Vettel takes commanding win in Turkey
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, May 8th 2011, 13:36 GMT|
Sebastian Vettel left the excitement in his wake as he took an untroubled third victory from four races in the Turkish Grand Prix.
Mark Webber eventually won a tough battle with Fernando Alonso to complete a Red Bull one-two, though Alonso at least got Ferrari back on the podium after its tough start to 2011.
The McLarens and Nico Rosberg were left to battle for the remaining top six places, producing some spectacular racing as Lewis Hamilton came through to fourth ahead of Rosberg and Jenson Button.
Vettel got a clean break immediately as Webber was jumped by Rosberg's Mercedes off the line. Hamilton tried to get around the outside of the Red Bull too at Turn 3, but ran wide and fell to sixth behind Alonso and Button.
It only took Webber five laps to cruise past Rosberg on the back straight using his DRS, but by that time Vettel was 4.4 seconds ahead and had enough pace to edge slightly further away even after that.
Alonso was past Rosberg as well two laps later, as the Mercedes found itself falling victim to a string of DRS passes in the opening stint. Webber could not shake the Ferrari off, and just after half-distance, Alonso used the trick wing to shoot down the outside of the Red Bull into the final complex to claim second.
He then pulled away for a while, but after their fourth and last stops, Webber was able to take a new set of hard tyres into the closing laps whereas Alonso's rubber was more tired. With seven laps to go, Webber repeated Alonso's earlier DRS move on the Ferrari to reclaim second, and though the Spaniard tried his utmost to re-pass on the outside both at Turn 1 and Turn 3, Red Bull's first one-two of the year was secure - though so was Ferrari's first podium of 2011.
Vettel was able to run much further on his tyres than his nearest rivals and looked like he might manage the distance on three stops rather than more popular four. But in the end he played it safe and mirrored his peers' strategy, maintaining an 8s cushion over Webber until they backed off on the final lap.
The most spectacular racing involved the McLarens, Mercedes, Felipe Massa and the Renaults. Button was the highest placed three-stopper, a strategy that allowed him to briefly lead and run fourth going into the final laps.
But Hamilton - recovering well after a delay at his second pitstop - and Rosberg were able to hunt down and pass Button using their fresher tyres late on, taking them to fourth and fifth as the 2009 champion had to settle for sixth.
Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi drove a superb race to come through from 16th on the grid to seventh on the same strategy as Button, but he too found it impossible to hold off the four-stoppers at the end, and fell to ninth behind the Renaults of Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov.
Kamui Kobayashi made a three-stop plan work well to surge from 23rd on the grid to 10th, while Massa failed to score for Ferrari. He lost crucial ground when he ran very wide at Turn 8 after his third stop and fell deep into a crowd of yet-to-stop midfielders, and then was further delayed with a right rear wheel issue at his last stop.
The Ferrari got back up to 11th with a tough late move on Michael Schumacher, who had earlier broken his front wing when he turned in on Petrov as the Renault passed him into the final complex.
PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Turkish Grand Prix Istanbul, Turkey; 58 laps; 309.396km; Weather: Sunny. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h30:17.558 2. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 8.807 3. Alonso Ferrari + 10.075 4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 40.232 5. Rosberg Mercedes + 47.539 6. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 59.431 7. Heidfeld Renault + 1:00.857 8. Petrov Renault + 1:08.168 9. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:09.300 10. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:18.000 11. Massa Ferrari + 1:19.800 12. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:25.400 13. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap 14. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 15. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 16. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 17. Maldonado Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap 18. Trulli Lotus-Renault + 1 lap 19. Kovalainen Lotus-Renault + 2 laps 20. D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps 21. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth + 3 laps 22. Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth + 5 laps Fastest lap: Webber, 1:29.703 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Di Resta Force India-Mercedes 45 Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1 World Championship standings, round 4: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 93 1. Red Bull-Renault 148 2. Hamilton 59 2. McLaren-Mercedes 105 3. Webber 55 3. Ferrari 65 4. Button 46 4. Renault 42 5. Alonso 41 5. Mercedes 26 6. Massa 24 6. Sauber-Ferrari 8 7. Petrov 21 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6 8. Heidfeld 21 8. Force India-Mercedes 4 9. Rosberg 20 10. Kobayashi 8 11. Buemi 6 12. Schumacher 6 13. Sutil 2 14. Di Resta 2 All timing unofficial