The F1 2009 Diary: Season 3 Round 7 – Turkey

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Hot on the heels of Monaco comes Turkey! I quite like this track and I dare say it could a welcome addition to the sport, if other tracks withdraw. The circuit is fast, punctuated by some pretty meaty corners ( like turns 4 and 5, turn 7 and the challenging turn 12), and Turkey also has the high speed turn 8, a long left hander.

I enjoyed qualifying, which was actually quite a close affair, and I only just snatched pole from Mark Webber. When the race started, I (as usual) did not start very well, letting both Webber and Vettel by. The two Red Bulls were squabbling in front of me, and on lap two I managed to squeeze ahead of Vettel, before applying pressure on Webber (getting by shortly after).

It took me a few laps to find a good rhythm, but I began to pull away, getting to the point where I was able to pit on lap 14 and emerge a couple of seconds ahead of Button (who was on a different strategy to the Red Bulls and had moved up to second as a result).

I became a little error strewn at this point, pulling away from Button on parts of the track but letting him get closer on others. It took me a few laps to get back into the groove, but once I did, I began to ease away again. By the time of my second stop, I was able to get back out with an even more comfortable margin.

I continued to build up the gap, lapping backmarkers and looking set to reduce the title gap even further… Until around lap 38, when my engine conked out.

A second retirement in seven races means the gap between me and Button has grown to 15 points (I can be thankful for the small mercy that he didn’t win and was ‘only’ second). Can I bring that gap back down?! We shall see.


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