Hamilton leads a McLaren 1-2 in Istanbul

Lewis Hamilton (right), who won the Turkish Grand Prix congratulates team-mate Jenson Button for finishing second in Istanbul on Sunday. Photo: AP

Lewis Hamilton (right), who won the Turkish Grand Prix congratulates team-mate Jenson Button for finishing second in Istanbul on Sunday. Photo: AP  

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were gifted a one-two for McLaren at the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday when the leading Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel collided.

Vettel tried to pass Webber for the lead in the 42nd lap but cut inside as he was far from past the Australian. Vettel damaged his vehicle beyond repair while Webber at least managed to salvage third-place after a pit stop to replace the front wing. The McLaren’s took full advantage of the drama as Hamilton claimed his first season victory and 12th overall after briefly being passed by Button in the 49th lap.

Webber at least maintained the championship lead with 93 points, but now has Button (88) and Hamilton (84) on his heels. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has 79 while Vettel remained stranded on 78 and dropped from second to fifth place.

“I wasn’t too eager ... I felt I could go faster. I used my chance and was inside. I concentrated on the brakes point for T12. I was inside and had priority for the next turn,” said Vettel, who refused to take the blame.

“It is stupid under team-mates, but I should have been given the necessary space.” Webber handily won the start while both McLarens were ambushed, with Vettel passing Hamilton and Michael Schumacher getting past Button. However, the Brits responded instantly with Hamilton back in second place in turn three and Button fourth again shortly afterwards.

Hamilton started to mount pressure on Webber from lap 12 onwards but never had a realistic chance of passing the Australian and then even found himself a place down four laps later. Webber and Hamilton came into the pits simultaneously in the 16th but Hamilton had to be held up a fraction because Webber was passing, and this split second was enough for Vettel, who had changed tyres a lap earlier, to slip past the 2008 champion. Button remained fourth despite pitting another lap later and the McLarens found no way to attack the Red Bulls as the top four were close together but in a procession.

A threat of rain occurred halfway through the race but the shower which could have shaken up the pecking order never materialised.

Instead, it was the Red Bulls who provided the shake-up as Webber was denied a third straight victory from pole.

Button did better when he passed Hamilton in search of his third season win at the end of the 48th lap but Hamilton countered seconds later to reclaim the lead.

The McLarens needed to conserve fuel in the end but handily won, with Hamilton crossing the line after 58 laps in 1 hour 28 minutes 43.420 seconds. Button trailed by 2.4 seconds and Webber was 24 seconds off the pace.

Schumacher came fourth ahead of Mercedes GP team-mate Nico Rosberg, his best result since his return to racing this season. Robert Kubica (Renault), Felipe Massa, Alonso (both Ferrari), Adrian Sutil (Force India) and Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) completed the top 10 for the points.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 8:06:22 AM |

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