Easy Sunday drive for Sebastian Vettel in Turkey

Posted on May 8, 2011

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It was all too easy for Sebastian Vettel in Turkey as the world champion cruised to his third victory of the season.

Sebastian Vettel is in a class of one in 2011. Credit: Red Bull/Getty

The German has been in fine form since the first moments of the season but today was the easiest of his victories. The Red Bull driver was never challenged, either by his team mate or a resurgent Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari.

There were many battles down the field as the teams were again split on the fastest strategy. Four stops was proven to be the way to go, with Jenson Button slipping back to sixth on old tyres after attempting a three stop plan. Lewis Hamilton had a disaster in the final stops but still finished 4th.

Kamui Kobayashi made it into the points after starting dead last in 23rd place. It was another swashubuckling drive from the Japanese and another performance to underline the value of getting him into a leading car sooner rather than later.

Michael Schumacher was eye catching down the field for a different reason. The seven time champion was in the wars from the start, turning in on Vitaly Petrov and smashing his front wing, later on getting involved in contact with other drivers too. It’s clear he is far from the legend he was.

Sadly, the overriding image I have taken from today’s race is cars sailing past each using the adjustable rear wing system. Time and time again, we saw the cars going through the DRS zone and crusing past the competitor in front. Rarely was it a challenge – Mark Webber eased past Nico Rosberg early on, Rosberg later was able to take advantage against Button.

We saw some fantastic overtaking as well, with Button pulling off arguably the move of the day around the outside of Rosberg on the final turn of lap 21. The McLaren drivers both recreated their dual of 2010 with some formation flying – and the lessons are clear. With degrading tyres and the KERS, the drivers can battle and pass on a level playing field. We don’t need to see trailing cars given an unfair advantage.

It is becoming clear Sebastian Vettel could run away with the championship this season. He is beatable – Hamilton proved that three weeks ago in China – but it requires a mistake in qualifying or the race. He smashed his car up in practice on Friday, breaking some new parts, but stuck it on pole with a set of tyres to spare and cruised to the chequered flag.

Ferrari and Mercedes have made a step in the three week break but Red Bull have clearly the fastest car. Big upgrades will be delivered in Barcelona but it’s hard to see it being enough.

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
1 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 58 Winner 1 25
2 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 58 +8.8 secs 2 18
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 58 +10.0 secs 5 15
4 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 58 +40.2 secs 4 12
5 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 58 +47.5 secs 3 10
6 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 58 +59.4 secs 6 8
7 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 58 +60.8 secs 9 6
8 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 58 +68.1 secs 7 4
9 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 58 +69.3 secs 16 2
10 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 58 +78.0 secs 24 1
11 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 58 +79.8 secs 10
12 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 58 +85.4 secs 8
13 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 57 +1 Lap 12
14 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 57 +1 Lap 15
15 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 57 +1 Lap 11
16 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 57 +1 Lap 17
17 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 57 +1 Lap 14
18 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 57 +1 Lap 19
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 56 +2 Laps 18
20 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 56 +2 Laps 23
21 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 55 +3 Laps 22
22 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 53 +5 Laps 20
Ret 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 44 +14 Laps 13
Ret 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 0 Gearbox 21
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Posted in: Formula One, Race