Turkish GP: Race notes - McLaren


Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Fernando Alonso finished the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul in third place achieving his 45th podium finish in his 100th Grand Prix. After 58 laps, 309.396 km and a total race time of 1h26m42.161, Fernando came home 26.1 seconds behind winner Felipe Massa. Lewis suffered from a puncture to his front right tyre on lap 43, the cause of which is still being investigated and ended up fifth. Both drivers were on two-stop strategies. Lewis pitted on laps 20 (9.4 seconds) and 43 (10.2 seconds). Fernando made his pitstops on laps 18 (9.1 seconds) and 43 (6.6 seconds). Lewis maintains his lead in the Drivers' Championship with 84 points followed by Fernando in second position with 79 points. After 12 out of 17 races, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes maintained the lead in the Constructors' table with 148 points ahead of Ferrari on 137.

Fernando Alonso: It was not the plan to lose two places at the start, and so my race was pretty much over when I came into the first corner in sixth place. I was following Nick Heidfeld for 17 laps at the start, and it was very difficult to overtake him. Fortunately we were able to do this in the first round of pitstops and that was when my race could really start. Unfortunately I was 30 seconds down at that point, so third was a good result considering. I was told by the team to take it easy after Lewis's puncture to avoid the same thing happening to me, but as I was already quite far back it did not make too much of a difference to my race.

Lewis Hamilton: A little bit unfortunate but still we did a good job, and the team was fantastic all weekend. We had the pace of the Ferraris, but when you are behind you lose a little bit of downforce; we were just matching them for most of the race. I saw some bits fly off the tyre and then it just blew on braking into Turn Nine. It was lucky that I didn't put the car in the gravel and managed to control it back to the pits, as this meant that in the end I only lost two places. We still got some good points and I remain in the lead of the championship by five points, so it is not all bad.

Ron Dennis: This was always a race we expected to be challenging, so all in all we are not too upset with today's result. Our pace was good and Fernando and Lewis both put in strong performances. Lewis's tyre failure came at an unfortunate time as he had enough fuel to go a few laps longer than the Ferraris, so we may have challenged them at the end. Anyway we now look forward to the next race at Monza where we expect to be stronger than we have been this weekend.

Norbert Haug: It's a shame - the puncture on Lewis's car prevented him from finishing on the podium, but Fernando did it with a very good drive. However Lewis saved four important points under very difficult conditions following the failure of his right front tyre 15 laps from the finish. These points could be decisive in the end. Important is that with Fernando and Lewis, who finished third and fifth today, we retain the one-two lead in the Drivers' World Championship and stay ahead as well in the Constructors' rankings.

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Published: 26/08/2007
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