2010 Turkish Grand Prix
|Race 7 of 19 in the 2010 Formula One season|
|Date||30 May 2010|
|Official name||VI Turkish Grand Prix|
|Location||Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.34 km (3.32 mi)|
|Distance||58 laps, 309.72 km (192.56 mi)|
|Weather||Cloudy, light drizzle during race|
|Time||1:29.165 on lap 57|
The 2010 Turkish Grand Prix (formally the VI Turkish Grand Prix) was the seventh round in the 2010 Formula One season. It was held in Istanbul on 30 May 2010. The race was most notable for the collision between both Red Bull Racing drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, which resulted in Vettel's retirement and Webber's loss of the lead. Ferrari identified the race as their 800th Grand Prix. The race was won by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who finished ahead of team-mate Jenson Button with Mark Webber of Red Bull Racing finishing third. Vitaly Petrov managed to set the fastest lap of the race after putting on fresh tyres following a collision with Fernando Alonso.
The Grand Prix was contested by twelve teams with two drivers each. The teams (also known as constructors) were Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari, Renault, Williams, Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso, Lotus, Hispania and Virgin. Tyre supplier Bridgestone brought four different tyre types to the race: two dry compounds (soft "options" and hard "primes") and two wet-weather compounds (intermediate and full wet).
Before the race Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel were tied for the lead of the Drivers' Championship with 78 points each, with Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso in third with 75 points. Jenson Button was fourth on 70 points and Felipe Massa was fifth on 61 points. In the Constructors' Champions Red Bull were leading with 156 points, Ferrari and McLaren were second and third with 136 and 129 points respectively, while Mercedes (78 points) and Renault (65) contended for fourth place. Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull had so far clinched the six previous victories of the season. Championship competitors Massa and Robert Kubica had both secured second place podium finishes with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had both achieved third place podium finishes.
Webber dominated the previous two rounds in Spain and Monaco and clinched the pole position in both events. Despite the form, Webber said Red Bull were still wary of their rivals: "We're in a good position and we have a good foundation, but no-one knows who is going to be in the hunt with a few races to go - I don't think it's between two guys." Ferrari came into the event with a long series of success at the track, having won three of the last five races held at Istanbul Park. The team identified the event as their 800th Grand Prix and their cars carried a logo celebrating the achievement on their engine covers. Alonso was upbeat about their chances in the race: "Compared to the Spanish Grand Prix, I think the situation is a bit better, down to the fact the track characteristics are different and do not require the maximum aerodynamic downforce, but rather an intermediate level which is better suited to our car." Alonso also believed it would be a "surprise" if the Red Bull team finished behind him. Hamilton claimed that McLaren would be competitive in Istanbul and hoped that he would secure his first victory of the season.
Several teams made modifications to their cars in preparation for the event. Red Bull introduced a revised version of its RB6 chassis for Vettel as his previous monocoque had a small defect which created handling difficulties in Monaco. The team tested a version of McLaren's F-duct system during the Friday practice sessions but removed it for qualifying and the race because of inconsistency and it was difficult to work. Ferrari modified their F-duct system so that it would allow their drivers to operate the system by using their left leg. Mercedes arrived at the circuit by reverting to a previous specification of suspension and introduced a longer wheelbase on both their cars as well as a new version of their F-duct system. Williams decided to revert to an old specification of their front wing following accidents involving their drivers in Monaco, though the team brought new brake ducts. Lotus débuted a new rear wing specification which improved forward balance of their chassis. Virgin managed to procure the longer-wheelbase version of the VR-01 for Lucas di Grassi after the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull prevented them from having two cars prepared in time for the previous race.
Practice and qualifying
Three practice sessions were held before the Sunday race—two on Friday, and a third on Saturday. The Friday morning and afternoon sessions each lasted 90 minutes. The third session was held on Saturday morning and lasted an hour. The Friday morning practice session was held on a dusty track scattered with debris and several drivers spun off the track during the day. Hamilton set the fastest time of the first session, a 1:28.653; his late lap was almost one second quicker than team-mate Button. The two Mercedes drivers ended third and fourth quickest; Michael Schumacher ahead of Rosberg. Vettel and Webber set the fifth and eighth fastest times respectively for Red Bull; they were separated by the Renaults of Kubica and Vitaly Petrov. Alonso and Adrian Sutil rounded out the top ten fastest drivers of the session. The session was disrupted with two minutes remaining when Suitl ran wide at turn eight, which caused him to spin backwards and crashed into the barriers, breaking his front wing and both front tyres. The session was prematurely ended due to the limited time running. In the second practice session, Button set the quickest lap of the day, a 1:28.280, which was nearly one tenth of a second quicker than Webber. Vettel was third fastest followed by Hamilton in fourth. Alonso was fifth. Both Mercedes cars were slower in the session with Rosberg sixth and Schumacher seventh. Kubica, Petrov and Massa rounded out the top ten. Webber stopped outside the exit of turn two with an engine failure and engaged in an argument with marshals on preventing the car from moving backwards. In the final practice session, Vettel was fastest with a time of 1:27.086. This made him three tenths of a second faster than Rosberg in second place. Hamilton set the third quickest lap despite spinning sideways into the turn eight gravel trap. He was ahead of Webber who was afflicted with a throttle problem, Kubica and Alonso. Schumacher, Button, Massa and Petrov completed the top ten ahead of qualifying.
The qualifying session held on Saturday afternoon was split into three parts. The first part ran for 20 minutes and eliminated the cars from qualifying that finished the session 18th or lower. The second part of qualifying lasted 15 minutes and eliminated cars that finished in positions eleven to 17. The final part of qualifying determined the positions from first to tenth, and decided pole position. Cars which competed in the final session of qualifying were not allowed to change tyres before the race, and as such started the race on the tyres that they set their quickest lap on. The session was held in dry weather conditions; the air temperature ranged from 25 and 29 °C (77 and 84 °F) and the track temperature was between 39 and 40 °C (102 and 104 °F). Webber set the fastest time in the final part of the session, which clinched him his third successive pole position with a lap of 1:26.295. He was joined on the front row of the grid by Hamilton, who recorded a lap time 0.148 seconds slower. Vettel set the sessions fastest times in the first two part, but made mistakes on his first two runs due to an roll-bar failure in the final session which prevented him from recording a faster lap. He dropped to third overall in the final part of qualifying. Button made an error in his car set-up which caused him to run too low to the ground through turn eight which restricted him to fourth place. Schumacher qualified in fifth and was happy with his starting position despite spinning at turn eight on his final qualifying lap. Rosberg qualified sixth and despite wanting to start higher up the field, he was confident about his race chances. Kubica had problems when running the Soft compound tyre managing seventh but was happy with his lap in the final part of qualifying. He was ahead of Massa in the faster of the two Ferraris. Petrov secured ninth in the slower Renault car. Kobayashi rounded out the top ten fastest qualifiers. Sutil was the fastest driver not to advance into the final session in eleventh; his best time of 1:27.525 was eight tenths of a second slower than Vettel's pace in the second session. Alonso recorded the twelfth fastest time and could not secure a position in the final session as his car touched a white line under braking on the circuit, causing his car to slide. Nevertheless, Alonso thought that the error did not cost him time. He was followed by Pedro de la Rosa in the other Sauber car in 13th, who in turn, was ahead of Sébastien Buemi for Torro Rosso and Williams driver Rubens Barrichello. This formation continued on the eighth row of the grid, which was occupied by Jaime Alguersuari in the other Torro Rosso and Nico Hülkenberg in the other Williams. Vitantonio Liuzzi failed to move beyond the first session; the Force India driver qualified in 18th. The Lotuses of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli lined up in 19th and 20th respectively. Timo Glock and Bruno Senna lined up on the eleventh row of the grid, with their team-mates Lucas di Grassi and Karun Chandok qualifying at the rear of the field.
At the start, Mark Webber led from pole into the first corner whereas Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were overtaken by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher respectively, although both picked the places up again by the end of lap one. Down the mid-field of the pack, Rubens Barrichello in his Williams dropped back to 20th after an overheating clutch, the second time it had affected him in the season. The Red Bulls and McLarens then pulled away from fifth-placed Michael Schumacher and fought amongst themselves for control of the race. Schumacher and team-mate Nico Rosberg led a train of cars making up the midfield, whilst the newer teams once again squabbled towards the back. First-lap incidents resulted in Sébastien Buemi and Nico Hülkenberg being forced to pit, whilst contact between Robert Kubica and Felipe Massa saw the edge of Kubica's diffuser carve a furrow into Massa's front wheel, though the damage was not considered to be critical. The Red Bulls and McLarens ran together at the front, pulling away from fifth-placed Schumacher. Schumacher led a train of eight cars – his teammate Rosberg followed by Kubica, Massa, Vitaly Petrov, Adrian Sutil, Kamui Kobayashi and Fernando Alonso. At the front, Vettel opened the round of pitstops on lap fourteen, a move which put him ahead of Hamilton and into second place when the Briton had a slow stop. Reigning world champion Button inherited the lead when Webber pitted, but surrendered it when he pitted on lap sixteen, re-emerging in fourth.
After the pitstops, Webber led from Vettel, Hamilton and Button, as the Red Bulls and McLarens stayed interlocked at the front. Schumacher was fifth, with Rosberg, Kubica, Massa and Petrov maintaining sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth respectively, whereas Alonso was tenth. The middle stages of the race saw few troubles, save for the retirements of both Lotuses with mechanical woes. With Hamilton losing second place to Vettel, the top nine drivers remained in the same positions in which they had qualified, and as the race continued, the threat of rain intensified with heavy clouds brewing to the west of the circuit. The stalemate at the front was broken on lap 40 when Sebastian Vettel attempted a pass on Webber for the lead at turn twelve, but collided with his team-mate, ending his own race and spoiling Webber's in the process. Webber was forced to pit for repairs as the McLarens inherited first and second, but with a thirty-second buffer to the now fourth-placed Michael Schumacher, Webber was able to retain third place.
The expected rain only manifested as a very light drizzle in the later phase of the race. With nine laps to go, Jenson Button overtook Hamilton for the lead at turn twelve, only to have his teammate and compatriot reclaim the position at the first corner on the next lap. Button said recently that the battle was a misunderstanding, because Lewis "was told to turn his engine down but I didn't know." The McLarens then put some distance between each other, and held position until the end of the race, with Webber salvaging third after Vettel's passing attempt. Further back, Schumacher was fourth, and Rosberg was fifth ahead of Kubica and Massa. Fernando Alonso spent the majority of the race unable to find a way past Petrov in eighth position, though he finally broke through in the dying laps. The two connected and Petrov suffered a puncture and lost a points-scoring position as a result, but claimed the fastest lap of the race after pitting as a consolation prize. Timo Glock just managed to make it to the finish line after spending the last five laps stuck in fifth gear. This left Adrian Sutil and Kobayashi to round out the top ten, the latter taking his first point of the season and his first since the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when driving for Toyota.
Hamilton's victory gave him his first triumph since the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix, and his first for nine races. The result was McLaren's second one-two finish of 2010. This victory also made him the 5th different race winner in 7 races in 2010.
Predictably though, much of the post-race debate centred on the Red Bulls' clash at the front of the field on lap 40. Both Webber and Vettel blamed each other for the crash. Team boss Christian Horner implied Webber remained partially responsible for failing to give Vettel enough room on the run to the corner, yet he was noticeably frustrated and angry at both his drivers for wasting a potential one-two finish. Red Bull later revealed Mark Webber had gone into fuel-saving mode on the lap of the crash, and therefore lost performance. Sebastian Vettel, however, still had one lap left on the higher setting, and therefore opted to attack at the last window of opportunity. Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko insisted the team did not favour Vettel through this strategy, and also offered the perspective that Vettel had to attack for fear of backing off and into the clutches of Lewis Hamilton behind.
Meanwhile, Mercedes GP maintained they had achieved what the car was capable of with fourth and fifth-place finishes for Schumacher and Rosberg respectively. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was disappointed with the team's performance in their 800th start, yet looked forward to upgrades in the following races. James Key, the technical director of BMW Sauber was happy with the double finish and point picked up, courtesy of Kamui Kobayashi.
|Pos||No||Driver||Constructor||Part 1||Part 2||Part 3||Grid|
|1||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1:27.500||1:26.818||1:26.295||1|
|3||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1:27.067||1:26.729||1:26.760||3|
|10||23||Kamui Kobayashi||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||1:28.158||1:27.434||1:28.122||10|
|11||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:27.951||1:27.525||11|
|13||22||Pedro de la Rosa||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||1:28.147||1:27.879||13|
|14||16||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:28.534||1:28.273||14|
|16||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:28.460||1:28.540||16|
|18||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.958||18|
|23||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1:31.989||23|
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
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