Hello Turkey, Goodbye Turkey: Full Grand Prix Report


After the almost narcotic high of Shanghai, the Turkish Grand Prix would have had to be absolutely sensational to even compare. While it was without the drama of China, this weekend’s race was certainly entertaining.

Famous for “Turn 8” – a high speed, triple-apex flat-out left hander, in which the drivers have to endure nearly 5Gs of lateral force, the Turkish Grand Prix is one of the most exciting layouts on the modern calendar. It’s a pity the Turkish people don’t think so however, a drastic fall in attendance means the event will probably be pulled from the line up next year. So this might have been the last Formula One GP at the venue for a few years to come.

With a dominating qualifying performance, the Red Bull’s didn’t even bother to see out the final session, choosing instead to keep a set of optional tyres. Vettel’s time was simply unreachable by the rest of the pack, and team mate Webber backed him up in second, with Rosberg in the Mercedes in fourth.

However the clean side of the grid proved to help launch Rosberg, and he easily leapfrogged Webber into the first corner. That was the last time anybody would get near Vettel, as he drove a flawless race to stay out ahead for almost every single lap of the race.

Behind the young German maestro though was an absolute frenzy of overtaking. Button and Hamilton traded places in a few dramatic wheel-to-wheel moves that must have had Ron Dennis clenching more than his teeth. It’s great to see though that McLaren let’s his racers race, there was nothing even resembling team orders for the two scrappy Brits.

It seemed immediately obvious that the FIA had botched at least one of the DRS zones however, with drivers simply skipping past their prey on the outside at the end of the last back straight. Rosberg was victim to just about anyone behind him and minutes later the same would happen to Schumacher, who needlessly turned in once he had clearly lost the place, damaging his front wing and sending him into the pits for a nosejob. That cost him dearly and he looked panicky for the rest of the race.

Kobayashi, who faced a nightmare starting from the back of the grid, was in 5th by the first round of pitstops. He fought all day and earned a hard fought few points in 10th place. The dark horses of the sport, in the black Lotus Renaults, had a bit of scrap when Heidfeld nearly pushed Petrov into the pit lane, but resolved their on-track squabble to finish strongly again, in 7th and 8th respectively.

The rest of the race was a fairly straight forward affair, albeit with the teams playing a few mind games with their stops, and some fairly tricky stops where wheel nuts were just not co-operating. Essentially Red Bull had to match a charging Alonso for stops, reacting immediately when he pitted, to keep Vettel and Webber ahead. Button’s race engineer chose a three-stopper for him, which cost him two places in the final stages of the race; four stops was definitely optimal.

The circus that is Formula One moves on to Catalunya, Spain in a fortnight’s time, 20-22 May. In the meantime here are all the standings, from Turkish Grand Prix race results, to Formula 1 driver and team standings.

Race Result: 2011 Turkish Formula 1 Grand Prix

1 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 58 1:30:17.558 1 25
2 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 58 +8.8 secs 2 18
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 58 +10.0 secs 5 15
4 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 58 +40.2 secs 4 12
5 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 58 +47.5 secs 3 10
6 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 58 +59.4 secs 6 8
7 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 58 +60.8 secs 9 6
8 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 58 +68.1 secs 7 4
9 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 58 +69.3 secs 16 2
10 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 58 +78.0 secs 24 1
11 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 58 +79.8 secs 10
12 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 58 +85.4 secs 8
13 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 57 +1 Lap 12
14 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 57 +1 Lap 15
15 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 57 +1 Lap 11
16 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 57 +1 Lap 17
17 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 57 +1 Lap 14
18 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 57 +1 Lap 19
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 56 +2 Laps 18
20 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 56 +2 Laps 23
21 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 55 +3 Laps 22
22 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 53 +5 Laps 20
Ret 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 44 Retired 13
DNS 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 0 Gearbox 21


2011 Formula 1 Driver Standings

1 Sebastian Vettel German RBR-Renault 93
2 Lewis Hamilton British McLaren-Mercedes 59
3 Mark Webber Australian RBR-Renault 55
4 Jenson Button British McLaren-Mercedes 46
5 Fernando Alonso Spanish Ferrari 41
6 Felipe Massa Brazilian Ferrari 24
7 Nick Heidfeld German Renault 21
8 Vitaly Petrov Russian Renault 21
9 Nico Rosberg German Mercedes 20
10 Kamui Kobayashi Japanese Sauber-Ferrari 8
11 Michael Schumacher German Mercedes 6
12 Sebastien Buemi Swiss STR-Ferrari 6
13 Adrian Sutil German Force India-Mercedes 2
14 Paul di Resta British Force India-Mercedes 2
15 Jaime Alguersuari Spanish STR-Ferrari 0
16 Rubens Barrichello Brazilian Williams-Cosworth 0
17 Jarno Trulli Italian Lotus-Renault 0
18 Sergio Perez Mexican Sauber-Ferrari 0
19 Jerome d’Ambrosio Belgian Virgin-Cosworth 0
20 Heikki Kovalainen Finnish Lotus-Renault 0
21 Timo Glock German Virgin-Cosworth 0
22 Pastor Maldonado Venezuelan Williams-Cosworth 0
23 Narain Karthikeyan Indian HRT-Cosworth 0
24 Vitantonio Liuzzi Italian HRT-Cosworth 0


2011 Formula 1 Team Standings

1 RBR-Renault 148
2 McLaren-Mercedes 105
3 Ferrari 65
4 Renault 42
5 Mercedes 26
6 Sauber-Ferrari 8
7 STR-Ferrari 6
8 Force India-Mercedes 4
9 Lotus-Renault 0
10 Williams-Cosworth 0
11 Virgin-Cosworth 0
12 HRT-Cosworth 0

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