Memorable McLaren Moments :: Turkey
The start of what’s called the European season this year actually begins in Asia, as the teams and drivers head to Istanbul Park for the Turkish Grand Prix.
Since the race joined the calendar in 2005 we’ve had great success there, including Kimi Raikkonen winning the first race, taking the chequered flag nearly 19 seconds clear of second-placed Fernando Alonso in a Renault.
Raikkonen’s team-mate, Juan Pablo Montoya, brought his car home third for a double podium finish. Montoya also drove the fastest lap of the race, a 1:24.770s, which was almost two seconds faster than Raikkonen’s qualifying time and stands to this day as the lap record. Back then F1 cars were running 3.0-litre V10 engines, rather than the 2.4-litre V8s of today.
In 2007, Fernando Alonso scored a podium finish for the team, while in 2008 Lewis Hamilton came a very close second to Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
Last year, Lewis Hamilton led Jenson Button home for a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes one-two. The racing was intense and thrilling, as both drivers fought it out for the lead. With nine laps to go, Jenson overtook Lewis at turn 12, only to have Lewis reclaim the top spot at turn one of the next lap. Mark Webber, in the Red Bull, finished third following a crash with teammate Sebastian Vettel.
We’re looking to create more memorable moments at Istanbul Park this year – keep checking in at McLaren.com, Facebook.com/vodafonemclarenmercedes and follow us on Twitter @McLarenF1for all the latest news from Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.