2009 Turkish Grand Prix – Qualifying and Preview

silverstone F1 2008
Image by rallycarter via Flickr

Hot conditions at the Istanbul circuit (the “.. best circuit on the tour ..” according to Bernie Ecclestone) saw Sebastian Vettel pip the Brawns to take pole in his Red Bull Renault. McLaren’s miserable season continues with Hamilton missing the cut in Q1 to start from 16th and teammate Kovalainen at 14th. The BBC coverage clearly showed that the team has much to do to improve the car’s balance as both drivers fought oversteer.

Vettel is followed by the two Brawns although it may be that the Renault-powered car was lighter in the final session. Teammate Webber pulled off a cracking lap to pitch up at 4th position on the grid. Toyota showed fine performance but Trulli could only manage 5th with the Ferraris following on in 6th (Smiling Boy) and 7th (Massa).

BBC commentator Legard continues to louse up his job but – having criticised his irritating commentary week after week – I have finally pinned down his problem. Being a radio man, he thinks his job is to report what he sees. Hence, his stream consists entirely of stating the bleeding obvious (and even getting that wrong). When he has to actually think and inject some observations or informed comment, he craps out big style (such as completely mis-quoting Eddie Jordan’s predictions before the session). An amateur of no gift, he really needs to go.

To tomorrow’s race and the starting grid has shaped up nicely. Brawn are undoubtedly strong but have competition from Red Bull and Toyota on a circuit where the design encourages racing, speed and technique. It could well prove the most exciting of the season so far. Ferrari are down but not out; McLaren are skulking in the back rows but at least they have their pick of fuel strategy. Unlike Monaco, they could well claw their way up the field with decent strategy and some downright hard racing. One can hope, I suppose.

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