Turkish Grand Prix 2010

/ Commentary

Race

3.00pm As the drivers head off on their formation lap we hear that Red Bull have also changed the roll bar on Webber's car.

They've all got away fine and if di Grassi is going to start this race it will be from the pits.

They're all going through turn eight, we've seen a lot of action there this weekend. Almost all the big names have made a mistake in the 170mph, four apex, left-hander at some point.

Di Grassi will start as he heads out into the pit lane.

2.58pm The drivers are all in their cars now, trying to get completely focus ahead of the formation lap.

2.54pm Vrijilesh is confident Alonso can do it today: "If Alonso can get to 6 from the back of the grid in Monaco.. he can fight for the podium on such a wide overtaking-friendly track!"

2.53pm "With Alonso starting 12th and needing to make a lot of spots up early, do we predict an incident in the first few corners?" asks Mos from Australia.

The first corner is pretty blind for the drivers and a little bit like turn one at Interlagos, so yes, there could definitely be a pile up. And you're right Alonso is in the prime position to get tangled up with other cars if someone makes a mistake or gets a bit greedy.

2.52pm There are reports di Grassi's car is still up on jacks in the garage. He has taken a new engine since qualifying so will start from the pits, we'll have to wait and see if it is anything more serious. It's been confirmed that it's an oil leak on that car.

2.50pm "How are the crowds compared to last year? Do you think Turkey will remain on the F1 calender?" asks Rosina.

It still looks pretty empty just ten minutes ahead of the start. I haven't seen images of the back of the track but if the last two days are anything to go by, it won't be any better than last year. Bernie Ecclestone said discussions over a 10-year contract are underway and he is aware it will take time for F1 to catch on in Turkey. It would be such a shame if we lost Istanbul Park because it's a great drivers' circuit.

2.47pm Kubica says the front right tyre is struggling through turn eight, that'll be something to look out for during the race.

2.45pm Red Bull has their mechanics blocking anybody getting a good look at the back of their car again.

2.42pm Hitendra also says: "Robert Kubica to jump Michael Schumacher easily."

I'm not sure it'll be that easy myself, but it should be a good battle.

2.40pm Hitendra asks: "Might the broken roll bar just hamper Vettel to some extent? Will that be a chance for Nico to sneek through for a podium?"

Red Bull have replaced the broken roll-bar that was causing Vettel's problems in Q3. So he should be back to his true pace and challenging the two cars in front rather than worrying about the Mercedes behind.

2.35pmLotus is going through its usual procedures ahead of the race: "Starts done, now going round to the grid. When stopping before the grid both cars doing a clutch bite point learn."

Ferrari is also going through its pre-race checks after a dreadful qualifying that will see Massa line up eighth and Alonso 12th on the grid: "Both drivers are going to the grid after a practice starts in the Ferrari pit stop position."

2.30pm Welcome to a sunny and sweltering Istanbul Park for the Turkish Grand Prix. It's half an hour until the lights go out and the teams are just preparing the cars to head out onto the grid. We should have a good race on our hands, Hamilton was closer to the Red Bulls in qualifying than anybody expected, including him, and will start ahead of Vettel on the grid. The question will be whether he can use his F-duct to pass down the back straight and whether he can live with the Red Bulls through the downforce dependent middle sector.

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Lap 1

The Red Bulls get a great start with Webber and Vettel leading into the first corner but Hamilton gets back past Vettel in turn four - a great move.

Schumacher beat Button into the first corner but Button fights back into turn 12 around the outside.

Lap 2

Hamilton is closing on Webber at the front, Sutil is moving up the field as Alonso fights hard to get past Kobayasho for 10th.

Buemi pits with a puncture he must have made contact and Hulkenberg has also pitted.

Lap 3

Webber holds the gap at 0.7 at the front. Hamilton is a second up on Vettel at the moment. Hamilton is losing time through turn eight but making it back up on the long straight into turn 12.

Lap 4

A replay shows Schumacher's rear break was smoking on teh grid and we've also seen a replay of Massa touching Kubica in the opening lap.

Lap 5

Schumacher is losing about a second a lap to the front runners, it was so crucial that Button got back ahead of him on the first lap.

Hamilton's straight-line advantage is phenomenal, he just needs a good exit out of turn 10 onto the long straight at the back of the circuit.

Lap 6

Hulkenberg is already making progress through the field after his pit stop, he is now up to 21st.

Lap 7

Hamilton is the fastest driver out there and is 0.4 off Webber over the line. His car is bumping around a lot under braking which could make it difficult to pass into turn 12.

Webber has responded to Hamilton's charge by setting a marginally faster lap.

Alonso is closing on Kobayashi for 11th but there is no sign he will get past - it's the same engine in both of those cars and they are both running F-ducts.

Lap 8

The gap is still 0.4 at the front, Hamilton is maintaining the pressure but has to look after his tyres because they will be getting punished hard through turn eight.

Lap 9

Barrichello is concerned that Liuzzi's rear wing is lose and could fail.

Schumacher has now dropped to 7.3 seconds off Button but is comfortably 1.5 seconds ahead of Rosberg.

Lap 10

Button is keeping Vettel in check too, the gap is 1.2 seconds from the Red Bull to the McLaren.

Lap 11

Hamilton isn't getting quite as close down the back straight now but keeps looking down the inside nonetheless. However, it does appear as though if Hamilton can get ahead he will pull away.

Lap 12

Alonso pits from 12th to try and gain some places on startegy because he is not doing it on the track.

Hamilton was much closer into turn 12 this time around but it still wasn't quite enough.

Lap 13

To confirm the pace of the McLaren Button sets the fastest lap in clean air behind Vettel.

Petrov, Sutil and de la Rosa all pit to try and cover off Alonso's challenge.

Lap 14

Hamilton is as close as he has been so far into turn 12 but can't make it stick.

Massa and Kubcia pit and the Renault just stays ahead coming out.

Hamilton again gets very close to Webber's gearbox but goes a bit too hot into turn 12 and loses a tenth.

Lap 15

Vettel pits but that could give Button the opportunity to leapfrog, he is setting fastest sectors. Schumacher has also pitted.

Lap 16

Hamilton and Webber pit. That has to be a mistake by McLaren, if Hamilton had stayed out he would have got ahead. Vettel also leapfrogs Hamilton. It was a tardy stop for Hamilton with a problem changing the left rear tyre.

Button leads.

Lap 17

Vettel is now the fastest man on the circuit and is closing on Webber, they're will be no team-orders there but Webber should speed up as his tyres get up to temperature.

Button reports he is losing grip and will pit this lap.

Lap 18

Button pits and it was a very quick stop... but he comes back out behind all three of the other cars.

Hamilton is told he can still do it if he is sensible with his tyres but they will not be pitting again.

Hamilton gets very close to going around the outside of Vettel but the Red Bull hugs the apex and holds position.

Lap 19

So Hamilton looks good on this set of tyres but the question is whether his battle with Vettel will let Webber get away.

Lap 20

Webber sets a fastest lap and is 0.8 seconds ahead of Vettel who is just 0.6 up on Hamilton. Button has dropped to 1.1 seconds off Hamilton.

Lap 21

An update on the midfield: Alonso's early pit stop allowed him to pass both Kobayashi and Sutil and move up to 10th.

Hamilton is now the fastest man out there and is getting ready to line up Vettel again.

Amazingly, rain is now being predicted, that would really shake things up.

Lap 22

There is a very dark cloud coming in over the circuit, some reports that it could be with us in 8 minutes. Hamilton has dropped off Vettel's pace a tad but is still within 0.5 seconds of him.

Lap 23

But on that last lap Hamilton was quicker than Vettelm it really is close between the Red Bulls and McLarens around here.

Lap 24

Hamilton had to drop a gear through turn eight on the last lap and that will be costing him several tenths. He is still quicker down the straights by a massive 9KPH. Button is going at the same speed as Vettel through the speed-trap which suggest he is not revving as high. Hamilton's speed could also have been recorded while slipstreaming.

Lap 25

Webber is now 1.1 seconds clear of Vettel as the teams prepare intermediate tyres for 2 or 3 milimetres of rain.

Lap 26

Hamilton has set the fastest in the first sector but Vettel is quickest over the course of the full lap.

Lap 27

Webber comes up behind a backmarker but passes with ease, as do Vettel and Hamilton.

Lap 28

There is a big train of cars behind Rosberg now, with Kubica, Massa, Petrov and Alonso each split by about 0.6 seconds.

Lap 29

The Red Bulls just found 0.4 seconds over the McLarens, and Hamilton is now 0.9 off Vettel, can the McLarens respond?

Hamilton sets the fastest first sector but has been dropping time in the second and third sectors.

Lap 30

Vettel now has the gap to Webber down to 0.4 seconds and took 0.3 out of him on the last lap.

Lap 31

Hamilton is also closing up on the pair and set his personal best on that last lap to get within 0.6 of Vettel.

Senna passes di Grassi for 22nd, the Virgin driver is having a terrible race so far.

Lap 32

Button is now the fastest driver on the track as he attempts to close the 1.8 second gap to Hamilton. The top four is so tight, at the moment and the rain is now being predicted for another 8 minutes time, to last 20 minutes.

Lap 33

Button finds another 0.2 on Hamilton as he again clocks the fastest lap. The fuel loads are of course coming down.

Lap 34

The leader are now coming across traffic but this track is so wide in place that lapping slower cars isn't a problem. One driver they won't have to worry about is Trulli because he has stopped off the track with some sort of problem.

Lap 35

Just 2.2 seconds seperate the top four drivers now.

Lap 36

Bad news for Lotus as Kovalainen has pulled into the pits.

Hamilton is climbing all over the kerbs in the final sector, he'll need to be careful about doing that if the rain starts falling.

Lap 37

Both Lotus drivers have retired with hydraulic failures. That has been a thorn in their side all season.

Alonso is now closing on Petrov for ninth, we'll keep an eye on that battle.

Lap 38

But the real battle is at the front as the top three are separated by just 1.2 seconds. Webber has been the slowest of that trio over the last few laps.

Alonso told to keep up the pressure on Petrov, Ferrari think the Russian rookie will be forced into a mistake.

Lap 39

Vettel is now just 0.4 off Webber and I'm sure if he gets an opportunity he will try to pass. But, because they are in identical cars, it will take a mistake from Webber for him to get by.

Lap 40

And Webber does make a small mistake in sector one but Vettel can't punish it through there.

There are spots of rain on the camera at the bottom of the circuit.

Vettel crashes into Webber down the back straight and Vettel is out of the race, Hamilton and Button take the lead.

Lap 41

It was a very high-speed crash and Vettel looks furious. Webber squeezed Vettel very hard and Vettel reacted by coming back across Webber.

Lap 42

The Red Bull mechanics are ready in the pits with a new nose cone. On the face of it, it was Vettel's fault for coming back across Webber, but considering how close to the grass Webber had pushed him maybe Webber should have allowed him a bit of space entering turn 12.

Lap 43

So Webber pits for a new nose and has rejoined ahead of Schumacher by 7.4 seconds.

Lap 44

The two McLarens are told to save fuel and after that crash between the Red Bulls the pit wall will be keen for them to hold position.

Lap 45

Rain still hasn't been ruled out but this is now very much McLaren's race to lose as they are 30.8 seconds ahead of Webber.

Lap 46

Webber is still lapping at a decent pace so won't becoming under pressure from Schumacher.

Lap 47

On board with Schumacher there are a few drops of rain on the lens of the camera but they don't appear to be affecting the handling of the cars. The gaps behind Rosberg have now increased a bit with no obvious fights unfolding.

Lap 48

Vettel is now facing a media scrum outside the Red Bull garage.

Lap 49

Hamilton and Button have a real close fight through the final complex and into turn one. Button went around the outside of Hamilton into turn 12 but Hamilton held his line and got a good exit out of the final corner to hold a tightline in turn one and reclaim the lead.

Lap 50

Hamilton has now pulled a big lead on Button and is setting faster sectors. Hamilton's move into turn one was very aggressive and Button undoubtedly lifted off and ran wide to give him some space. It was very good and very exciting driving from both of them.

Lap 51

Sutil bullies his way past Kobayashi for the final point position in 10th. A good move but a shame for Sauber that haven't scored a point this season.

Lap 52

Button told fuel is critical and tyres are on the edge in turn eight.

Lap 53

Alonso attempts to pass Petrov around the outside of turn one but the Renault holds its ground and Alonso runs wide. But the Ferrari is lining him up again and is clearly quicker.

Lap 54

Webber is told that the McLarens are low on fuel and responds with a fastest lap.

Alonso gets past Petrov but punctures the Renault's front right tyre in the process. That is such a shame for Petrov as he will be slow back to the pits and will drop out of the points.

Lap 55

So Kobayashi is back in the points and de la Rosa is behind him ready to scoop up the point for Sauber if anything goes wrong. Petrov returns to the pits for a new set of tyres and he will come back out in 15th.

Lap 56

Buemi has unlapped himself from Kobayashi and in doing so has dropped into the clutches of de la Rosa.

Chandhok has retired from the race. Both HRTs and Lotuses are out of the race now.

Lap 57

Vettel comes out to the pit wall to talk the incident over with his team.

Lap 58

Hamilton starts his final lap and is 3.3 seconds ahead of Button. Webber is set for third and will lead the in the championship standings.

Hamilton rounds the last few corners and crosses the line for a fantastic McLaren one-two victory. Webber finishes third in the Red Bull, Schumacher fourth, Rosberg fifth, Kubica sixth, Massa seventh and Alonso eighth.

Sutil and Kobayashi take the final points positions.

Button told he had a great drive and that McLaren pushed Red Bull and they cracked.

Hamilton arrives in Parc Ferme and looks pretty shattered. He congratulates Button, checks his car and heads off for a weighing. Not much more in the way of communication between Hamilton and Button, not so friendly after that close battle on track. Webber also looks angry, none of the top three look that happy to be there. I'm sure their demeanours will change on the podium.

It was a brilliant race, tkank you for joining us and make sure you check back to the website for all the reaction from the teams and drivers this afternoon.