11 May 2011
HAVE YOUR SAY: Who was your Istanbul star?
Sebastian Vettel made it three-from-four in F1 2011, Mark Webber recovered to claim his best finish of the season to-date, Fernando Alonso really took the fight to the dominant Red Bulls - who was your Istanbul star..?
So the pattern of exciting grands prix in F1 2011 continues apace, with Pirelli tyres, DRS and an eager determination to stop the Sebastian Vettel/Red Bull Racing steamroller in its tracks conspiring to make the racing action-packed and thoroughly unpredictable – and last weekend's outing in Istanbul was no exception.
Although runaway world championship leader and defending title-holder Vettel did indeed dominate proceedings once again in the Turkish Grand Prix – in so doing, neatly atoning for his calamitous error in the same race twelve months previously – in his wake there were spirited battles galore, with more overtaking up-and-down the field than has been seen in many an entire season.
What we want to know now is who impressed you the most at Istanbul Park. Below are a few suggestions, but if you don't agree – or even if you do – make sure to have your say in our comments forum by clicking on the link at the bottom of the article.
Here are who we reckon to be the most deserving candidates for 'Driver of the Day' in the 2011 Turkish Grand Prix:
Sebastian Vettel: What more can you say? Flawless once again. With three victories from four races now in F1 2011, 'Super Seb' is well on-course for a second consecutive drivers' crown. The chief hope for his rivals is that if they can start to put him under some pressure, he might just crack as he did last year – but if he continues to perform as he did last weekend, you would have to say the odds are somewhat stacked against them...
Mark Webber: A strong recovery drive – again – but Webber must start putting it all together over the course of a grand prix weekend, and not simply turning it on when it comes to race day and he has an uphill mountain to climb. One of the best overtakers in the sport, his move on Fernando Alonso to reclaim second place was magnificent. The pace is palpably there – as a third fastest lap in swift succession in F1 2011 bears witness – but the popular Aussie needs to begin putting himself in a better position in qualifying to take full advantage.
Fernando Alonso: The Ferrari fightback has finally begun! The only driver to threaten to truly challenge the Red Bull hegemony on race day in Turkey – indeed, Fernando came within just six laps of splitting Vettel and Webber at the chequered flag – Alonso demonstrated precisely why he should never be discounted from contention. A doughty and indefatigable combatant, as soon as the Prancing Horse rediscovers its gallop, the Spaniard will be more than just a thorn in the side for the current world championship pace-setters.
Nico Rosberg: Much as in China, a better result looked to be on the cards for Rosberg earlier on in the grand prix, but ultimately the limitations of the equipment at his disposal told as he slipped back to fifth at the chequered flag – albeit still some seven spots ahead of his Mercedes Grand Prix team-mate Michael Schumacher. In terms of drivers punching consistently above their weight and extracting the absolute maximum out of their machinery in 2011, Nico is right at the top of the pile.
Nick Heidfeld: Overcame a slightly under-par qualifying performance and an unexpected assault from Lotus Renault GP team-mate Vitaly Petrov early on to get the better of the young Russian for the second time this season and pull level once again in the championship standings. Could have finished sixth but for traffic towards the end. A solid effort that clearly demonstrated the benefit of experience.
Sébastien Buemi: From a lowly 16th spot on the starting grid, Buemi produced a brilliant performance on race day in Istanbul, rising as high as fourth position in his unfancied Scuderia Toro Rosso. Even if he lost out to both Renaults in the closing stages due to a tyre-related vibration, still ninth place was a superb effort, making it four-nil in the Swiss ace's internecine battle with team-mate Jaime Alguersuari this season to avoid being the one that ultimately makes way for test and reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo.
Kamui Kobayashi: Once more, Kobayashi confirmed his reputation as one of the feistiest performers and most aggressive overtakers in the business in Turkey, as the young Sauber star refused to be defeated by having to start from the very rear of the grid and scythed his way through to tenth at the chequered flag, with even a mid-race puncture unable to halt his charge. The Japanese ace will be in a top team sooner or later, we reckon.
Tagged as: Ferrari , Sebastian Vettel , Mark Webber , Mercedes , Rosberg , Webber , Red Bull Racing , Renault , Fernando Alonso , Nico Rosberg , Toro Rosso , Nick Heidfeld , Turkish Grand Prix , Istanbul , Scuderia Toro Rosso
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