Well, What can I say?
This was a race that captivated every moment of my time since I began watching it.
I am of course talking about this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix. We headed into this Grand Prix with Mark Webber on a roll. 2 wins, 2 pole positions. A man riding the crest of the Red Bull wave that is currently washing away the competition in Formula 1.
Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes trailing, we all were wandering if any of the teams would be able to close on to the Red Bull's speed. All though Red Bull have had their issues, a few failures whether it be car related or not come to mind, but they have had, in terms of raw speed, a huge advantage in general.
Taking up every pole position so far this season, and, at times, with more than a second of an advantage. It even managed to make McLaren Race Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh believe they had some sort of ride height device. And who knows maybe they did? we shall never know.
But all of that has since gone, and everyone has had to get on with it and see what they can do about it. We have had rain, crashes, safety cars, the return of Michael Schumacher with Mercedes (previously Brawn GP, which I might add, I wrote an article about him possibly returning with that team, I was proved right, not for the reasons I mentioned, but yes bit of luck I must say, but people told me that it would never happen, or he was too in love with Ferrari, and well here we are..)
So, Turkey, the first race, where I have seen Red Bull, again, looking very fast indeed. I watched all practice sessions, and to see Mclaren hitting the top marks was encouraging, but, we have seen this already this year, so I was not getting too carried away that a team might actually be going to take the fight to Red Bull this weekend.
The Red Bull of Mark Webber, from what I could see, was taking the famous Turn 8 flat. No other car was capable of this, as Lewis Hamilton proved, as he tried to take the corner flat, and off he went. This proves that the Red Bull still has the ultimate down force package.
So anyway, even so, I was optimistic for the race, as Mclaren have had good race pace this year. It was just qualifying that they had to get to grips with.
Qualifying, and to my delight, Mclaren were indeed on the pace of the Red Bull. I was astonished in some ways too, seen how far behind they were only a few races ago.
Mclaren really do seem to have the right tricks to make there car go faster and faster, and they have closed the gap rather well. But Mark Webber still took pole position, although Lewis Hamilton managed to split the two Red Bulls.
Slightly fortuitous for Hamilton, as Vettel had a mechanical failure of some sort which made him unable to set a decent fast lap. Button rounded them off taking the 4th spot.
Race day, and wow, the excitement was thrilling, seeing how close the Red Bull and Mclarens are in lap times, it was shaping up to be a hard fought, fast and memorable occasion. And guess what? It lived up exactly to that.
The whole race, the top 4 were so close, from first lap to last. Slight move by Schumacher on Button at the start was fun, but Jenson took back that place and he was on his way.
So this was it, how well can Mclaren stay with the Red Bull?
Very well indeed.
So much so that I believe Hamilton had the faster car, only, with the Red Bulls pace through turn 8, Hamilton was never quite close enough to use his straight line speed to his advantage.
He got close on many occasions, but always just a bit too far back.
So, if Hamilton was to stay out, wait for Red Bull of Webber to pit, Hamilton could then do 2-3 laps to pull a gap, then pit.
He would then surely jump Webber. But, as it happened, Mclaren pitted first, then Red Bull reacted.
They came into the pits at the same time, Webber was out of his box first, Lewis lost time in his box, and re-joined behind Webber and Vettel.
Still though, Mclaren were in touch, both Jenson and Lewis right behind both Red Bulls.
There was a chance of rain at one stage, you could even see it , but it never rained hard enough to effect the hot temperature of the circuit.
More racing followed with both Mclarens trying to get an overtake on a Red Bull.
But then... BANG!
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber do the unthinkable, hit each other. On a track where there are no other cars but them, and no corners.
Sebastian got a run on Mark going up the hill on the straight, pulled to the left. Mark gave him just enough room to get buy, then the Australian held his position.
Vettel however, moved slightly to the right, his right rear tyre making contact with Webber's front left. It sent Vettel off the track and into a spin, lucky to not take out both drivers.
This then gifted a 1-2 finishing prospect for Mclaren.
That's how I thought it would finish, until Lewis and Jenson decided to have a dice for position too!
I was hoping they would not hit each other, and thankfully they did not, Button got good drive going up the hill, then went to the outside into the left hander, this got him a good line so Lewis had to back off, in order to get a run on Jenson on the pit straight.
He did this, and re-took Jenson into the blind first corner. They touched a little, but not so much so that one of them was to lose out. It was fair, good driving by both.
And that’s how it finished. A Mclaren 1-2 with Webber 3rd.
I know I have not wrote about much of the race in other parts, I was just focused on the battles at the front, it was of the best I have seen, between four cars, for the whole race.
This article is more about my point of Mclaren catching the Red bulls, and the top four battle for the whole grand prix. Mclaren have caught up and closed the gap. I just hope for all the fans, that it can keep at this level for the rest of the season, it will be very entertaining.
I hope Mercedes can do something spectacular with their car, get up there too. Ferrari too, I mean who else would have loved Alonso and Schumacher mixing it up with the four who were in front today?
I know I would have!
All in all, fantastic race, no rain, it was pure F1 from the top drawer.
There are more very intriguing details to what actually went on in the race though.
Webber could have gave Vettel more room for example, there is even rumours that Mark was told to turn his engine down, and Vettel to either turn his up or keep it the same.
That would have given an advantage to Vettel, leaving Mark a little helpless.
And Mclaren, told Lewis to safe his fuel, and all of the sudden, Jenson is along side him for an overtake. Lewis after the race said 'surprised'. But both drivers were saving fuel from an early stage.
There was some slight confusion before the drivers went onto the podium between Lewis and Jenson about the messages they received.
From my point of view, I think Lewis thought the messages he received after he took the lead, was to conserve the car, save fuel, and Jenson would be doing the same, so I think in Lewis's mind, Jenson most probably would not be in a position to attack Lewis. Hence possibly he used the word 'surprised', when Jenson tried to overtake him.
But Jenson saw Lewis going slow out of a corner, and thought, ok, I'll have a go. But he was told to save fuel too, but yes I guess its up to everyone to make up their own minds on what the messages Mclaren told their drivers actually meant.
After that, Jenson kept a reasonable level behind Lewis, as I think the messages were finally getting through to both drivers about what they had to do until the end of the race, and that was to just get home in a 1-2 as you are.
I don’t believe that Mclaren favour any driver, and we saw a great battle between both drivers.
As for Red Bull, I am sure lots of people are still talking about the crash right now, and I have to say, after hearing Christian Horner, he said along the lines of this... 'both drivers should give each other plenty of room'.
Webber gave Vettel room, but maybe not enough by Christian Horner’s standards?
But there was enough room there for Vettel, they only made contact, because Vettel moved towards the right.
And why would Webber want to move to right and say, there you go mate, have more space to pass me...?
When there was enough there anyway?
I believe both drivers could have avoided this, accident, but definitely, Vettel should not have moved to the right, he should have stayed straight, heading towards the corner and braked. But he moved over slightly. That caused the coming together.
Either way, they have to put this behind them and start a clean sheet. Because if you remember back to Japan, a few years back when Vettel Shunted Webber in the rain, he said afterwards, 'kids' and he was referring to Vettel. Webber said that’s what happens when you put kids on the grid....
Mark still thinks that? I guess he does even more now.
Will this create a fierce rivalry between the two?
All I do know, is that Formula One was on top form today.
Well done to everyone who is involved with it, Racing, Media, etc etc.
And well done to all the fans who still watch and are thrilled by it.
oh, and F1 back in the US?
Should be good!