Turkish Grand Prix – Race

It’s really fun to see the BBC’s pre-show programme with interesting discussions and the grid walk – it’s a real shame TSN doesn’t carry it.

I posted my notes on Qualifying earlier; the provisional grid was: SV, MW, NR, LH, FA, JB, VP, MS, NH, FM, RB, AS, PD, PM, SP, SB, JA, HK, JT, VL, TG, NK, JD, KK.
No penalty for MS for blocking LH in Q1, or for Red Bull for covering up SV’s car while they repaired it in the Practice sessions.

BBC report TG has a gearbox problem with the Virgin car; looks unlikely he’ll manage to start the race.

It’s dry but windy at track level.

Lots of talk of how the even-numbered grid spots side of the track is quite slippery.

SV leads everyone (except TG, who’s still in the garage) away on the formation lap
Smoke from JB’s McLaren – hopefully that’s just an oil over-fill
Long pause for the cars to line up at the back of the grid

01/58: NR attacking – takes P2
LH attacking MW but loses out … runs wide and JB takes P5

02: SV, NR, MW, FA, JB, LH, MS
SP in the pits – broken front wing / nose cone
LH takes a look up the inside of JB into Turn 8 but JB holds P5
VP dives down the inside of MS; MS turns in and brakes his front wing on the Renault

03: MS pits for new nose cone
DRS now permitted

04: No word of the stewards investigating the MS/VP incident

05/58: Replay of MS turning into VP and hitting VP’s rear wheel – clearly was VP’s corner, although he may have struggled to make the apex
MW uses DRS for an easy pass on NR

06: SV fastest lap 1:33.762
FA attacking NR for P3 and LH makes a move on JB for P5

07: JB gets the tow from his teammate then reclaims P5 into Turn 1
FA uses DRS to pass NR

08: LH was ahead of JB over the line but JB took P5 back into T1 again

09: VP pits from P9
FM closing on LH
FM uses DRS and eases past LH … but are they both pitting?

10/58: FM and LH pit line astern; LH released first; Ferrari release FM almost into the side of LH! That’s got to be a penalty for an unsafe release!

11: FA pits; clean stop

12: SV pits from P1; new soft tyres
BBC agree that it was an unsafe release, but no word of an investigation
Renault teammates VP & NH bash wheels at the pit entrance – both gesticulating – was NH trying to pit but VP was in the way?

13: McLaren getting for a stop

14: JB pits; used hard tyres
RB passing MS – nice

15/58: SV, MW, FA, LH, NR, FM, JB, VP, NH, SB

16: KK passes MS; AS does the same, but his teammate can’t make it

17: Pit-car for LH reminding him to look after his rear tyres in Turn 8
VL running well off track but finally finds his way back

19: FM continues to attack NR but can’t actually find a place to pass

20/58: SV, MW, FA, LH, NR, FM, JB, VP, NH, SB
FM finally takes NR … but NR fights back … wheel to wheel … and NR re

21: LH pit stop #2
FM attacks NR again; makes it stick
JB attacks NR too; NR fights back; JB goes round the outside in the final turn

22: Replay of JB’s pass on NR – great move!

23: JB all over the rear of FM

24: JB uses DRS to pass FM; FM locks up trying to defend
FM dives into the pits; FA is still in the box; barely time for the team to reset before FM stops

25/58: SV, MW, FA, JB, LH, RB, AS, VP, FM, NR

26: SV pits from P1; another clean stop; rejoins still ahead of MW

27: JB pits; problem with the left rear? rejoins just ahead of NR
FA sets another fastest lap; closing on MW

28: Pit-car radio for MW suggests he opens the gap over FA
Pit-car for FA tells him about MW’s message

29/58 = half distance; phew!
FA breezes past MW for P2
JB attacking FM

30: SV, FA, MW, LH, VP, FM, JB, NR, NH, MS

31: MS pits

33: A brief lull in the action

35: Horrendous pit stop for LH – problem with the wheel nut on the front right, then they had to hold him as a Ferrari was entering the box in front of them

36: FM runs wide over the marbles; KK dashes past but FM passes him back a couple of corners later

37: LH f/lap 1:31.586

38: MW f/lap 1:31.005

39: FA f/lap 1:30.953

40/58: SV, FA, MW, JB, SB, LH, NR, VP, RB, NH
JB pits – final stop? – rejoins ahead of VP

41: SV pits

42: SV ~7sec ahead of FA, who in turn is ~3sec ahead of MW

44: Incident involving car 12 (PM) for speeding in the pit lane

45: Drive-through penalty for car 12 (PM) for speeding in the pit lane
NR pits
SB steams past MS for P10

46: MW pits; slow stop
PD has pulled the Force India well off-track to stop

47: FA pits; rejoins still ahead of MW
LH pits
NR uses DRS to take P8 from FM
FM pits

48: SV pits; he had a safe gap so he’s playing it safe

49: JB seems quite steady through the final turn

50/58: SV, FA, MW, JB, LH, NR, SB, VP, NH, KK
LH has the DRS advantage and newer tyres so he easily passes JB for P4

51: NR catching JB at just over 1sec per lap

52: MW uses DRS and squeaks past FA for P2
FA fights back but MW makes the Red Bull very wide

53: MW opens a > 1 sec gap over FA so no DRS for the Ferrari

54: FM passes MS but MS fights back and re-takes the position

55/58: SV, MW, FA, LH, JB, NR, NH, SB, VP, KK
NR storms past JB for P5

56: JA pits!

57: AS and SP battle it out as SV tries to lap them

58/58 = final lap: SV takes the chequered flag
MW home for P2
FA gives Ferrari their first podium in … well, forever!
P4=LH, 5=NR, 6=JB, 7=NR, 8=VP, 9=SB, 10=KK
P11=FM, 12=MS, 13=AS (+1 lap), 14=SP, 15=RB, 16=JA, 17=PM, 18=JT, 19=HK, 20=JD, 21=NK, 22=VL
DNF: PD
DNS: TG

So based on this provisional result, the top of updated points tables look like this:

2011 Drivers’ Championship

1 S Vettel 93
2 L Hamilton 59
3 M Webber 55
4 J Button 46
5 F Alonso 41
6 F Massa 24
7= N Heidfeld 21
7= V Petrov 21
9 N Rosberg 20
10 K Kobayashi 8

2011 Constructors’ Championship

1 Red Bull 148
2 McLaren 105
3 Ferrari 65
4 Renault 42
5 Mercedes 26
6 Sauber 8
7 Toro Rosso 6
8 Force India 4
9= Lotus 0
9= Williams 0
9= Virgin 0
9= Hispania 0