Turkish Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel seals third win of 2011

World champion seals third victory of the season ahead of Red Bull team-mate Webber and Ferrari's Alonso

By Gareth Llewellyn
turkish grand prix podium
Red Bull sealed their first one-two of 2011 Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images, courtesy of Red Bull

turkish grand prix podium

Sebastian Vettel cruised to his third win of 2011 as Red Bull secured their first one-two of the season after Mark Webber finished ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

It is a triumph in stark contrast to last year’s infamous race when Vettel and Webber collided while on course for an easy one-two finish to gift victory to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

“It was a great result today, especially after I gave the team so much work on Friday,” said Vettel, who had damaged his Red Bull in a crash during Friday practice. “I hope giving a victory back goes some way to help them forget it.

“Saturday morning was crucial. When I walked into the garage everyone gave me the impression that nothing is wrong and there was nothing to worry about.

“The whole team was working so hard to get the car back together and times like these are important.

“In the race we had a very good first stint and got a gap and you can always benefit from that cushion. At the end I did two short stints, which was the right thing to do, it was seamless today.”

After a disappointing start to the season Alonso sealed his first podium finish, just 10 seconds behind Vettel and comfortably in front of Hamilton.

The Spaniard said: “The car performed a bit better than what we did in the first three races of the championship, so finally we enjoyed racing again and we enjoyed a race fighting for the podium positions, changing position through the race. Finally we can enjoy racing again.”

Hamilton finished fourth despite a good getaway at the start, dropping to sixth after running wide at Turn Three on the opening lap.

The McLaren man was hampered by too much front wing, forcing him to switch to a four-stop strategy to deal with the increased rear tyre wear.

And to make his afternoon even more disappointing, a threaded wheel nut on his third pit stop ended any hopes of finishing on the podium.

“It was a disappointing day on my behalf,” Hamilton admitted. “Not one of my best races. I got a pretty decent start but then lost a lot of ground at Turn Three.

“I got stuck behind Jenson and damaged my tyres trying to get past so I pitted. I had to pit way too early at my first pit stop I think, and then at one of the stops we lost a lot of time.

“Obviously when I was trying to get past Jenson I had so much pace, but by the time I did get past I had nothing left in my tyres and that pushed me into a four stopper.

“But considering we had a bad pit stop as well we did well to get back up to fourth place. But the battle was good and Jenson was fair all the way through it-we look forward to the next race.”

Team-mate Jenson Button continued on a three-stopper but with fresher tyres Hamilton and Rosberg had too much pace and left the 2009 world champion to finish sixth.

Renault continued their run of picking up points as Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov were seventh and eighth, while Sebastien Buemi rose from 16th on the grid to take ninth for Toro Rosso.

Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, starting from the back of the grid after failing to set a time in qualifying, rounded out the top 10 with an impressive performance after promising to get points for owner Peter Sauber.

Vettel’s 13th win in F1, and sixth in his last eight races, takes him to 93 points in the drivers’ standings, well ahead of Hamilton on 59, and Webber on 55.

Red Bull’s dominance increases their lead at the top of the constructors’ championship to 148, ahead of McLaren on 105, with Ferrari in third with 65.

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