Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Turkey, what is it good for? Absolutely everything // Red Bull and McLaren spice up the 2010 Formula One season

Published by Nathan

Amidst the seemingly endless press releases and tittle tattle within the media, there has been little talk of what good the events at Turkey did for Formula 1. So what good came out of it?

Lewis Hamilton in discussion with his engineers, at the Turkish Grand Prix
Credit: McLaren.com

The Red Bull gloves are off... kinda

No doubt, really, that the Red Bull crash at Turn 12 is the story that has made the headlines this week. In many ways, this is the area in which Formula 1 is so brilliant at drumming up attention and garnering interest. A focused point of pressure placed on Sebastian Vettel seemingly resulted in a cacophony of bad decisions, poor management and impetuous driving. A 'crazy' gesture here, encouragement given to a journalist there, and a string of claims and counter claims to boot.

While the proverbial gloves may well be off between the drivers, arguably the more immediate danger to Red Bull is the split that appears to be growing within the management. Is Christian Horner really in charge? Is it Vettel's team? Did Webber's engineer ignore instructions? All questions to which we can endlessly speculate, some which may be answered, and certainly a few that will end in tears.

Oh yeah, and did I mention the hilariously bad PR attempt by Red Bull? Next time they'd be better off scribbling over the whole incident rather than trying to draw a line under it. Another benefit for us, surely, if the "most staged photo of the year" award turns up at the FIA Gala.

The McLaren gloves are off... supposedly

In the (hazy) light of the new FIA video highlights from Turkey, we have yet another ingredient to add to what was already a simmering pot at McLaren. "We've got great respect for each other", Lewis said. "He's the best teammate I've ever had." he told us. Only, you have to wonder whether the definition Lewis wants of "best" is to be "fast enough, but never better", because if it is, things must be getting sweaty in the Hamilton camp.

Here we had two drivers wheel to wheel in the same team, for several thrilling corners

What we saw in Turkey was what so many of us had wanted before the season started, to see whether Button could perhaps usurp Hamilton at McLaren, or whether Hamilton was able to adapt to the new rules and still prove his talent could shine in an era of heavy fuel loads and tyre conservation. Okay, so the latter point almost seems moot now that we've been shown that the harder tyres in F1 can last an entire race distance, but the questions are still up in the air. Turkey didn't answer any of those, which really just served to make things even more exciting : here we had two drivers wheel to wheel in the same team, for several thrilling corners. And while Button claims he's never raced against Hamilton (he's clearly forgotten Australia and Malaysia), Lewis revelled in his overtake. At least, that's what he tells us. With the highlights package put together by the FIA this Friday, we got yet another glimpse of what are the seeds of discontent within the Hamilton psyche. It's certainly not the first time this year Lewis has been skeptical of his team... and surely won't be the last.

The Turkish Grand Prix organisers... definitely!

Had any of us predicted rain? Well, one person seemed to. That's right, Sarah Holt of the BBC managed to get a 'scoop' on the possibility of rain come Sunday afternoon, posting about the chance on her Twitter page on Friday afternoon. However it was quickly evident that the rest of the BBC F1 team don't actually pay much attention to her, what with the BBC 1 commentators asking rhetorically, "no-one saw rain coming this weekend did they?".

Besides that particular point, this 2010 Turkish Grand Prix weekend proved that it should stay on the calendar. Of course, there will be naysayers who can (justifiably) argue that apart from the Red Bull incident and the McLaren race, there was little to shout home about or to differentiate it from other years. Only, I consider it differently.

How often recently have we seen four cars, flat out, a second and a half apart? To use the wonderful David Croft way of putting it, "I don't mind 0-0 draws so long as they hit the bar, go down each end and have a good game". The race in Turkey was much the same, particularly if you had a vested interest in one of the four featured drivers. Does that prove the circuit in Turkey was capable of producing a decent race? Perhaps not. But it definitely doesn't hurt it's chances of holding onto the race in future seasons.