Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Vettel puts pedal to metal to win Turkish GP

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ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel easily won the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday, clinching his third win of the season ahead of teammate Mark Webber to extend his overall lead.

The Formula One champion was never in trouble at Istanbul Park after starting from pole position for the fourth consecutive time. The 23-year-old Vettel won by a comfortable margin of 8.8 seconds.

"Throughout this race we had this cushion and were able to act, rather than react," Vettel said. "We never really had anybody close behind which would have been a different situation."

Vettel became the youngest F1 champion last year, and is odds-on favourite to defend his title. After a stunning start, he already leads McLaren's Lewis Hamilton by 34 points and Webber by 38.

"I think the day you start to think you are unbeatable is the day you get beaten, for sure," Vettel said. "There is always someone, at some point, who teaches you a lesson, who gives you a hard time and beats you."

Vettel is even less likely to get carried away after four races, given that the championship went down to the final day last year.

"We saw how quickly these things changed last year, it was very close," Vettel said. "We have to go step by step, a good start to the season always helps but there is a long way to go."

Red Bull started 1-2 on the grid and Webber passed Spanish driver Fernando Alonso late on in an exciting race that saw a lot of bumping and overtaking early on, and where the top four drivers all made four tire changes.

"The fight with Fernando in the middle of the race was unexpected," Webber said. "It was a good fight."

Alonso was 10 seconds behind Vettel in third, giving Ferrari its first podium this season.

"We did a good weekend overall, the car performed better than the first three races of the championship," Alonso said. "We enjoyed racing again, we enjoyed a race fighting for the positions."

Hamilton never challenged for the lead and finished fourth.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 9, 2011 C2

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