Hamilton wins hectic Turkish Grand Prix
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, May 30th 2010, 13:34 GMT|
Lewis Hamilton claimed his first victory of 2010 in Turkey as the Red Bulls collided while battling for the lead and handed McLaren a clear one-two.
Mark Webber, who had led until Sebastian Vettel's lap 40 passing move ended in disaster for Red Bull Racing, recovered to take third, while Jenson Button spectacularly attacked Hamilton for the lead but ultimately had to follow his team-mate home.
Red Bull had briefly moved into one-two formation at the start as both McLarens lost a place off the line - Hamilton falling to third behind Vettel and Button being eased out of fourth by a determined Michael Schumacher (Mercedes).
Neither stayed there long, with Hamilton getting back alongside Vettel on acceleration through Turn 2 and retaking second into the downhill complex at Turns 3 and 4. Button then drafted Schumacher down the back straight and went around the outside of the Mercedes into Turn 12.
The top four left the rest of the field trailing, while tied together in a tense quartet. Hamilton was soon on Webber's rear wing, and kept pondering moves into Turn 12 without ever quite getting alongside.
It looked like the pitstops would be McLaren's only chance, but when both Webber and Hamilton came in on lap 15, a very slightly slower wheel change at McLaren not only saw Webber exit first, but Vettel - who had pitted a lap earlier - get between them again. Hamilton immediately tried to re-pass him on the outside into Turn 12, only to run wide. Button ran two laps further to no avail, rejoining fourth again.
After that the Red Bulls and McLarens settled into close formation again, little more than two seconds covering all four.
The deadlock held until lap 40, when after edging ever closer to Webber, Vettel drafted alongside out of the Turn 11 kink and drew level down the inside approaching the final complex. The pair suddenly made high-speed contact, sending Vettel spinning wildly into retirement with rear end damage, and Webber slewing over the run-off area. The gap back to Schumacher was such that Webber was able to make a precautionary pitstop for a new front wing and tyres, and still rejoin in third.
The McLaren duo then began some close racing of their own. As light drizzle started, Button got a run on Hamilton towards Turn 12 with nine laps to go. With Hamilton defending the inside, Button went right around the outside - giving him the racing line and the lead at Turn 13.
But Button's lead lasted only the length of the pits straight, with Hamilton diving back to the inside into the first corner and through a narrowing gap to take the lead. With McLaren frantically urging its drivers to conserve fuel thereafter as it kept an eye on some consumption issues, that was the end of the battle.
Schumacher held on to fourth, with his team-mate Nico Rosberg, Renault's Robert Kubica, Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso chasing the seven-time champion home.
A slightly early tyre stop and quick laps thereafter allowed Alonso to at least gain some ground following his disastrous qualifying. He then spent most of the race trying to get around Vitaly Petrov's Renault, finally succeeding around the outside at Turn 3 in the closing laps - with a brush between giving Petrov a right front puncture. He rejoined to grab fastest lap at the end.
A late pass by Adrian Sutil (Force India) on Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) resolved a race-long battle for what eventually became ninth, and left Kobayashi to fend off his team-mate Pedro de la Rosa.
Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi and Williams's Nico Hulkenberg were both delayed by first lap damage, while a poor start dropped Rubens Barrichello down among the new teams in the second Williams.
Lotus was comfortably clear of the other new squads until both Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen suffered hydraulic failures within moments of each other, allowing Virgin's Timo Glock to take unofficial class honours.
PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Turkish Grand Prix Istanbul, Turkey; 58 laps; 309.396km; Weather: Dry. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h28:47.620 2. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 2.645 3. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 24.285 4. Schumacher Mercedes + 31.110 5. Rosberg Mercedes + 32.266 6. Kubica Renault + 32.824 7. Massa Ferrari + 36.635 8. Alonso Ferrari + 46.544 9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 49.029 10. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:05.650 11. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1:05.944 12. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:07.800 13. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap 14. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 15. Petrov Renault + 1 lap 16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 17. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps 19. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps Fastest lap: Petrov, 1:29.165 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 53 Senna HRT-Cosworth 47 Vettel Red Bull-Renault 40 Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 34 Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 33 World Championship standings, round 7: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Webber 93 1. McLaren-Mercedes 172 2. Button 88 2. Red Bull-Renault 171 3. Hamilton 84 3. Ferrari 146 4. Alonso 79 4. Mercedes 100 5. Vettel 78 5. Renault 73 6. Kubica 67 6. Force India-Mercedes 32 7. Massa 67 7. Williams-Cosworth 8 8. Rosberg 66 8. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 4 9. Schumacher 34 9. Sauber-Ferrari 1 10. Sutil 22 11. Liuzzi 10 12. Barrichello 7 13. Petrov 6 14. Alguersuari 3 15. Hulkenberg 1 16. Buemi 1 17. Kobayashi 1 All timing unofficial