F1 Winter Break
Vettel sticks to Plan A and wins Turkish Grand Prix
Vettel sticks to Plan A and wins Turkish Grand Prix
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 May 2011   |  3:15 pm GMT  |  105 comments

Sebastian Vettel won the Turkish Grand Prix with something to spare today, leading from pole position and staying “very much in control” as he put it.

It was Vettel’s 13th career victory, his third of the season and his 6th win in the last 8 races. Mark Webber finished second and Fernando Alonso third.

Vettel finds some Turkish fans to share his joy (Red Bull)

In front of a thin, but better crowd than in recent years, it was a day on which team strategists told their drivers to move to Plan B, meaning four pit stops rather than the planned three, because tyre wear was significant due to the loads in Turn 8 and the higher temperatures.

It was another race full of overtaking moves, but the undercurrent from the drivers was a feeling of dissatisfaction that many of the overtakes were too easy, thanks to the adjustable DRS wing. Alonso’s pass on Webber and Webber’s pass on Alonso were a case in point. But there were plenty of others where the driver behind was able to sail past in the DRS zone, even with tyres of relatively similar ages, unlike China.

Many of the overtakes had multiple phases to them, with drivers passing and repassing each other in extended battles. The final sequence of corners at Istanbul contributed to this, with the follow up opportunity to pass again into the first corner.

But regardless of the impact DRS had on the action, there were some fantastic battles between Hamilton and Button, Button and Massa, Kobayashi and Schumacher, who seemed to get hit by several cars. At times it was hard to keep up with the flow of the race.

Sebastien Buemi finished seventh from 16th on the grid and Kamui Kobayashi finished 10th after staring last.

Pre-race expectations had been for three stops, but rear tyre wear in the higher temperatures on the day meant that many drivers had to switch to Plan B, which was four stops.

The start was electric with Rosberg passing Webber for second place behind Sebastian Vettel. Lewis Hamilton lost ground trying to go around the outside of Webber, dropping to sixth.

Webber sailed past Rosberg using the DRS wing on lap five, while Hamilton and Button got into a fierce scrap which lasted a few laps and in which positions changed several times. Button got the edge and Hamilton seemed to be suffering more from wear on the rear tyres. He was passed by Massa on lap 10 and both pitted at the end of the lap. McLaren turned their man around more quickly and Hamilton got back out ahead.

Alonso had a good start, gaining a place to fourth and he passed Rosberg using the DRS wing on lap seven. That put him third.

After the first stops, which came early (laps 10 and 11) Alonso was able to lap at the same pace as the Red Bulls for a while, but just before the second stops Vettel was able to pull away from Webber and Alonso at a second a lap.

Alonso’s pace in the Ferrari was the real surprise of the afternoon, able to lap at the same pace as the Red Bulls in the second stint and to actually pass Webber for second place in the third stint on lap 30. He managed to hold onto the place despite pitting after Webber for the third stop.

Rosberg tried a different tactic from the others, choosing to run the hard tyre in the second and third stints, which cost him some places, but put him on the faster tyre for the final part of the race.

Vettel used his new set of tyres in the third stint to pull away and consolidate his lead on a day when the team’s tactics were perfect as was his driving.

In the closing stages after the drivers had made their fourth stops, the real action was Webber closing on Alonso, while Hamilton on tyres that were seven laps newer than his team mate, closed in on him. They were 30 seconds behind Alonso at this stage, showing how remarkable the turnaround by Ferrari and Alonso was.

“Throughout the race we had a cushion and I was able to react rather than act. But this one is for the guys (mechanics) because I damaged the car on Friday. I’m obviously very happy,” said Vettel. “Of course the tyres are tricky to handle, we saw today different strategies with different people. At times the tyres go away from you and you have to deal with that. But we had the pace to react and we never had anyone close behind.”

TURKISH GRAND PRIX, Istanbul Park, 58 laps
1. Vettel Red Bull 1h30:17.558
2. Webber Red Bull + 8.807
3. Alonso Ferrari + 10.075
4. Hamilton McLaren + 40.232
5. Rosberg Mercedes + 47.539
6. Button McLaren + 59.431
7. Heidfeld Renault + 1:00.857
8. Petrov Renault + 1:08.168
9. Buemi Toro Rosso + 1:09.300
10. Kobayashi Sauber + 1:18.000
11. Massa Ferrari + 1:19.800
12. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:25.400
13. Sutil Force India + 1 lap
14. Perez Sauber + 1 lap
15. Barrichello Williams + 1 lap
16. Alguersuari Toro Rosso + 1 lap
17. Maldonado Williams + 1 lap
18. Trulli Lotus + 1 lap
19. Kovalainen Lotus + 2 laps
20. D’Ambrosio Virgin + 2 laps
21. Karthikeyan HRT + 3 laps
22. Liuzzi HRT + 5 laps

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DRS makes a mockery of overtaking.

The tyres and KERS are fine, but the overtaking we saw with the DRS was fake. Plain fake.




Great race by Vettel. KERS seems to be working fine, finally. DRS really failed this time, it was too easy to overtake (Vettel wouldn't know that, obviously 🙂 Why was McLaren so slow? OK, Lewis lost app. 15 second during one of the pitstops, but still ...


They were racing the same spec car as 3 weeks ago as they had problems implementing the planned updates. Does make me wonder what the hell they were doing for 3 whole weeks though.

I also think they comprimised thier setup to accommodate the bumps, as they were finding out in FP.


IMO its not that McLaren are slow,its more like the soft drink car has an advantage no one can see,a la flexi/bent wings etc,I mean Newey's good,"but not that good",ditto the finger boy.How come a chasing car that can release most of its aerodynamic drag not catch the leader who can't use his DRS,kinda defies my sense of logic,but not the FIA's though.


Thoughts from this race:

Driver of the day - Alonso! Keeping the Redbulls honest in a car that is 3rd fastest at best. Like a replay of the latter part of the 2010 season.

Vettel is doing a good job but not outstanding as some are trying to make out. When you have a car that is comfortably fastest it's easier to avoid mistakes since you don't need to push the car as hard.

The Redbull pitstops are much better than the Ferrari/McLaren stops, i'm surprised they're not looking at this.

Why did Mclaren screw Button on strategy again? 3 stoppers just aren't working this year. I bet Button is fuming at finishing behind Hamilton again despite out racing him. Reminds me of the latter part of last year where they were keeping Jenson out on old tyres just long enough so that he would exit the pits just behind Lewis.

The DRS zone was waaaaaay to dominant in its influence of the race result, watching cars just cruise past wasn't proper racing.


totally agree, red bulls pit stops are so much better than ferrari and mclaren. and im dismayed at none of the tv/and other media for picking up on it.

your giving away free time. and there is no reason for it. pit stops are a physical thing so you have no excuse. and with 3-4 pit stops per race if u lose 1.5 seconds with each stop which alonso was that is 6 seconds per race just flittering away. and when you are racing red bull who are faster than you anyway you cant afford to give that time away.

on the DRS. i think it would of worked a treat with last years tyres. cos the next lap the guy would of been able to pass back(like slipstream) but problem is now when someones tyres go off the guy behind not only has 1-2 seconds tyre advantage he also has a massive straight line advantage. so perhaps with the old tyres it would of balanced out a bit better.

still its better watching this than no passing at all.

spain will be a good test for it. there has never been a decent dry spanish gp in 20years. so will be interesting.


Mercedes stops v fast too


true! which shouldnt be a surprise as they were mega in his periods at benetton and ferrari.

shows u just need practice.


Still not liking DRS. Helps the faster cars, not the better drivers.

Overall, F1 has becomes more like draughts than chess.


I don't want to watch either chess or draughts! Team strategy is boring Formula One is better without it.


Stellar Drive by Fernando. In the third or fourth best car. showing his class.


Just as I predicted, Rosberg played for RB again. I feel more and more that Rosberg deprived us of a good fight for the lead for a second time this season. He is too slow and Vettel builds a gap which is too big to be taken back considering Vettel is pretty fast.

James, could you please clarify why Alguersuari was pitted with 2 laps to go? As I see it, he lost about 19+ seconds with that stop, but if he was to continue, he would've lost about 2-3 sec per lap.. Weird!

Great race! Loved to see Alonso back in the fight, dissapointed by Massa and Schumacher. I used to be Schumacher's fan, but he should just quit so other new talented young drivers would get a chance tp show what they can do.



Agree, when I watch quali I hope the Mercs don't qualify to well as they don't really have the race pace to be podium contenders. It's a bit like a reincarnation of the Jarno train where Trulli would qualify in a good position and hold everyone behind him up with his awful race pace.

I was really hoping that Rosberg would jump both Redbulls off the start and box them up for a while to give everyone else a fighting chance.


I can't find such fine conspiracy, in terms of Rosberg playing for Red Bull, but there's something strange in Merc's performance - they are sometimes very quick, and very slow just one lap later. Throughout the race, I've even heard strange noises coming from Nico's engine, looked like the motor re-forced and pushed a gear down, so I really don't know what's happening there. Good to see Ferrari fighting back.

For Catalunya I expect almost the same distribution of the forces.


I’ve been watching F1 a long time and consider myself a real dedicated fan, but I never thought I’d feel like I do today.

What is the fun in watching cars breeze past each other because of DRS when then other driver is defenceless? This is not F1. I’m all for increasing the entertainment, but this is ridiculous.

I’m also a massive Schumie fan but I just can’t watch no longer. Surely Mercedes have to tell him to go sooner than later. After all they’d be doing him a favour.

Also I can now understand why in the past people were fed up of seeing Schumie dominate. I know Vettel is a real talent, but somebody step up to the plate Please!!!


What Schu have done with Petrov?

Petrov already pass Schu for whole car . . . why Schu just turn in to hit Petrov and brake his own front wing . . there is no point to defence or that shouldn't be called defence at all . . [mod - your last paras add nothing constructive to the debate and were just mindless abuse, so were deleted]


James, I'm just curious, why is it Ferrari are so significantly slower than their competitors (Red Bull, Mclaren, Mercedes) in pit stops? I'm not referring to time driving down the pit lane, just the stops themselves. They are visibly slower by at least a second. While I am sure Webber had more in reserve, had Alonso been given competitive pit stops he'd have picked up a couple of seconds at least, which could have played a key role in the latter stages of the race.

No complaints about the race, just sick and tired of Vettel having the fastest car at every race. This guy is just cake walking to victory without any true competition (and its not because he has superior talent to everyone). I'm gonna be happy when Newey retires because I'm tired of one horse races. Wish the director of this GP had been a little more aware, coverage was poor, and I don't understand why the speed/DRS signals broadcast are having errors. Hope they can sort it out...several battles had a stationary top speed and DRS shown when clearly this wasn't the case.


I think we are watching a legend in the making - Vettel is amazing! He needs to work on his in-car victory speech, though "Wooooohoooooo, that's what I'm talking about" is wearing a bit thin :p


What exactly is so amazing about Vettel except doing a great job in a Saturday and keep his position at the start of the grand prix ??

Driving in clear air and overtaking Hispania and Virgin ? Is that what you are talking about?

No thanks, I prefer Alonso, Webber, Kobayashi, Lewis, Jenson.

At least be impartial or at least fair in your comments. Vettel deserved the win, no doubt, but in no way he was amazing.


I can't be impartial because I love F1 and I love talented drivers, and in all my years watching the sport I am starting to believe that Vettel is the best I have ever seen. It's my opinion (and you're more than free to disagree with it) that Vettel is a genius.
It's my opinion that he's quite possibly going to be the best F1 driver in history. I have never seen such a complete driver at such a young age.
I don't really understand your argument that he is not amazing because the only people he has to pass are backmarkers.
He consistently qualifies half a second faster than anyone else (including his teammate Webber, who you say you prefer-impartiality at its best!) It is everyone's elses duty to reel him in.
Wether he's the best ever only time will tell. He will not always have the fastest car, he will make mistakes, and he will always have his detractors. There's no doubt he will have challenges and, as an F1 fan, I am excited to see how he tackles them.
One thing's for sure, he's going to be around for a long, long time.
Deal with it.


Vettel is better than Weber . . . that not a question . . . . he is fast but not that amazing.

Let put Lewis or Alonso in Mark car . . . and let see how amazing Vettel will be. . I don't think Lewis or Alonso will do anything less than Vettel.

with his 3 wins, nothing to fight . . . He just manage to do a easy job with easy teammate. . . that it.


I accept your opinion mate and I am not trying to prove you wrong. I was just not sure why you consider him so amazing, and now one of the best drivers ever.

Maybe I am missing something, but from what I can see, he is much better then Webber (having same equipment) and much faster then the rest.

Vettel used to be beaten by Di Resta when they were racing as teammates. How about that?

I think you will agree with me when I say that the RB6 and RB7 are the fastest cars.

From my point of view, Vettel is doing an outstanding job at getting pole and keeping his position at teh start. After that, he is trouble free.

A true driver (and I'm not saying Vettel isn't one) will get good positions at teh end of the grand prix after fighting and overtaking the likes of Alonso, Lewis, JB etc. So far, Vettel didn't show much of this, due to the fact that he is most of the time ahead of them, and by having the fastest car..he will stay ahead.

To be honest, after the first 2 races this season, all I am paying attention in a race is from 2nd to about 15th place. Runing 1st in clear air from lap one to the end does not qualify as the best driver ever in my book.

I am a Ferrari fan and didn't liked Alonso one bit when he joined the team. I thought of him as being arrogant. I only started to like him because he took control of that team, demanding good pace and always pushing that car to the limit. I like Lewis and JB for being so consistent in battleling for positions. I like Mark for not giving up when his team gave up on him. And there are many more.


Maybe that before he had his 4th pit stop (just to be safe) he was about half a minute ahead of anyone else? Mark Webber has the same car (actually better in this race as he had the updates), you don't see him using it as well...


My point is that he had that advantage and he didn't really have to stop again, he only did it to be safe. He was on course for a successful 3-stop strategy (look in comparison how Jenson's worked) because he looked after his tyres so well.

The truth is that we haven't seen too many drives of his through the field because he doesn't normally mess up quali like others do. I'm not going to argue that he is the best overtaker because he clearly isn't, but his wins are not just because he gets the pole position but because he's fast throughout the race, something not many drivers can do as well.


After the 3rd round of pitstops he was only about 8sec ahead, not that impressive in a car that is 0.8sec a lap faster than anything else on track.

In fairness he probably had more pace in hand but it's easy to look good in a car that is faster than the competition without even having to push it.


Before his 4th pit stop obviously he had a great advantage, like 20 seconds more than real because his rivals had stopped, what a bad argument. This guy is very good, but without beeing first a the end of first lap he is completely unable to win a race.


I think you've been watching a different race then I did. Vettel was never more then 10 sec ahead.

He was only if you count the extra time Alonso and Webber got while doing their 4th pit stop, but that is just wrong. They all went for 4 pit stops, but Vettel was always pitting late due to the fact that his tyre wear was less then Webber and Alonso (because he was runing in clear air and didn't had to battle anyone).


Off topic: James, there is word that the FIA wants to reintroduce in-season testing.

I think that is a good idea but it would be better with a small modification in the rule:

Say there are 2-3 in season tests, then the Constructors Championship points leader before the test cannot participate.

That will close up the field for the next couple of races.

Could you please e-mail this idea (on behalf of the fans) to Jean Todt, James?

Maybe do a poll on it first... to make it really on behalf of the fans.


FIA could also force the championship leaders to race with 3 wheels instead of four. that will definitively help to close the field up.

I'm not kidding. Were you?


Typical 2011 F1 race:

1. Not much real overtaking, just passing like we see on the highway everyday, thanks to DRS.

2. Managing tyres, saving tyres, tyres, tyres, tyres.

3. Tyres, tyres, tyres.

How people can enjoy watching a car pass because the one in front is a sitting duck with no defense because only the one behind is allowed to use a mechanical advantage when the FIA says so, making him go 10-12km/h faster, is beyond me.

The drivers who actually tried to race and overtake in different zones were punished because their tyres went off a few laps later, thanks to Pirelli artifically lowering the quality of their tyres for entertainment purposes.

Even Webber said about his own China performance that he did not enjoy it because he was just breezing passed people like Alonso and Button as if they were not racing.

But it seems a majority of the "racing" fans love it this way. It is an American wrestling style sport now, if you are going to admit it or not.


"thanks to Pirelli artifically lowering the quality of their tyres for entertainment purposes"

The tyres have always been made to a specification. Bridgestone showed that they could make soft tyres which would last a whole race, did you prefer that? Pirelli have just done what their customer has requested - made tyres that wear out more quickly. All the drivers have the same equipment, so it's a level playing field.

As for myself, I don't like the way the tyres are allocated, with teams having a limited number for qualifying and the race. I'd rather see them going as fast as possible in qualifying without having to worry about saving tyres for the race before it's even begun. With the current system do we ever get to know just how fast they can lap the track? It would be interesting to see the drivers qualifying without knowing their competitors' times, but I really can't think of a way to do that. Oh yes, and bring back qualifying fuel too 🙂


They aren't lowering quality, just the length of duration. Low quality tyres would not have stood 1,000kg peak load through T8!!


Exactly right


Completely agree with this, and with Webber. I'm glad he said that his race in China was unsatisfying, and respect him enormously for saying so when it would be easier for him to just take all the plaudits that understandably came his way. These tyres and DRS are too much. Everyone seems to be praising Pirelli, but surly they've gone too far. We've already seen that there's still only one ideal strategy for each race. I want to see the drivers really fight it out, not just sit and watch the inevitable pass because the driver being passed has absolutely nothing to defend with. Far too artificial.


Having been a supporter of F1 since the late 60's I thought today's race was false with much of the overtaking just too easy.

It was great to see teammates battle as per McLaren, if only other top teams did the same.

I also though the race was all but impossible to follow and completely impossible for anyone new to F1.

Lastly, I agree with Eddie Jordan, I too felt a twight sad for Schumacher, a man who is clearly spent and not a match for his teammate and in my view should go and play with his kids and give his seat to a worthy driver.


To be honest what we really need is the ability to run these races without DRS and see exactly how much overtaking we'd have had anyway, just with KERS and the new tyres. I think that way we might well have still had a lot of overtaking but without the slightly artificial aspect.

Might need to slightly tone DRS down a bit. Having said that I think there is some sort of place for it but it may need some rethinking.

What I'd also like is to see a bit more incentive to use the hard tyre. If it's slower but doesn't last much longer than the soft then its just a phase of the race to be gotten out of the way with rather than a truly alternative tactical element.

People have tried to use it in a different way (e.g. Button) but never really gotten it to work.

Since we have this rule of starting the race on the tyre you qualified on there's also got to be some way of making it more of an option to try it in Q3, but I'm not sure how exactly.


Agree with most of the points here. I'm in the Vettel is actually brilliant camp by the way. Clearly DRS was overpowering today, whereas it was pretty good in China. It may continue to be hit and miss or perhaps they'll get better at predicting how to configure it.

I do think they need to get the hard tire to last longer so there really are two viable pit stop strategies. This business of them being a second slower than the option and not lasting any longer is ridiculous. I agree with the point too that why have engines that last two plus races but going through 320+ tires in one race. Perhaps they should get back to 2-3 stop longevities, not 3-4.

I loved Coulthard suggesting Shumacher didn't know when to give up and Brundle asking, "do you mean his career or just a particular move?" Clearly the answer is both.



yes but DC needs to be a bit careful some of his comments towards michael sound bitter.

the writing on the wall one yesterday was OTT and not very professional. just needs to kerb it abit.

but saying that after watching/listening to the joke commentary from eurosports wsbk the commentary is brilliant lol!


Looking much better for Ferrari - especially if you consider how far off they were of the pace at Istanbul last year. A couple more decent upgrades and you'd back Alonso to mount a reasonable championship challenge.

I suppose the main problem that both Alonso and the McLarens have is that Webber isn't taking any points off Vettel. For the good of the championship I hope Webber can get up to speed and put a run of decent results in, as he did last year at this stage


Another good 'new' style race. Hopefully this can be the high watermark for the DRS and it can be a bit less prevalent in the coming races. I fear Vettel has the title sown up, he can become more conservative while all his competitors are squabbling, taking points off one another.

However, it should still be an exciting season. I did get a little lost at times with positions and pit stops. Could Hamilton have challenged for a podium without the bad pit stop or was it really running wide at the start that ended that ambition?


nah he was like 15-20 seconds behind webber at that stage.

so it was unlikely, he only lost 10seconds in pit


i think he would still have been around 15-20 sec back from p3 with a good stop, but i havnt checked the timing data.


Today underlined for me why DRS is totally unnecessary. At times we saw drivers dualling and passing away from the DRS zone - that's been done by KERs, the Pirellis and the fact the cars are running a little closer anyway with the double diffusers gone.

To often cars were simply sailing past in the DRS zone - the early pass on Rosberg by Webber was a bad example. It soured a little what was a great race for me. It was just not necessary.


SV is in top form - great win. I suspect that Adrian Newey is making it a bit easy for him! Through all the passes that are being made and the pulsating mood changes during the course of the races this year, there are only three drivers that will make it happen - SV, FA and Lewis. These guys wring the best out of their cars no matter what and they don't give up.

I am personally not sure that Bernie and Pirelli have got it right. Here we are with engines that have to last two races and soon four, and yet in this race the fastest cars changed their tyres four times. I thought last year's tyre rules were better when drivers had to make their tyres last.


Well, nice race to watch with not a satisfactory result (for me) as a Hamilton fan.

Anyway, I might be alone, but I am getting more and more sure with each race, that F1 became too artificial with DRS... of course, it is nice to watch, when one car passes another, but when it is performed in such a fashion as today - thanks, but no thanks.

If F1 will follow this trend, then one day we will get rules, when a driver behind another will receive some other kind of performance boost, for example - additional "super engine mode", gear, or just a hellfire land-to-land missile (why should we stop on DRS?).

I am following F-1 since 1991 (as a child., so it was just an interest...) and starting from 1998 - really serious. F1 cars always had some kind of funny devices or something giving them the edge over others, but never had rules allowed such performance boosts as we see with DRS...


Yes totally agree. Where has driver passion gone? Can't believe it but I'm even now wanting the safety car to put in an appearance! F1 seems to be getting more 'Mario Kart'. I want to see driver skill not button pushing. Also are we to expect Vettel to always finish ahead of Webber, Hamilton ahead of Button, Alonso ahead of Massa, etc etc no matter how they drive during the race. Schumacher is still driving old school alas for him, clearly not as good playing computer games. Never been a big Schumacher fan but long for the way F1 was in his hey day fighting with Hakkinen, Montoya or Irvine, much more exciting. MotoGP is starting to look more exciting and I don't like bikes!


I think quite a few of the drivers agree with you


The problem isn't 'drs' it's that 'drs' can only be used by the attacking driver!!!!!!!If 'drs' were used as the drivers saw fit it would make the skill of the driver count as it should.

Webber, as always is the only6 driver saying it as it really is, to over take one of the best drivers in Alonso and get no joy from it says it all!!!!!!!!!


agree completely. drs any time any where.


I wonder how Hamilton ended up in front of Button after that mishap in the pits that cost him 15s.


Button was just fundamentally slow on the day and also helped comprimise Lewis' race. I don't think doing 4 stops would have helped him either. It was obvious from qualifying that he was woefully off pace. I'm disappointed he's turning into another Kovalainen this season where the new tyres were supposed to suit him better.


LT, Kovalainen used to qualify about 10 places behind Lewis not 2, and it's true even Button admits that his forte is not qualifying, and while he's not as fast wheel to wheel as Lewis generally (though you might have noticed Lewis's failure to pass him early in the race) he's generally as fast over the race distance. Last season he was never much more than a second behind Lewis as they crossed the finish line.

Hamilton is an awesome racer, but considering he's pretty much one of the best Button isn't doing a bad job.

And yes, you need to be more aware of how a race unfolds than judge drivers over the same lap.


he was well ahead of lewis come the time of the first pit stop.

you need to understand the strategy before you knock the driver.

like fernandos in china. it just didnt work.

of course their lap times will be slower all race, they are stopping one time less! so their tyres are older therefore slower, but the hope is you make that back with not having to pit again. if u could run the same lap times and stop less u wouldnt stop at all! lol

for them they tried to stop similar times as the 4 stoppers but just run longer at the end. which was pretty silly. they needed to do the longer running early in the race to give him a fighting chance later on.

you cant knock button too much for this one.

The other Ian

Tyres. Jenson went for 3 stops, and Lewis for 4. Jenson's problem was that he had to ensure his tyres last for more laps than they were capable of. This was why both Lewis and Nico managed to catch and pass him.


JB said his tyres were still good each time they brought him in and thus he should have been out longer on them to make his last stint doable and the three-stopper to work. So, McLaren seems to have gotten that wrong. JB would have had a much better result had they got it right. But that's racing.


yeah it appears the hard tyre is just slower rather than lasting longer. which for me defeats the point of it.

if u made the hard tyre actually last longer, then people would gamble and start on it.

with it lasting about the same time but a worse tyre i cant see the point?

karl pilkington

Button was on a 3 stopper that killed his last stint.


Ah, missed in the first post - as for me, FIA, FOTA, PLEASE, kill off the DRS!

Leave the tires - they are beautiful, but please, return us the thrill of more pure racing without DRS!


Mamma mia, what a confusing race the Turkish grand prix was. Never did imagine 4 stops for the leading bunch.

Anyway congratulations to Vettel for winning his 3rd race out of four, yes, that boy is really making us cry.

This season is turning out to resemble the 2009 season.

Congratulates to Alonso too but I still stand by my word in that he won't win a race this year.

As for Hammy, he reminded me of Brazil 2007 & funnily the first half of the first sector at Istanbul looks a lot like the first sector of Interlagos but anyway fair play to him for salvaging 4th.

And a big shout out to Kobayshi, I really didn't expect him to score any points for I kept seeing him in P17.

I really loved his Kamakazi move on the inside of Schumacher.

Now the Kaizer OMG!!! Schumi should spare us his fans & retire TODAY! It's quite obvious he's over the hill. All he's doing now is tarnish his achievements besides lots of younger drivers need his seat.

As for the overtakes, why I think they appeared to be easy today especially that of Webber on Rosberg because the last corner before the DRS is not really a bend so drivers take it flat out = More room to get in the slip stream.

May Formula 1 2011-style reign forever


Goferet your opinion towards alonso seems wild

Alonso has performed superbly in Turkish Gp and iam sure it's only a matter of time before ferrari turn the car's pace into a winner.

I have never seen any driver in F1 who have the talents and skill that alonso Possess

Alonso is a Incredible driver

Alonso will win Gp's this year soon and will challenge (Possibly) will win the championship in 2011

Iam not even from europe, however my love for the spainard so much

Best driver of this generation


It wasn't Schumacher's day today. He seemed surprised by the aggressive (but fair) move from Petrov.

In the old style F1, Schumacher's move would've been justified as it was hard to regain track position. However, this certainly is not the case this year. It is far more strategic this year: The driver just need to keep his cool and use his tyres/DRS/KERS to outsmart his opponent. Which I like a lot 🙂


Don't miss the Strategy Report on Tuesday for a full breakdown of how and why things happened as they did.


I'd be interested to see Webber's lap time relative to Vettel and Alonso in the 2 or 3 laps preceding his second and especially his third pit stop. It may have been traffic but it seems like he lost 2 or 3 seconds in these stops by staying out for an extra lap or two which let Alonso get into the DRS zone.

Given Webber had a fresh set of primes for the last stint and the pace he maintained I don't think tyre wear would have been an issue at the end. It looked like poor strategy by Red Bull gave Alonso a look in at second rather than a brilliant strategy by Ferrari.

karl pilkington

This is the bad side to the good side of DRS that we saw. Passing was too easy, a gimme. Something needs to be changed.


In an experimental phase, this was the first clear error in DRS zone delineation by the FIA. Presumably a big lesson learnt.

Agree that the harder tyre options need much more longevity to inject interest into the strategy.

With these two issues fine tuned then the racing should remain intriguing. It is hard to escape the impression we have one variable too many (DRS, KERS and Pirelli compounds) in action though.


Hi James I just want to know what would have happened had Alonso not made his 4th pit stop. I reckon he was ahead by 2s at that time and would have extended his lead by another 20 odd with somewhere around 10 laps to go.

Could Alonso have managed to stay ahead of Webber by just 3 stopping or he was going to be beaten anyway? At what rate would Webber have caught him, I mean how many seconds/lap?


No. Had Alonso not stopped, Webber would have taken him anyway and left far behind than he was left behind at the end of race. Ferrari did not expect Webber to be that faster on primes


It was quite an entertaining race if you just forgot who was in the lead. Reminiscent of all those Schumacher years where the title was decided even before the season started and we say Kimi and Montoya race.

Thankfully James you have none of the "Breathtaking race" or "Most eventful race in the history of F1" in this honest blog post


DRS should be disabled on circuits were overtaking is possible. It was almost computer game like the the way cars were going past each other in a straight line.

I am afraid I think Schumacher has two races to save his come back. If he does not show any signs of improvement with a new spec at Barcelona and then at his old favorite Monaco then I hope Ross Brawn will do the decent thing.

There are three drivers at Force India who Mercedes can get in without to much hassle. Sutil deserves a shot at one of the big teams.

The driver market is shaping to be a very busy one next year. It would be wise for Mercedes to make a move for replacement now before any potential replacement for next year get snapped up.


I happen to know (from a very good source) that Paul Di Resta will be at Mercedes next year. 100%....

I'm personally saddened that it hasnt worked out for Schumi (and I'm not a fan).

I think the best thing to do would be to step down at the end of the season, as clearly he's not at the level he thought he'd be at.


The rookie Di Riesta has looked quicker than Sutil, I don't think they'd go down the Sutil route. Would love to see Kimi back. Still far from convinced that Schumacher would leave mid-season though


dont see michael going yet.

but if they did sutil bad start to season(relative to team mate) for me confirmed all long he isnt all that.

he has had occasional flashes of good performances. never done much to get excited about. (his one race at monaco aside).

nice bloke tho. he has same experience as lewis but is he on the same level or anywhere near it? IMO not.

kova would make a good no.2 to rosberg. and challenge him on his day. perhaps massa??


Given that the overall winner is turning out to be a foregone conclusion most of the time, I'm enjoying what the tyres, DRS and KERS are bringing to the party, even if it does mean sometimes overtaking is a bit too easy.

At least while Jensen & Lewis or Kobi and Schumi were moving around one another there was something to watch. It's far more entertaining than seeing Vettel scamper off into the distance yet again. At least there is still some skill in making the overtake stick with banging wheels and ending the race early.

So far this season, the on-track action is kinda fun, but the end results are getting dull and predictable.


I would like to see the DRS tweaked, but not removed. Eventually the teams will get used to the tyres and their KERS will all be working, so there's a danger that without DRS, we might go back to very samey races.

I completely understand the statements that the overtaking was artificial in places, but ask yourself whether it was an exciting race or not. A balance can and should be found.

On a different topic, I was also feeling embarrassed for Schumacher today. When he returned, the talk was of eventual victories, maybe a title. Does anyone think he'll get on the podium now? I don't know what he's getting out of the sport now. Jeez, I'm even starting to feel bad for Brawn, for having to dance around the subject of Michael's driving.

I'm loving the racing between the McLarens.


i still think a podium is possible. he just needs to piece a weekend together.

which for some reason isnt happening at the moment, the overall pace is ok.

perhaps monaco is his chance or spa.

tho it does remind of damons last season. the talent was clearly still there but fitting the whole jigsaw together was the problem.

shame. i hated the guy in the 90s, but id love to see him get one more good result.


I agree. I disliked him when he was in his prime, but I'd love to see him on the podium again.

It shows how times have changed when the thought of him getting a podium is exciting.

His frustration is obviously showing though. Brings to mind memories of Damon Hill in his last year.


Oh, and I agree about not wanting to see Vettel scamper to victory at every race, but it's no different to when Schumacher was dominating the sport. The best driver in the fastest car should win.

Besides, he hasn't won every race so far and there's still time for McLaren, Ferrari and Williams 😛 to catch up.


I have spent the last month in Turkey, in Ankara and Antalya. I have not seen a SINGLE advert for the race. How the organisers expect to fill the venue and drum up interest for the race without promoting it confuses me. I think the boost in crowd compared to previous years that James refers to is a russian influence. I couldn't quite believe how many Petrov supporters there were in the crowd today. Good to see though.


Not liking DRS. Pushed Rosberg to the end of the line.

Lap 2: Petrov crashing on MSC was bad pushed him further down right into the narrow alley. I would never want to see Petrov's taillights....

Lap 5: Webber pulled ahead of Nico just because of DRS. Frustrating!

Lap 15: MSC hit again, maybe drivers are thinking that some of his talent will rub off ..........


Congrats to Vettel. Getting a bit boring at the front but that isn't his fault. Should be an entertaining battle for the runner-up spot between Alonso, Hamilton and Webber.


I am not contemplating too much about the authenticity vs artificiality of overtaking maneuvers - the race was full of actions and I had a lot of fun. This is what I want from F1 - action on track!

One thing that is bugging me immensely though - if I am able to understand that Ferrari lost 2nd to Webber because of slower pit stops and Massa's race was compromised by slower pit stops and pit stop mistake.... why Ferrari team does not see it? I think I have seen statistics where it was shown that Ferrari's pit stops are extremely slow vs top guys. Why they are not doing anything about it?


During the Schumi era, their pit stops seemed to be at least as good as anything Mclaren could do. They do seem to be lacking somewhere. I guess practice, practice, practice?


I loved Brundle's idiom that "he'll have to move out the way for a tortoise soon!".

Congrats on the commentary success this year BBC.


Wish we had BBC, all we get is Speed and the three bobbing heads who worship Hamilton!


Fantastic racing we're seeing this year, but some comments on DRS have merit, maybe DRS is making it a bit too easy.

Perhaps a good system for next years technical regs, which could be easily implemented, would be a system which when two front wings line up it disables DRS in the trailing car.

Some technical testing would be required, but this could be easily achievable, and would solve the problem of DRS converting to a pass rather than putting the car alongside the other.

Alternatively maybe they should be looking at the zones in which DRS can be used? Maybe it shouldn't be used on long straights, but instead on less-likely overtaking places?


Michael Schumacher, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong among a few greats I can think of that came out of retirement & it didn't go too good for them second time round.

But all in all, their legacies are set in stone.


Hey! Michael Jordan won 3 more rings after coming back!!


James during the race there was a graphic of Mark Webber's car when he was battling Alonso and the graphic showed he wasn't using KERS. Can you confirm if the Red Bull KERS was working for the whole race or not

Michael Lynch

We used to have slip-streaming battles at places like Monza and pre-chicane Hockenheim when downforce was very low. Maybe all aerodynamic aids should be done away with and the racing would return to the type of battles we had in those days. Then there wouldn't be a reliance on an artificial means of extra performance.


Ironically, Ferrari is the car that improved race pace the most since the begin of the season. It was kind of concealed in Malaysia and China, but it was improved already.

Ferrari is definitively not slower than Mclaren and got pretty close to RB on race pace.

Apparently Ferrari (according to "La repubblica" paper) could not even use most of the upgrades they brought to Turkey, since they were not able to make them work properly.

The real problem ferrari may have, if eventually Alonso will be able to become title contender, is Massa not being able to take points from ferrari opponents. Which was the main reason why they could not win the driver title last year.


Massa pit release that could have caused a collision then he did the rest of the pit lane in the mechanic's area.

Not a squeak from the stewards.

Any ideas?


Yes -- imagine the outcry if the position of two cars had been reversed and Hamilton had been driving in the 'mechanics' area'.


Not really. mclaren did it with lewis in canada right into fernandos path and no penalty or complaint from ferrari.

its a grey area. i admit i suspected he would get a penalty but when u compare it to canada it would of been very very wrong to give him one.

its also a grey area because always the guy whose pit box is first will always have an advantage as he will be released first. tough one but anyway no penalty was the only consistent thing to do.


Didn't they've that 20-metre zone thing for a while last year? The teams who had an early pit-stop were just pitting on the same lap as the guy ahead and would be able to jump them with an ordinary pit-stop.


It was an unbelieveable call that. Felipe was clearly released into the path of Lewis, then proceeded to drive along in the pitbox section.

Had that been Tonio Liuzzi and Petrov, the driver released into the path would have been a definite penalty.


And it would be saved by simply having a rule that the guy into the exit of the pits (back onto the tarmac first) should haave right of way/priority.


drs artificial of course it is,but then so was turbo boost,ground effect,kers,even adrian newey! the list is endless ok maybe it was a little bit too easy yesterday but it is an evolving thing and look at the action it gave us in the last set of corners and on the main straight. last year this would have been a two stop race with no repeat no overtaking get a grip and let it settle down until we make any rash decisions.


I agree with those who believe DRS should be avialable at all times, except that maybe a ~10 sec/lap max usage limit like KERS usage is limited.

On a separate note, and i don't want to sound like a Vettel basher, but why didnt RBR take the upgrades from Mark's car and fit them to Seb's car for FP3?


Did Mark actually have upgrades? Reading this I'm not so sure....


"Red Bull brought to Istanbul a more sophisticated version of their exhaust, which better integrates with the car's side diffuser. But the new solution was destroyed when Sebastian Vettel slid off the track and into the barriers during Friday practice. So both Vettel and Mark Webber ran the team's more conventional solution (seen here) during qualifying and the race."

James are you able to confirm which Red Bull was running which parts over the weekend?


I heard Seb destroyed the new floor, but bear in mind Friday is new parts test day. Don't know if plan was for him to use it all weekend or whether it was a test for Spain

David Hamilton

I sometimes wonder if Heidfeld has a cloak of invisibility over him. James - in your article you even credited Buemi with his seventh place!

Yet in the closing stages he passed Petrov and Buemi and took around 10s off Button in what seemed to be 3 laps. Think Button must have been very relieved that there wasn't another lap given he was only 1.5s ahead at the finish.

Yet the BBC commentary on all this was along the lines of "Petrov must have had a problem out of sight as Heidfeld has passed him".


Funny comments, i dont know how some people can seriously call Vettel "amazing" because hes "faster" than everybody and faster than mark by around half a second. Lets look at this seriously, Vettel is usually finishing about half a second or less in front of the others in qually, mainly Hamilton. That car as has been said many times, is over half a second faster on low fuel than the rest... so do the math.

As for being quicker than webber, Hes about 10 years or more younger than him, webber is getting on a bit, and i honestly expected him to leave before this year, Webber was never what you call a seriously amazing driver, so of course hes slower, If you put the actual amazing drivers in that red bull (Hamilton & Alonso only) theyd wipe the floor with Vettel and you know it, Everybody in F1 knows that these 2 are better drivers than Vettel, They can drive a car in any situation regardless of how bad it is. Vettel is just annoying me more and more each week by everyone pretending that hes the best in the field, its all about the car, nothing more nothing less.

I really hope Mclaren get the updates soon and give Lewis a title winning car because hell jump up and spoil the bandwagoning Vettel party,


Almost from the start of season 2009, I am wondering every race when will James Allen be back as a commentator for ITV to reform that great combination of "commentated by Martin Brundle and James Allen."

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