Oct 26

Formula One teams Indian Grand Prix preview

Indian Grand Prix Formula One preview

BuddhInternational CircuitToday’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in New Delhi..



Red Bull Racing

source: redbullracing.com

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes


As the Formula 1 circus heads to a new continent and a new grand prix circuit, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes discusses the challenges of preparing for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix with Lewis, Jenson and team principal Martin Whitmarsh

Lewis Hamilton

Have you been to India before?

“Yeah, I’ve been a few times before – we’ve done a few Vodafone promotional days there. The last time was just crazy – just after Singapore, we did a demo run in Bangalore and were expecting 5,000 people to turn up. On the day, there were around 40,000 fans – it was just incredible.”

Do you think India is looking forward to Formula 1?

“You can’t believe how many people are aware of Formula 1 and how many are looking forward to the race next week. There’s already a great deal of knowledge about the sport – I think it’s going to be a big deal.

“India’s a sport-mad nation – mostly, it’s about cricket, which is understandable because they’re a very successful cricketing country, but I really think the people of India are going to take Formula 1 to their hearts. The reception we’ve had in the last few years has been greater than I could ever have predicted and I think the whole country is ready for something new and something exciting.

“I really hope India will get turned on to Formula 1 in a big way – it would be amazing to have an entire continent supporting you – and I really hope we can put on a fantastic race!”

Do you think Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will be competitive next weekend?

“It’s too early to say, but I think we’re set to be competitive at all of the final three races. We were quick at Singapore, Japan and Korea – and I think the pattern at the front has sort of settled down now as we reach the end of the season. I think we have a car that can be quick anywhere, so I’d like to think we’d be in the hunt again next weekend.”

Jenson Button

What challenges do you face when learning a brand new track?

“The first time you run on a new circuit is a strange experience because you’re piecing together an incredibly diverse and vivid set of data in your mind. That’s quite an intense experience.

“You’re quickly gathering everything together – constantly assessing the grip-level, watching for unexpected bumps, checking the kerb-height, run-off areas, pitlane entry and exit, gradient. And that all happens at about 170mph!”

What are your first impressions of the Buddh International Circuit?

“Well, I can’t really say properly until I’ve driven it. But the track itself has quite a nice mix of corners – the start of the lap is pretty stop-start, there are a couple of long straights mixed with tight hairpins, but it’s the end of the lap that’s more interesting: there are some pretty high-speed changes of direction through the esses and some gradient change.

“One of the things that looks really interesting is the double-apex banked corner at the back of the circuit – that’s pretty unusual. It’s sort of a mix between Turn 13 at China and Korea’s Turn 11.

Are you looking forward to the race?

“I always look forward to the next grand prix. The word is that people in India are really excited about Formula 1 and the event – it’s important for the sport that we make a good first impression and I really hope we have a fantastic race. Our car’s been pretty competitive recently and we’d like to win more races before the end of the season.”

Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

How important is the Indian Grand Prix for the sport of Formula 1?

“Certainly, every new venue we visit is important to the sport of Formula 1 and to our partners, many of whom have a considerable presence in India, and who are delighted by the prospect of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

“I think it’s important that the world championship is fully represented on the world’s stage – and a grand prix in India is certainly a very positive step. For Formula 1, the most important thing is to educate, nurture and cultivate our audience – I firmly believe that Formula 1 is the greatest sport in the world and I want us to spread that word across the whole Indian subcontinent.

“Secondly, we want to take Formula 1 to the people. I know that our partners such as Vodafone are already very actively engaged in this activity in India, but I think we’ve done the right thing by establishing the circuit close to New Delhi. Initial impressions suggest the track will be a good one, with particular regard paid to close and exciting racing. And I’m also told that the prospect of the grand prix is causing a great deal of excitement within the city and the country as a whole.

“So I think we’re doing everything right – and I sincerely hope we can walk away on Sunday evening having done a great job for the country and for Formula 1.”

What is the atmosphere like within the team now that both world championships have been settled?

“There’s not been a great distinction: we go racing to win, and, as I’ve said before, that’s the firm intention we take with us to all remaining races on the calendar. We’ve made some good progress recently with the 2011 car and we feel we have a car that can challenge for victory at all the remaining grands prix.

“While we’re winding down the development of the 26 and ramping up development of MP4-27, we still have a few more opportunities to track-test components and developments that can be carried over to next year.

“And we take plenty of positives away from the last two races: I think Jenson’s win in Japan and Lewis’s drive in Korea were two of the best performances of their respective careers. Both drivers are motivated to win and want to lead the team through these final few races and into the winter. There’s a lot of positive energy back at MTC, and you’re seeing that at the racetrack, too.”

source: mclaren.com

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

coming soon

source: shell.com

Mercedez GP Petronas

Formula One heads to new territory next week with the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, Round 17 of the 2011 World Championship, taking place at the Buddh International Circuit on the outskirts of New Delhi, on Sunday 30 October.

  • India is the fifth new Formula One venue in four years (Singapore & Valencia 2008, Abu Dhabi 2009, Korea 2010)
  • DRS can be used for around 62% of the lap (3,200 m) in qualifying, a similar percentage as in Spa-Francorchamps
  • PETRONAS will introduce a new fuel for the race aimed at optimising performance in high ambient temperatures

Michael Schumacher

“For the next race, we are heading to India for the first time; a country which a lot of people tell me is fascinating. I’m looking forward to experiencing this new culture and seeing the track for the first time. I am sure we will be impressed with what has been done there. There has been a lot of interest in the build-up to the event, and therefore hopefully we will entertain a lot of new fans in India.

I’ve always been happy to welcome new tracks on the calendar and enjoy the challenge of adapting to them. The outcome of the last race in Korea was unlucky for us, therefore I am extra-motivated to score some points next weekend, and reward the good work of the team.”

Nico Rosberg

“This will be my first visit to India, and it will be very exciting for me to discover the new culture. I am planning to spend a few days in the country and looking forward to doing some sightseeing, particularly making a visit to the Taj Mahal. I hope the first race in India will be a great show for all motorsport fans there, and a big success. I enjoy going to new tracks for the first time as I tend to learn them quickly, and it will be very interesting to set the car up as there will be so many unknown points. I hope to be able to fight in amongst the top six cars again, like during the last race in Korea, but this time hopefully I will be able to stay ahead of one of them until the end of the race.”

Ross Brawn, Team Principal

“The Indian Grand Prix will be a new adventure for Formula One, and we are all looking forward to experiencing the country and the Buddh International Circuit for the first time next week. A tremendous amount of work has gone into the new venue and the preparations for this inaugural event, and the interest in India seems to be growing daily. In the second most populous country in the world, this can only be good for Formula One as we continue to expand our fan base by taking the sport to new markets The circuit itself looks to be an interesting challenge and we have been preparing back at the factory with circuit maps, simulations and models. You can do a great deal of work beforehand but nothing replicates the feedback from the drivers on their first laps out on the new circuit on Friday. With just three races remaining, we will be aiming to finish the season on a high and pushing hard to score good points at each one.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“MERCEDES GP PETRONAS is pleased and proud to be part of Formula One’s visit to India and its inaugural Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit. India is a country with a rich cultural heritage which is admired and respected across the world, and it is also a country of the future: there is a vibrant, growing economy and, for Mercedes-Benz, a rapidly accelerating market for our cars. The Buddh International Circuit promises to deliver the excellent facilities we are used to at the most modern Formula One venues. It presents a complete challenge to the cars with a range of faster and slower corners, as well as long straights that may make the compromise between downforce and straightline speed delicate to find. On the operational side, a new circuit levels the playing field somewhat between the teams and all of us must start from zero; however, it does provide an opportunity for our race team’s operational excellence to pay dividends. We saw some signs of promising potential in the early stages of the last race in Korea, although this did not ultimately translate into the final results. But we will be aiming to build on this potential in India, and our team will keep pushing at every race this year to extract the maximum from our current technical package.”

Race Preview Feature 17: Simulating New Circuits

The Formula One drivers will only turn a wheel for the first time at the Buddh International Circuit on Friday morning. But although those practice laps will mark the beginning of a new learning process, the teams and drivers are far from starting from zero when they actually take to the track. Preparations for the race have been underway for nearly a year – and by race day, around one million simulations of the race will already have been completed.

When did the team’s first preparations begin for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix?

The process of preparing for a new race begins with the logistical challenges rather than the technical ones. The team’s travel department conducted a recce of the local area in December 2010, and made hotel reservations shortly afterwards. The logistics crew generally make a visit around nine months ahead of the race, in order to plan the layout of the garage, access routes and storage areas. In terms of technical preparations, these begin with architects’ plans of the circuit. The elevation and camber provided on these are used to construct a basic track map for virtual simulation, around six weeks before the event.

This map is gradually improved as more information becomes available from the FIA and the circuit. In recent years, circuits have only been completed very shortly before the first race weekend – and the same is true for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix – which means the team cannot make a digitised map of the track. Set-up simulations, which provide the baseline settings for the car at the start of the opening practice sessions, are carried out the week before the event.

What factors are taken into account when devising the baseline set-up?

Circuit characteristics can be distinguished from a basic two-dimensional map. Factors such as downforce levels, braking duty and g-force loadings are all a function of the circuit’s geometry, and basic simulations will provide a direction for those parameters. Initial simulation suggests that the cars will spend around 65% of the lap at full throttle, with the longest full throttle period of 14.5 seconds, between turns three and four. The cars will exceed 285 kph at three points around the lap, while the fastest corner is expected to be turn 12, which is expected to be taken at 255 kph. The maximum g-loading around the circuit is expected to be 4.0 G, at Turns 5, 9 and 11.

How is the driver-in-the-loop simulator used before the event?

The basic nature of the track map means that the simulator can only be used for basic familiarisation with the circuit, because the track map is not detailed enough to include information such as bumps and kerbs which influence set-up tuning. The team will generally complete around 100 laps (nearly two race distances) in the simulator, programmed with a variety of fuel loads and grip levels, to ensure as many possible scenarios as possible are covered. In addition to using the driver-in-the-loop simulator, the team conducts strategy simulations to analyse as many race outcomes as possible. By race day, we will have performed around one million iterations of the potential race, which are used to inform decisions about how to approach qualifying and the race itself.

What preparation do the drivers have to do for a new circuit?

Like with other circuits, they must be familiar with the KERS deployment schedule (when KERS is deployed to the greatest performance advantage around the circuit), the DRS zones and also the pit-entry and exit lines, for speed limiter activation and deactivation. In terms of learning the circuit, the drivers will conduct their usual track walk on Thursday to inspect it on foot, and potentially note specific signs and markings that they will need to be aware of when in the car. In terms of learning the circuit, this is an ongoing process through the weekend, as grip levels increase, and the team structures its practice programmes to give the drivers maximum time to familiarise themselves with the intricacies of the layout.

Which track does the new Buddh International Circuit most resemble?

The circuit has similarities to Turkey, with a long main straight and a very long, sweeping corner (Turns 10 and 11) that resembles the triple-apex Turn Eight in Turkey. However, while Turn Eight was taken with an average corner speed of 270 kph, in India the corners are expected to be taken at 170 kph (Turn 10) and 210 kph (Turn 11) respectively. The lap time and speed will be very much dependent on the grip level achieved by the Pirelli tyres on the new asphalt surface. A lap time of 1:25.000 would correspond to an average lap speed of 218 kph, while a lap time of 1:30.000 would equate to an average lap speed of 205 kph.

source: mercedes-gp.com

2011 Indian Grand Prix Preview

Lotus Renault GP prepares for round seventeen of the season in India.

To view our preview magazine, packed full of exciting content, including interviews with all key players at LRGP, simply click on the button “Indian GP Preview” or here.

Bruno Senna – “India will have a completely different culture from anything I’ve seen before”

After two below par races, the Brazilian is eager to see his name on the points board once again

It was a trying weekend for you in Korea – what was your judgment?

In all honesty, it was a weekend riddled with problems. On Friday, our running was limited and we had some issues with the balance and aerodynamics of the car. On the Saturday I also endured a tough time, as I wasn’t able to pick myself up in qualifying and, as a result, ended up P15 on the grid. As for the race, I think the car was better than where it finished. I had a poor start again, which dampened my expectations but I still gave it my all and managed to recover a few positions to finish in 13th. Unfortunately I didn’t have the performance necessary to overtake a few more cars and my tyres were pretty beaten up by the end.

A relatively unknown track in Korea to a completely unknown one in India – what are your thoughts leading into this race?

India will be a complete voyage into the unknown, as no one has ever raced there before. We do not yet know how the car is likely to perform, though looking at the track layout it should suit us quite well, and we can expect to be up amongst the mix in the top 10; although we need to remain careful at this stage. From the maps I have seen, it looks to be a fast, flowing track that suits my style of driving so I am looking forward to racing there. It will be a test of who learns fastest. I think that whichever teams can extract the maximum from their cars in the short period of time that we are there will benefit most.

Are you excited to go to India?

Yes, very excited indeed. It’s a country that loves its sport, and we have seen new sports events take place there recently such as the Commonwealth Games; I’ve no doubt it will be an interesting Grand Prix, with a completely different culture from anything I have seen before and I think Karun Chandhok is going to show me around – it’s always good to have a local as your guide so I’m enthusiastic to get out there.

What must Bruno Senna take from the last three races to ensure he’s a happy man come the end of the season?

Ha ha, well some of my best races were in Abu Dhabi and Brazil last year so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t enjoy similar fortunes this time around, especially because I am in a competitive car that can score points. The aim is to keep learning, keep improving, and to arrive in India with a much clearer head after the frustration of my weekend in Korea. I loved the experience of being in the points in Monza, and that’s something I want to repeat. I have three races left to do that.

Vitaly Petrov – “Racing in India will be a refreshing challenge”

With a five place penalty on the grid heading into the Indian GP, Vitaly accepts he has his work cut out but will do all he can to redeem himself

Looking at your early exit from the Korean Grand Prix, how would you evaluate your performance?

Over the course of the weekend we did a fantastic job; the whole team worked very hard. We got into Q3 comfortably and showed stronger pace than some of the teams we are fighting against. We were closer to Mercedes and I was fighting with Nico (Rosberg) and Michael (Schumacher). It was a pity the race ended the way it did. My first stint showed good pace. We had a fierce battle, but this time it was me who took Michael out of the race – normally it is him that takes me out! I apologised to him, and concluded that that’s racing.

How did your incident with Michael come about?

I was fighting with Fernando (Alonso) on the straight. I used DRS to pass him, then he switched on his DRS and KERS, and passed me on the left hand side. This meant I was then on the right hand side which was a little dirty. I braked 15 metres earlier than normal, but because it was dirtier and I was travelling nearly 20 kph faster due to the slipstream, I was unable to stop the car. Not only could I not stop the car, I couldn’t move to the left as Fernando was there and I was going to hit him. It was a pity, but on the plus side we were battling for high end places. We were disappointed about the weekend but there were some positives to be taken away.

What are your thoughts heading to the Indian GP?

It will be quite challenging for the teams and drivers because it is a new track where no-one has raced before. That was the same story in Korea two years ago so I know it’s quite a tricky scenario. I have prepared in many ways and racing in India will be a refreshing challenge. As a new circuit, it is a level playing field for everyone.

How much do you enjoy the adventure of going to a circuit which has never been raced on before?

It is a good challenge for drivers as you never know what to expect. Sometimes the car will be very good straight out of the box, sometimes not, so it’s difficult to know what will happen until you complete your first laps. When I saw the layout of the circuit I said it would be quite difficult, but for the last two races we have shown good performance even if we didn’t always achieve the results we were capable of.

How will you prepare for this race?

We will arrive a little earlier than we would for a circuit we already know. Regrettably, I am starting with a five position penalty, due to the incident with Michael in Korea, so I will have to be right at the top of my game.

Eric Boullier – “India is a country that loves its sport”

With regular updates from Bernie, Eric is convinced that India will not disappoint after its instatement on the F1 calendar

Disappointment in Korea – how would you summarise the weekend?

I had mixed feelings coming away from Korea. If I look at the weekend as a whole, we showed good pace but did not capitalise on it. It was disappointing for Bruno not to qualify higher than he did and the result was a tough race. Vitaly had a healthy grid position and was looking good until his mistake cost him on lap 15. If he had carried on as he did during the first stint of the race – when he was on soft tyres – then we could have expected him to finish at least eighth or maybe seventh. Unfortunately it was not to be, but we’ll now look ahead to an exciting venue – the Indian Grand Prix.

Next stop India – what was your reaction when you first heard the country was going to host a Formula 1 race?

With an Indian Formula 1 team and an Indian driver – in Karun Chandhok – in the sport, a race was always the next logical step. It is a big country; a promising, powerful nation that is at the forefront of a lot of global activity. India is also a country that loves its sport. It is definitely a good thing to have a Formula 1 race in a new, emerging world economy, and for this sport to consider itself global it is important to bring the show to new territories. Taking F1 to India is a positive step for both the sport and the country. I’m thoroughly looking forward to taking the team racing there.

What have you heard about the Buddh International Circuit itself?

We, the team principals, have been updated regularly about the facilities by Bernie himself. It is always difficult to judge by pictures alone, but it appears to be a very promising facility with a strong, suitable infrastructure and I’m sure we will have a great event there. I, for one, am excited about it as it will be deviating from the F1 norm, and I’ve little doubt it will be a great experience all round. Let’s hope we can take a good result from the weekend too.

Three races remain – how hard is it for the team to keep its focus on this season only?

There will be increasing temptation to start looking to next season, and to contemplate what exciting times might lie ahead. However, we have to maintain focus and look at the here and now; We won’t allow ourselves an ounce of complacency from the team going into these final three races. We must ensure we have a good car to take with us to India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil; our pace has been satisfactory recently, we have some performance now but we must translate this performance into points. We will be disciplined in achieving that.

James Allison – “I’m sure it will prove to be a popular track”

After the frustration of a ‘nil points’ outing in Korea, James looks to Formula 1’s next exciting instalment – the Buddh International Circuit

Although the results did not come, the pace in Korea looked good – is there cause for optimism?’

The pace was good in Korea. Part of this is as a result of track-specific characteristics. In Korea, most cars suffered from understeer in the race. This appeared to affect us somewhat less. However, we have continued to modify and improve the car and we hope to put up a respectable showing in the remaining races.

How much simulation can we do for a new track? What can we do in advance and what can only be learnt upon arrival at the site?

There are lots of tasks that can be well simulated prior to arriving at a brand new circuit. Conventional lap simulation can give us a good idea of items such as: optimal gear ratio selection, which rear wing to fit, what springs and rideheights to fit, fuel consumption, cooling levels, DRS effectiveness etc. Although much preparatory work has been done, there will remain several areas where the team can only really react once we start running in anger. For example: grip level of the tarmac, effect of track bumpiness on the optimal suspension setup, tyre degradation etc. To give you an example, a 3% variation in the asphalt grip would lead to 1 second difference on the lap time.

Are there elements of the circuit layout which resemble tracks we already visit on the calendar?

The track is a conventional downforce circuit with a decent array of cornering speeds and a sensible length main straight. At one level all tracks are sort of the same, with similar straights and corners. However, the real character of a track only really unfolds once you start to run on it. This track looks like it offers a range of challenges to the drivers and I am sure it will prove to be popular.

How should the final three races suit our car?

We are a little concerned by Abu Dhabi as it shares many of the features of the other three tracks where we have not fared well this year. However, both in Abu Dhabi and at the other two remaining circuits of the year, the team will do their utmost to extract the maximum available performance from the R31.

source: lotusrenaultgp.com

Renault logo

Renault Sport F1 preview to the Indian GP

The FIA Formula One World Championship ventures into new territory this week with inaugural Indian Grand Prix, which takes place on 30 October at the Buddh International Circuit. The 5.137km track is located some 40km from the Indian capital, New Delhi, and has been built as part of a massive redevelopment of the Greater Noida area, which will eventually include residential and professional buildings.

The circuit layout has been designed by Hermann Tilke with extensive input from the Formula One teams and features several interesting features, including a 1.1km straight that goes steeply downhill before rising uphill and a double apex cambered radial turn named the Parabolica. The wide track – at many points over 21m in width – also features marked changes of gradient over the course of a lap, so there is likely to be several overtaking opportunities.

Indian Grand Prix facts and figures

Since the Buddh International Circuit is a new addition to the calendar a great deal of work must be completed at the factory before a car has even turned a wheel on the tarmac; this enables a good base power-train set-up to be determined and available track time to be maximised. Renault Sport F1 will use all the tools at its disposal, such as computer simulation and engine dyno running, to meet this objective. More than double the time is spent testing engine maps on the dyno than would otherwise be the case for a ‘normal race’; so approximately four days of dyno running and simulations.

To get an accurate idea of the track, each of Renault Sport F1’s chassis teams will supply GPS data from which the respective engine team can recreate the circuit layout. The layout will then be run through various computer simulations to achieve a base engine map that can then be refined on the dyno. This process takes a further four days of manpower.

Simulations have shown that the track will have a lap time of around 1’30 with two distinct halves. The first part of the circuit requires good top speed and power since 75% of this part consists of straights. The second part of the track however is twistier and requires a more driveable and responsive engine. The resultant engine requirements will be similar to Korea in this respect.

The track features several undulations, notably the first corner that falls steeply downhill before climbing uphill again into the hairpin leading to the long back straight. The internals of the engine will therefore be subjected to huge pressures and stresses as the lubricants are compressed with the high lateral and vertical g-forces.

The long 1.12km back straight will see the engines at full throttle for over 15secs. Interestingly this straight also features an altitude change with the track going downhill to the midway point of the straight before then climbing back up. Engine-wise, this gives the same ‘workout’ as the downhill descent from the La Source hairpin and then climb to Eau Rouge in Belgium.

The multi apex, highly banked turn 10 has a similar profile to turn 8 in Turkey – taken at high speed and high revs, so requiring a smooth application of power throughout the corner.

The drivers’ view

Karun Chandhok, Team Lotus

I’m really proud of the track and the facility the Indian GP organisers have created and I’m confident that both drivers and public will love it. It’s going to be challenging as there are two very different parts to the circuit; the flat-out first part with the 1.12km back straight that needs a good top end power and acceleration; with DRS this year we could see speeds peaking at over 320kph before the heavy braking zone at the end of the straight. At this point, having an engine that is responsive will be crucial as the corner at the end of the straight should give a good overtaking opportunity, particularly as the track is so wide at this point. The second part of the track is twistier with a variety of low to medium speed corners that will need a higher downforce setting so engine driveability will be key. With any new track, fine tuning the set up quickly will be important so a good working relationship between chassis and engine engineers and the driver will surely pay dividends.

The engineers’ view

Head of Renault Sport F1 track operations Rémi Taffin gives his thoughts on India

India will be our first new track of the season and the first since Korea last year. As we have no previous data to work from we rely heavily on dyno and computer-based simulations to give a good basic set-up. The final 10% of the fine tuning happens at the circuit once we can accurately gauge the wind speed, weather patterns, tyre wear and the track surface.

Our simulations of the 5.1km track show that the average speed will be around 210kph with approximately 60% of the track taken at full throttle. Like Korea, the first part of the track is mainly composed of straights. There’s a quick flick downhill after the pit straight but pretty soon after that drivers go onto an awesome 1.12km straight, the longest on the calendar. Unusually this straight dips in the middle, which will require gear ratios to be carefully calibrated.

The second part of the track is a lot twistier, with all the corners linking together without another long straight, so giving driveability will be very important. The challenge will be getting the right balance between the responsiveness needed for the off-camber turns such as the chicane at turns 13 and 14 and longer corners such as the radial turn 10 that need steady and constant application of power. From our early simulations it’s going to be a big challenge, but one we’re really looking forward to despite both championships being wrapped up. We’re still focussing on race wins; we still have some new units to introduce so we’re pushing on till the end.

Did you know…

The gradient changes and off camber corners of the Buddh International Circuit will cause the lubricants in the engine to move around within the engine internals much more than at a very flat track such as Silverstone. High centrifugal g-forces through a corner can push the fuel or oil to one side, or vertical forces through a compression or dip or over a crest can push them up or down. This can “move” the fuel or oil away from the pick up of the pumps, which are momentarily starved, and cannot supply the engine with fuel, or lubrication. To avoid any loss of power, the fuel and oil systems must be designed with good “pick-up” ability, or failing that, higher fuel or oil levels must be used.

Renault in India

In February 2008, Renault and Nissan announced the establishment of a 50/50 joint venture company, Renault Nissan Automobile India Private Ltd (RNAIPL) to manufacture vehicles of both brands in India. With investments of 50 billion Rupees (US$ 1.2billion), the Alliance plant started operations in May 2010, and is capable of producing cars for both brands.The Renault Nissan Technology and Business Centre India was established in March 2008 to provide Engineering, Design and Purchase services to Renault and Nissan operations worldwide.

Renault India is a 100% subsidiary of Renault s.a.s. Forty distributor showrooms are targeted to be in operation across India from December 2011 with 100 by December 2012, with the aim of becoming one of the top 3 recognised international brands in the country by 2015.

The Fluence model was introduced to the market in May 2011 and the Koleos in September 2011. The B-segment Hatchback, built on the Alliance V-platform, will be launched in January 2012, followed by the Duster in mid 2012, with a further car in Q4 of 2012.

Renault Design India in Mumbai is one of seven global design studios for Renault and the first design studio by any car maker in India encompassing almost all design faculties, including exterior design, interior design, digital modeling and perceived quality. This centre was inaugurated in September 2008 and employs 15 people.

The plant in Chennai is the first dedicated plant for the Renault-Nissan Alliance built from a greenfield site and intended from the start to support both Renault and Nissan.

Renault statistics in F1

140 wins, 191 poles

* including Playlife, Supertec and Mecachrome

source: renault.com

AT&T Williams Indian GP Preview

When: Friday 28 to Sunday 30 October, 2011

Where: Buddh International Circuit, India

Round: 17 of 19

The teams have received basic data about the 5.137km Buddh International Race Circuit, such as the corner radii and the length of the straights, but we’ll have to wait until we get there to get a clear picture of the venue, located just south of India’s capital city New Delhi.

The organisers and track designer Hermann Tilke have been diligent in their approach to the layout, even running ideas pass the teams to ensure the best possible outcome. More than four million cubic tonnes of soil have been moved to create undulations; the track rises 14 metres between Turns 1 and 3 alone, so the drivers are set for a rollercoaster ride.

Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: The whole team is looking forward to heading out to the Buddh International Circuit for the first time this week. The simulations of the new track indicate a high downforce and medium braking severity track, which should also be reasonably hard on the tyres. Despite our preparations there are still a few uncertainties, such as what the actual tyre grip will be and how the track will evolve throughout the weekend. We should see over a one second lap time delta between the two tyre choices for this race, namely the soft and hard tyres, with the soft being quicker. We are also expecting dry weather throughout the weekend, with ambient temperatures in the mid-20˚Cs to low 30˚Cs and track temperatures up in the low 40˚Cs.

Rubens Barrichello: I have never been to India and as the circuit is new I have been preparing by playing my home simulator to get to know the track. I am very much looking forward to this race as it will be different to other weekends in terms of culture. I have always wanted to go to India, so this is a great opportunity for me to get to know the country as well as do what I love at the same time: drive a Formula One car.

Pastor Maldonado: I think India will be really interesting for everyone. I haven’t been before so I can’t wait to get there. Going somewhere new and experiencing new things is always exciting. That’s one of the great benefits of Formula One – it takes you to places you may never have visited before! The circuit itself looks good and it will be new for all the drivers. For once we will all be starting from scratch! I was at the factory last week working with my engineers in the simulator so I feel as ready as I can be.

From Cosworth’s perspective: As with any new circuit, Friday’s practice sessions will carry more importance as teams work on car set-up and drivers acquaint themselves with new surroundings. It is important that teams can rely on a trouble-free session with consistent and reliable performance from the engine in order to undertake meaningful comparison work. From an engine perspective, the circuit will present a challenge in terms of balancing top end speed for the relatively long straight with driveability and torque through the lower speed corners in the middle sector of the lap. The inaugural Indian Grand Prix holds particular importance for Cosworth since the company has an Indian facility in Pune.

From Pirelli’s perspective: India is a brand new adventure for us, so we’ve selected the P Zero Yellow soft tyre and the P Zero Silver hard tyre to be sure of covering every possibility. We’ve allocated an extra set of the soft tyre for practice on Friday, in order to give all the teams the chance to complete as much running as they can and collect valuable data. We’ve also named the softer tyre as the prime and the harder tyre as the option in India, which we think will encourage drivers to base their race strategy on the softer tyres – but we will have to wait and see how the track evolves.

source: attwilliams.com

Force India F1 Team

2011 Indian Grand Prix Preview

Vijay’s vision

Team Principal and Managing Director, Dr. Vijay Mallya, looks forward to the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

Dr. Mallya, the big day is almost here, the very first Indian Grand Prix in Delhi. How proud are you to see India host its first race?

I have been involved in motor racing for over 30 years and it’s one of my greatest passions. I brought the first Formula 1 car over to India in the 1980s and it was always a dream of mine to one day see this great nation host a Grand Prix. So this weekend is a very significant moment and I’m extremely proud. It’s a major step forward for Indian motorsport and for sport in general in our country. We are all looking forward to it immensely.

Is it fair to say this is the biggest race in the team’s history?

Absolutely. This is a very important weekend for Sahara Force India and we are all determined to be as competitive as possible. I want to savour every moment of what will surely be one of the most spectacular events of the season and the start of a great Formula 1 tradition in India.

What do you think this race will do for the popularity of Formula 1 in India?

There is already great interest in Formula One in India, but having our own race has created a real buzz and will take the sport to an even wider audience. As soon as the ticket sales were announced, people were clamouring to buy them. Hosting the premier racing series in the world is a great privilege and there is great excitement throughout the country.

Earlier this month you announced the team’s partnership with Sahara India Pariwar – what will this mean for the team going forward?

This is yet another great milestone in the history of this team. The Sahara Group brings fresh investment and Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara shares my vision to push the development so that we continue to compete effectively with the teams ahead of us. The Sahara Group has played a very important role in the development of sport in India and is an ideal partner to help us achieve greater success in the future.

This weekend you will present the winner of your one from a billion young driver hunt. How pleased are you with the way this programme has progressed?

I made the decision to begin a driver hunt in India about 18 months ago. It was a massive undertaking to hold open trials in seven cities, but I was delighted by the quality of the drivers who came along to show their skills. Last week the top ten youngsters visited Silverstone to complete their final assessments based on driving talent, fitness and media training. There can only be one winner, but all of them showed dedication and hunger during the trials and can be very proud to have made it so far in the competition. Going forward we have some promising kids who we will support as they try to build careers in motorsport.

Adrian on India

Adrian Sutil gets set for the biggest weekend of the year in Delhi.

Adrian, we’re all set for the Indian Grand Prix. How will it feel to race in India?

It will be a very special moment. I’ve been with this team since the beginning and seen the progress we have made together, so it’s a proud moment to be starting the Indian Grand Prix with the only Indian team. I’m sure sitting on the grid will feel a bit different and I will always remember this race.

What are realistic expectations for the weekend?

I think based on our recent performances we go to Delhi believing we can score points, and we need to do that to strengthen our position in the championship. We can dream of a podium, but we also have to be realistic. There should be massive support for the team and it would be the icing on the cake if we can give everybody a special result to celebrate.

Because it’s a new circuit, does that change your approach?

Maybe we will run a little bit more than usual, but we know how to cope with new circuits because we had the same situation in Korea last year. With a new track it just takes a bit longer for the grip to come up and you have to do more set-up work than usual. I always enjoy experiencing a new track so I’m looking forward to it.

You know India well from your many visits there – how do you think the Indian fans have embraced the sport?

Every time I go there Formula 1 seems to become even more popular, and having a race there will add even more interest. I hope this year we will have more fans cheering us than any other team.

Paul on India

Paul Di Resta talks about his hopes for the team’s home race.

Paul, how excited are you ahead of the very first Indian Grand Prix?

Obviously this is a massive race for us in a very special place. It’s the first race for India, taking Formula 1 to a new culture, and a great opportunity for us to put on a great show for the fans. When you consider what Dr. Mallya has already done by creating an Indian team, this is the next step to really put Formula 1 on the map in India.

What do you know about the track?

Not a massive amount, to be honest. We did a simulator session last week, but because it’s a brand new track there are still a lot of unknowns and question marks about the characteristics of the track. The layout looks interesting and the good thing for me is that it’s a new track for everyone to learn. Getting up to speed will be key and the grip will build up throughout the weekend, but as long as we find a good balance by Saturday we should be okay.

What result would make you happy this weekend?

We will go there and do our maximum. Obviously each race is important because the same number of points are on offer, but there’s no denying that a strong result in the team’s home race would feel special for all of us. So there will be a lot of attention on us, but we will go there ready to fight and grab some more points.

Whyte & Mackay City Guide

Our team partner, Whyte & Mackay, makers of Scotch whisky, give their tips for a week in India.

Where to visit?

A trip to Delhi wouldn’t be complete without taking in some of the famous tourist attractions. India Gate should be near the top of your list. It’s a monument built in 1931 to honour soldiers who lost their lives serving the country.

Another experience to try is the Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon. It’s India’s hottest new theme park and showcases both Indian culture and the performing arts.

Where to eat?

Delhi is famous for its range of cuisines. To enjoy some authentic North Indian dishes, you could visit Punjabi by Nature located at Vasant Vihar and Raja Garden.

Oh Calcutta will give you the taste of east Indian cuisine, or to sample the real taste of Old Delhi, pay a visit to Karim’s or Paranthe Wali Gali at Jama Masjid, Old Delhi.

Where to drink?

After a busy day at the track, there’s plenty of premium pubs in Noida where you can relax and unwind. Add Quantum and Kink to your wish list for Saturday night.

If you’re after a nightclub, there’s plenty of happening destinations in central Delhi. Look out for HYPE, F-BAR, CAPITOL and Jynxx. Visit these venues from 11:00pm onwards.

source: forceindiaf1.com

Preview – Indian Grand Prix

17th of 19 Rounds of the FIA Formula One World Championship, 28-30 October 2011

There is great deal of curiosity about discovering another new venue on the Formula One calendar: On the weekend of 28th to 30th October the inaugural Indian Grand Prix will take place. The Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida is located about 50 kilometres south east of New Delhi in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The Sauber F1 Team is especially looking forward to the Grand Prix because it is heading to the home country of its CEO Monisha Kaltenborn, and with Amul, Asia’s largest milk brand, the team has a well-known partner from India on board for this coming race weekend.

Kamui Kobayashi (car number 16):

“It will be my first time in India and I’m very curios to discover a bit about the country. Everybody is telling us to be careful with the food. In a way I’m a bit worried about my stomach, but at the same time butter chicken curry is my favourite food and I would love to have it where it comes from. Obviously I don’t know the track yet. Maybe I will walk it, although generally I don’t regard track walking as being really very useful. The speed you have when you are on the circuit with the F1 car is so different it changes everything. I certainly want to get a good result for the team, as well as for myself at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. I also hope there will be huge interest from the people, as this is always a crucial question for debut races, and excited fans do create a good atmosphere.”

Sergio Pérez (car number 17):

“I am looking forward to this new track in India. It is another unknown circuit for me, but this time it will be new for everybody, so it won’t only be me who has to start from zero. On Monday before the race I will actually get to know a bit more about the circuit when I will be testing in the Ferrari simulator. I think the first Indian Grand Prix will be a very exciting event. I have some Indian friends and they keep telling me how emotional everybody is there about it. In any case, it is my goal to make the most out of that race weekend and score points again.”

James Key, Technical Director:

“After our performance in Korea was clearly below our own expectations, we analysed all the data carefully and came to the conclusion that we underestimated the limitation on the front axle and front tyres. As a result we suffered from too much understeer, which resulted in over loading the front tyres. Concerning the Grand Prix in India, we are obviously very much looking forward to going to a new venue in a country which is new to Formula One. Obviously the track itself is fairly much unknown to everyone, apart from using the simulation, and the other preparation work you can do with the information you have. You never really know what to expect until you are there. Like Korea last year, at a brand new track we expect that things like the evolution of grip will be quite significant over the weekend. This will influence the balance of the car, and you will possibly have to change the downforce level. The track itself looks pretty interesting, as it has one long straight and a fairly high downforce requirement in some of the winding bits at the back. The track is not unlike other new circuits. There seem to be some overtaking opportunities, but the drivers need to learn where that works and how effective the DRS is. The downforce level is most likely similar to recent events. We will have the soft and the hard tyre compound there. It’s quite some time since we ran the hard compound, so we’ll have to see how that goes. A lot depends on track temperatures, but given the nature of the track with several highly loaded corners, it could be that the hard tyre will warm up okay and last. Maybe the soft will struggle, but you never really know until you’re there. On the car we will have some small modifications to the rear wings and some small updates on the front wing.”

Buddh International Circuit / 5.125 km
Race distance
60 laps / 307.249 km
Qualifying 14:00 hrs, Race 15:00 hrs local time (08:30/09:30 hrs GMT)
Kamui Kobayashi
Sergio Pérez
13.09.1986 Amagasaki (JP)
26.01.1990 Guadalajara (MX)
Marital status
Height / Weight
1.68 m / 58 kg
1.73 m / 63 kg
First GP
Brazil 2009 (9th
Australia 2011 (7th/disqualified)
GP started
Best race result
5th (Monaco 2011)
7th (Silverstone 2011)
Best qualifying
8th (Silverstone 2011)
9th (Spa 2011)
Fastest race laps
Points in total
62 (3 in 2009, 32 in 2010)
Points in 2011
27 (12th overall)
13 (16th overall)
With 40 points the Sauber F1 Team is currently 7th in the Constructors‘ Championship

source: sauber-motorsport.com

Scuderia Toro Rosso

source: tororosso.com

Team Lotus Indian Grand Prix View

Karun Chandhok “I am very excited about driving at the new Buddh International Circuit in FP1 in front of my home crowd and while I am obviously disappointed that I won’t have the chance to race on Sunday, I accept the team’s decision to opt for the experience and talent they have at their disposal with Jarno and Heikki. This is a team that is still young, still growing, and I know that they have to do their best to secure their future in the sport – sometimes the hard decisions have to be made, and in this case it must have been a very difficult choice, but I understand that this isn’t about me. It’s about the team and everything the 254 people on track and back at the factory are doing to build for the future. For me, I believe that I have grown as a driver in and out of the car this year with my role in the Friday practice sessions and I’m looking forward to playing my part in helping the team have another strong weekend on track.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “I think India is going to be a fascinating race, for us and F1 in general. I suspect we are going to be given an incredible welcome, and to be able to race on a brand new circuit is always an interesting challenge, so whatever happens in the race I think it will be a great week for the whole sport.

“After Singapore I went back to Europe to do a day in the simulator to get used to the track, and it looks cool. There’s the obvious overtaking zone at the end of the long straight and then a few pretty standard medium speed corners but I think the main challenge for us is going to be finding a balance that suits the demands of T10 to T13, which is quick, and the haripins at T3, T4 and T16. We won’t know anything about tyre degradation until we get out there, but whatever happens it’s going to be hot, probably a bit mad, but seriously good. I can’t wait!”

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03: “I’ve obviously been to a lot of new circuits throughout my F1 career but I’m looking forward to India more than most. I’ll do my usual cycle around the track on Thursday and have a close look at the circuit, and when I get in the car I’m usually up to speed within four or five laps. We’ll run similar downforce levels to the Korea / Suzuka spec and as we were genuinely competitive in the races at both those tracks I think we’ll be ok in India. I’m sure it will be another good race for us, and I think the whole weekend will be fascinating, for us and for the fans.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “From a technical perspective the track looks like quite a few of the modern era F1 circuits, with a mix of high and medium speed corners and a long straight with a tight turn at the end at T4, which I am sure will create decent overtaking opportunities. It looks like there will be multiple lines for the drivers to take into that corner, as well as into T3 leading onto the straight, so I think we will see a lot of action onto and out of that section. Turns 10, 11 and 12 also look like they present the drivers with a bit of a challenge – they combine to make a long right that will be hard on the front left tyre and in layout it is akin to T8 in Turkey, but instead of being flat throughout it will need the drivers to go in hard on the throttle, come off the power into the first apex and then get back on through the middle section and out onto the run to T13. The next couple of turns are a little fiddly, but we might also see some overtaking into the final corner, T16, as it is a tight right leading onto the start finish straight after a pretty quick T15 which leads straight into T16.

“The tyres have probably been the single most important factor in upping the entertainment factor this season, but we will not know until Friday practice is completed just how they will perform in India. New tracks obviously lack basic grip until any meaningful running has been completed on them, and I am sure the Buddh circuit will be the same. Everyone up and down the pitlane will be in the same situation, so we will all be working hard on Friday to gather as much data as we can and give ourselves as good a shot at qualifying as we can, and at maintaining the race pace we showed in the last two Grands Prix. Whatever happens I am sure it will be a great weekend and one that will show the world just how well India can put on a global sporting spectacle.”

Tony Fernandes, Group CEO: “I am very excited about the Indian Grand Prix and I would like to congratulate The Jaypee Group and everyone involved at the circuit for their hard work in creating what I am sure will be an incredible event.

“From the team perspective the key goal for us this weekend is to maintain the performance levels we saw in the last two races and while I am sure there will be fans in India who want to see Karun race for us on Sunday we had to make the best decision for the future of the team. While all the emotional reasons for him driving were right we were conscious that the limited running he has had in the car this season, largely due to the weather conditions that have hit most of his FP1 sessions, has not given him the best preparation for this race, so we have taken the very difficult decision not to run him in the race this weekend. It is absolutely vital that we secure tenth place in 2011 to give us the platform to keep growing and despite the fact that Karun’s performance levels have continued to improve every time he has driven for us in 2011, it was considered too much pressure to put on Karun to drive in his first home race, deal with all the attention he would have had and be able to perform at the same level as either of our regular race drivers over the whole weekend. For that reason we had to take the pragmatic decision to put our faith in the experience and pace we have in Jarno and Heikki, and are confident they will continue to perform at the level they have over the last two years with us. While this is obviously not the decision Karun wanted us to take he understands that we have to take the long-term view and do so in the best interests of the team. He also understands that his relationship with our team is not about just one race, it is about growing together and while this is an historic event, there will be many opportunities to race in India in the future, and he is in the best possible place with us to take advantage of those chances in seasons to come.”

Indian GP edition of Team Lotus Notes

Formula One heads into uncharted territory this week as we make our way to Delhi’s brand new Buddh International Circuit for the first ever Indian GP. It’s a hugely special event for the country and F1 and we’ve embraced it with our own Indian edition of TLN, featuring:

Racing’s Spice Boy

Karun Chandhok explains how a boy from Chennai who watched his dad race on abandoned airfields made it to the top of the motorsport ladder, and how one phone call stopped him from quitting racing altogether in 2006.

Judging Talent

As CEO of Caterham Team AirAsia and a key player in the AirAsia Team Lotus Driver Development Programme, Nino Singh Judge knows a thing or two about helping young drivers reach the top. It wasn’t always that way though. In a revealing interview he explains how he owes his motorsport career to an old Adrian Newey project and an accident that ended his chance of flying army helicopters.

The Pace of Progress

The Team Lotus T128 has been notching some pretty impressive results lately, so to understand just how much of an improvement it is over last year’s T127, we asked Chief Designer Lewis Butler to clue us in. He was happy to oblige.

Passing the Test

Our GP2 squad, Caterham Team AirAsia, have been busy too, completing a two-day test in Barcelona where they ran the rule over a number of potential drivers. And one in particular stood out from the crowd, as Team Manager Phill Spencer explains.

source: teamlotus.co.uk

Indian Grand Prix Preview, 28th-30th October

Buddh International Circuit, 60 laps, 5.137km

The Indian Grand Prix will be a step into the unknown for all the teams as the Formula 1 World Championship visits the Asian country for the first time ever. The 17th race of the season will be a special occasion for HRT F1 Team’s Narain Karthikeyan who will be racing in front of his home fans. The first ever Indian F1 driver will have the honour of taking part in his country’s inaugural Grand Prix and will enjoy every second of this huge occasion for his home nation. Daniel Ricciardo will pair with the 34-year-old Indian driver for this single event.

The Buddh International Circuit is a fast track with a width of up to 20 metres in certain areas which should mean that overtaking opportunities won’t be scarce. The circuit is up and down with 8% downhill slopes and 10% inclines adding to the challenge of the track. There are three high speed straights and a number of slow speed turns meaning that getting the set-up right won’t be an easy task. For this race Pirelli has nominated their PZero hard (prime) and soft (option) tyres.

Narain Karthikeyan: “Driving in front of the home crowd cheering on is going to be a surreal experience. A once in a lifetime experience and I feel extremely fortunate. There is a huge buzz around the Grand Prix already and I’m sure that it’ll be a resounding success that will motivate more youngsters towards the sport and give us the future F1 drivers. Making it into F1 at the time I did was a seriously uphill task and the thought of being able to compete in the inaugural Indian GP was non-existent. But it is finally here and I’ll be on the grid. It is going to be one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar. There are points at which, if you’re in an F1 car, you will see nothing but the sky. The layout itself is going to put tremendous energy through the tyres and the strategy will play a key role in the final result. For sure I’ll race hard and try to get a good result for myself and the team. I would like to ex press my gratitude towards Tata Group and the rest of sponsors for their continued support and belief throughout my career”.

Daniel Ricciardo: “I haven’t seen the circuit yet but I’ve tried it out on Red Bull’s simulator. I’ve heard it looks quite good from Mark and Sebastian and if they say that then usually their judgment is pretty good. It’s always nice to go to a new place and circuit. I think every driver is excited to see what it is like. I like Indian food but it’s a little bit heavy, perhaps not the best for the diet, I will be quite careful leading up to the weekend but maybe on Sunday night I will enjoy a good curry. I did a show run in India a couple of weeks ago and there were loads of people, I’ve heard it’s already sold out so there should be quite a good turnout for the race. We had a good performance in Korea and I hope we can keep on improving in India” 

Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “Finally the time has come and we are heading to India for the first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix in its history. Going to new countries and race tracks gives all teams and sponsors a new platform and opens new opportunities that can be highly beneficial to the sport. Despite not being the most popular sport in India, the excitement around the Grand Prix and the effort that everybody is doing, makes us think that it will be an extremely popular event. And for HRT, it is even more special. Having Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian driver in F1 history, and Tata with us makes it feel like a home race. Narain is a talented driver and we are proud to be going down this path with him. For this single event, Narain will be driving alongside Daniel Ricciardo. I have asked Tonio Liuzzi to step aside for the Indian GP in order to allow driving programs with Ricciardo and Karthikeyan to be completed. I have to thank Tonio for h is professional approach and attitude. After the positive performance the team had in Korea, I hope that we will keep on that line in India. Although Narain has already driven around the track and given us a positive feedback, we really don’t know what to expect but we are looking forward to it”.

source: hispaniaf1team.com



Indian Grand Prix

Buddh International Circuit, India, 28-30 October 2011

“We are all incredibly excited to be heading to New Delhi for the first Indian Grand Prix. We always welcome a new addition to the calendar, taking Formula One into exciting new territories and broadening its reach and accessibility. The fans there have some great racing to look forward to.”

says John Booth, Marussia Virgin Racing’s Team Principal and Director of Racing.

“I think we have a very interesting weekend ahead of us and I’m sure India is going to present some surprises that even the best preparation cannot cater for. It’s the first time here for everyone and a level playing field is always most welcome. The track is provides an undulating lap with a combination of slow turns and high-speed straights, with many elevation changes that will make it a real challenge for the drivers. We can’t wait to experience it for ourselves during the first Free Practice session on Friday, but from our data and simulations the circuit looks quite interesting.

“The season is coming to an end very quickly – it’s unbelievable how the time has flown by! Reliability has been our watchword this season, so we hope to continue like this until the end of the season and aim for a positive result at the first ever Indian Grand Prix.”

“I always enjoy the challenge of a new circuit and this is certainly true of India, which promises to be a very exciting racing and cultural experience – a real journey into the unknown.”

says Timo Glock, Race Driver #24.

“A new race is always a big challenge for the whole team but at the same time it’s always very exciting to get to know a new country and drive at a new track. There are always some big unknowns but this time it’s the same for everyone, so what we have to do is focus hard on finding the right set-up for the weekend.

“I’m really looking forward to discovering this new circuit – it looks like an exciting one, as it will have one of the highest average speeds in Formula One and there are a couple of challenging corners and good overtaking opportunities.

“We are getting to the end of the season we continue to push to get the most out of the car and to take forward valuable lessons and information for next year.”

“As a rookie this year I have had to compete at tracks that other drivers already knew very well, but this time we all arrive in India with none of us having driven here yet, so it will equal things a bit for me.”

says Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Race Driver #25.

“This is going to be my first time in India and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a very different cultural experience which I’ve always wanted to sample, so I’m really excited about the race weekend ahead.

“What is also good about this is that the track is going to be a new one for everyone – it will equal things a bit. I have also had time to see the new layout and it looks really exciting! I hope to get to grips with the track quickly and, as always, I will aim for a positive result for myself and the team here in India.”

source: virginracing.com

Cosworth Media Information – Indian Grand Prix

Cosworth’s Circuit Tracker for this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix is now available for download by clicking the PDF link/icon below.

The ‘Cosworth Circuit Tracker’ takes a look at the Buddh International Circuit from an engine’s eye view with more topical insights direct from the race track.

Cosworth also details specific metrics that are intended to give an ‘at-a-glance’ look at the demands placed on the engine.

An Engine’s Eye View

The Buddh International Circuit features an interesting mix of corners. The first half of the lap generally comprises low speed turns, before the pace picks up at T8. The circuit also incorporates a long straight between T3 and T4, which includes a couple of pronounced humps as well as a generous DRS zone to assist with overtaking. Note that for this event, the FIA have also included a second DRS zone along the start-finish straight.

As at Yeongam two weeks ago, the circuit features three relatively long straights. The power sensitivity, in terms of lap time per horsepower, is therefore slightly higher than average.

7th gear selection will as usual be governed by the longest straight, as well as the compromise between qualifying and race DRS usage. With the start-finish straight running in the opposite direction, any wind direction change is at least partially negated by the corresponding benefit along the opposite straight.

T10 and T11 are likely to be amongst the most challenging of the circuit, from both a driver and engine perspective. Although the peak lateral acceleration here is not the highest of the lap, it will be sustained over a large period of time. As such, it will test the integrity of the oil system. Although in the opposite direction, these two corners feel similar to Suzuka’s famous Spoon curve.

From the Race Track

Walking the track on Wednesday, one immediately obvious feature of note was its width. It is particularly wide at the entry of T3 and T15. Presumably this has been done deliberately to open up the options for drivers to take alternative racing lines, and thereby promote overtaking.

Another feature apparent upon arriving at the circuit is the fact that it is very dusty. This could prove problematic if this passes into the engine. Dirt ingress is prevented via the air filter, which Cosworth will inspect regularly during Friday’s running. If this becomes blocked, engine power reduces as a result. As with nearly all aspects of engineering, filter design is a compromise. The thinner the filter, the less the blockage and the better the engine performance. However, go too thin and dirt will pass into the engine which will have similar, if not worse, results.

As at any new venue, absolute fuel consumption is a relative unknown. Whilst this can be simulated, it will be governed to a certain extent by grip level. The track will ‘rubber-in’ more than usual over the course of the weekend because it has not been used before, which will increase lap-by-lap consumption. Clearly the pre-race strategy will account for this, but the driver can select different engine maps to increase or reduce fuel consumption during the race should it differ from predicted values.

Information provided by David Lamb, Cosworth Senior Engineer

source: Cosworth F1 Media

Indian Grand Prix preview

New territory for all the teams and the P Zero compounds

What’s the story?

The recently-constructed Buddh International Circuit represents brand new territory for all the teams as well as Pirelli. With the track never having been used before, Pirelli has opted for a tyre nomination that should cover every eventuality, with the P Zero Silver hard tyre – making its final appearance of the season – alongside the P Zero Yellow soft tyre. Contrary to convention though, the softer tyre has been nominated as the prime choice in India with the harder tyre as the option. This means that the teams will have more of the softer tyres than the harder tyres at their disposal during free practice on Friday: the first opportunity that the teams will have to run on the 5.137-kilometre track. In addition the teams will also get an extra set of soft tyres on Friday, allowing them to maximise their running and provide Pirelli with some valuable information for the future.

Collecting as much data as possible prior to qualifying and the race will be a priority for everybody, but the track is likely to be ‘green’ and slippery, as it has never been used before. Just as was the case at the last race in Korea, there is likely to be considerable circuit evolution over the course of the weekend as more rubber gets laid down and the amount of grip changes. This effect is also caused by the new track surface cleaning, before the oils in the bitumen dissipate and the asphalt begins to age.

One of the highlights of the clockwise Buddh circuit is Turns 10 and 11: similar in its characteristics to the famous Turn 8 in Turkey. It is fast and long, putting a lot of lateral energy through the tyres, but unlike Turkey’s Turn 8 it tightens rather than opens.

Pirelli’s Motorsport Director says

Paul Hembery: “We’ve opted for a deliberately conservative nomination in selecting the hard tyre alongside the soft, simply because on a brand new circuit you are never quite sure of the exact race conditions you will encounter. But we’ve structured the allocation in such a way that we think the teams will run more on the softer tyres, particularly because we are bringing an extra set of soft compound tyres for Friday. This will help us to make some decisions about our strategy for next year, particularly after we saw the excellent durability of the softer compounds. It’s too early to talk about the number of pit stops we expect this weekend, but we anticipate a reasonably significant lap time difference between the two compounds. ”

The men behind the steering wheel say

Narain Karthekiyan (Hispania Racing Team): “This is going to be one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar and, as new tracks are always a bit of an unknown I can understand the choice of compounds Pirelli has made. The texture of the tarmac is exceptionally smooth compared to most circuits on the calendar, so I think that’s a plus. The lap time difference between the hard and soft tyres is going to be huge, maybe in excess of two seconds a lap. I’d expect the teams to use the hard as less as possible: maybe just a short final stint in the race as the benefits in lap time produced by the soft tyre should outweigh its shorter life as the track surface isn’t abrasive at all and track temperatures I think should be under 40 degrees during the weekend. The long pit lane will play a part in strategy as well with teams trying to get through the race with as few stops as possible. The layout itself is going to put tremendous energy through the tyres – especially the banked Turn 10, which is a long, multiple-apex right-hander, somewhat similar to Turn 8 in Turkey. The front-left will definitely experience a lot of load through there – and there are a couple of slow speed corners that will challenge the rears on exit. So overall it will be a great challenge for the tyres and it’ll be interesting to see how it pans out. I am so looking forward to it”.

Technical notes

* The simulation data for the Buddh International Circuit, which has 16 corners, suggests a lap time in the region of 1m27s. Average speed will be approximately 210kph, and the cars will reach nearly 320kph on the main straight, which will be the longest on the current Formula One calendar at just over one kilometre.

* The circuit contains a number of elevation changes, increasing the vertical energy that is put through the tyres. The entry to the corners tends to be wide in order to promote overtaking, with Turns 10 and 11 being one of the key places for passing, overlooked by a 13,000-capacity series of grandstands.

* The pit lane is one of the longest in Formula One, at over 600 metres, which will increase the time spent in the pits and therefore influence the race strategy. The race is scheduled for 60 laps, with a compromise medium downforce set-up needed. The weather should be warm and dry, in the region of 30 degrees centigrade. 



The tyre choices so far 


PZero Red
PZero Yellow
PZero White
PZero Silver
Super Soft
Super Soft
Great Britain

Pirelli in India

* Pirelli’s Indian headquarters is located in New Delhi, the host city of the Indian Grand Prix, half an hour from the Buddh circuit.

* Indian supermodel Lakshmi Menon, born in Bangalore, starred in the 2011 Pirelli calendar – which was shot in Paris and launched in Moscow.

* Sales of Ultra High Performance tyres – the sector in which Pirelli is renowned as world leader – are on the increase in India. According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, annual car sales are forecast to increase up to five million vehicles by 2015 and more than nine million by 2020.


The Buddh International Circuit represents new territory for Formula One and Pirelli, in one of the fastest-growing automotive markets in the world. Tomorrow the drivers will experience the track for the first time: here are some of the biggest demands that the tyres are likely to face on the 5137-metre circuit, located just outside of Delhi.

The track

A new track means that the surface will be at first dirty and slippery, making it hard for the tyres to generate grip – especially during practice at the beginning of the weekend. The track evolution should be pronounced, meaning that the times will improve as the weekend goes on.

The first sector of the track includes a slight left-hand corner before braking for a right-hand turn. This destabilises the car under braking, making the front-right wheel go lighter than it would normally when braking in a straight line. This inside tyre tends to lock up close to the apex causing understeer; it also means that the outside tyre has to do all the work of steering the car and supporting the front.

On the main straight – one of the longest on the Formula One calendar – the DRS flap is open. The dirt on the track leads to wheelspin under acceleration. The surface temperature of the tyre climbs to over 100 degrees centigrade, placing a heavy demand on the tread.

Turn 10 is certainly the most demanding corner of the track. The wide radius and camber allow high speeds to be reached that take the tyres to the limit of adhesion and put plenty of energy through the loaded tyre.

Preparing for a new circuit

While every circuit is new for Pirelli this year, a track that has never been raced on before is particularly challenging, both because of the nature of a new surface and because of the lack of previous data.

At the start of the season, Pirelli had a certain amount of data relating to all the circuits on the Formula One calendar this year, both from the teams and organisers, and also from previous experience of testing or racing in other series.

The data supplied relates to the forces at work on the tyres; wear rates in the past, driver feedback and statistical information relating to acceleration, braking, weather conditions and previous race strategy – as well as many other vital parameters.

With a brand new circuit, there is no prior data at all, so the task of preparing for the race and selecting the nominations becomes much harder. This is why Pirelli has nominated the hard and the soft tyres for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, so that every possibility is catered for.

In addition to this, two of Pirelli’s engineers inspected the Buddh circuit en route to the Singapore Grand Prix. They were among the first people to drive the complete circuit, but their work mostly consisted of looking at the track surface in detail.

They brought with them sophisticated laser measuring equipment, in order to assess the abrasiveness of the circuit by examining closely the spacing and shape of the stones that make up the aggregate. Several readings were taken from the machine, in order to ensure an accurate representation. Using these readings a virtual representation of the track from the tyre’s point of view can be created on computer.

Together with some asphalt samples from the new track, this allows Pirelli to calculate the likely wear rate and the effect of the asphalt on the tyres at different points on the circuit. Nonetheless, these are theoretical calculations that cannot replace real data, as the way that rubber is laid down on the track with 24 cars running over the course of a weekend is impossible to replicate.

On arrival at all the circuits – but particularly in India – Pirelli’s engineers walk the track, to check that what they observe corresponds to the data they have received. They are also looking for any potential problem areas, such as sharp kerbs, modifications to the circuit from previous years, or street furniture such as manholes on a road circuit.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery concludes: “There’s no doubt that preparing for a circuit that is completely new is more difficult than going to one of the established venues. However, the technology and know-how that we have at our disposal means that we can forecast some very accurate predictions without actually having raced at a circuit. Nonetheless, at a track where nobody has any previous information, we have to go with a conservative choice in order to cater for any possibility.”

source: pirelli.com