May 8th, 2011, 17:32 PM
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel clinches Turkish Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel dominated the Turkish Grand Prix to seal a third win of 2011 as a fierce fight unfolded behind him.
Mark Webber passed Fernando Alonso with five laps to go to secure a Red Bull one-two but Alonso hung on to the last podium spot for improving Ferrari.
The McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button engaged in a fascinating battle but Hamilton's decision to make one more stop paid off with fourth.
Nico Rosberg relegated Button, whose tyres faded late on, to sixth.
While the battles down the field lit up the track behind him, Vettel made smooth progress, building a lead of almost six seconds before his first stop on lap 10.
The world champion made sure he was not caught out during a final flurry of stops and came in for a fresh set of hard tyres to ensure there would be no repeat of China, when he was denied victory by Hamilton with four laps to go.
This time Vettel crossed the line eight seconds clear of his team-mate Webber and just 10 seconds beyond Alonso's Ferrari.
"He is flawless at the moment," said BBC F1 analyst David Coulthard. "He is setting the standards in qualifying and how to win a grand prix."
After a difficult start to the season, Ferrari leave Turkey as Red Bull's closest rivals.
Formula 1's leading teams had arrived for the first European race intent on closing the gap on their rivals with a raft of technical updates.
Ferrari were no exceptions and added several new components - including new front and rear wings - in an attempt to close down Red Bull and McLaren.
Alonso had spoken confidently before the race about seeing "the light at the end of the tunnel" and his faith was restored by his first podium place of the season.
The Spaniard got away cleanly to pass Hamilton off the line and was able to match the pace of his rivals throughout the race.
The proof of Ferrari's step forward came when Alonso, with the help the moveable rear wing, flew past Webber for second place before his third pit stop.
"Alonso is relentless. He just won't give up and I admire him for that," said BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle.
"It's a comeback from Ferrari and standing on the podium will be Alonso's reward."
Alonso remains fifth in the championship, and 52 points off Vettel's lead.
Turkish Grand Prix result:
1. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull-Renault
2. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault
3. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari
4. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes
5. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP
6. Jenson Button (GB) McLaren-Mercedes
7. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) Renault
8. Vitaly Petrov (Rus) Renault
9. Sebastien Buemi (Swi) Toro Rosso-Ferrari
10. Kamui Kobayashi (Jpn) Sauber
1. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull-Renault 93 pts
2. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 59
3. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 55
4. Jenson Button (GB)McLaren-Mercedes 46
5. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 41
6. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 24
7. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) Renault 21
8. Vitaly Petrov (Rus) Renault 21
9. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 20
10. Kamui Kobayashi (Jpn) Sauber 8
1. Red Bull-Renault 148 pts
2. McLaren-Mercedes 105
3. Ferrari 65
4. Renault 42
5. Mercedes GP 26