence (I won’t go into it I’m afraid) and all the races (barring the Porsches) were brilliant. GP3 was excellent – so many cars, so little space on the track! GP2 still showing itself to be the proving ground for future F1 drivers and then, the main event, Superb, being a Jenson fan from way back in his carting days, I admit to getting a little bit excited when he put his move on Lewis, but I’m not disappointed with the overall result.

    Only real gripes as follows:
    Why no kangaroo TV?
    Circuit could have done with more TV screens
    What’s with the security on the grandstand not letting you take bottles in with the lids on or tins of beer unopened?

  40. Yes, atleast somebody spotted what I was talking about.

  41. “Jaime Alguersuari caught the Sauber drivers by up to three seconds per lap at the end of the race, yet couldn’t get close enough to overtake.”

    Why Vettel could get so easyly on webber if “due to a change in the mix he was ,18 sec slower per lap”?

    was webber only ,18 sec/lap slower?

  42. I cant actually tell you what can make a race better than Sunday’s that i have never written before. but it seems that when Ferrari’s are leading, they usually do so in a fashion that alienate everyone else.

    over and over again we have seen it, when Ferrari win a race they are untouchable. it’s as if they forgot how to develop a car and stay in the pack rather then leave the pack behind. it’s either that or fall behind.

    i think a little less down-force will change the races quite a bit. a boost button (KERS i Guess) to be used a limited times per race will also be cool.

  43. I agree with the comments on Jonathan Legard! Why the hell does he say someone has got pole position with 6 minutes left of qualifying. Its so infuriating! Last year it was funny to get Martin Brundle argue with him, because obviously Martin knows a lot more than him!

    He just doesn’t read anything about F1 correctly, I get quite annoyed watching it, I wish David Croft was the main commentator. I know you can get him on red button, but its different to the tv coverage with trackside info.

    Oust him!

  44. Charles Beaufort
    4th June 2010, 1:43

    Sorry to be a pedant, but wasn’t Brazil ’09 dry?

    1. Wet qualifying.

  45. The comments above made me laugh.

    Yeah Legard is almost as annoying as James “The Cock” Allen.

    He says “IS THIS GOING TO BE GOOD ENOUGH” every time somebody completes a lap in Qualifying.

    Well obviously it’s going to be good enough, nobody else has completed a lap yet.

    And if somebody doesn’t do the fastest time, taking them to P1, he says “no, it’s not good enough”

    So… unless you get pole you aren’t good enough?

    It should be Brundle and a former F1 driver commentating.

    James Allen and Legard are so bloody annoying.

    1. I’m sorry, but insulting James Allen is simply childish, he’s one of the best Journo’s on the F1 circuit. He runs a great blog, just doesn’t deserve that kind of abuse. He is excellent at what he does.

      Calling him a ‘cock’, well, that’s just playground stuff, and reflects on your poorly.

  46. The highest rated race not to have a single rain affected session!!!

    Brazil 2009 is higher but that had a wet qualifying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.