Sebastian Vettel today won the Turkish Grand Prix 2011 in comfortable fashion from his Red Bull team mate Mark Webber.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third in what was a promising performance from the Italian team as they look to challenge at the front again.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was fourth after a slow pit stop ruined his chances of a podium finish. In all honesty the MP4-26’s heavy use of its rubber probably would have rendered that the highest possible finish at any rate. Jenson Button could only manage sixth place, opting for a three stop strategy which put him at a distinct disadvantage in the closing stages.
Mercedes took fifth place with Nico Rosberg while Nick Heidfeld was seventh and Vitaly Petrov eighth for Renault respectively. Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Buemi was an excellent ninth with a heroic performance from Kamui Kobayashi, who started right at the back, finishing tenth in the final points position.
In an exciting race, Vettel was almost anonymous up front, such was the margin of his superiority. He was even able to take the luxury of an additional stop to make sure his tyres were perfect in the closing stages.
It never looked in any doubt and even in the same machinery Webber was not able to threaten the German, further evidence that Vettel has upped his game this year compared to last. Webber’s battle was more with the Ferrari of Alonso, with whom he fought tooth and nail on track at points.
The combat on track was everywhere you looked, particularly in the first 40 minutes or so of the race. DRS and KERS are making this season the most exciting for years and the rapid degradation of the Pirelli rubber adds another variable into the mix. The McLarens were wheel-to-wheel on occasion and there were battles right down the field making for compelling viewing.
Vettel’s dominance was not questionable, though, and his armour looks impenetrable as long as strategy is executed well. Leading into the European season it is difficult to see where the threat will come from, although Ferrari will take heart from Alonso’s showing today. McLaren seem not to have progressed lately.
Here are the complete results:
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