Observations: Turkish Grand Prix

Victor GenovaContributor IMay 30, 2010

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MAY 30:  Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing gives interview to the media in the paddock after colliding with his team mate Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing during the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix at Istanbul Park on May 30, 2010, in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)
Ker Robertson/Getty Images

It's official—nobody wants to win the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship. This season, in a way, has been a little ironic when compared to last.

2009 kicked off with a pleasant surprise, as Jenson Button and Brawn spanked the field right out of the gates in Melbourne. I was so excited to see this once-in-a-lifetime Cinderella story unfold, I almost missed the fact that nothing had really changed.

Sure, Brawn turned the former BAR/Honda into a winner in only one short winter (after the aforementioned had spent millions and failed from 1999-2008). But they were now sweeping races in the same manner McLaren and Ferrari had in years past.

Same template, different players. 

But I had to keep reminding myself that despite Brawn's dominance, the overall on-track product had actually improved over previous years.

2010 seems to be the reverse, notwithstanding the wet-weather races.

But this season has returned Formula 1 back to its former follow-the-leader format. The astonishing thing is that despite this, we keep getting different winners! Seven Grand Prix down, five different winners.

In 2009, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button were the only winners after seven races.

I was very surprised with the Turkish GP. The close battle between Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, and Sebastian Vettel held my attention, and the late race charge Button made on Hamilton had me holding my breath—especially after the Webber/ Vettel incident. 

Speaking of Red Bull, it looks like the rivalry between Webber and Vettel is heating up! The other day I asked on my Twitter page if anyone thought that Webber and Vettel would turn into another Alonso/Hamilton or Ayrton Senna/Alain Prost rivalry. I didn't get a single response. But that really doesn't matter. It appears Vettel answered the question during the race!

It might be too early to judge, but the cracks appear to be showing on Vettel. Webber left him room—not as much as a Hispania or Lotus would have, but just enough to not force him off the track. Vettel wanted the whole track, and it almost cost the entire team the race. 

Vettel's emotions were evident by the hand gestures he was throwing around well before he had even taken his helmet off. Webber isn't one to relent. And with all the video showing that it was Vettel who cut across him, it's a wonder what words he will have for his teammate.

The only saving grace for Vettel is that Webber salvaged a podium, and is now the sole points leader. Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer for Lotus, put it best on his Twitter account after the race: "Well done McLaren, would like to be in the Red Bull debrief".

Amen Mike.

Honorable mention goes to whoever was producing the Turkish GP for television. Why, oh why, were they all over Hamilton's are-they-dating-or-not-who-really-cares girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger? She's a talented singer, but not a very good actress.

In Canada, we get the BBC telecast (commentators and all), and they summed it up the best by suggesting she could be exaggerating her emotions for the camera (she could be seen holding her head and gasping during the Button-Hamilton battle). I should note that the BBC did not produce that bit of on-track/pit lane footage.

When Hamilton crossed the line, the producer quickly cut over to an (overly?) ecstatic Sherzinger. Jonathan Legard, BBC Formula 1 analyst, sarcastically noted that it was a "win for American TV."

If Bernie wants Formula 1 to succeed in America, then he should ensure this new track in Texas comes to fruition. The people getting up at the early hours of the morning (to watch races) in North America are already fans, and don't need to be insulted with pop culture gimmicks.


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