Guest Author - Christine Blachford
Personally, I adore the Turkish circuit. I imagine there are plenty of people that agree with me. Although itís still relatively new, the circuit has already captured the imagination of the teams and drivers and they often say they are looking forward to the race beforehand.
Itís all about Turn 8, as my previous article on the subject described. But itís also about the heat and the endurance, and seeing the drivers suffer through an anti-clockwise course rather than the usual clockwise direction they travel in.
This yearís Turkish Grand Prix was a bit of a disappointment, however. There were no big upsets during qualifying, except the rather splendid Anthony Davidson who was absolutely flying. Not only did he make it into the second round of qualifying, but he came incredibly close to scraping through into the third session as well.
Aside from that, the grid was topped by the usual four suspects, with Massa taking pole, followed closely by Hamilton in the McLaren. The start was interesting, as most GP starts usually are, with Alonso losing a couple of places, and Raikkonen making up a place over Hamilton. At the back of the grid, Jarno Trulli was bumped into a bit of a spin and although there was no crash, he caused a bit of havoc throughout the back markers. Some lost places, others gained, but everyone seemed to get through safely.
There was surprisingly little overtaking during the race. Although Formula 1 is renowned for its lack of overtaking, the track at Turkey was expected to provide at least a little entertainment. Instead, all of the strategy went into the pit stops, and places were won or lost by the mechanics in the garage.
The only major upset of the day was when Hamilton suffered a tyre blowout and went off track. He managed to keep control of the car, get it back on track and coasted round to the pits. Because he was due a pit stop anyway, the team took full advantage of the situation, changed all the tyres, filled him up with fuel, and sent him on his way. He had previously been running in third, and emerged in fifth. Although Alonso had fallen to sixth at the start, he managed to climb to third position and grabbed the final place on the podium. The extra points gained from finishing above Hamilton mean the championship has now closed up to just a 5 point difference.
Canít wait for the next few races.