Tag Archives: Turkish GP

Webber takes 3 pole positions in a row in Turkey

Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton after Turkish Grand Prix qualifying

Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton after Turkish Grand Prix qualifying

Mark Webber took his third pole position of a row, ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton will make McLaren’s first fron row start this season, with 2nd place. Sebastian Vettel was 3rd, Jenson Button 4th, and Michael Schumacher 5th. Here is the full qualifying report:


As Q1 began, the Virgin and Lotus cars were out first. Jarno Trulli set the early benchmark with a 1.31.7, ahead of Timo Glock. The HRt cars were unable to challenge any of the new teams at this time.

Fernando Alonso was the first of the frontrunners to go out on the harder tyres, and set a 1.28.1. Vitaly Petrov set a good lap to get in between the top drivers. Vitantonio Liuzzi was struggling in the drop zone, and a spin at Turn 10 didn’t help his cause. He pitted to check the car soon after.

The Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber were the last out, and were quickly on the pace, getting 3rd and 5th respectively. Soon after, they got to the top of the timesheets. Vitaly Petrov got another good lap in to take 4th momentarily. However, Vitantonio Liuzzi was unable to improve on his previous time, and was knocked out in Q1 alongside the new teams.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Vitantonio Liuzzi

19) Jarno Trulli

20) Heikki Kovalainen

21) Timo Glock

22) Bruno Senna

23) Lucas di Grassi

24) Karun Chandhok


As the first drivers went out, Lewis Hamilton surprised many by going out on the harder tyres again. After 4 minutes, he had already got the fastest lap of the session. Webber and Vettel quickly get 2nd and 3rd positions after this.

Nico Rosberg was struggling with his car, and his first attempt only put him into 13th place. His next lap was similarly poor, a 1.27.7, only placing him 11th. Again, Vitaly Petrov got another good lap in to get ahead of team-mate Kubica. While Kamui Kobayashi was in 9th, team-mate Pedro de la Rosa was lacking pace on the soft tyres, and only finished 13th.

After Rosberg finally improved to get into Q3, Fernando Alonso was the only top driver in the knockout zone. On his first attempt with 3 minutes to go, he made a mistake at Turn 12, ruining his lap. The next time, he couldn’t get the pace he needed, and only got 12th place.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Adrian Sutil

12) Fernando Alonso

13) Pedro de la Rosa

14) Sebastien Buemi

15) Rubens Barrichello

16) Jaime Alguersuari

17) Nico Hulkenberg


Michael Schumacher spins at Turn 8 and gets beached in the gravel trap

Michael Schumacher spins at Turn 8 and gets beached in the gravel trap

Even though the softer tyres only seem to be able to get one fast lap in, most of the first drivers out on track took on the soft tyres. Robert Kubica, as he seems to do a lot, set the first lap of Q3, with a 1.27. Lewis Hamilton soon improved on that with a 1.26.5. Sebastian Vettel seemed to be able to take provisional pole off Hamilton, but messed up the final sector, and was 2nd. Mark Webber didn’t make the same mistake, and was 0.03 seconds quicker than Lewis.

Kamui Kobayashi waited a long time to go out, but eventually did so with 4 minutes remaining. He only had one set of soft tyres left though, so he had to be careful. While he was on track, everyone else pitted to prepare for their final runs. However, his car wasn’t fast enough, and Kamui was 10th.

Mark Webber was the first of the leaders to go out on his final run, and improved on his time to take a 1.26.295. But, Lewis Hamilton got very close to Mark, only 1 tenth slower. Oddly enough, instead of a mad scramble for pole, the other drivers all messed up their final laps. Sebastian Vettel had a massive lock-up at Turn 1, ruining his tyres, while Nico Rosberg just didn’t have the pace. Michael Schumacher spun at Turn 8, and got stuck in the gravel trap.

So, Webber took pole position for the third time in a row, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, which is McLaren’s first front-row start this season. Sebastian Vettel was third, Jenson Button 4th, Michael Schumacher 5th, Nico Rosberg 6th, Robert Kubica 7th, Felipe Massa 8th, Vitaly Petrov 9th, and Kamui Kobayashi 10th.

Full times from qualifying:

Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.27.500 1.26.818 1.26.295
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.27.667 1.27.013 1.26.433
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.27.067 1.26.729 1.26.760
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.27.555 1.27.277 1.26.781
5 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.27.756 1.27.438 1.26.857
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.27.649 1.27.141 1.26.952
7 Robert Kubica Renault 1.27.766 1.27.426 1.27.039
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.27.993 1.27.200 1.27.082
9 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.27.620 1.27.387 1.27.430
10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.28.158 1.27.434 1.28.122
11 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.27.951 1.27.525
12 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.27.857 1.27.612
13 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1.28.147 1.27.879
14 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.28.534 1.28.273
15 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.28.336 1.28.392
16 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.28.460 1.28.540
17 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.28.227 1.28.841
18 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1.28.958
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.30.237
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1.30.519
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.30.744
22 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1.31.266
23 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.31.989
24 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1.32.060

Button leads Turkish Friday Practice 2

Jenson Button in Turkish Friday Practice 2

Jenson Button in Turkish Friday Practice 2

Jenson Button led the way in the second Friday practice session of the Turkish Grand Prix weekend. Behind him were the two Red Bulls of Webber and Vettel, before reliability got in the way of both cars again.

Before the session began, Sebastian Vettel had a water pipe change, although he suffered a loss of water pressure near the end of FP2, and drove slowly back to the pits. Meanwhile, Mark Webber slowed as he accelerated away from Turn 2, and smoke appeared from his engine. He rolled to a halt soon after. Despite this, Webber and Vettel were 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Lewis Hamilton was 4th, and almost 4 tenths slower than Button. Fernando Alonso was behind Hamilton, followed by the two Mercedes drivers of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher. Again, the two Renault drivers of Kubica and Petrov were close, getting 8th and 9th. Felipe Massa rounded off the top 10.

Adrian Sutil once again trounced his team-mate by an entire second to take 11th place. Nico Hulkenberg put in a good performance to get 12th, and the same goes for Kamui Kobayashi who was 13th. Behind them were Pedro de la Rosa, Sebastien Buemi, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Rubens Barrichello, with Jaime Alguersuari again the slowest of the midfield.

While Heikki Kovalainen was again considerably the fastest of the new teams, in 19th, his team-mate Trulli was not beside him. Instead, Lucas di Grassi split the two Lotus cars t0 finish 20th, with Jarno 21st. Timo Glock was 22nd, followed by the HRTs of Senna and Chandhok.

Track temperatures reached up to 50 degrees during this session. Many drivers were caught out by Turn 8, such as Felipe Massa, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Kamui Kobayashi, Vitaly Petrov and Karun Chandhok. Massa’s spin ruined one of his sets of tyres, which affected his pace in this session.

Times from Friday Practice 2:

Driver Team Best Lap Gap # of laps
1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.28.280 30
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.28.378 0.098 24
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.28.590 0.31 27
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.28.672 0.392 32
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.28.725 0.445 30
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.28.914 0.634 22
7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.28.974 0.694 22
8 Robert Kubica Renault 1.29.225 0.945 34
9 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.29.501 1.221 36
10 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.29.620 1.34 26
11 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.29.629 1.349 16
12 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.29.987 1.707 17
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.30.053 1.773 34
14 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1.30.176 1.896 34
15 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.30.386 2.106 32
16 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1.30.627 2.347 28
17 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.30.766 2.486 32
18 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.30.933 2.653 37
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1.31.610 3.33 37
20 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.33.013 4.733 28
21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.33.081 4.801 11
22 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.33.312 5.032 29
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1.33.420 5.14 35
24 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1.33.740 5.46 25

Hamilton leads McLaren 1-2 in Turkish Friday Practice 1

Lewis Hamilton in Turkish Friday Practice 1

Lewis Hamilton in Turkish Friday Practice 1

Lewis Hamilton was in front of Jenson Button for FP1 in Turkey today, as he was an entire second faster than any of his opposition. Also, Red Bull and Force India tested out their interpretations of the F-duct system.

Behind the McLaren 1-2, the Mercedes drivers of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were 3rd and 4th. Sebastian Vettel was 5th for Red Bull, and the two Renaults of Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov were 6th and 7th. Petrov was only 0.004 seconds slower than Kubica, a great performance for a rookie.

Mark Webber was 8th, and was 1.444 seconds slower than the leader. Fernando Alonso and Adrian Sutil topped off the top 10. Kamui Kobayashi was 11th, and Vitantonio Liuzzi was 12th, 0.4 seconds slower than team-mate Sutil. Felipe Massa was 13th, Sebastien Buemi was 14th, and Pedro de la Rosa was 15th. The two Williams cars of Hulkenberg and Barrichello were 16th and 17th, with Jaime Alguersuari slowest of the midfield.

As normal, Lotus were the best of the new teams, and again closed the gap considerably to the rest of the grid, with a new rear wing this weekend. Heikki Kovalainen led Jarno Trulli, while Karun Chandhok was behind them in 21st. Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock were 22nd and 23rd. Instead of Bruno Senna, the HRT team elected to run Sakon Yamamoto, who was signed as the team’s reserve driver a few weeks ago. He was dissapointingly slow though, as he was 24th, and half a second behind Glock.

While Sebastian Vettel ran the F-duct on his car, Mark Webber stayed with the original version of the car. Adrian Sutil crashed his Force India with only 3 minutes to go in this session, as a driver error caused the car to understeer off at Turn 8 and slam into the barriers, removing the front wing, nosecone and both front wheels in the process.

Karun Chandhok also suffered problems, as his HRT car had an electrical problem, and was forced to crawl back to the pits. He was able to rejoin with 15 minutes left in the session though.

Times from Friday Practice 1:

Driver Team Best Lap Gap # of laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.28.653 20
2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.29.615 0.962 21
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.29.750 1.097 24
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.29.855 1.202 25
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.29.867 1.214 30
6 Robert Kubica Renault 1.30.061 1.408 23
7 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.30.065 1.412 24
8 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.30.097 1.444 26
9 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.30.294 1.641 20
10 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.30.501 1.848 17
11 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.30.615 1.962 20
12 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1.30.853 2.2 21
13 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.30.867 2.214 22
14 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.31.011 2.358 24
15 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1.31.238 2.585 18
16 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.31.355 2.702 23
17 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.31.464 2.811 19
18 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.31.735 3.082 27
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1.32.161 3.508 24
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.32.990 4.337 23
21 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1.34.876 6.223 13
22 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.35.137 6.484 21
23 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.35.583 6.93 15
24 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1.36.137 7.484 26

2009 flashback: Button takes 6 out of 7

As the seventh Grand Prix of 2009 approached, it was clear that the Brawn car was still the best of the field. The only competitor to them seemed to be the Red Bull team, the only other team to have won a race this season. In Turkey, Sebastian Vettel knew he would have to take a risk to go for the win.

In qualifying, Vettel dominated all three qualifying sessions to take pole position, ahead of Button and Barrichello, with Mark Webber behind. Lewis Hamilton was still struggling massively with his McLaren, and was knocked out in Q1. When the fuel weights were released, Button was two laps longer than Vettel, so Jenson already had an advantage. Fuel corrected, it was again Button on pole position.

Vettel leads Button at the start, but not for long

Vettel leads Button at the start, but not for long

At the start, it was a disaster for Rubens Barrichello, who had another start-line problem, and fell down to 13th. Jarno Trulli scythed up to 3rd, but fell prey to Webber at Turn 10. Sebastian Vettel retained the lead at the first turn, but a mistake at Turn 9 handed the lead on a golden plate to Jenson, who didn’t pass up the opportunity.

By Lap 2, Button was already pulling away from Vettel, whose team were now planning a comeback. Webber was third, and not troubling either car yet. On Lap 5, Nico Rosberg defied the advantages of KERS to get past both Ferraris to get into 5th place. Rubens Barrichello was wild in trying to get past Heikki Kovalainen, and on Lap 8 collided with the Finn, and spun, and fell to 17th place.

He quickly regained two places. before starting a battle with Adrian Sutil for 14th. On Lap 11, he tried a move on the final corner, and knocked off part of his front wing. He was forced to pit for repairs and a fuel strategy change soon after, but his day was already ruined.

Barrichello spins after a collision with Kovalainen

Barrichello spins after a collision with Kovalainen

While Rubens entertained the audience, the top three were getting away from each other, with Button holding a 4.6 second lead over Vettel by Lap 11, who was 4.9 seconds ahead of Webber respectively. Red Bull decided on their tactics change for Vettel – to switch him to a 3-stop strategy.

On Lap 15, Vettel pitted for the first time, and spent little time refuelling, which was a clear indicator to everyone of his strategy change. Button pitted two laps later, while Webber and Rosberg were in on the next lap. Everyone else was on a 2-stop strategy, so everyone focused on Vettel to see how he coped.

He caught up swiftly to Jenson, but simply was unable to make an overtaking move. Whether this was because of turbulent air or driver inability, we don’t know. The end result was, by the time Vettel stopped for the second time on Lap 29, he had fallen behind team-mate Mark Webber, with both still scheduled for a final stop.

There wasn’t much action then until the second set of stops. Kazuki Nakajima was running 7th, but a faulty wheel gun ruined his race, and he dropped to 12th thanks to the delay. Jarno Trulli fell behind Nico Rosberg, but overtook him after the stops. Rubens Barrichello, still at the back of the field, suffered a gearbox problem and was forced to retire.

After the pit stops were completed, Sebastian started to catch up to team-mate Webber. However, even though he was gaining, his team had other ideas, saying : “Mark is faster, mark is faster. Sebastian: save your car, save your car. Mark is faster.” The real meaning of this message is clear: do not attempt to overtake Webber.

Jenson Button celebrates in the pit lane

Jenson Button celebrates in the pit lane

So, as the chequered flag fell, there was no change in position. Jenson Button took his sixth win out of 7 races, Webber gained 2places to get 2nd, while a disgruntled Vettel was 3rd. Oddly enough, he seemed more annoyed than the strategy mistake than the team order at the end of the race.

This all meant that Button’s 6 out of 7 wins meant he was level with Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Jim Clark in terms of best start to an F1 season. He was also the first Englishman to score 4 wins in a row since Nigel Mansell in 1992. He was now 26 points ahead of Barrichello, ahead of the two Red Bulls. But, Brawns domination was about to come to an end.

Bridgestone announce tyre compounds for next 4 races

Bridgestone tyres

Bridgestone tyres

Bridgestone have announced the tyre compounds that they will bring to the next 4 races after Australia and Malaysia.

For all of these 4 Grands Prix, there will be one compound step in between the two that are brought. In the cases of China, Spain and Turkey, Bridgestone will be supplying hard and soft compounds. However, for the first time, the cars in Monaco will use the medium tyres, as well as the super-softs.

Clearly by putting in a compound step, Bridgestone are trying to increase the difference in performance between the two tyres, and thereby improve the racing. The problem lies in that the harder of the two tyre compounds can mostly be used for a large portion of the race, without dangerous amounts of wear.

There are two main solutions here. One, suggested by many, is to make the harder tyres less durable, so there would be more of a variety in tyre strategy. This makes sense in theory, but it is a monumental waste of tyres when you consider that Bridgestone are trying to be environmentally friendly.

The other solution, one that I think would be much better, is to bring in the old 2005 rule of using one set of tyres for the entire race. This would significantly improve Formula 1’s environmental record, as well as clear up the problem of changes in car performance across the race because of tyre compounds. Of course, a pit stop would be available for an instance of extreme and dangerous tyre wear.

Here is the table for tyre compounds used already, and for the next few races:

Race 2009 compounds 2010 compounds
Bahrain Medium/Super-soft Medium/Super-soft
Australia Medium/Super-soft Hard/Soft
Malaysia Hard/Soft Hard/Soft
China Medium/Super-soft Hard/Soft
Spain Hard/Soft Hard/Soft
Monaco Medium/Super-soft Medium/Super-soft
Turkey Hard/Soft Hard/Soft