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

  1. Great race and lots of action up and down the field. Love the KERS and DRS, I just wish they’d give two DRS zones per track instead of only one. Turkey could have used a DRS zone along the starting straight coming out of last corner.

  2. f1alex (@f1alex) said on 8th May 2011, 16:52

    That’s put Vettel ‘Head and Shoulders’ ahead of the rest in the championship, if you’ll pardon the pun.

  3. The New Pope said on 8th May 2011, 17:05

    Somebody let Koby drive a Red Bull for one race. Just one race!

  4. VXR said on 8th May 2011, 17:09

    4 poles and he drops just 7 points out of a possible 100. KERS working perfectly and stops to change tyres just for fun. It’s a hell of a place to be in with just 20% of the season gone!

    Sure, he’ll have some difficult races (much the same that Button did in 09), but the donkey work is getting done whilst the car is still the best one out there.

  5. Max said on 8th May 2011, 17:40

    Buemi just saved his job by finishing in the points, Alonso vs Webber was great racing, and Kobayashi was good as well especially from starting at the back.

  6. dlaird said on 8th May 2011, 17:55

    Vettel struggles when he is not on pole. He makes amateur mistakes. Can’t wait to see him have to work for it.

    • VXR said on 8th May 2011, 18:18

      Could be waiting some time. I don’t think that he makes any more mistakes than any other driver, and still seems to come out on top if he does. At the moment he’s driving too fast to even need to worry about the second fastest car on the grid. The one being driven by his team mate.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 8th May 2011, 19:42

      Yes, but he doesn’t qualify like an amateur.

  7. codesurge (@codesurge) said on 8th May 2011, 18:54

    It’s a pity Kobayashi lost a lot of time with a puncture, else we’d have seen him further up the order. I remember him running as high up as fifth at one point.

    Given that his car isn’t anywhere as superior to the rest of the field as Webber’s was, I’d reckon his performance matched the RBR driver’s performance in China.

  8. jobymcanuff (@jobymcanuff) said on 8th May 2011, 19:13

    Was it just me or did anyone else see Vettel’s rear open on the back straight as he was lapping d’Ambrosio’s Virgin towards the end of the race. Is that allowed under the rules ?

  9. kowalsky said on 8th May 2011, 19:13

    message to all the rosberg fans. He may be fast, and a likable guy, but he doesen’t have the luck of champions. And unless he gets a chance like button had in 2009, he won’t ever be world champion.
    The races are fun to watch. They have created a good set of rules to improve the entertainment, but let’s be real, f1 has become a tv show. We need a miracle or vettel is going to be 2011 world champion for second time. We are in a ferrari-schumacher kind of dominance. And i don’t think that’s a good thing.

  10. jobymcanuff (@jobymcanuff) said on 8th May 2011, 19:26

    Thanks for clearing that one up.

  11. VXR said on 8th May 2011, 19:33

    And unless he gets a chance like button had in 2009, he won’t ever be world champion.

    Driver wins world championship in fast car! Shock! Horror!

    For most of that season Red Bull had the fastest car (Ironically, from the Turkish GP onwards), and Vettel is doing now what Button did then. Making hay while the sun shines in the fastest car on the track.

    • kowalsky said on 8th May 2011, 21:40

      Driver wins world championship in fast car! Shock! Horror!

      you forgot to mention that grat drivers put a car on a place that has no business being there.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 8th May 2011, 22:36

        you forgot to mention that grat drivers put a car on a place that has no business being there.

        Which Vettel did in 2008 (and not just in that one race he won).

  12. DMC said on 8th May 2011, 21:03

    I cant remember enjoying a race so much, and not caring
    what the leader was doing.

  13. Astonished said on 8th May 2011, 21:54

    Can anybody clarify to me the rule of 107% and Kobayashi racing despite not setting a time in Q1?

  14. Adrian Morse said on 9th May 2011, 1:10

    It looks like this season we’re set for an epic championship battle … for second place.

  15. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 9th May 2011, 1:53

    Great race,one of the aspect of this race is that we have seen many BUMPING in the race just like we see in Karting which is a nice feature.Good race for Red Bull as Webber drove an excellent race along with Vettel. Ferrari were back with Alonso but wasn’t happy with Massa.He was good in the first two stint but later his pace dropped off with some mistakes.Two Renault driver fought hard along with Nico who did a good defensive drive in the start of the race,but Michael again failed as he was trying way too hard.Kobayashi drove brilliantly but to me the surprise on the top 10 was Buemi,I guess everyone was surprise to see him there.

    But a question remain have we see too many ARTIFICIAL overtaking?

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