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Red Bull exorcise their Turkish demons

Last updated on: May 10, 2011 19:18 IST

'We have forgotten Turkey 2010'

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The hand that last year pointed the finger of blame at Mark Webber was extended in grateful thanks on Sunday as Red Bull celebrated a healing one-two Turkish Grand Prix finish.

Austrian Helmut Marko, close confidant of the Formula One team's billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz, stood smiling in the same paddock where he had previously scowled at the Australian.

As Webber hurriedly approached the team motorhome, with jubilant mechanics waiting to celebrate team mate Sebastian Vettel's win and his own second place, Marko offered a handshake. It was accepted. The demons had been publicly exorcised.

"We have forgotten Turkey 2010. It was a perfect race and the whole team performed wonderfully, no strategic mistakes," Marko, who last May blamed Webber for a collision with Vettel that denied the team just such a one-two finish, told Reuters.

"We have forgotten last year. This year everything was fine and perfect," he added.


Image: Sebastian Vettel celebrates after winning the Turkish GP
Photographs: Getty Images
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Sweet result

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Team principal Christian Horner agreed.

"It's a very sweet result today," he told Reuters before joining the cheering throng. "Winning a grand prix is always something very special, but especially after the challenges we had 12 months ago here.

"They (wins) all have the same points but this one was particularly sweet, especially to achieve a one-two with the drivers and team doing a fantastic job," he added.


Image: Sebastian Vettel celebrates after winning the Turkish GP

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Schumacher-Like

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The atmosphere last year was very different, with Webber arriving in Turkey on the back of consecutive wins in Spain and Monaco and leading the championship after six races.

He had started the race on pole but, in a taste of the accusations of favouritism that were to come, felt Red Bull had told him to turn down his engine revs while he was leading in the closing laps while failing to issue a similar order to Vettel.

The German closed up, tried to pass and Webber stuck firmly to his line.

On Sunday, Vettel lined up on pole with two wins from three races and leading the championship.

While he roared away and led to win without being remotely troubled, Webber dropped back from second place and found himself locked in battle just to get back to where he had started.

"It would have been difficult to beat Seb today," he conceded.


Image: Sebastian Vettel celebrates after crossing the finish line of the Turkish Grand Prix

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Youngest ever champion at 23

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Vettel, who did not lead the championship last year until he won the final race in Abu Dhabi to become the youngest ever champion at 23, will leave Istanbul with 93 points from a possible 100.

He has long had to put up with comparisons with compatriot Michael Schumacher and they are looking less and less fanciful by the race.

Vettel has been on pole position for the past five races and has won six of his last eight. If it goes on like this, the championship will be over long before the final round in Brazil in November.

The German, as ever, was keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

"I think that the day you start to think that you are unbeatable is the day you get beaten," he said.

"We all try to win, obviously, and all try to be better than the other guys but I think there's always someone at some point who will teach you a lesson and will give you a very hard time and beat you."


Image: Sebastian Vettel fans are seen in the grandstand before the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix

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