Turkish GP

Well, it was somewhat of a shock to watch a normal race after the last couple, and i have to confess, somewhat boring because of it.

After all the controversy at McLaren over what happened in the pits, it was interesting to see that they had 2 pit boxes for the qualifying session. What I found particularly interesting about this, is that it was more a statement to the press, to be broadcast. The team would of had an idea from practice what tactics they were going to use for the drivers come the final session (And lets face it something disastrous would of had to happen for them not to both be there), so as they didn’t come in together, the team must of known they wouldn’t need them both. The Turkish circuit has a particularly big pit area so they could get away with it, let’s face it they won’t at other circuits, so was this genuine or just a message to the masses?

That aside there weren’t any huge surprises, the expected 4 battled for pole, with Massa taking the glory, Hamilton 2nd, then Raikonnen and Alonso. The Hondas were struggling again, and come the morning of the race they were both starting from the back of the grid. The one possible surprise was Anthony Davidson who pushed his Super Aguri up to 7th before he was pushed back to 11th as the final times were recorded. There are some financial problems apparently at Aguri which might be a problem for Davidson, but with Prodrive yet to announce it’s driver line up, who knows?

Unfortunately, I have to say, for the actual race the main excitement was off the line. Alonso slipped back by 2 places, and Raikonnen getting past Hamilton. It looked like that was going to be pretty much it from start to finish with Hamilton just about keeping the Ferraris honest, but Alonso struggling to keep the same pace. Heidfeld drove another superb race, as did Kovalainen, showing his now found his form. It was interesting that BMW had left it so long to announce there driver line up for next year when Heidfeld seemed certain of having secured his seat. I get the feeling they were waiting to see if Alonso would jump ship and could lure him away. Talking of which it is interesting that Toyota are also dragging their heels now, are they maybe waiting to lure Alonso with a big cheque if he does indeed look to leave his contract early? After all, with Ralf Schumacher’s 19th in qualifying (Back to form really) I can’t see them keeping him on.

Webber once again suffered a failure of his RedBull, I can’t help but feel sorry for the guy as he always seems to put in a sterling performance only to be let down by his car, the old Jaguar used to do the same. Let’s hope they can get some reliability and hopefully come 2008 we’ll see some more of Webber’s potential.

With 15 laps left to go, Hamilton suffered a right front tyre blow out, which left him to nurse the car back to the pits, and then after getting new boots, battling with the car to defend his now 5th place for damage limitation. In the process Alonso was gifted Hamilton’s 3rd place, but overall Hamilton only lost 2 points from the race.

Whilst it was disappointing to see Hamilton’s lead further eroded, I must also say as a race fan that it’s quite exciting. Massa and Raikonnen are now seperated by a single point, and trail Hamilton by 15 and 16 points. Meanwhile Alonso is just 5 points behind in the championship. With 5 races now left, things are tight, and potentially all 4 could still win the title, and with some of his recent bad luck, should Hamilton actually manage it, he won’t be accused of being gifted the title. The misfortune will mean he will of earnt the title.

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