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2013 F1

Team preview quotes – 2013 Indian Grand Prix

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F1 Grand Prix Of IndiaKimi Raikkonen, Lotus
2012 Qualifying – 7th, 2012 Race – 7th

“The Buddh International Circuit is quite an interesting track; one of the better ones from the modern circuits. It’s quite similar to Korea; long straights, not terribly challenging corners and hard braking. It’s not as technical as Korea which was another new track for me last year, but it’s good. It’s always nice to go to a new place like India. It’s certainly a good track to go fast with a strong car in front of all the others! Hopefully we finally get it right in qualifying as the last five qualifying sessions have not been that great for me. If we don’t, it’s going to be a difficult Sunday afternoon, although of course we’ll keep pushing. If we do get it right, then we can really go for it!”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus
2012 Qualifying – 11th, 2012 Race – 9th

“I like the Buddh International Circuit. I first visited the track as third driver for the team during the inaugural race weekend in 2011 and was really impressed by the facility, then of course I drove it for the first time last year. The layout includes a nice mix of corners with a bit of gradient change which is always a good thing. There are some decent straights with wide corners at the end of them to help with overtaking, although it’s still not the easiest place in the world to pass somebody. Then there’s the linked Turn 10 / 11 combination, which is a bit like Turn 8 in Turkey in that it seems to go on forever. It’s quite a fun track to drive. Our car is really performing well at the moment so I think we could be strong again. It’s fair to say we struggled there a little last year with finding grip and getting the right setup for the cars, so hopefully we can perform better this time. The tyre allocation was quite hard for the track in 2012, but this year it’s softer which should help us and make for better racing.”

Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director
“The Buddh International Circuit is a good track with a mixture of challenges, but nothing particularly tricky. There’s a steep uphill section into Turn 3 followed by a sizeable straight, a long banked right-hand corner and some quick changes of direction through Turns 5-9 and 13-14. It’s a circuit where we expect the E21 to work well. Although we saw in Suzuka that we can compete on the harder tyres, our car generally favours the softer compounds making this a race where we’re very much looking forward to continuing our run of strong recent performances. DRS overtakes are tricky at Buddh. There was a double DRS zone last year, but even though there’s a long straight it’s not the easiest place to overtake. That said, we’ve seen some reasonably good attacking moves in the last few races and the softer allocation should help with passing opportunities too when differing degradation levels from different cars are factored in.

“The change from hard and soft compound tyres last year to medium and soft this year should make for quite a different race, where we saw one-stop strategies driven by the hard tyre allocation. Last year the performance gap between the tyres meant that everyone qualified on the soft and raced on the hard after a single stop. This year, the soft and medium compound open up the strategic permutations. With this season’s tyres also being a step softer than last year’s soft tyre, we have softer tyres to both qualify and race with. It could be a far more interesting race with strategy split between two and three stops.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying – 1st, 2012 Race – 1st

“It is not an easy track, because of a few complicated rhythm-breakers that are in there. The most difficult part is the uphill entry to Turn 3, because seeing the apex is practically impossible. So to drive a perfect lap around the Buddh circuit, you need a good driving instinct. So far everything has always gone perfectly for us in India. There is also a very nice trophy at the end of the race – so it would be great to hold one again this year! It’s a circuit that I like, in a country that is very, very impressive every time we go there.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
2012 Qualifying – 2nd, 2012 Race – 3rd

“India’s an extremely unique country for lots of different reasons; culturally there’s lots going on and you’ve got some pretty spectacular cities, busy cities. I’ve tried some of the local food and it’s really tasty, and obviously spicy, but I don’t mind that! The track is good. I think they’ve done a good job with the circuit, it’s a place where you can really put a Formula Onecar on the limit and it’s quick. It’s a very demanding track for the car and driver. It’s probably very similar to the old Turkey circuit, but the middle sector is very similar to Silverstone – it’s very, very fast, but has some undulations as well. The undulations are quite good and quite cute; they’ve put them in some challenging areas for us.”

2013 Formula One World Championship is trip to the Indian dirt at Buddh International Circuit in New Delhi. One of the main attractions it is the rookie venue could well stage its very first title decider.

Sauber

Nico Hulkenberg,
2012 Qualifying – 12th, 2012 Race – 8th

“Last year I had a good result in India as I finished eighth, so it was great to get some points. It is quite a nice track and one of the modern ones with some tricky sectors, especially sector two as there are a lot of corners that are combined. It is not one of my favourite circuits, but it is still nice to be driving there. When I was racing for an Indian team I had to arrive quite early, do a big PR tour and do a bit of promotion for Formula One. India is a very exotic country. As regards the food, I am not that used to it and certainly don’t like spicy food, so that makes it quite tricky, and I always have to ask for a very, very mild dish. Paneer tikka is actually my favourite local dish there which is delicious.”

Esteban Gutierrez,
2012 Qualifying – n/a, 2012 Race – n/a

“I know the Buddh International Circuit from driving in free practice for Checo (Perez) last year, and I completed 29 laps. It is another track that I like, because it has really long straights, very good braking and fast chicanes, which make the driving experience very special. There is quite a lot of margin for error with the run-off areas, but in order to put a good lap in you need to be perceise. You have slow and medium speed corners that are quite technical, like turns five, six and seven. This is quite challenging for the tyres. The goal will be to continue the rhythm we found and translate that into results.”

Tom McCullough, Sauber head of track engineering
“The Buddh International Circuit has similar characteristics to the track in South Korea. The first sector is dominated by long straights and low speed corners, the second sector is made up of medium to high speed corners, and there is a short, low speed final sector. There is some significant elevation change during the lap, which also contributes to it being a challenging and rewarding circuit for the drivers. Pirelli will provide the soft and medium compounds. The medium as the prime tyre is one step softer than last year. We are fighting in a very tight area of the grid where maximising what you have is the name of the game. As in the previous four races, our aim is to get into Q3 and continue to score valuable championship points.”

Caterham

Giedo van der Garde,
2012 Qualifying – n/a, 2012 Race – n/a

“Korea and Japan were two quite tough weeks with races that didn’t go to plan for me so I want to get back to the performance levels that have been building up since Hungary at the next two races in India and Abu Dhabi. Japan obviously ended a whole lot earlier than planned and we’ve looked at all the data from the first lap off I had after the contact with Jules – when I hit the barrier the impact registered around 20g which is by quite a long way one of the biggest accidents I’ve had in my career. It just shows how far F1 safety has come that I was out of the car and back in the team’s hospitality unit within about 20 minutes and when I looked at the shots after the race I realised that it was, honestly, quite a lot of a bigger shunt than it had felt like in the car.

“So, on to India and another track I tried for the first time last year in FP1. It’s a proper drivers track, one that has elevation changes and a few really challenging corners and there’s a couple of overtaking opportunities, especially turn four at the end of the long straight. It’s going to be hot and hotter track conditions have suited us all year so the aim is to maintain the gap to our nearest competitors throughout the weekend and get back to fighting cars ahead on Sunday afternoon, putting ourselves in a position to take advantage of anything that happens up ahead.”

Charles Pic, Caterham
2012 Qualifying – 24th, 2012 Race – 19th

“Next we’re heading to India and then Abu Dhabi straight after for the next back-to-back flyaways this season. It’s a very tough schedule on everyone but, as we showed on Sunday in Japan, we keep fighting and the whole team is focused on grabbing any opportunity that comes our way.

“I raced for the first time in India last year and, like most of the drivers have said, it’s a great track, one of the best of the modern era. I had a strong race there in 2012, particularly at the start where I made up five places, so the aim is obviously to do the same again in 2013 and keep pushing the teams ahead where we can. The track itself is a good mix of a few quick bits, especially into Turn five and through 10 and 11 for example, and a bit more stop / start like Turns one, two and three, but the main thing is to find a good rhythm around the whole lap to get the most out of the car, like Spa for example. As the track evolves so much over the weekend you don’t really find the quickest pace until quali and then the race itself as the track is so dusty on Friday, and then again on Saturday morning. They did make some improvements last year to help manage that, including washing the track each evening, so hopefully it will be better again this year.

“With such a short amount of time in India I won’t have a chance to explore but that’s something I’d like to do one day. We go to so many cool places but the race weekends are always busy and there’s no time to properly look around, but from what I saw last year, India’s an amazing place and one I’d like to come back to one day to really find out what it’s all about.”

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