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.

  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before