Vettel in a class of his own to seal majestic return to winning ways

Turkish delight for Red Bull after one-two finish while Hamilton recovers to take fourth

What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago, Sebastian Vettel got back to the pits on foot, making "he's crazy" signs after he and his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber had collided while fighting for the lead. This time he took his latest car, that he has nicknamed "Kinky Kylie", into the victory lane with the Australian 8.8 seconds behind as they defeated a stronger than usual challenge from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

It was, once again, a race of multiple pit stops – as the notoriously tough Turn Eight left-hander exacted a heavy toll on Pirelli's deliberately fast-wearing tyres – and of multiple overtaking, mainly because of the straight-line advantage conferred on a following driver by the DRS movable rear wing. But Vettel would barely have noticed any of that since he was in a class of his own for the whole afternoon.

Undoubtedly, Nico Rosberg helped to put him in that position. The German thrust his Mercedes into second place ahead of Webber at the start, as Alonso pushed ahead of Jenson Button's McLaren, and then took advantage as Lewis Hamilton slid wide and dropped from fourth to sixth. While Rosberg held back Webber, Alonso and Button – and Hamilton cleaned his tyres and got back in the fight – Vettel quickly built up his lead.

"We had a smooth race," he acknowledged with that schoolboy grin of his. "A very good start, which was crucial, and because of that we could afford to stop a lap longer and react to others' strategy. I always had this three- to four-second cushion to the second guy which made my life easy as we found out which strategy worked best."

The only problem Vettel had as he made four pits stops on his way to his third victory from four races this season came as he went into the 57th and penultimate lap and had to overtake the backmarkers Sergio Perez and Adrian Sutil in the last corner. They were locked in their own fight which would see the Force India and the Sauber cross the finish line a lap later in a dead heat, and for a moment Vettel had to carefully pick his way by them. But otherwise he made it look so easy again after his recent defeat in China three weeks ago.

"I crashed the car badly on Friday but my guys and also Mark's helped to fix it, and that meant extra hours for which I'm sorry, but yesterday's pole position and today makes up for it, I think," Vettel said.

Crucially, his radio link with his pit crew also worked this weekend – it had not in Shanghai – which made it easier to understand just what was going on with his rivals. "It's not easy to know what's going to happen after the start," he said, "but now I had a rough idea how long the tyres were going to last, but even so we waited until the second or maybe even third stints to see how it was going.

"I thought I could have made it to the chequered flag without a fourth stop but there could have been an accident and a safety car and then you're on used tyres, so the best thing was to come in. We were very much in control, and I'm really happy how we communicated and reacted during the race. We learned our lesson since China."

Webber's performance made it another great day for Red Bull, as he caught and passed Alonso's Ferrari on the 51st lap. The red car was more competitive than it had been previously this year and, like Vettel, both of them stopped four times for fresh Pirellis.

Alonso held the advantage in the mid-part of the race but towards the end Webber's new set of soft tyres saved in qualifying proved crucial. He was able to reel in Alonso and used his DRS rear wing to pull the crucial pass going into the bumpy Turn 12. After that, it was just a matter of keeping going to the flag.

"I lost ground at the start, on the dirty side of grid," Webber said. "It's not the end of the world these days, so I spent a few laps trying to clear Nico, and Seb was able to get a gap. Once I'd cleared Nico the other guys stopped earlier than I'd expected, and we made our bed in terms of our strategy from then on.

"The fight with Fernando in the middle of the race was a little bit unexpected," he added, "but I used the DRS to get the moves done and in the end I had a fresher set of tyres from qualifying, but he drove fantastic."

Further back, McLaren switched Hamilton to Plan B – a four-stop strategy – and he salvaged fourth place. Team-mate Button stayed on three and was running fourth by lap 48, but Hamilton overtook him with ease on his fresher rubber on lathe next circuit, and five laps later Rosberg followed him through to claim fifth place for Mercedes.

"Seb has done a great job so far this year, virtually a perfect result with three out of four," Webber said. "But every driver on the grid has their weaknesses, some more than others, so it's up to us to interrogate that and stop him as soon as we can. The team have done a fantastic job...", he paused, almost as if he had run out of steam, considered his points, then added: "Yeah, that's it." There really was nothing more for anyone to say.

Istanbul Park details

F1 Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey: Final positions after 58 Laps:

1 S Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1hr 30min 17.558sec;

2 M Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:30:26.365;

3 F Alonso (Sp) Ferrari 1:30:27.633;

4 L Hamilton (GB) McLaren 1:30:57.790;

5 N Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:31:05.097;

6 J Button (GB) McLaren 1:31:16.989;

7 N Heidfeld (Ger) Renault 1:31:18.415;

8 V Petrov (Rus) Renault 1:31:25.726;

9 S Buemi (Swit) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:31:26.952;

10 K Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber-Ferrari 1:31:35.579; 11 F Massa (Br) Ferrari 1:31:37.381; 12 M Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:31:43.002; 13 A Sutil (Ger) Force India at 1 lap; 14 S Perez (Mex) Sauber-Ferrari at 1 lap; 15 R Barrichello (Br) Williams at 1 lap; 16 J Alguersuari (Sp) Scuderia Toro Rosso at 1 lap; 17 P Maldonado (Ven) Williams at 1 lap; 18 J Trulli (It) Lotus F1 at 1 lap; 19 H Kovalainen (Fin) Lotus F1 at 2 laps; 20 J d'Ambrosio (Bel) Virgin Racing at 2 laps; 21 N Karthikeyan (India) HRT-F1 at 3 laps; 22 V Liuzzi (It) HRT-F1 at 5 laps. Not classified: 23 P di Resta (GB) Force India 44 laps completed; 24 T Glock (Ger) Virgin Racing DNS.World Championship Standings: Drivers' Championship: 1 S Vettel 93pts; 2 L Hamilton 59; 3 M Webber 55; 4 J Button 46; 5 F Alonso 41; 6 F Massa 24; 7 N Heidfeld 21; 8 V Petrov 21; 9 N Rosberg 20; 10 K Kobayashi 8; 11 M Schumacher 6; 12 S Buemi 6; 13 A Sutil 2; 14 P di Resta 2; 15 Jaime Alguersuari (Sp) Scuderia Toro Rosso 0, 16 R Barrichello 0; 17 J Trulli 0; 18 S Perez 0; 19 J d'Ambrosio 0; 20 H Kovalainen 0; 21 P Maldonado 0; 22 N Karthikeyan 0; 23 T Glock 0; 24 V Liuzzi 0. Manufacturers' Championship: 1 Red Bull 148pts; 2 McLaren 105; 3 Ferrari 65; 4 Renault 42; 5 Mercedes GP 26; 6 Sauber-Ferrari 8; 7 Scuderia Toro Rosso 6; 8 Force India 4; 9 Lotus F1 0; 10 Williams 0; 11 Virgin Racing 0; 12 HRT-F1 0.

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week