Last season the Indian round arrived on the calendar with a bang. Drawing universal praise from the paddock, the Buddh International Circuit offers challenging gradient changes, two ample straights, an interesting mix of corners and seating for around 130,000 cheering fans. What’s not to like? The teams and drivers look ahead to New Delhi…
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes
2011 Qualifying - 11th, 2011 Race - 5th
"The Formula One debut of India last year was certainly a success. There were a surprising amount of fans during the weekend, and the track itself really is cool. We drivers were given a very enthusiastic reception, and it will be interesting to see if this enthusiasm has remained as strong. After two races which have not been totally satisfying, we naturally wish for a more positive trend to come, and I can say that everybody in the team has put in a lot of effort to achieve it. Let's see what we can make out of it."
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
2011 Qualifying - 7th, 2011 Race - 6th
"The Buddh International Circuit is very challenging with an interesting combination of slow speed corners and long fast straights. The track also has one of the highest average speeds in Formula One and is good for overtaking. Last year I was really impressed by the passion and friendliness of the Indian people so I'm looking forward to visiting again and having some more interesting experiences. I hope that I will have a bit more luck than recently next weekend, and I will have the chance to achieve a good result."
Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal
"Next week will see Formula One's second visit to India following the inaugural Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in October 2011. This year, our team is very pleased to be partnering with Airtel, title sponsors of the race, and we look forward to sharing our Indian Grand Prix experience with them. It's always a pleasure to welcome new fans to our sport, and Formula One certainly seemed to capture the imagination of those who came to the circuit last year. The facilities are very impressive, and the track proved a good challenge for the drivers."
Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"After a successful inaugural race last year, we are all excited to return to the Buddh International Circuit for the second edition of the Indian Grand Prix. We received a warm welcome from a very enthusiastic public last year and it was impressive to see the prestige Formula One enjoyed with the people on its first visit to India. Following two long straights, and one shorter one, the circuit offers a challenging flow of corners from turns 5 to 15, especially the long right-hander at turns 10 and 11. This puts high loads through the front-left tyre, while the expected temperatures in excess of 30 degrees Celsius will also make for additional challenges."
Pedro de la Rosa, HRT
2011 Qualifying - n/a, 2011 Race - n/a
"Just like Korea this will be a new circuit for me and all I know of it is from the work I did on the simulator last year. From what I know it’s an interesting circuit with a lot of medium and fast corners where we will have two DRS zones. It will be interesting to see how the asphalt has evolved from one year to another because last year it was brand new and quite dirty. I must admit that, overall, it’s a circuit that I like the look of. We hope to have solved the reliability issues which we suffered in Korea and complete another good race here.”
Narain Karthikeyan, HRT
2011 Qualifying - 24th, 2011 Race - 17th
"Obviously this is the most anticipated race on the calendar for me and there is already a great buzz around the event. The layout of the Buddh International Circuit is a great mix which makes it challenging for the tyres as there are very few conventional straight-forward corners but since the surface isn’t abrasive at all, wear shouldn’t be an issue. I’ve got great memories from last year’s Grand Prix as I had a great weekend; the car was good and we were quick. I hope this year things go even better and I can dedicate it to the fans who are showing me so much support. I can’t wait to get out on track!”
Luis Perez-Sala, HRT team principal
"Personally I’ve never been to the Buddh International Circuit but I’m eager to see it because I’ve heard great things about it, being a very complete track. We’re looking forward to it because of Narain, who will have all the fans backing him throughout the weekend. It’s a very special Grand Prix for him and we hope to put in a good performance and for him to complete a good race like last year. Pedro has never driven there and will have to adapt first but he’ll definitely lean on Narain’s experience from last year. Our target is to have good reliability and finish the race with both cars and improve the performance from Korea to reach the level we were at in Japan.”
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber
2011 Qualifying - 17th, 2011 Race - DNF
“I am keen to see what the circuit will be like when we arrive there for the second time. Last year everything was new and the surface was very dusty. The track lay out as such should probably mean our performance will be average, which means we should be able to score points there. It is a bit similar to the Korean circuit, which might have something to do with the fact the same designer did it at about the same time. Unfortunately I haven’t seen much of the country yet. What I really love is Indian butter chicken - an Indian classic dish and one of my all-time favourites. Perhaps this year I can manage to go and visit the city of New Delhi, but it is quite far away from the track and, as it is so big, it is not easy to get your bearings there.”
Sergio Perez, Sauber
2011 Qualifying - 20th, 2011 Race - 10th
“I cannot believe we have only four races left, so the season will now end quite soon. To make up 20 points to finish fifth in the constructors’ world championship means we have quite a job to do. The race in India should be a bit better for us than in Korea, and our car will be quicker there. I like the fluent sections of the track. Outside the circuit I haven’t seen anything of the country yet and I know that, unfortunately, I won’t have time for a trip this year either.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber team principal
“For me the second Formula One Grand Prix of India certainly will be a very special race. Going to my home country, not for private but for business reasons, and for the team to race in front of my fellow countrymen is exciting. This is the emotional part of it. Looking at it in a more sporting way, it is clear we want to score a lot of points, be it in India or at any of the remaining four races. Technically the track in Greater Noida should not be a problem for the C31, but it isn’t our favourite either. We have to stay focussed and maximise our potential there.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Sauber head of track engineering
“The race track in Greater Noida has similar characteristics to the one in South Korea. It has a first sector with long straights and slow-speed corners, then there is the mainly high-speed second sector, and a short third sector with some low-speed corners. Maybe the main difference is that the track in India has some slopes while the track in Korea is flat, and in India there are some bumps as well. The temperatures are expected to be higher, but also the tyres are harder - the compounds will be hard and soft, and I expect the hard one to be a challenge on this type of track. An interesting aspect compared to most of the other races this year is the fact there will be two DRS sections with two detection zones, which should normally help overtaking. We are fairly confident our car will perform well on this track.”