Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lewis Hamilton Captures Turkish Grand Prix After Red Bull Blunder

Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic

Into the 7th Formula 1 race of 2010, this year for the world tour of open wheel racing doesn't even appear to be the same grand prix season which started in Bahrain. With Ferrari ruling the today after Red Bull Racing struggled, the Austrian-based Red Bull Racing team ignited at the Malaysian Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel won. Two races later, Mark Webber in the second Red Bull-Renault won at Spain and Monaco. Meanwhile, Ferrari has been enduring a difficult stretch since their Bahrain win.

As the Turkish Grand Prix set off, Mark Webber made the most of his 3rd straight pole position running to an early lead into the first corner. Front-row starter Lewis Hamilton's reaction time on the start in Istanbul Park was not so strong for the McLaren-Mercedes car. Sebastian Vettel's 3rd place starting Red Bull-Renault found the edge on Hamilton through off the starting grid. With Red Bull Racing cars first and second, the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix was going according to the ideal plan for the blue cars.

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

A tame race in the early stages with only the Lotus-Cosworth pair listed as out of the race for hydraulic problems, the complexion of the Turkish Grand Prix would change on lap 41 when Vettel saw an opportunity to show up his inner-team rival Mark Webber. Always a dicey situation, the Red Bull Racing squad at the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix in 2010 showcased the worst fears of a team owner. With the Red Bull-Renaults close together through the race, Vettel sized up his teammate Webber seeing a weakness into turn 11. Vettel placed his car on the left side planning a late braking move edging along Mark Webber's car. Depending on what driver is asked, Webber either moved over on Vettel or Vettel turned right on Webber to breed a collision between the two cars. With Vettel out of the race and Webber forced to pit road to have his front wing replaced, this Red Bull Racing ordeal saw the recent fortune of the team change. While assessed as a racing incident, it doesn't seem out of the question that Sebastian Vettel might be getting sick of playing second fiddle to Webber through 2010. Vettel, the young German, was expected to be a tour-de-force with Red Bull Racing for 2010 following some brilliant race wins through the second half of last season.

Minus the Red Bull-Renaults at the front, the McLaren F1 team took affirmative control of the grand prix. Revisiting the in-team battle of Red Bull Racing, the McLaren-Mercedes British drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button fought briefly amongst themselves for the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix lead. While the McLaren teammates behaved overall, there was a moment where Button made a hard run against Hamilton. However, as the two McLaren-Mercedes were warned by team engineers to save fuel, the front settled into a 1-2 finish for the second time in 2010 for the team (First came when Button won in China with Hamilton as the runner-up).

With his two race winning streak in Formula 1 broken, Mark Webber was able to rejoin the field for a podium finish in the Turkish Grand Prix. Powered by a Renault engine, Webber's Red Bull Racing car finished within a Mercedes sandwich as the McLaren F1 team finished in front and the Mercedes GP cars followed. Michael Schumacher led Nico Rosberg with the team with Robert Kubica bringing the factory Renault F1 organization a 6th place finish.

Another hard Formula 1 race for Ferrari in 2010, Felipe Massa finished 7th while Fernando Alonso gained a position off Renault F1's Vitaly Petrov when their side-by-side battle through the late laps. When the Ferrari and Renault made contact on lap 54, Petrov ended up on the losing end of hte battle as the Russian's race car suffered a flat tire. Costing him not only an 8th place finish, Vataly Petrov missed a sure-chance to gain driver's championship points.

Photo Credit: Lotus Racing

In the final points-paying spot, the Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi put the BMW Sauber-Ferrari in place to score an important first point for his Formula 1 career.

In Formula 1 drivers points, Mark Webber took sole possession of the top spot in the standings but stands only 5 points ahead of a resurgent Jenson Button. Within 10 points of Button of 2nd place in points, McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel are involved in making the first year with the new points system interesting after 7 races.

In two weeks, the Formula 1 teams will compete on the North American continent for their only time in 2010 as Circuit Gilles Villeneuve welcomes the Canadian Grand Prix.

2010 Turkish Grand Prix
Formula 1
Race Results

1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
4. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP
5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
6. Robert Kubica Renault F1
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari
8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
10. Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari
11. Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari
12. Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari
13. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes
14. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth
15. Vitaly Petrov Renault
16. Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari
17. Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth
18. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth
19. Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth
20. Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth
21. Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth
22. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
23. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth
24. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth

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