Mike Stevens | May 9, 2011

Sebastian Vettel extended his championship lead from 21 to 34 points by running away with victory in the Turkish Grand Prix.

As his closest competitor Lewis Hamilton raced only to fourth place at Istanbul Park, Red Bull's German returned to the top step of the podium over teammate Mark Webber.

Vettel's victory in Turkey marks his third win for the season, with the German leading the race from the very start.

Teammate Webber mounted an attack after passing Rosberg five laps into the race, but with a 4.4 second lead at this stage, Vettel was all but home.

Also returning to form in Turkey was Fernando Alonso, who secured Ferrari's first podium of the 2011 season.

"Finally we enjoy racing again," said the Spaniard.

Read a report at Ferrari's official website: "This is a reward for all the hard work the team has carried out, which gives hope for the next round in Spain."

1. Vettel - Red Bull-Renault 1h30:17.558
2. Webber - Red Bull-Renault + 8.807
3. Alonso - Ferrari + 10.075

4. Hamilton - McLaren-Mercedes + 40.232
5. Rosberg - Mercedes + 47.539
6. Button - McLaren-Mercedes + 59.431
7. Heidfeld - Renault + 1:00.857
8. Petrov - Renault + 1:08.168
9. Buemi - Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:09.300
10. Kobayashi - Sauber-Ferrari + 1:18.000
11. Massa - Ferrari + 1:19.800
12. Schumacher - Mercedes + 1:25.400
13. Sutil - Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
14. Perez - Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
15. Barrichello - Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
16. Alguersuari - Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
17. Maldonado - Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
18. Trulli - Lotus-Renault + 1 lap
19. Kovalainen - Lotus-Renault + 2 laps
20. D'Ambrosio - Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
21. Karthikeyan - HRT-Cosworth + 3 laps
22. Liuzzi - HRT-Cosworth + 5 laps

(GMM)

 

Buemi Still In Dark Despite Rise Of Ricciardo

Sebastien Buemi in Turkey admitted he is still in the dark despite Toro Rosso making clear plans to replace one of its regular drivers at the end of 2011.

Team boss Franz Tost said earlier at Istanbul that Friday driver Daniel Ricciardo is being groomed this year for his Grand Prix debut with the Faenza based team in 2012.

Swiss Buemi and his teammate Jaime Alguersuari know they are under pressure but Buemi told L'Equipe that - officially - they remain in the dark.

"There hasn't been a meeting, head to head, where I'm told 'this or that is going to happen'.

"But I haven't fallen from the moon - he (Ricciardo) is there to be in the car sooner or later," said the 22-year-old.

"My goal is to move forwards. The logic of a junior team is to have space for new drivers and identify the ones who are strong."

The trigger for musical chairs could be the possible departure at Red Bull of Mark Webber, a move that could open a space at the senior team for the best Toro Rosso runner of 2011.

"Of course my goal is to be in that car," said Buemi. "But before that I want to prove that it wasn't possible to have someone better at Toro Rosso.

"So I'm not thinking 'What if Webber stops, what if this, what if that?' I can't influence that, only what I am doing."

(GMM)

 

No Guarantee Of 2011 Bahrain GP Admits Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he is not sure if Bahrain's F1 race will be rescheduled in 2011.

Until now, the F1 Chief Executive has been bullish about the event in the troubled island Kingdom, pushing recently for the rescheduling deadline to be extended to early June.

He met this weekend in Turkey with Bahrain's circuit chairman Zayed Rashed Al Zayani, who reportedly said at Istanbul Park that Sakhir is now "ready" to host F1 after months of civil turmoil.

"It's difficult to say," Ecclestone admitted on Saturday when asked about Bahrain's chances of being slotted into this year's calendar.

"If they are happy to have the race, I am sure we are happy to be there," he told F1's official website. "But we would need a guarantee that there won't be problems.

"Right now I don't know how anybody could guarantee that because it might be peaceful now, but who knows in the future?"

Ecclestone was more confident about earthquake and nuclear crisis-affected Japan, insisting the Suzuka race scheduled for October is "not at all" endangered.

(GMM)

 

F1 Teams Want Changes Before Signing Up For 2013

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has laid out a log of claims as Formula One teams prepare to get tough in negotiations about the sport's future.

Politics have returned to the F1 paddock in the form of a powerful consortium expressing interest in buying F1's commercial rights from CVC, amid the backdrop of the expiring Concorde Agreement.

The term 'breakaway' is not being thrown about as it was at the time of the last political battle two years ago, but Renault boss Eric Boullier - now a major player in the F1 teams association FOTA - made the body's warning clear in Turkey.

Referring to the 2012 agreement between the teams and the current F1 owners, Bouillier said: "After that, there is nothing binding the teams to FOM (Formula One Management)."

It is an obvious suggestion that the teams not only want more income beyond 2012, but also key changes.

"We want clear rules, stability in the regulations, the return of some European circuits, a reduction in ticket prices, and finally a closer relationship with the public and especially the younger generation," Ferrari team boss Domenicali is quoted by O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

An unnamed source told the newspaper there is some dissatisfaction with the role CVC has played since the London based private equity firm bought F1, implying there is a risk the teams will actively back the News Corp/Exor buyout.

"We need a partner who is interested in formula one, who wants to develop with us and not just collect the profits we generate," the team source said.

"This partner should come with a new proposal, where we (the teams) can participate in the discussions that relate to our interests," he added.

As the new political stage is set, there have been rumblings of disunity within FOTA, but the body's chairman Martin Whitmarsh told the Neue Zurcher Zeitung newspaper that harmony on that front is vital.

"Even if we fight each Sunday, we have common interests," he said.

"We are competing not only against other sports, but also a thousand other forms of entertainment. So we need stability, growth and sustainability. Who has the rights is then less important," he added.

(GMM)

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