F1 BLAST FROM THE PAST: Red Bulls Lock Horns in Turkey 2010
Every Formula 1 fan was debating who was at fault, this one wasn’t clear-cut. This wasn’t the first time that the Red Bulls had locked horns out on track though, as eight years earlier in neighbouring Azerbaijan, we had an equally infamous crash.
Background and qualifying
The seventh round of the 2010 Formula One World Championship took place in Istanbul, Turkey. Going into the weekend, Red Bull were the in-form team.
Mark Webber had dominated the previous two races in Spain and Monaco and the Australian scored his third consecutive pole position in qualifying. Webber lined up in P1 ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren and his Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel.
Webber maintained his lead into Turn 1 as 58 laps of Istanbul Park got underway. Hamilton, though, got too much wheelspin which allowed Vettel to take second.
The Englishman reclaimed his place by going round the outside of Vettel into Turn 3. Michael Schumacher made a demon start and found himself up with the McLaren’s, but Jenson Button slipstreamed the Mercedes on the back straight to take P4.
First lap incidents were a regular occurrence in Turkey and this time it was Sebastien Buemi and Nico Hulkenberg who came unstuck. Both drivers were forced to head to the pits for repairs.
At the front, Webber led Hamilton, Vettel and Button as the top four began to pull away from the rest of the field. Webber’s defence was put to the test as Hamilton tried to take the lead, but the Aussie was not about to relinquish the lead.
On Lap 15, Vettel became the first of the leading runners to make a pit-stop with Hamilton and Webber both heading to the pits on the following lap. Any hopes of Hamilton rejoining ahead of the Australian were dashed when the crew had trouble fitting the right-rear tyre.
The Englishman dropped to third place behind Vettel and when Button made his pit-stop, that left both Red Bull’s running first and second.
The top four remained the same at the half distance mark but both McLaren’s were spoiling for a fight. On Lap 40, as spots of rain began to fall, Webber was in fuel-saving mode and Vettel knew he had to make his move.
The German pulled alongside Webber on the straight and as they approached turn twelve, the two collided sending Vettel into a spin and almost collecting Webber again as his car came to rest.
Vettel was out of the race and could not hide his disgust, Webber continued but had to pit with a damaged front wing.
There was a sense of déjà vu at the front, as a Red Bull inter-team battle became McLaren fight, Lewis Hamilton was leading but was told to save fuel. Jenson Button was not about to let the chance of victory slip through his fingers.
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On Lap 48, at the same corner that the Red Bull’s collided, Button went around the outside of his team mate, only for Hamilton to reclaim the lead into turn one the following lap as the two almost collided.
Hamilton soldiered on to take the chequered flag to score his first win of 2010, with team mate Button completing a McLaren one-two; their first for three years.
Webber survived to take third, ahead of Michael Schumacher who drove perhaps the best race of his comeback season. Rosberg finished fifth ahead of Kubica and the two Ferrari’s of Massa and Alonso after a barren performance in the Scuderia’s 800th Grand Prix. Adrian Sutil and Kamui Kobayashi rounded out the top ten.
The collision between the two Red Bull’s became one of the key moments of the 2010 season and of the rivalry between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Each driver blamed the other and Webber felt aggrieved as the team implied he was at fault. While the situation was dealt with, Istanbul was a prelude to three seasons of the controversial driver pairing.
Grid Talk Podcast
Want more content to preview your Turkish Grand Prix weekend? Host Ruby Price with panlestis Louis Edwards, Owain Medford and Garry Sloan stared in Grid Talk’s Turkish GP Prixview: