Vettel cruises to victory as the rest fight between themselves

2011 Turkish Grand Prix review

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Istanbul, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Istanbul, 2011

Sebastian Vettel dominated the Turkish Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver led almost every lap while team mate Mark Webber recovered second place to make it a one-two for the team.

Webber fell by Nico Rosberg at the start of the race but the Mercedes driver was powerless to keep drivers behind him early on.

But Webber came under pressure from Alonso who was quicker in the third stint and passed the Red Bull driver. Webber was able to reverse the move later in the race.

Lewis Hamilton had an eventful run to fourth. He tried to repeat his 2010 move of overtaking around a Red Bull the outside of turn four on the first lap – this time it was Webber.

It didn’t work, and he fell behind Alonso and Jenson Button. That began a fierce battle between the two McLaren drivers.

Hamilton twice got past Button using DRS but Button was able to re-pass his team mate on the start/finish line. Then Hamilton’s tyres started to go off and Felipe Massa overtook him.

McLaren quickly fixed the problem for him, however. Hamilton and Massa came into the pits together and McLaren got Hamilton out before the Ferrari.

But his third visit to the pits did not go so smoothly. The mechanic on the right-front wheel couldn’t get the tyre changed and he lost over ten seconds.

While Hamilton committed to a four-stop strategy, team mate Button tried to get through on three.

Button found himself stuck behind Massa for several laps in the middle of the race. He finally made it past at turn 12, while Massa locked his tyres and had to head for the pits.

Button came out of the pits for the final time on lap 39, aiming to complete the final 19 laps without a stop. He did, but he couldn’t keep Hamilton and Rosberg from dropping him to sixth, and Nick Heidfeld was bearing down on him when the chequered flag came out.

Only two other driver in the top ten finished the race with three stops instead of four. One was Sebastien Buemi, who finished ninth behind the delayed Vitaly Petrov.

The other was Kamui Kobayashi, who recovered from starting last to clinch the final point.

Petrov and Heidfeld had a wheel-banging matched in turn 13 earlier in the race. Petrov also came to blows with Michael Schumacher, who clipped the Renault as the Russian driver passed him on lap two.

It was the prelude to a desperate race for Schumacher, who ended the race 12th behind Massa. The Ferrari driver passed the Mercedes twice, having been delayed by a slow pit stop and ging off on the marbles at turn eight.

Sergio Perez lost his front wing in the mayhem of the first lap but made his way back up to finish 13th.

The racing further down the order was just as frantic as it was at the front, with multiple changes of positions at turn 12 aided by the Drag Reduction System.

Vettel even had to back off as he arrived to lap Perez and Adrian Sutil who were swapping places at turn 12.

Rubens Barrichello ran in the top ten early on but fell to 15th at the end in front of Jaime Alguersuari and Pastor Maldonado.

Jarno Trulli finished the race 11 seconds behind the other Williams, with Heikki Kovalainen, Jerome d’Ambrosio, Narain Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi behind.

Paul di Resta was the only driver to drop out during the race with an unspecified car problem, while Timo Glock didn’t make the start with a gearbox problem.

Vettel strengthens his position in the drivers’ championship and Red Bull celebrate a one-two finish two months after their nightmare race at the same venue.

The resurgent Alonso showed the team can still be caught. But they’ll need to do it soon before Vettel runs away with the championship.

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

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85 comments on Vettel cruises to victory as the rest fight between themselves

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  1. The New Pope said on 8th May 2011, 15:21

    Great race by Vettel, Alonso, and Kobayashi!

  2. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 8th May 2011, 15:21

    22 classified finishers. Reliability seems to no longer be much of an issue in F1.

    • The New Pope said on 8th May 2011, 15:25

      In a way, we’ve traded the excitement of unreliability for the excitement of DRS, tyres, and KERS. I think I like it better this way.

      • YUTAO said on 8th May 2011, 15:54

        But high reliability is the curse for Lotus, Virigin and HRT, perhaps including Williams. Only with high attrition can they expect points.

      • David BR said on 8th May 2011, 17:31

        That’s without adding rain yet. Or a safety car.

      • Tim said on 8th May 2011, 17:40

        Not really, F1 cars have enjoyed near-bulletproof reliability for a few years now, it’s certainly not a new feature of 2011.

        • Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 8th May 2011, 17:56

          Not entirely new at all, didn’t say that, but last race’s 23 finishers was a recent high mark, and adding 22 this week might make a 2 race record.
          The mid- and low-pack teams are more reliable than the similar teams in the recent past, it seems to me. What’s added the last couple of years is engines and gearboxes that have to last more than one race. This seems to have taken all cars away from the edge of failure in any given race.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 8th May 2011, 17:59

      Glock started?

  3. Ral (@ral) said on 8th May 2011, 15:25

    I thought for a second there Alonso let Webber near and past on purpose so he could make the DRS overtake one lap from the end and have the last laugh. But he pushed too hard in the fight when Webber made the pass and ruined his chances of coming back.

    Nice race in all. Good to see more competition coming on now. Let’s hope they can all catch up with RBR and Vettel.

  4. Simon said on 8th May 2011, 15:26

    I just wish I knew how much of Vettel’s current success is down to him and how much is the car. Excluding the poor strategy choice in China, he’s been utterly dominant so far.

    He seems to have several tenths over his team mate, which would suggest he is clearly performing well, but without another top driver in a similar car to compare against (a Alonso or Hamilton, sorry Webber), it’s difficult to know how much credit to give him.

    • zecks said on 8th May 2011, 15:37

      yes it did look a bit too easy for vettel today, but if think about it , it has been the same for years at ferrari, williams and mclaren

      • WildOz said on 8th May 2011, 16:17

        Apparently Webber’s car wasn’t quit right and they made an adjustment in the last pitstop, which wasn’t mentioned on the coverage. After that I think he set the fastest lap of the race.

        • Sam said on 8th May 2011, 17:48

          When will the excuses for Mark Webber finally dwindle? I give it till July…but I dont have high hopes…

          Vettel is just quite simply faster, faster, faster…

          • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 8th May 2011, 18:32

            Agree Sam. There’s always an excuse with Webber’s car.

            Vettel had an old back end on his car as it was broken in his practice smash and still Webber’s car isn’t as good?

            Vettel is simply the quicker driver.

    • dlaird said on 8th May 2011, 17:50

      Its more about the car than the driver. Thats why I hate when people argue about who is the better driver. If you put Alonso, Hamilton, Rosberg in that Red Bull They would dominate just like Vettel. Thats why I hate when the commentators praise the drivers so much. They should be kissing up to Adrian Newey and the engineers.

      • Simon said on 8th May 2011, 18:39

        True, but on the flip side Vettel has hardly put a foot wrong. It’s been a very clinical performance so far, even if he hasn’t faced much serious competition.

        I agree that other top drivers in the same situation would also be likely to dominate, but the fact that people are already talking about the championship result being “boring” shows that he is maximising that advantage by not giving anyone else a chance so far.

        • dlaird said on 8th May 2011, 20:30

          I completely agree. I am not taking anything away from Vettel. F1 is more about the car.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 8th May 2011, 19:09

        If you put Alonso, Hamilton, Rosberg in that Red Bull They would dominate just like Vettel.

        When will the ifs dry up? Accept that Vettel is a top driver in the best car.

        • Mike said on 9th May 2011, 4:04

          dominate just like Vettel.

          You even quoted the bit where he accepts he is a top driver.

    • alex said on 9th May 2011, 1:05

      Vettel is reaaaaally fast.
      Having won with a Toro Rosso says it all.
      People here like to underrate him, I just dont know why. Fanatism? :)

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th May 2011, 15:26

    Guess you got a typo there Keith

    Vettel strengthens his position in the drivers’ championship and Red Bull celebrate a one-two finish two months after their nightmare race at the same venue.

    that should read 12 months, I gather.

  6. smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 8th May 2011, 15:27

    glad that ferrai is back …but alonso 3 while massa finished 11 ..massa lost his sharpness

    • OEL said on 9th May 2011, 8:16

      Ferrari’s pit crew lost their sharpness when car no 6 pitted, never when car no 5 pitted.

      Remember that Massa had just overtaken Hamilton before his first pitstop, so 4th place should definately have been possible.

  7. BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th May 2011, 15:28

    The title exactly summed up the race for me. Very nice race in 2011 style, just a shame Vettel is sharing non of the fun and cruises ahead towards the WDC.

  8. BROOKSY007 (@brooksy007) said on 8th May 2011, 15:32

    i was really disappointed with schuy today, that move/bump into petrov was completely stupid. For an F1 legend to drive like that….well i’m afraid to say i thinks he’s not what he used to be!!!

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 8th May 2011, 16:08

      It was a strange one, on one hand what the hell was Petrov doing attempting that and then Schumi trying to force him out of the way.

      He learned and had a pretty good race afterwards.

    • Mr draw said on 8th May 2011, 19:14

      I think Shoeface drove one of his better races of his second career. Petrov was just overenthusiastic.

      • BBT (@bbt) said on 8th May 2011, 19:59

        What race were you watching, I’ve never seen so many error from MSC, at least he got them all out of the way in the 1st half of the race, which was terrible, and he knows it, see interview after the race.

        • Mr draw said on 8th May 2011, 23:17

          I’m not a Schumacher-fan, but to me it looked as if Petrov tried to squeeze his car into a tiny gap, which caused a collision. The other collisions were in the “get out of my way, grandpa” category. I was surprised Schumi was even fighting Massa in the end of the race. Compared to his other colision-races, like Montreal 2010, it was a decent performance.

  9. sumedh said on 8th May 2011, 15:33

    Good race!
    But the pit crews up and down the pitlane need to be doing a better job. Mclaren and Ferrari especially!

    These guys do 8 pit-stops in a 58-lap race. That is an average of a stop every 10 min. They should be at 100% during each of the stops. sub 4-second stops should be the norm.
    No loose wheel nut should be forgiven!

  10. Eggry (@eggry) said on 8th May 2011, 15:33

    Well, at least Webber is in of reach now. but unless someone hunt down Vettel’s dominance it would be very boring season when it comes to title battle. Last year there was Webber but now he simply cannot match Vettel. So now we just hope other teams bring out-performing car or Vettel make huge mistake. We need performance order shift.

    • WildOz said on 8th May 2011, 16:28

      Adjustment to Webber’s car in the last pitstop which wasn’t mentioned on the coverage, after that he set the fastest lap of the race. So if you consider time lost behind Roseberg and this adjustment then maybe Webber may have been a lot closer to Seb. Still, a great drive by Seb, but I really want to see how he handles himself this year if he has a bad quali, will he make it look as easy then?

      • Eggry (@eggry) said on 8th May 2011, 17:38

        Yeah, Seb’s biggest advantage is his quali pace. even Webber is much closer in the race but it’s very hard to catch up when Vettel is ahead. I also wonder he could win behind somebody strong enough.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th May 2011, 19:17

        But isn’t that exactly the difference? Vettel gets the setup right when it counts and then goes on to make best use of it.

        I would love it to see him have some competiton and have to battle for it on track, but he is just ahead of everyone in that car right now.

        • WildOz said on 9th May 2011, 16:02

          Another issue not helping Webber in the races aswell is his pitstops. Every pitstop for Webber this year has been slower than for Vettel, on average 3 to 4 seconds over an entire race, surely this needs to be rectified. Then Vettel may have some competition in a race.

    • Tim said on 8th May 2011, 17:46

      We’d probably have been saying the same thing this time last year had Vettel enjoyed better reliability.

      The season is only four races old and there’s a long way to go – almost anything can happen.

  11. Oliver said on 8th May 2011, 15:35

    As said here, domination without even using a “GimmeWINGS” button.
    Sublime from Vettel.

    https://twitter.com/#!/fakevettel/status/67224744222666752

  12. Nixon (@nixon) said on 8th May 2011, 15:36

    Can anyone tell me how Kobyashi and Alonso got up? my timing was wrong so i was wathching the race an hour after it started.

    • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 8th May 2011, 15:46

      Kobayashi used primes in first stint, so made progress later on when others used options.

      Alonso had good pace, but was helped by Rosberg’s relatively slow pace, and Hamilton getting stuck behind Button and then having a slow pitstop.

  13. Saddy said on 8th May 2011, 15:39

    Hey Keith, great work with the new lay out for live events (quali, race). However people like me who work on Sundays and unfortunately cannot watch the race at home, rely on video links posted by different f1 fans. Is there a way or maybe a dedicated space / tab where these Links can be posted because once you lose the link in the comments, it’s a real hassle looking for it again. Especially when the Boss is on your back most of the times…

  14. robbiepblake (@driftin) said on 8th May 2011, 16:04

    Webber’s results so far: 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd…

    Spain – 1st?

  15. th13teen said on 8th May 2011, 16:24

    I thought the race was fantastic except for the winner, Vettel. I have no problem with him winning but I want to see him work for his dinner and not just cruise it! I understand its motorsport but as I and Bernie want is a ‘show’ not just a complete dominant.

    • WildOz said on 8th May 2011, 16:31

      I agree, great drive by Seb, but I really want to see how he handles himself this year if he has a bad quali, will he make it look as easy then?

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