Sublime Vettel wins Turkish GP
Sebastian Vettel (Associated Press)
Istanbul - Defending drivers world champion Sebastian Vettel consolidated his lead in this year's title race with a near-flawless drive to victory for Red Bull in Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.
The 23-year-old German led from his 19th career pole position to the chequered flag unchallenged, conceding the lead only once during his pit-stops, as he claimed his third win in four races this year.
It was the 13th win of his career and another day of celebration for the Red Bull team as Vettel's teammate Australian Mark Webber overtook two-times champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari in the closing stages to finish second.
It was the England-based team's first one-two of the season and came at the conclusion of an action-packed contest full of overtaking moves and incidents.
Alonso, revelling in a much-improved Ferrari, finished third ahead of Briton Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 champion, who came home fourth for McLaren after a typically roller-coaster afternoon including one pit stop wrecked by a sticky wheel nut.
German Nico Rosberg was fifth for Mercedes ahead of Briton Jenson Button in the second McLaren, the 2009 champion losing ground after planning a three-stop race while most of his rivals went for four.
Another German Nick Heidfeld finished seventh for Renault ahead of Russian Vitaly Petrov in the second Renault, Swiss Sebastien Buemi of Toro Rosso, and the dazzling Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber, who finished 10th after starting at the back of the grid.
Seven-times champion Greman Michael Schumacher, 42, finished 12th for Mercedes, one place behind Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa, his former teammate.
The race featured a total of 73 pit stops - the most since the 1993 British Grand Prix at Donington, run in torrential rain and won by the legendary late Brazilian Ayrton Senna for McLaren.
Vettel's winning time was one hour 30 minutes and 17.558 seconds.
"Yes," he screamed over his radio at the end. "Yes! That's what I am talking about. What a race. We controlled it from the beginning to the end. Thank you."
Results from the Turkish Grand Prix, the fourth race of the Formula One world championship:
1. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull) 1hr 30min 17.558sec,
2. Mark Webber (AUS/Red Bull) at 8.807sec
3. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari) 10.075
4. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/McLaren) 40.232
5. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes GP) 47.539
6. Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren) 59.431
7. Nick Heidfeld (GER/Lotus-Renault) 1min 0.857sec
8. Sebastien Buemi (SUI/Toro Rosso) 1:09.394
9. Vitaly Petrov (RUS/Lotus-Renault) 1:08.168
10. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN/Sauber) 1:18.021
11. Felipe Massa (BRA/Ferrari) 1:19.823
12. Michael Schumacher (GER/Mercedes GP) 1:25.444
13. Jaime Alguersuari (ESP/Toro Rosso) at one lap
14. Sergio Perez (MEX/Sauber) 1 lap
15. Adrian Sutil (GER/Force India) 1 lap
16. Rubens Barrichello (BRA/Williams F1) 1 lap
17. Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Williams F1) 1 lap
18. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN/Lotus) 1 lap
19. Jarno Trulli (ITA/Lotus) 1 lap
20. Jerome d'Ambrosio (BEL/Virgin Racing) 2 laps
21. Narain Karthikeyan (IND/Hispania) 2 laps
22. Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA/Hispania) 4 laps
1. Sebastian Vettel (GER) 93.0pts, 2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 59.0, 3. Mark Webber (AUS) 55.0, 4. Jenson Button (GBR) 46.0, 5. Fernando Alonso (ESP) 41.0, 6. Felipe Massa (BRA) 24.0, 7. Nick Heidfeld (GER) 21.0, 8. Vitaly Petrov (RUS) 21.0, 9. Nico Rosberg (GER) 20.0, 10. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) 8.0, 11. Michael Schumacher (GER) 6.0, 12. Sebastien Buemi (SWI) 6.0, 13. Adrian Sutil (GER) 2.0, 14. Paul di Resta (SCO) 2.0
1. Red Bull 148.0pts, 2. McLaren 105.0, 3. Ferrari 65.0, 4. Lotus-Renault 42.0, 5. Mercedes GP 26.0, 6. Sauber 8.0, 7. Toro Rosso 6.0, 8. Force India 4.0