2013 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix
The Buddh International Circuit received a resounding thumbs-up from the teams and the drivers after last year’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix. It proved to be a technically challenging racetrack that contained several overtaking places.
One of the circuit’s key features is its undulating back straight, along which the cars are flat-out for 15s. There are also some fast chicanes around the lap and the 180-degree, double-apex Turn 10/11 has a minimum speed of 130mph/210km/h. Through this banked right-hander the drivers pull up to 4g for four seconds.
There are plenty of elevation changes too, after four million cubic tonnes of earth were moved during the construction of the circuit. The track rises 14 metres between Turns 1 and 3 alone and there are several blind corner entries that require pin-point accuracy from the drivers.
As in Korea two weeks ago, car set-up at the Buddh International Circuit will be a delicate balance between straight-line speed and cornering grip. There was a huge amount of evolution in the track surface over the course of last year’s race weekend and, given that the asphalt hasn’t been used much in the intervening 12 months, the engineers expect similar improvements this year.
Both Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers finished in points-scoring positions at this race last year, Jenson coming home second and Lewis seventh. Both men are aiming for the podium next Sunday.
The 2012 winner was Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing-Renault) who completed the race in 1.31:10.744. Jenson Button took the fastest lap of 1:28.203 with an average speed of 209.176.
2011, the inaugural Indian Grand Prix saw the race start well for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Jenson jumped from 4th on the grid to 2nd in the opening lap, overtaking Alonso and Webber. Jenson finished the race taking second, 8s behind race Vettel.