Button and Brawn again in Istanbul
Despite starting 2nd on the grid, Jensen Button took advantage of a mistake on the first lap by pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel to take the lead at today’s Turkish Grand Prix. At the front for the rest of the race, that makes it 6 out of 7 wins for Button who leads the Formula One championship by 26 points. Teammate Barrichello by contrast had a dreadful start from 3rd on the grid with anti-stall and gearbox trouble which eventually took him out of the race. His bad luck (although starting has never been his forte) prompted the start of some grumbles that the team was playing favourites from the normally smiling Brazilian. Red Bull managed to get both drivers on the podium with a steady race by Mark Webber, marking a consistent improvement in form for the Aussie following injury early in the year. Vettel finished with a face like thunder, being thwarted by apparent team orders and a dodgy stopping strategy to sit behind Webber and take a step down on the podium. The post-race interviews saw him speak with good grace but some discomfort, nonetheless.
No joy yet for McLaren, taking 13th and 14th, whilst Ferrari nabbed 6th and 9th. A phlegmatic Hamilton and cheerful Massa both working the cameras well after the race to give the impression of satisfaction whilst avoiding any suggestion that their season is over. It could all change dramatically, of course – this is Formula One after all – but the odds favour Brit Button and the Brawn team for the title. Onwards to the British Grand Prix in 2 weeks where Jensen will no doubt get a warm reception from a reported sell-out crowd at Silverstone. This may be the last British Grand Prix at the venue and, unless Donnington gets its act together for 2010, the last on British soil for a few years.
The running order is a fascinating display of the big works’ teams being beaten by their customer rivals. With infield politics continuing over governance and rules for 2010, the team managers possibly remain distracted. No news as yet on a new car or significant improvements for Ferrari or McLaren.
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