Sunday, 8 May 2011

Turkish Grand Prix - 08 May 2011

The Formula One circus ventured to Europe this weekend, for the first time this season.

As has become the norm this season, reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel started the race from Pole Position, as he has done in every race so far this year.
Vettel's team mate Mark Webber started second, with a strong qualifying performance from Mercedes' Nico Rosberg placing him in third.

Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi started at the back of the grid, due to a technical issue in qualifying causing the Japanese driver's car to stop on the track before he was able to set a lap time. However, as Mark Webber showed in the previous race, it is possible to make up several positions from back of the field with the correct tyre strategy.

As the race started, Nico Rosberg managed to jump Mark Webber from the line and move into second place. Lewis Hamilton tried to follow the German through, and spent the next series of corners alongside Webber. Hamilton ran wide, losing a few positions and fell back into the clutches of his team mate, Jenson Button.

Hamilton and Button spent several laps exchanging positions several times, assisted by the DRS (moveable rear wing). The McLaren team may not have been overly pleased, as it was this race in 2010 which saw the Red Bull drivers infamously collide whilst battling for the lead.
Eventually Hamilton managed to stay ahead of his team mate, and slowly started to build a small gap.

As in previous races, there was a great deal of overtaking, some moves cleaner than others. The two Lotus-Renault drivers exchanged fist-shakes after banging wheels through the complex series of corners at the end of the lap.
Vitaly Petrov had a coming together with Mercedes' Michael Schumacher earlier in the race, as Schumacher fought possibly too hard to retain his position. But the former Champion came off worst with a broken front wing.

This race featured well over 70 pit stops - a record in recent years. The pit stops also caused problems, several drivers suffering from wheel-nut issues, particulaly Lewis Hamilton who had a very long stop after the mechanics had to change to a new wheel-nut.

As the race entered it's final stages, Sebastian Vettel had a comfortable lead, and simply had to match the pit stops made by his closest rivals.
Fernando Alonso was running in second place, but Webber managed to pass him on the start/finish straight, seemingly more happy with his final set of tyres.
Alonso is unlikely to be too unhappy with this result, acheiving his and his teams first podium of the year.

Kobayashi had managed to make up several positions, eventually finishing just inside the points.

Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi ran strongly, sitting in fifth place on a three stop strategy, but eventually his older tyres became more apparent, and he began to fall back towards the mid-field.

These results mean that Vettel is now more than 25 points (one race) ahead of his closest rival. He is certainly the man to beat at the moment!

Provisional Race Results:

1. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull - Prediction 3rd
2. Mark Webber - Red Bull - Prediction 2nd
3. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - Prediction 7th
4. Lewis Hamilton - McLaren - Prediction 4th
5. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - Prediction 6th
6. Jenson Button - McLaren - Prediction 1st
7. Nick Heidfeld - Lotus-Renault - Prediction 9th
8. Vitaly Petrov - Lotus-Renault - Prediction 11th
9. Sebastien Buemi - Toro Rosso - Prediction 14th
10. Kamui Kobayashi - Sauber - Prediction 10th
11. Felipe Massa - Ferrari - Prediction 5th
12. Michael Schumacher - Mercedes - Prediction 8th
13. Adrian Sutil - Force India - Prediction 16th
14. Sergio Perez - Sauber - Prediction 15th
15. Rubens Barrichello - Williams - Prediction 12th
16. Jaime Alguersuari - Toro Rosso - Prediction 13th
17. Pastor Maldonado - Williams - Prediction 19th
18. Jarno Trulli - Team Lotus - Prediction 18th
19. Heikki Kovalainen - Team Lotus - Prediction 20th
20. Jerome D'Ambrosio - Virgin - Prediction 22nd
21. Narain Karthikeyan - Hispania - Prediction 24th
22. Vitantonio Liuzzi - Hispania - Prediction 23rd
DNF Paul di Resta - Force India - Prediction 17th
DNS Timo Glock - Virgin - Prediction 21st

That looks like the best ever result for the Formula One Results Predictor! Hopefully it can continue to improve as the season progresses.
Keep checking back to find out!

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