Turkish F1 GP 2008 – Wolf’s Race Review

Giancarlo Fisichella Kazuki Nakajima Crash

First point to make about this race is – the race had flying start (see the picture above). Second – we actually had a race. There were cars that raced each other ! Third point to make about this race is a question – would Lewis Hamilton even start the race under 2005 rules that prevented tyre changes ?

Felipe Massa is becoming the King of Istanbul track. Three pole postitions in a row, three wins in a row. He is the first driver since Michael Schumacher to win three consecutive races at the same Formula 1 track … He had a perfect start and created nice gap between himself and Hamilton before even reaching Turn 1. He lost his lead later on in the race when Hamilton overtook him, but at that time Massa was already aware of Hamilton’s 3 stop strategy and did exactly defend hard. He reclaimed his lead after another round of pitstops and held it rather comfortably. Massa wnet on to win his 7th F1 race, 3th consecutive Turkish GP and second race this year. After 2 DNFs early on Massa made it to the podium 3 times in a row. He is now officially back in the hunt for the title.

It was not the best weekend for Massa’s team mate and the championship leader Kimi Raikkonen. His troubles started on Friday already and stuck with him for the rest of the weekend. He collided with Heikki Kovalainen at the start and damaged his front wing. He still however managed to record the fastest lap of the race and finish on podium. Nothing spectacular from the defending champion, pretty much a damage limitation weekend …


McLarens were much closer to Ferrari than in Spain two weeks ago and clearly ahead of BMW Saubers this time. Both drivers however had their races compromised and failed to make the advantage of their stronger package. Lewis Hamilton had to choose 3 stop strategy as a precaution. His right front Bridgestone tyres were found to deteriorate much more than in case of any other driver. McLaren decided to play it safe and run Hamilton light with 3 stops. This might explain his quick qualifying lap. He and Massa traded the fastest laps during their first stints, and than on lap 25 we actually could see after a long time an overtaking at the front of the field when light Hamilton got ahead of heavier Massa. The 3 stop strategy resulted in 2nd place and Hamilton ca’t be unhappy with that result.

Heikki Kovalainen’s bad luck continues. The team believed Heikki was able to go for the win in this race. Instead he had to pit after the collision with Raikkonen and his race was ruined…

Heikki Kovalainen Turkey 2008

Robert Kubica seems to have worked out his race start issues and for a change had a great start in Turkey. His pace was not good enough to challenge Ferraris and McLarens though and he must be very satisfied with 4th place. Nick Heidfeld’s not so good weekend got much better on Sunday. He quietly climbed from 9th on the grid to 5th at the finish. Good 9 points for the team from this race …

Fernando Alonso keeps scoring points for Renault. In his hands the car is not that far from BMW Sauber (at least in Turkey it was not) and can beat the strong Red Bull package. Alonso was also one of the drivers with a good start and even managed to sneak ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. He did not hold that position for long though, the difference in straight line speed between Ferrari and Renault is simply just too big … Nelson Piquet … Well, what to say … The guy needs to raise his game. I feel that the supportive comments that come from Renault camp are not expressing the real feeling about Piquet’s performances …

Red Bull continues with their string of strong performances. Well, Mark Webber does. Webber scored points in every race that he finished this year. That means four points finishes in a row … David Coulthard was not too bad this time. He did not hit anybody, he qualified OK and finished inside top 10.

Nico Rosberg returned to points and secured 3rd consecutive points finish for Williams. Kazuki Nakajima was not that lucky. His car became a target of the missile called Fisichella (picture at the top of the article) and his race was over …

The only thing worth noting about Honda was Barrichello’s anniversary.

Both Toyota drivers complain about their races being ruined by traffic. Well, if this was Barcelona I would tend to accept that kind of excuse. But I would suggest both Trulli and Glock to see the replay of the race and have a look how some other drivers dealt with the traffic on the Istanbul track … Trulli at least made us all laugh with his “I am pushing like hell” response to his engineer :-)

Sebastian Vettel finished his first race of 2008 season. He suffered puncture on lap one, had some problems with refueling later on, but still – his target for this race was to see the checquered flag :-) . Finishing last but still happy :-) . Sebastien Bourdais was not so lucky and had to retire after he beached the car following some issues with the car. This was probably the last appearance of the old Toro Rosso car, STR03 is to make its debut in Monaco in 2 weeks.

Sebastien Bourdais Turkey 2008

Giancarlo Fisichella ended his race (and Nakajima’s) before he made it to turn 1 and I am still trying to figure what exactly happened there. He blames Bourdais for changing directions 2 times. All I could see was Fisichella going straight, fast and forgetting that his Force India car has also breaks. Adrian Sutil finished a race and 16th place was actually his best finish of the season (the better of two). At least there was a big Force India party Friday before the race …

Photos: Force India F1, Daimler Media, Red Bull

3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. OleaNo Gravatar says:

    Too bad that David Coulthard could not collect more points in this race.

  2. StewNo Gravatar says:

    I’m surprised at Ron Dennis reaction to Hamilton’s qualifying saying he over drove the car. It looked to me as if he drove pretty well.

    It was curious at the beginning about the 3 stopper by Lewis and now McLaren and Bridgestone are arguing about it.

    Don’t all racers blame the other guy in first interview? I think Giancarlo was looking at how pretty the flower beds were and not what was going on in front of him. :)

  3. Black ZeddNo Gravatar says:

    It’s been some time we’ve seen 3-stop strategy actually works And it was only possible by Hamilton overtaking Massa earlier.

    Kudos to Massa, but he needs to ‘own’ the consistency, not just a handful of tracks, to beat Kimi..

    Black Zedd’s last blog post..Observe The Labor Day

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