Sunday, May 30, 2010

McLaren Bounced Back in Turkey

McLaren 1-2 after Red Bulls crash
McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, right, and McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button of Britain steer their cars during the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix.

McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, right, and McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button of Britain steer their cars during the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton led a McLaren 1-2 at the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday after a run-in between teammates Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel denied Red Bull a sweep.

The Red Bull pair touched as Vettel looked to pass along the Istanbul Park Circuit's fastest section, causing the German driver to spin out of the race. Webber, who had led for the entire 40 laps to that point, recovered for third behind Jenson Button as Red Bull's pit-lane team looked on in astonishment.

The McLaren team also tensed up near the end as its drivers exchanged the lead but Hamilton eventually earned his first win of the season by 2.6 seconds after rain had sprinkled the circuit.

"It was quite an exciting race," said Hamilton, the 2008 champion.

Webber leads Formula One's driver standings with 93 points, while Button moved into second with 88 points - four more than Hamilton. Fernando Alonso of Ferrari finished eighth to improve to 79 points and Vettel stayed on 78.

The race was filled with excitement following the dramatic incident between the Red Bull drivers.

Vettel moved inside Webber as the two raced down the last straight but appeared to try to close his teammate off early. The pair touched wheels, sending Vettel sliding into the gravel as bits of his car - including his rear left tire - went flying off. Vettel raised his hands at Webber, who returned to the track but lost ground on the McLarens after pitting to repair the damage.

Webber had won the last two races from pole but finished 24.2 seconds back this time.
Button and Hamilton battled along the same stretch a few laps later. Button got past by the start of lap 50 before Hamilton retook the lead around the first set of corners to deny his teammate a second straight win at the "Otodrom."

Vettel's accident allowed the rest of the field to move up one spot as Michael Schumacher finished fourth ahead of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg. Robert Kubica of Renault was sixth ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

Vettel jumped ahead of Hamilton out of the start to sit behind Webber but Hamilton quickly regained his place soon after, as did teammate Button by the last corner of the first lap after Schumacher had got ahead.

Hamilton tried in vain to pass Webber on the anticlockwise track but the Australian driver held him off until the 16th lap, when the front two pitted. Hamilton re-emerged behind Vettel, who had changed tires one lap earlier.

Hamilton, with Button behind him, pressured Vettel throughout but could not get past as the German driver kept him at bay until the late drama.

While the two leading teams battled for podium order, Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault fought behind them as Alonso worked his way up from 12th.

Adrian Sutil of Force India was ninth while Kamui Kobayashi picked up Sauber's first points of the season with a 10th-place finish. - AP

1. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 58 laps 1hr 28m 47.620s
2. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes +00m 02.6s
3. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault +00m 24.2s
4. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 31.1s
5. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 32.2s
6. Robert Kubica Poland Renault-Renault +00m 32.8s
7. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 36.6s
8. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 46.5s
9. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes +00m 49.0s
10. Kamui Kobayashi Japan BMW Sauber-Ferrari +01m 05.6s

11. Pedro de la Rosa Spain BMW Sauber-Ferrari +01m 05.9s
12. Jaime Alguersuari Spain Toro Rosso-Ferrari +01m 07.8s
13. Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
14. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Williams-Cosworth +1 lap
15. Vitaly Petrov Russia Renault-Renault +1 lap
16. Sebastien Buemi Switzerland Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
17. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Williams-Cosworth +1 lap
18. Timo Glock Germany Virgin-Cosworth +3 laps
19 Lucas di Grassi Brazil Virgin-Cosworth +3 laps
20. Karun Chandhok India HRT-Cosworth +6 laps

Rtd Bruno Senna Brazil HRT-Cosworth 46 laps completed
Rtd Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 39 laps completed
Rtd Heikki Kovalainen Finland Lotus-Cosworth 33 laps completed
Rtd Jarno Trulli Italy Lotus-Cosworth 32 laps completed