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A Day At The Races For Two
The Euro 4 Car Challenge

Turkish Grand Prix - The Latest News

09 May 2011

Vettel got his third win in four races as Red Bull scored its first 1-2 finish of 2011 in the Turkish GP. The team did not have things all its own way though, with Fernando Alonso pushing Mark Webber all the way to score Ferrari's first podium of the season.

Any chance of anyone offering a challenge was dashed at the start when third-placed Rosberg did just what he had told Webber he was going to do, and literally drove by him as Mark attempted to get away from the side of the grid. Lewis Hamilton tried to go around the outside of the Red Bull into Turn 1 as well but Webber defended and Lewis got on the dirt and was passed by Alonso and team mate Jenson Button.

"That was the defining moment of my afternoon," commented Hamilton, "if I hadn't dropped behind Fernando and Jenson I could have got up to third and battled for second. The fight with Jenson and the fact that I had too much front wing dialled in, meant I struggled to look after the rear tyres, which kick-started the four-stop strategy. Considering the lost time at my third stop [a cross-threaded wheelnut], we recovered well."

Vettel's third stop was 40 laps in and as Jensen Button (who pitted a lap earlier), proved, going to the end on a new set of tyres was possible. In that situation, however, you are vulnerable if a Safety Car closes up the field and anyone behind is on soft tyres. Rosberg and both Renaults all had soft Pirellis for the final stint, Rosberg's new, and so Red Bull took the safe option and made a fourth stop on lap 47, one lap after they had seen Alonso enter the pits for the fourth time.

The first stint seemed to go well," Jenson said. "Strategy-wise, I don't think we got it right. My battle with Lewis was great fun and there was a lot of on track excitement but I was disappointed to finish where I did. We didn't leave the stops late enough - the tyres were still good at the end of every stop, so we should have stayed out longer because the last stint was extremely difficult."

If Rosberg was disappointed at falling back two slots from his qualifying position, Schumacher must have been devastated! Starting in eighth position, he made contact with Petrov's Renault at Turn 12, appearing to turn in as if the Renault wasn't there, for which he later accepted responsibility, and immediately pulled in for a new nose. He then spent the rest of the afternoon fighting battles, and more times than not losing them, with Felipe Massa and many Force Indias and Toro Rossos, eventually getting the car home 5 seconds behind Massa in 12th place.

The Red Bull express in Turkey was unstopable but Alonso came closer than expected, and Webber was quick to notice! He was passed by Ferrari with DRS just after half distance and only re-passed Alonso on lap 51 with the benefit of a new set of Pirellis while the Ferrari was on a heavily used set.

"Fernando drove fantastically today and it was a bit unexpected to have to fight him," he said.

The message is that while Red Bull is still undeniably the team to beat, Ferrari cannot and will not be discounted.

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