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|11:45PM AEST:||Well, that’s it from us tonight. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of fall-out and scandal following a thrilling race, and as usual we’ll keep you abreast of all the best news that you need to know about!|
|11:41PM ASET:||God Save The Queen rings out on the podium for Lewis Hamilton and McLaren – winners of the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton picks up the big trophy as the reward for his twelfth career win as he moves back into contention for the title.
Engineering director Paddy Lowe is very happy to receive the constructors’ award for McLaren.
Jenson Button receives his award for second place this afternoon. Both he and team-mate Hamilton put on a great show today and kept Red Bull honest – perhaps their constant pressure led to the Red Bull drivers cracking under pressure?
Mark Webber is clearly less than thrilled as he picks up the third-place trophy.
The champagne sprays on the podium at the end of a very tense and exciting Turkish Grand Prix. Now the talking will no doubt begin as well as the post mortem down at Red Bull.
|11:40PM AEST:||An exciting race with a result that perhaps few would have have picked from the outset. McLaren certainly seemed to close the gap to the Red Bulls this weekend, and is was a veritable ‘daylight’ between the top-four and the rest of the field.
Yet again, however, this gives another example of how why Red Bull hasn’t sauntered off into the distance with both championships, because they seem to keep tripping up in some fashion, with reliability and strategy bungles – and now the two driver conspire to collide this weekend…
|11:35PM AEST:||Hamilton is delighted, telling the team they do a "phenomenal job" as McLaren’s rapid rate of development takes the fight to Red Bull.
Outside the top-ten, de la Rosa finished 11th, ahead of Alguersuari and Liuzzi. Barrichello finished a distant 14th, ahead of Petrov, who set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap of the race! Buemi is 15th and Hulkenberg is 16th, ahead of Timo Glock and Di Grassi, with the Virgin drivers the only rookie-team drivers to still be circulating at the end of the race. Chandhok is classified 20th, but retired with a few laps to go, and Senna’s retirement went unseen by us.
|Lap 58:||Lewis Hamilton leads a McLaren 1-2, and takes his first victory of the season, Webber’s 3rd placed finish now gives him a 15-point lead in the championship race ahead of his team-mate Vettel.|
|Lap 57:||So, the running order is Hamilton by 3.3 seconds from Button, with Webber a further 24 seconds behind. Schumacher is fourth, ahead of Rosberg, Kubica, Massa, Alonso, Sutil, Kobayashi.|
|Lap 54:||Alonso passes Petrov into Turns 3 and 4, but his rear tags the front of Petrov’s front wing, and the Russian suffers a front-right puncture, limping to the pits having dropped to 15th. Goodbye to a points’ finish for the Russian after a strong weekend – a shame.
But guess what? This promotes Kobayashi’s Sauber into the points!
|Lap 53:||Alonso and Petrov continue to duke it out in their battle for 8th place. He tried a move into Turn 1 but can’t make it stick.
Webber sets the fastest lap of the race, having been informed by his team that the McLarens are fuel-saving.
|Lap 52:||Both McLaren are again being urged to save tyres and fuel.|
|Lap 51:||Alguersuari – who has pitted for a new set of hard tyres and now runs 13th – sets the fastest lap of the race.
Sutil passes Kobayashi to steal 10th place. One guesses Sauber won’t break their points duck at this race.
|Lap 50:||Hamilton now leads Button by 1.1 seconds. One imagines that the team might be subtly hinting to its drivers to hold station until the chequered flag.|
|Lap 49:||My take on the Webber-Vettel scrape: Sebastian was clearly quicker than Mark and had the move made, but he didn’t need to swing across Webber’s path along the straight. That being said, Mark very much has this habit of making his car a little too wide when being passed…|
|Lap 48:||Button now draws right up with Hamilton and cleverly passes his team-mate in the final sequence of corners, but Lewis draws back the place on the front straight to retake the lead. It’s close racing, but the two drivers keep it clean, unlike their Red Bull counterparts! One imagines a few hearts stopped on the McLaren pit wall as this was happening!
All the while, there is a veritable media scrum around Sebastian Vettel, who has returned to pit lane and is under siege from the journalists wanting to get his side of the story.
|Lap 46:||Schumacher is just 8 seconds behind Webber, as the circuit surface gets more slippery as the light drizzle falls. It’s not yet damp enough to consider a switch to wet tyres.|
|Lap 45:||Can you imagine what the post-race debrief will be like in the Red Bull camp? I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that. The golden rule in F1 is to not take out your team-mate, and Red Bull has had an epic fail in that department!|
|Lap 44:||Hamilton is told to save fuel on the radio, which may be a message to take it easy to the finish.|
|Lap 43:||Meanwhile, the word is that the anticipated rain is now finally starting to fall. Button is now just a second behind his team-mate. Could he launch an attack if he’s managed his tyres better than his team-mate, or will the team be circumspect in light of the Red Bull shenanigans?|
|Lap 42:||Webber pits for a replacement nose cone and fresh tyres; his margin over 4th-placed Schumacher is enough to see him retain 3rd place, but does he have further damage that could see him vulnerable to the seven-time World Champion?|
|Lap 41:||All of this now gifts McLaren an easy 1-2, with Webber trailing in 3rd place. What a needless piece of driving!
The commentators are placing the blame firmly at Vettel’s door for chopping across Webber’s bows.
|Lap 40:||Vettel gets a run on Webber along the back straight; Webber squeezes Vettel, and Vettel squeezes Webber as they draw side-by-side and the two collide! Unbelievable!
Vettel retires at Turn 12 with shredded tyres, lucky not to collect Webber as he spins wildly into the gravel. A furious German gets out of his car. Expect tense talks between the two after the race!
|Lap 39:||A good close battle for 9th place between Petrov and the chasing Alonso.
Vettel is now right behind Mark Webber and pushing him hard.
|Lap 37:||Both Lotus’ retired due to hydraulics failure, it is reported. Apparently a Virgin Racing car is circulating and sounding rough, according to BBC commentator Martin Brundle.|
|Lap 36:||Spots are appearing on Lewis Hamilton’s onboard camera as he pursues Vettel. Are we seeing the first spots of rain?|
|Lap 35:||The luckless Jarno Trulli becomes the first race retiree, pulling off the circuit and parking his Lotus.
Kovalainen has now pulled his Lotus into the pits and is being attended by his mechanics in the garage.
|Lap 34:||Buemi has now passed all six rookie team cars on the road from recovering from his first-lap puncture.|
|Lap 32:||Revised weather update indicates the rain should fall at 4:00PM local time, in about 8 minutes time.
Button sets the fastest race lap. The top-four are covered by just 3 seconds.
|Lap 31:||Plenty of overtaking happening at the moment: Barrichello passes Hulkenberg for 15th place, Senna passes di Grassi for 22nd place, and Buemi passes Trulli.|
|Lap 30:||Vettel is looking quite racy at the moment and is right on the tail of leader, and team-mate, Webber.|
|Lap 28:||Di Grassi is far too kind getting out of the way of the six-car battle for 6th place (headed by Rosberg, who has fallen off the pace), allowing Senna to have a good run on him into Turn 1. Sadly for Bruno, he runs wide under braking and onto the Astroturf run-off.|
|Lap 27:||Our first shot of Nicole Scherzinger courtesy of the Turkish broadcast director… Evidently they feel the on-track action isn’t as exciting…|
|Lap 25:||Webber sets the fastest lap but is just over a second ahead of the scrap between Vettel and Hamilton.|
|Lap 24:||The skies continue to leaden up over the circuit as this short shower approaches.
Should the teams be forced to change tyre as a result of wet conditions, this will well and truly shaft the second-placed of the teams’ drivers, with much of the field running in a Noah’s Ark pattern – the big losers will be Vettel, Button, Rosberg, Petrov and Alonso.
|Lap 21:||Word is now in that a brief rain period is expected in the next 15 minutes – this could spice things up!|
|Lap 20:||Barrichello passes Kovalainen’s Lotus into Turn 9. The Finn seems to have leapfrogged his team-mate Jarno Trulli. He is followed by Glock, Senna, Buemi, Di Grassi and Chandhok now falling away in last position.|
|Lap 19:||With no further tyre stops expected, the drivers will have to do their passing on-track, but at the same time they’ll need to be conscious of managing their tyre wear.|
|Lap 18:||It’s a Noah’s Ark formation at the front of the field, with the two Red Bulls heading the two McLarens. The two Mercedes GPs are a distant 5th and 6th.
Hamilton launches an attack on Vettel into Turn 12, but the German defends well as Lewis overshoots under braking.
|Lap 17:||Button pits from the lead, but it looks like his lead won’t be big enough to vault ahead of any of them, he rejoins in 4th place.|
|Lap 16:||Webber now has his team-mate right under his gearbox, with Hamilton threatening behind. Vettel will be pleased with this outcome.
Replays show a delay on Hamilton’s left-rear wheel cost him time in the pit stop.
Button now leads and is trying to run quicker than the others to leapfrog the Webber-Vettel-Hamilton trio.
|Lap 15:||Webber and Hamilton pit nose-to-tail, and we have a race in the pit lane. The Red Bull stop is quicker, allowing him to keep position.
Hamilton rejoins behind Vettel, whose out-lap has been quicker to allow him to leapfrog the McLaren and effectively make a Red Bull 1-2.
|Lap 14:||Hamilton has a little more confidence through Turn 8, allowing him to stay closer to Webber on the lead up to the back straight.
Vettel pits from 3rd, and Schumacher pits from 5th.
|Lap 13:||Kubica and Massa pit, and rejoin in the same order. Liuzzi pits as well.
Alonso laps quickest of anybody so far, with a 1:32.717 on the harder tyre compound.
|Lap 12:||Hamilton gets the closest he has been to Webber along the back straight, but still can’t make the move stick.
Petrov, Sutil and de la Rosa both pit.
|Lap 11:||Hamilton still laps just half a second behind Webber, with the gap see-sawing between the two throughout the lap. Vettel is just 2 seconds behind Hamilton.
Alonso makes a pit stop, changing from the soft to the hard tyres, in a move to cover the pit stop of Kobayashi, who pitted the lap before. Crucially, he emerged ahead of the Japanese driver, whom he had been trailing.
|Lap 10:||The recovering Hulkenberg has passed di Grassi and now passes the 19th-placed Senna.
Kobayashi and Barrichello both pit.
|Lap 9:||Hamilton continues to put pressure on the leader but things are closely balanced with the Red Bull quick through Turn 8 and the McLaren closing again down the back straight.
A correction to Barrichello’s message: he is concerned that a piece of Liuzzi’s wing is breaking, which risks detaching and flying into his path, as the chasing car. Given that a loose spring falling off the back of Barrichello’s car is what nearly killed Felipe Massa, one can understand his concern for his (and other drivers’) safety.
|Lap 8:||Schumacher is heading a veritable train of cars comprising himself, Rosberg, Kubica, Massa, Petrov and Sutil.|
|Lap 7:||Radio broadcast from Rubens Barrichello, with the 16th-placed driver concerned his rear wing may be breaking. Not a good issue on a circuit like this…|
|Lap 6:||The top ten run in the same order that they qualified. Vettel and Button are closing on the lead battle, which could become a four-way fight in a few laps time.
Replays of the recovering Hulkenberg passing Chandhok for 21st position.
|Lap 5:||Despite Hamilton bring close to Webber in the early stages of the lap, the Red Bull’s grip is supreme through Turn 8, giving the Australian enough of a gap that Hamilton can’t get past Webber at the end of the back straight.|
|Lap 3:||Alonso passes de la Rosa for 12th, and is now on the tail of the sister Sauber of Kobayashi, which has just been passed by Adrian Sutil’s Force India.
Hamilton is running closer than ever to Webber and he will be a huge threat to the Red Bull if he can get into his tow.
|Lap 2:||Hamilton is not letting Webber get away and is under a second behind the leader.|
|Lap 1:||We are go in Turkey. Webber leads from pole into Turn; Vettel passes Hamilton to take 2nd.
Hamilton retakes second from Vettel out of Turn 1.
Schumacher initially passes Button, but is taken along the back straight by the ‘F-duct’ equipped McLaren.
Hulkenberg and Buemi pit with damage after making contact with one another.
Webber leads from Hamilton, Vettel, Button, Schumacher, Rosberg – the top-six run in the same order they qualified.
|10:00PM AEST:||The parade lap is underway and we will be starting a race shortly! Can’t wait!|
|9:57PM AEST:||The problem with di Grassi’s car is believed to be an oil leak .. he changed a misfiring Cosworth for a leaking one… Dear oh dear…|
|9:56PM AEST:||Rumours are afoot that the Michelin competition boss met with all the team principals for 90 minutes this morning in Turkey as part of a last-minute bid to gazump the favoured Pirelli as the 2011 tyre supplier. Still no word as to which marque the teams will go for…|
|9:55PM AEST:||Final check of the weather… A few more clouds are slowly moving in across the circuit, but conditions will remain mostly sunny and very warm for the race.|
|9:52PM AEST:||The drivers start to suit up and climb into their cockpits in readiness for the green light signaling the start of the parade lap.|
|9:50PM AEST:||Ten minutes to go until the parade lap starts.|
|9:47PM AEST:||The crowd figures are again looking pretty pitiful, judging by shots of partially-sold grandstands around the circuit. There are rumours doing the rounds that this could be the swansong event at Istanbul Park…|
|9:45PM AEST:||The pit lane has now closed.|
|9:44PM AEST:||Problems for Lucas di Grassi, whose Virgin is on the stands in the pit lane with his mechanics swarming all over the car trying to fix whatever problem it is experiencing. With the pits set to close, he will be forced to start from the pit lane.|
|9:37PM AEST:||Another exciting piece will be our exclusive interview with former F1 driver and commentator Derek Daly, which we’ll publish next week as well.
You have the opportunity to be the lucky recipient of a signed copy of his brilliant book Race To Win. Simply click here for more details on how to enter!
|9:35PM AEST:||Last weekend, Richard’s F1 visited Melbourne and had a look around the Albert Park circuit, in addition to teeing up an exclusive meeting with Jarno Trulli’s cousin, who is the Asia-Pacific Sales Manager for the Trulli-owned Podere Castorani winery in Italy. We’ll be brining you a great feature piece in the week following the Turkish Grand Prix.|
|9:31PM AEST:||The pit lane is now open and the drivers can now head out to form up on the grid. Many of the drivers will plan a couple of laps to the grid with a pause in their pit box to test a launch as there is no area for practice starts here.|
|9:30PM AEST:||Further back in the field, there should be a few other interesting topics and on-track battles to look at…
Sauber had a better weekend than usual, with Kamui Kobayashi scrambling into the top-ten shoot-out and Pedro de la Rosa lining up 13th on the grid. Both could be a chance for points today, but it will rely on them staying out of trouble and the C29s holding together long enough – neither of which has proved very possible this season!
Williams and Toro Rosso are locked together in a tight battle, but will be unlikely to challenge for points unless those ahead fall off the circuit.
At the back of the pack, we have the exciting prospect of the closest battle so far between the three new teams – Lotus, Virgin and HRT. Heikki Kovalainen struggled in qualifying but still did enough to claim 20th place on the grid behind team-mate Jarno Trulli. The Italian looks for once to have the upper hand and seems the likely candidate to try and stay closest to the established teams.
Bruno Senna achieved one small target for HRT, out-qualifying Lucas di Grassi in 22nd place. Senna will try to keep ahead of the Virgin driver in the opening laps and we could see some energetic battles for track position at the rear, with Karun Chandhok ready to pick up the pieces from any altercations. But Virgin has raised the stakes this morning by changing di Grassi’s misfiring engine for the race.
|9:23PM AEST:||While Mark Webber was evidently thrilled with his third-straight pole position, the team most pleased with yesterday’s qualifying result was McLaren. With Hamilton second and Button fourth, the Woking-based squad has a great opportunity to deny the championship leaders a perfect result this afternoon.
"I think we are a lot closer to Red Bull than I expected this weekend," said Jenson Button after the grid was set yesterday.
Although the RB6 was dominant through the middle sector, with incredible aerodynamic grip around Turn 8, the MP4-25 in Hamilton’s hands was quicker in the first and final sectors and is particularly strong on the long run down to the final complex of corners – where some of Hamilton’s finest overtaking moves have been delivered in GP2 and F1.
"If I can get close enough to Mark then without a doubt I will be taking the opportunity," said Hamilton after qualifying.
Vettel, meanwhile, will be keen to make up for a disappointing qualifying (by his standards) and should be strong now the errant roll-bar on his car has been repaired.
Behind the top four is the prospect of an interesting in-house battle at Mercedes, chased by the ever-impressive Robert Kubica and Felipe Massa in the leading Ferrari.
Fernando Alonso will be the man to watch in the middle of the grid as he attempts to battle forward from 12th, but could face stiff competition from the likes of Sutil and Petrov on a weekend where the Ferrari F10 is clearly not working well.
|9:20PM AEST:||The pit lane will open in just 10 minutes’ time, with the drivers set to head out onto the circuit and form up on the grid. Drivers will want to get an early feel for track conditions following the support races that have taken place since qualifying.
Also, they will run through the throttle, braking and gearbox functions, check the front-to-rear brake balance and, for those that have the option, check the F-duct to make sure it is working well.
Sebastian Vettel will have more to do than most, following the roll-bar problem that thwarted his qualifying effort on Saturday.
|9:16PM AEST:||Motor racing enthusiasts love to debate and discuss the action on track, and don’t forget you can join in with the action by posting your comments to this thread or via Twitter, Facebook and Messenger.|
|9:15PM AEST:||Plenty of exciting things to look forward, not least of which is tonight’s race starting in 45 minutes’ time.
Also on tonight is the Indianapolis 500, with Helio Castroneves on pole. Make sure you check out our IndyCar page for all the latest news and analysis.
|9:12PM AEST:||Interesting comments from Mark when asked about his career prospects and if he will stay with Red Bull. Didn’t exactly answer the question, but did say he would stay around in F1 for so long as he had the motivation and a competitive car with which to succeed.|
|9:10PM AEST:||Messages from some high-profile well-wishers – Sir Jack Brabham and Alan Jones – are being shown on TV and played to Mark Webber in a pre-race show interview with OneHD correspondent Tom Clarkson. Nice touch and good to see the support from the Antipodes for Mark.|
|9:08PM AEST:||Weather conditions are reported to be good – no shots yet from the circuit for us. Good conditions are expected and the temperatures are set to be warm.|
|9:07PM AEST:||So, Red Bull secured its seventh pole position on the trot as joint championship leader Mark Webber continued his sensational run of form, picking up his third successive pole position.
The Australian reaped rewards from a roll bar problem in team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s RB6, and Lewis Hamilton delivered a great hot lap to split the energy drinks giant’s cars to land up on the front row for the first time this season.
A sour-looking Vettel will start from the second row, alongside the McLaren of Jenson Button.
Michael Schumacher will line up from a strong fifth – about half a second slower than Webber – and just ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg. Both Renaults made the top-ten shoot-out for the first time this season, with Robert Kubica (7th) and Vitaly Petrov (9th) sandwiching the Ferrari of Felipe Massa.
Despite Ferrari celebrating its 800th Grand Prix start, it has been more of a nightmare – rather than a celebratory – weekend, with three-time Turkey winner Massa down in 8th, and team-mate Fernando Alonso amazingly missing out on a shot at Q3 by qualifying 12th!
|9:05PM AEST:||The Australian pre-race broadcast has kicked off on OneHD, and I must offer props to the producers of the F1 telecast over here, who finally took the sensible, fan-friendly decision to schedule their commercial breaks between the three stages of the qualifying session. Who’d have thought that scheduling commercial breaks could be so sensible? Now if we can just get a little more variety in the ads (aside from the rotation of baldness prevention products on display), then we might be in a better position!|
|9:00PM AEST:||Greetings all and welcome to our live commentary and analysis feed from Richard’s F1, brought to you from the home of round 7 of the 2010 F1 World Championship, in Turkey.|
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