Hamilton wins Turkish GP as civil war breaks out at Red Bull
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Hamilton wins Turkish GP as civil war breaks out at Red Bull
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 May 2010   |  3:49 pm GMT  |  313 comments

Lewis Hamilton won the Turkish Grand Prix, his first victory of the season with Jenson Button second and Mark Webber third. It is McLaren’s second one-two finish of the season. Webber leads the drivers championship, McLaren take over the constructors’ championship lead.

Horner has work cut out to manage drivers now

But the race will be remembered for the extraordinary incident on lap 40 when the two Red Bull cars drove into each other while fighting for the lead. It is likely to prove a turning point in the championship and certainly in the relationship between the drivers. It will require incredible management skill by Christian Horner to establish calm in the team and then maintain it.

Horner’s immediate reaction was not to blame either driver but to say that the team was disappointed with both drivers for not giving each other room. Lip-reading what he was saying in real time as he watched the two racing was “Move, move!” and one wonders which of his two drivers he wanted to “move”.

It is reminiscent of the Senna vs Prost feud in the late 1980s, when Ron Dennis has admitted he was too close in age to the drivers to keep order. Horner is only five years older than Webber.

Vettel had been a shade faster for the two laps before the incident. Webber seemed to lose ground on the long straight out of Turn 10. Vettel closed on him and pulled alongside.

He got his nose ahead but not by enough to then seal the move by closing the door. But that is what he tried to do. A generous interpretation would say it was youthful impetuousness. A less generous one would call it ruthless.

The result was he eased into the side of Webber, Vettel’s right rear wheel into the sidepod of Webber’s car. As he walked away he made a hand gesture that implied that Webber was crazy, but the replays of the incident appeared to confirm that Vettel moved into Webber before he had made the pass stick.

Vettel was eliminated, while Webber needed to pit for damage to his front wing.

“Seb had a big top speed advantage and he went down the inside, ” said Webber. “I obviously wasn’t totally happy with the situation because obviously he was coming down the inside, and I thought that at that stage I was pretty much not giving the lead up but it was pretty much his corner, well, not his corner but his situation because he was on the inside, but I just stayed on the inside, tight, to make sure that he was still staying on the dirty stuff and then on the run over the crest, obviously after the crest, he started to come back my way and that’s when we touched.”

Vettel saw it differently and refused to accept the blame, although he did admit losing control of the car. He received a warm reception from the management on the Red Bull timing wall.
“We were all pretty much the same pace and I felt I was able to go quicker, “ said Vettel. “I dived down the inside, had the corner and was on the left. I was trying to focus on the braking point. All of a sudden I lost the car and we touched. I’m not the kind of guy who pushes all the fault to one guy. We are a team.”

As the two Red Bull cars flew off the road, Hamilton took the lead, Button second place.

There has been a growing tension between the two Red Bull drivers, so intense has been the competition between them. Vettel has been struggling to deal with Webber’s rich run of form since China and it seemed that when he spotted that Webber was losing a little pace, he felt that it was essential to press his advantage immediately.

At the start Webber got away well while Vettel jumped Hamilton for second place. Hamilton came back at him and re-passed him.

Button fell behind Schumacher at the start, but passed him later in the lap, a critical move given the way he got stuck behind the Mercedes in Barcelona. He pulled away at a second per lap, showing how vital it was for him to make that pass. After seven seconds there were only 3.5 seconds covering the top four cars, Webber, Hamilton, Vettel and Button.

The rest of the top ten held position in the opening phase. Massa brushed tyres with Kubica, but the positions remained the same and an accident was avoided.

Hamilton was right with Webber from the end of the first lap, the straight line speed advantage of the McLaren very evident. Every lap Hamilton would be 3/10ths faster in sector 1, then the Red Bull would open up a gap thanks to its speed through Turn 8, then the McLaren would come back at him down the straight. The McLaren looked the faster car.

The stop four cars stayed together, with Webber, Hamilton, Vettel and Button close together.

Vettel was the first to put on lap 15. A lap later the two leaders came in and a slow stop by McLaren meant that Hamilton came out behind Vettel. He was held up by a sticking rear wheel, but also by the mechanic not being able to release him from his pit box as Webber drove past.

Button stayed out the longest of the top four, leading lap 16. He pitted on lap 18 and rejoined fourth, so the tactic didn’t work for McLaren. Red Bull had done the better job on strategy.

Hamilton attacked Vettel on lap 19, but couldn’t make it stick. The leading three drivers were separated by a second, while Button sat back a little in fourth.

Then came the turning point moment of the race on lap 40 when the Red Bulls indulged in fratricide.

The Mercedes cars didn’t have the pace on the hard tyre. Schumacher fell away at around 1.2 seconds per lap from Button, while Rosberg’s problems with the tyre meant that a train formed behind him with Kubica, Massa, Petrov and Alonso in it.

On lap 49 the McLaren drivers staged their own replay of the Red Bull inter team battle, but they showed how it should be done, giving each other room and passing beautifully. Button passed Hamilton in the final corner, but Hamilton came back at him and repassed into Turn 1, albeit with Hamilton understeering into the side of Button. It was brilliant stuff and a rather pointed lesson to Vettel and Webber on how to race a team mate. After that Button backed off and settled for second place.

Shortly before this battle Hamilton had been told to “save fuel” and was informed that Button was doing likewise.

Alonso passed Petrov for 8th place on lap 53, making contact with the Renault and giving him a puncture. It was a tough end to the race for the Russian who had a strong weekend and looked set for a strong points finish. He had the small consolation of setting fastest lap.

There will now be a painful debrief at Red Bull with both drivers reminded of their responsibilities to the team, especially in the face of a resurgent McLaren team. The chummy scenes of celebration after the Monaco 1-2 are long forgotten. The gloves are off and as the pair are likely to be fighting for the same piece of tarmac for the rest of the season, it’s going to be fascinating to see how it evolves.

TURKISH GRAND PRIX, Istanbul, 58 laps

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


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Oh Mr. James Allen, your comments are unbelievable. One undeniable fact should have squarely pointed who was wrong; whose wheels were behind at the instant of contact? The golden rule of racing though, not codified is that when a challenger gets ahead, the beaten racer must give way. If Mr. Horner had intended for MW to move aside, he was not out of line. However, if both challenger and the challenged are head to head then, both racers share equal blame. Obviously, if the racer that has lost ground refused to give way, a collision would result. That was what happened at the Turkish GP. Simply said, the racer who forced the collision did not show good sportsmanship. Instead of fighting back for the lead later on, the racer chose not to yield when he should. The body language after the race and at the post race conference says it all. Even the boos during the trophy ceremony shows how disappointed the fans were of the poor sportsmanship.


Why was there no steward’s investigation into the incident after the race? There usually is after an incident like this (eg. Australia 2009), or does one of the affected parties have to lodge a complaint? If so, why didn’t big-mouth Marko lodge a complaint, if he believed Webbo was in the wrong?


I’ve been thinking how similar the situations between the doomed Vettel/Webber overtake and the later Button/Hamilton overtake were. Both situations came about due to some shall we say confusion around who should be driving at what speed due to the fuel levels.

But the other similarity that struck me, is it possible that Jenson is in fact McLaren’s man?

Lewis was brought in by Ron Dennis. Ron was not adverse to stamping round the paddock upsetting people as we know, and I think he was happy to use his weight to protect Lewis every time he became petulant, said stupid things to the media (“the monkey’s at the back being one that springs to mind) or threw races due to mistakes caused by him driving emotionally. However there is a new boss at McLaren and a new feeling around the paddock. And this is where Jenson might suddenly have the upper hand, he is always cool, calm and collected. Very aware of his corporate responsibilities and therefore careful what he says, plus he’s shown to the doubters that he can drive a car. So I wonder how much extra respect this has given him from Martin Witmarsh? I think Dennis and Hamilton are pure racers, everything they do is to achieve the single determination to win. Whereas Witmarsh and Button are a more complete package, yes they want to win, but they are also capable of thinking of the bigger picture at the same time


Why does Helmut Marko have the control of that team instead of Christian Horner. Horner is like a puppet.

Helmut Marko reminds me of the character in lord of the rings, Grima Wormtongue, whispering into the kings (Dietrich Mateschitz) ear.


First, what a cracking race! Best dry race of the season and, for that matter for a long time. Only marred for me by the fact that every time Legard opened his mouth, it was to spew out a stream of banalities or inaccuracies.

(1) Webber v Vettel: seems pretty clear to me. The main point is obvious from the onboards. Webber holds his line; Vettel jerks the steering towards Webber expecting him to yield. You can just about see that Vettel has tried a bit earlier to creep back to the right, seen that Webber not moving, so he decides to force the issue by going for the chop. It’s possible that Vettel ‘lost’ the car as he claimed afterwards, but I doubt it – it didn’t look like it from the video, they weren’t in the braking zone, and that is not consistent with his immediate gesture accusing Webber of being a nutter. The subsidiary point is that it certainly can be said that Webber gave absolutely no margin for error on either of their parts – he could not have given Vettel any less room – if the Vettel was going to make the move stick, it was going to have to be a hombre moment and Webber was going to make sure that Vettel was put to the test of making the corner from a very tight line, braking on the dirty side of the track. So when Horner says, the real mistake was that no room was given, he has got some grounds, but that ignores that it was Vettel who caused an avoidable accident by driving into Webber. The engine-setting intrigue adds a further dimension to the whole drama – hopefully we’ll get more on that.

(2) Red Bull v Maclaren (and the rest). While it is said that Maclaren have closed the gap significantly, my take is that what we saw in Turkey is a more clear example of what has been seen all season, namely: Red Bulls have access to extraordinary pace in qualifying, but are ‘only’ very quick in race pace. I am more and more convinced that they have some sort of trick one-lap system and I wonder whether that is what Webber was mysteriously referring to when he said that ‘you guys will have to do more digging somewhere else’. I have wondered whether there might be some way of using exhaust heat to work the tyres harder for a particular period – e.g. some sort of ducting in the exhaust such that heat is directed to the rear tyres at the very top of the rev band.

(3) Button v Hamilton: for me, the most fascinating aspect. I think we’re yet to get fully to the bottom of what happened. Clearly, Lewis was very peeved about something – he looked like he’d swallowed a lemon rather than won a race. This is the first race all season where my impression is that Button had equal or better raw pace than Hamilton (this is, of course, very subjective in that it was difficult to get a true idea of Hamilton’s ultimate race pace) and would probably have outqualified Hamilton if he had not had the yellow flag. If forced to guess, I would suspect that Button has sorted out something with his brakes/front end which is more to his liking, perhaps running longer but softer springs at the front (hence the bottoming out in turn 8). By the time that Webber/Vettel had come together, it is reasonable to suspect both that Button had managed to save a bit more fuel and a bit more life in his tyres (NB in particular (i) that Button’s lap time was coming from Sectors 1 and 3 – he was slower through the turn 8 complex => easier on tyres through the most tyre demanding section; (ii) the surprising radio call to Hamilton on just after he had got his hard tyres to the effect ‘We can do it on these tyres’ as if it was always known that Hamilton was going to be marginal on tyres).

The likely interpretation of the ensuing events seems to me

(i) Hamilton then Button were told to conserve fuel (and told that the other was also conserving fuel). Hamilton took this as an indication that they were no longer racing and backed right off. Button took this as an opportunity, perhaps suspecting that Hamilton was more marginal than him on fuel.

(ii) Hamilton was therefore taken by surprise when Button swept past. I’d lay money on the fact that Hamilton’s *turned the wick back up* to get back past on the straight and back into turn 1.

(iii) Button was then told that ‘fuel was critical’ – this almost certainly was intended to tell him to stop racing rather than that there was any marginality about him getting to the end (I think) – and that’s why Button dodged the question of how marginal his fuel was at the end. Button conspicuously obeyed by dropping right off Hamilton’s tail.

(iv) Hamilton was peeved because (a) he thought that Button should have interpreted the first ‘fuel conserve’ message as a ‘not racing’ message; and (b) he probably knew that after he had got the position back, Button had effectively been forced to stop racing. So although he’d won, he’d not beaten anyone fair and square on the track and that’s the sort of thing that, credit to Hamilton, bothers him.

(v) Credit to both of them that they managed to smooth things over between them and managed to steer clear of any suggestion that the team was managing the finishing order, which required some nifty footwork.

(vi) Psychological winner – clearly Button, I’d say.

(vii) Situations like this are going to happen again. Button’s car is normally in better shape at the end of the race and he’ll start getting peeved if he can’t use that advantage against his teammate. Also he’s come to Maclaren to have a crack at Hamilton and he’s not going to take kindly to playing follow my leader at the end of races. But on the other hand, in this sort of situation there’s a lot of sense from the team point of view in not racing each other right to the bitter end.


A bit off topic…

Excellent track, Excellent Race!!

My mate and I celebrated the Mclaren 1-2 by running up and down the start finish straight in orange Morphsuits and Mclaren caps. Stupidly we didn’t take any pictures, if you happen to be one of the 100’s of people who stopped us to have a photo with us, please get in touch with me!! Thanks


A huge civil war at Red Bull is a great way to describe the situation. Watching the podium ceremony, it was impossible to miss the body language between Hamilton and Button. I sense a civil war is brewing in the McLaren fortress too.

Did you realise the pictures of Bernie and Vettel, it’s like a father and son relationship. Both blondes too. LOL.

Vettel is a very likable guy, always smiling and jovial, with his boyish image. It’s beginning to change. Soon he will no longer be a boy but a full fletched man who will demand his dominance.

Mind you, he’s a very good driver, certainly one of the best.

As for Webber, if you observed in post qualifying, he looked pensive most times, as though something will happen to him. I wouldn’t blame Mark as he’s had too much so called bad luck in his career and to be at this level now, you want to cling on to the rope as tight as you can before it turns oily and slippery. Webber is a good guy.


Vettel is a bloody idiot. He should apologise.


Bitter rivalries are what makes F1 fantastic viewing!

In fact thats what makes sport great!

webber needs to forget playing team player – he may not have this opportunity again to go for a world championship.

i dont think it will be hard for him to find a drive with another team for next year – as quite clearly he is fast and committed driver


HEY EVERYONE, McLaren operate their RW80 ‘F-Duct’ with the drivers left hand! Watch Hamilton onboard footage on the BBC or Youtube …lap 33 and 34

A great season full of great drivers and fantastic action!..soft spot for Massa, want him to do well.


if Vettle is to blame, why havent the stewards handed out any punishments for an avoidable accident against him?.

I believe it was a 50/50 racing incident and that is why Vettle fot off without penalty.


I’m surprised JA you haven’t commented on the disposition of Hamilton and Button after their one two finish. To me it was the most subdued celebration of a perfect team finish I have seen in a very long time.

The veiled comments from Hamilton’s interviews thus far revealed to me anyway, why he was looking so upset that Button had even challenged him. A question then: if both drivers were told to save fuel and reduce lap times to a particular target, how then was it possible for Button to close on Hamilton? Was it due to Button not heading the teams request and capitalize on the situation? Was it internal and the team told Button to take the shot now the Hamilton had slowed?

You could see Hamilton was not happy that Button had made the choice he did and with the touch in corner one, Hamilton could have easily received front wing damage. Now that would have been a spectacle, Red Bull and McLaren take out their team mates just for the spoils of victory to lose sight on the constructor’s championship.

I suspect there will be some internal investigations by Hamilton to see why Button had not slowed as the team had requested, telemetry with tell all, unfortunately we’ll never find out the truth. But for sure, Hamilton has to consider if he can trust Button in the future.


I think it’s pretty clear what happened. Vettel leaped at an opportunity and Webber made him earn it by keeping him out on the marbles. Had Webber yielded it would’ve set the tone for the coming races and Vettel would have the upper hand and probably the championship. What will be interesting is the next time one lines up the other for a pass; the first to blink, loses.

PS If you think that there’s tension in the RBR garage now, wait until Australia downs Germany in the first round of the World Cup next month….. 😉


hahahaha! for the last few seasons, I’ve heard so much crap about how Red Bull is different from McLaren and Ferrari, they don’t play favourites, they’re fair and they know how to manage their drivers. Ok, it’s official, every F1 driver is a pratt.


Wow, James. I thought your readers were knowledgable 😛 I can’t believe almost everyone blames Vettel. Unreal! Maybe I need to see a replay or something as I missed something everyone else is seeing? But he obviously had no place to go (no space left for him) and he lost it on a bump or something.

Why whould he veer to the right at that speed when he knows Webber is right there? It’s just common sense. Being that far on the inside compromises both the drivers’ line into the hairpin anyway, with the McLarens in close company.

Clearly Webber’s fault, although he wouldn’t have expected Vettel’s car to become unstable there. I’m not sure what these other people expect, for Vettel to completely lift off or something when he’s almost already in FRONT of Webber? Wow. Unless he didn’t lose control of the car over the crest, then it’s all Webber.


WATCH the replay!!!!

Vettel turned into Webber!

N. Machiavelli

Vettel tried to pass and Vettel SCREWED UP THE PASS.

The idea that this is somehow Webber’s fault is utter


Great race and I was not expecting a collision between Webber and Vettel this will play in to the hands of McLaren, Hamilton drove mature race apart from banging wheels with Button which did not end in tears.

This is gonna make the race in Canada fascinating to watch and I tip Lewis Hamilton to be mighty around montreal the momentum is definately with Mclaren.

Expect more fireworks from Red Bull.


Superb writing James – good show mate.


Two week ago it seemed nailed on certainty that Webber would be staying with Red Bull but now I’m not so sure. I can’t see how they can work together from now on. In a pole on another website I said it was equal fault but now thinking about it I can’t see why Vettal needed to turn right into Webber on a left hand corner!!!!


Best thing is that Vettle lost points and Webber leads the championship. Just deserts. I guess Vettle will never try it again.

When he was spinning his finger over his head after he took himself out he was the one who looked crazy.

The world now knows he’s completely rattled by Webber and will do anything illegal or unsporting, like the other German Schumacher before him, to win.

Post race Webber was gracious about the accident while Vettle tried to blame Webber and came off like the pratt I’ve always suspected he was.


To me it seems like Vettel was determined to beat Webber this weekend. He really wanted to make a point and it culminated in today’s incident.

Watching the post qualifying press conference (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8712831.stm) there appeared to be a visible tension between the two drivers. Looking at Vettel’s body language when Webber is talking about the order in which they leave the pits. Vettel mutters to himself and shakes his head and rolls his eyes while Webber is talking, he seems very dismissive of what Webber has said.

Red Bull have a lot of work to do to keep this rivalry under control.

Steven Selasky

Sensational. Weber needs to go all out for the title. When an opportunity comes take it…..

Let see if Christian Horner and Helmut Marko make this work.

The tone – reminds me of the duels of Piquet and Mansell.

To bad I am not going to Montreal.


When Vettel got past Webber at the start of the Malaysian GP we saw a new Mark who mentally appeared to toughen up.

With the RB management now blatently supporting Seb, will Mark take it up another gear again or will he figure “what’s the point”

I hope he comes out fighting against his biggest rivals – Vettel and Horner

N. Machiavelli

“I hope he comes out fighting against his biggest rivals – Vettel and Horner”

Agreed !

Until today I did not have a favorite for the championship.

Now I do, and it is Mark Webber. But it’s the driver, not the

Red Bull team, which is my favorite.

I think highly of Webber for his conduct both on and off the track. He is a man’s man and a gentleman, neither of which cannot be said of Vettel, who made a childish gesture which impugned the sanity of Webber after the incident which Vettel himself caused today. Vettel behaves like a spoiled child, and his behavior disgusts me.

As for the Red Bull consultant, Dr. Marko, he is paid to

say what Mateschitz wants him to say. So much for Marko’s


Red Bull seems determined to make Vettel their WDC.

BUt now, a serious question : Is Red Bull’s goal when they sponsor sports, to favor spoiled brats at the expense of gentleman sportsmen ? If so, may Red Bull and its team rot, and may Webber move on to a better team which will treat him as he deserves.


“Is Red Bull’s goal when they sponsor sports, to favor spoiled brats at the expense of gentleman sportsmen..”

Why, yes. Didn’t you know?

Thats their target demo. A “gentleman” would never drink Red Bull, whereas wild-ass teenage a-holes do all the time.

Plz pay better attention!


Anyone who isnt biased (like me I dont care about both RBR drivers, I am for Button), will confess Webber squeezed Vettel to the dirty side, almost onto the grass) then made a very small move to the left, made Vettel move a bit more to left then lose control because of the dirty side/dampness/white line/grass/whatever.

If Webber was smart, he would have just went to the right, the racing line, the breaking point was there and it would have been a 1-2 for RBR

Horner now seems to have officially stated this too, Lee Mckenzie BBC Twitter shows this.


Thank you. I thought this was clear-cut, but it seems everyone blames Vettel! Unbelievable…

And to those who keep saying “Do you expect a race leader to just let someone pass you” is clearly an armchair fan with no race experience. Poor. There’s hard racing, then there’s just silly racing. A squeeze like that would have been acceptable on the last lap, but not then.

N. Machiavelli

“If Webber was smart, he would have just went to the right, “

No, if Vettel was smart he would have remained in second place and allowed the pole-sitter to get a win he deserved;

this would also have given the team valuable points toward the constructor’s championship, and Vettel would have

gained some points himself, instead of zero points as is

now the case.

All you people who believe the leader is supposed to

allow himself to be passed don’t understand racing !


Simply because Webber won a pole doesnt mean that he deserved a win and Vettel should forget about it. Plus he had a constant danger behind himself and Webber was detering him, so it was perfectly reasonable to try to overtake Webber. Even more as they are also competing for WDC.


Its very weird to see 2 completely different sides of the story: 1 side with Helmut Marko, Christian Horner and the other side everyone else. Grassy knoll.

James, please tell me you don’t write the F1.com interviews also, because that interview with Helmut was like a press release with leading questions.

N. Machiavelli

“Its very weird to see 2 completely different sides of the story: 1 side with Helmut Marko, Christian Horner and the other side everyone else.”

I can alleviate your confusion :

Horner and Marko, who work for Red Bull, are saying what they have been told ( paid ) to say, and the other side is speaking the truth.

What is truly sad is that the man with the money

( Mateschitz ) is giving these orders. I’ve lost respect for

Red Bull as a team as a result of the current team position

as explained by Marko and Horner. If they had explained to

Webber that he would be not have equal status I very much

doubt that Webber would have driven for them. But now

it’s obvious that is exactly what Red Bull wants.

I hope Mark Webber wins the WDC and then leaves Red

Bull with nothing but a smile and a wave.


Webber MUST do his own thing this year, if he yields he’ll never be champion, this is the best chance he will ever get.

It’s clear regardless as to the bull the team are saying, Vettel is their favoured son.

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