Indian Grand Prix Formula One preview
Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers at Buddh International Circuit just outside New Delhi.
Red Bull Racing
TEAM NOTICE BOARD
For the full team notice board, including information on Mark’s forthcoming Indian cricket event, please open the attachment below…
Mark Webber: “It’s a challenging venue and I really enjoy the track, it’s a nice circuit to drive. There was a massive crowd there last year and it was a good atmosphere. The track is similar to Korea with mainly long straights in sector 1 followed by a very busy sector 2 and 3, so we need to get the balance right between downforce and top speed. It should be reasonably straightforward weather-wise and I’m looking forward to getting out there.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I loved the track layout last year, but not just because I won the race. With an average speed of 235kph, the course is the second quickest of the year after Monza. There is a lot of elevation change around the lap which adds to the fun, from as much as 8% downhill and up to 10% uphill; it’s like a roller coaster! It really has emerged as one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar for the drivers.”
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
2012 Indian Grand Prix preview
Buddh International Circuit facts & stats
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.
- Race distance 60 laps (190.924 miles/307.249km)
- Start time 15:00 (local)/09:30 GMT
- Circuit length 3.185 miles/5.125km
- 2011 winner Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) 60 laps in 1hr30m35.002s (203.513km/h)
- 2011 pole Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing) 1m24.178s (219.178km/h)
- Lap record Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB7) 1m27.249s (211.463km/h)
McLaren at the Indian Grand Prix
- Wins -
- Poles -
- Fastest Laps -
Car 3: Jenson Button
- Age 32 (January 19 1980)
- GPs 224
- Wins 14
- Poles 8
- FLs 7
- 2012 points 131 (6th)
- India record 2011 Q4 R2
“Through no fault of my own, my weekend in Korea was a wasted opportunity – but it’s already far behind me, and I’m really looking forward to these next two back-to-back races.
“The Indian Grand Prix went well for me last year – I had an absolutely straightforward drive, running second from start to finish. It’s a circuit I like: it has a good feel to it, and you can tell it’s quite different from the normal places we visit.
“There are a couple of unusual factors: firstly, the approaches to Turns Three and Four are incredibly wide – almost like a motorway – in order to stimulate different lines into the corner and encourage overtaking. I hear that’s an element that’ll be carried over to the new track at Austin, too.
“Secondly, the combination of Turns 10 and 11 is also pretty special – it’s a huge, bowl-shaped double-apex right-hander, a bit like Spoon at Suzuka. It’s unusual for a new circuit to have such fast corners, and it’s really enjoyable when you get the car hooked up through there – the lateral g feels great.
“I think we can have a good weekend there – I’m already looking forward to it.”
Car 4: Lewis Hamilton
- Age 27 (January 7 1985)
- GPs 106
- Wins 20
- Poles 24
- FLs 11
- 2012 points 153 (4th)
- India record 2011 Q5 R7
“I love India – the people, the colour, the noise, the spectacle, the chaos: it’s an intense and vibrant country, with some of the most enthusiastic and friendliest people we meet all year.
“The circuit, too, is something of a revelation. Most modern tracks have a very similar feel; you find that the same driving style and rhythm suits them all. But the Buddh International Circuit is different: it has more in common with a great track like Spa than it does with any number of the more modern places we visit.
“And that’s because it’s got an incredible flow – basically, from Turn Four, a wide-apex right-hander that sweeps downhill, the track is just a series of fast, rolling curves which really allow you to put the car absolutely on the limit.
“I didn’t have a particularly tidy weekend there last year: but I feel I’ve been driving better than ever recently – even if the results haven’t quite shown it – so I’m headed to India determined for another good result. I think we’ll have a car that’s a match for the circuit and I can’t wait to get out there and start practicing on Friday.”
Martin Whitmarsh – Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“Our two weekends in Japan and Korea weren’t particularly prosperous. But while fortune certainly didn’t smile on Vodafone McLaren Mercedes during those two races, it’s proof if it were needed that no team or driver is immune from tides of good or bad luck.
“Of course, luck flows both way, and I’m positive that, after two disappointing races, this next double-header will be a more profitable affair for Jenson, Lewis and the whole team.
“I think the Indian Grand Prix has the potential to become a classic event on the Formula 1 calendar – the circuit is well regarded by all the drivers, there is a natural fanbase eager and ready for Formula 1 and there is terrific market potential within the entire continent. I am a big believer in the value of the Indian Grand Prix.”
The Buddh International Circuit is one of the most exciting venues on the Formula One calendar. Here’s how Vodafone McLaren Mercedes fared in last year’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix.
October 30 2011
The race starts well for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Jenson jumps from fourth on the grid to second on the opening lap, when he overtakes Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber. Lewis runs in a strong fifth place early on, but he collides with Felipe Massa mid-race and has to pit for a new front wing, dropping him down the order. At the flag, Jenson is 8s behind race winner Sebastian Vettel and Lewis is seventh in the second MP4-26.
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
2012 INDIAN GRAND PRIX, BUDDH INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, 26-28 OCTOBER, PREVIEW
The 2012 Airtel Indian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 28 October at the Buddh International Circuit just outside New Delhi. Having made its Formula One debut last year, the 5.125 km circuit hosts Round 17 of this year’s championship.
- Nine of the ten corners between Turns 5 and 14 are taken at between 200 and 250 kph
- The maximum lateral force generated on the lap is 3.8 G in Turn 13
- The 230m run from pole to the apex of Turn 1 is the third shortest of the year after Monaco and Valencia
- The cars spend 8.2s cornering in the double right-hander at Turns 10 and 11
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.
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.
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.
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°C will also make for additional challenges.
Lotus F1 Team
Kimi Räikkönen: “My motivation is very high; it always has been”
Having clinched P5 on his first visit to Korea, Kimi now has another new country and track to contend with as we head to India and the Buddh International Circuit
You gained another solid haul of points last time out; are you satisfied with the result in Korea?
I think fifth was about where we should have been. There were a couple of times where we were in a position to make up some places and – for different reasons – were not able to, but even so we didn’t quite have the speed to match the Red Bulls and Ferraris. I was pretty much on my own at the end of the race but we had to keep pushing to maintain position and it wasn’t so easy. I wouldn’t say it was a fantastic race but at the end of the day we still picked up points for the championship so it wasn’t too bad.
Just four races to go now; what can you hope to achieve before the end of the season?
There’s no point setting targets; we just need to keep working as hard as we can to score strong points and see what happens from there. In terms of the championship, the gap to Sebastian [Vettel] is quite big now so it will be very difficult to catch him, but we’ll keep pushing all the way.
How is your motivation as the goal of the Championship becomes harder to attain?
We have to keep working hard and keep a high level of motivation. Personally I feel my own motivation is very high – like it has always been. I’m keen to get the best results I can. Of course, in 2007 the championship wasn’t decided until the last race so anything is possible. Let’s see what happens.
What have you heard about India as a Formula 1 destination?
India is a brand new place for me. Like with Korea, I’ve never been to the country before which means I’ve never seen the circuit properly. I’m not like other drivers, so I haven’t driven the simulator to learn it, but all in all it’s not that much of a tricky situation. I like to go to different places and the challenge of driving a new circuit is always interesting. So far I’ve learnt tracks after a few laps in FP1 on Fridays. I didn’t have any problems learning the Yeongam circuit that way, and I don’t expect to have any issues here either. As for India, I have never visited the country before… I have certainly enjoyed Indian restaurants in almost every country I’ve been to though!
Any special considerations for the weekend?
We know this circuit is likely to be very dusty at the start of the weekend so that will make things interesting for the first practice sessions. We’ll have some new things on the car and it will be our second time with the new exhaust system so hopefully we can make more gains with our pace. India should also be pretty hot which should suit us. I’m looking forward to it.
Romain Grosjean: “I’m looking forward to unlocking India’s secrets”
After a relatively uneventful Korean Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean looks forward to India targeting another solid points finish
You’ve been to the Buddh International Circuit before but not yet driven it; what are your thoughts on the track?
I was at the circuit with the team last year in my role as third driver and it was fascinating to see Formula 1 come to a new venue like India. The track is very impressive, in the middle of what will be a massive facility. The layout looks very interesting, with some slow corners and high speed sections as well. I’m sure it will be a great track to drive and I’m looking forward to unlocking its secrets so it can go into my portfolio!
You seem to learn circuits pretty quickly; how do you achieve this?
There have been quite a few new tracks for me to learn this year and I am lucky as I usually pick them up very quickly. Hopefully it’ll be the case again in India so we’ll have time early in the weekend to work on the set up for qualifying and the race. With all the data we have today we know more about what we need to do in the corners; things like what brake pressure to use on approach, how much throttle to use on exit, how much speed you can carry through the mid-phase of the corner… all this can be looked at with your engineer in advance. In a way it’s easy when you know to use exactly 80 bar of pressure on the brakes or 80% of lift on the throttle for example. You take this information with you on a lap and you know how the car should behave. Of course you find the limit as you push more and more – there are always one or two corners that are more tricky – but normally the majority of the track is actually quite easy.
How difficult is it translating the telemetry and feedback into quicker lap times?
When you’re experienced with your engineer then you know what to do if they tell you 2kph quicker or a little less lift in this corner for example. From there feeling takes over the rest so you have to sense where to go a little quicker.
Inevitably there were a lot of eyes on you in Korea and you were put under pressure a few times on track; how was it from your perspective?
For sure I was a bit nervous starting the race as there was quite a lot of pressure. Myself and the team did a lot of work trying to understand a few things and it’s certainly helped. It wasn’t the easiest start; there was contact behind me at turn three and I took evasive action but after that it was quite a straight forward race and I could push how I wanted. I’ve been my own worst enemy at times this season, but hopefully now we can put it behind us and move forwards.
You finished the race where you started in Korea, but do you think more was possible?
Maybe we could have achieved one place better. It was frustrating being stuck behind Nico [Hulkenberg] for so long as we were clearly faster, but when I finally got the chance to pass I ended up losing two places as Lewis [Hamilton] joined the battle. We lacked a little bit of power exiting the corners compared with them so there was not a lot I could do. I think I now know every detail of Force India’s car after spending so much time fighting with it! Even so, I was happy to make it to the chequered flag after a good, clean race.
Eric Boullier: “Four races left and four good opportunities to score points”
With the team’s pre-season ambitions of fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship all but secured, Team Principle Eric Boullier is readying the troops for an assault on breaching the top three as the final push for success continues…
How is the team looking as we enter the final phase of the season?
I think if we look at the last two or three races objectively then we’ve had our difficulties, but we’ve also seen a clear step forward in terms of performance with the new exhaust system in Korea. The team did a brilliant job to bring such a significant upgrade to the race and make it work first time and there is still a lot more to come from this concept once we have had some more time to work with it. I think we should now be looking to push both cars into the top five during qualifying which will give us a much better chance of bringing home some good points in the fight for third place in the Constructors’ Championship.
With just four races to go and a rapidly diminishing number of points available, how difficult will it be to target that third spot?
There’s no denying it will be difficult. Having said that there are still four races left and four good opportunities to score points. The key will be to make sure we have good reliability from the E20 and our drivers, with both cars finishing solidly in the points every weekend.
There was a lot of attention on Romain in Korea; are you satisfied after his performance that we can draw a line under his recent troubles?
It’s definitely time for us to draw the line and move on, but more importantly it’s also time for Romain to put it in the past for himself. Despite a lot of pressure, he drove a good clean race in Korea and I fully believe he now understands what he needs to do to avoid these things in the future. Romain’s target for the rest of the season is clear; to build on the platform he created in the last race and help the team push for maximum points in the last four races.
The sport made its first trip to India last year; what are your thoughts on this recent addition to the calendar?
India is a huge country with an economy which is going from strength to strength, so it’s an important and exciting new market for the sport. It’s also a welcome opportunity to learn more about the culture and tradition of a nation which is quite different to most places we visit in the season.
The team is currently in the unusual position of working on three cars simultaneously; what are the main challenges associated with this?
Obviously, our resources are not infinite so the biggest challenge is deciding how to split them in the best way. Any extra effort you put in to one project means there is less for another, so the task is to make sure we don’t hurt our chances in the last four races, but are also in a strong position for next year and 2014, which is not an easy balance to find. This will be discussed a lot in the coming weeks and months as things can change very quickly, but so far the management team have done a very good job in keeping things under control.
With three sets of back to back races bringing this long season to an end, how difficult is it to keep the troops focused and motivated?
This is a challenging time of year for everyone, as with six Grands Prix in nine weeks the logistics of getting developments finished and fitted to the cars between races take a huge effort. Luckily, I can be completely honest when I say that our race team motivation is never a problem. The people we have at Enstone are not just highly professional, but also dedicated to what we all love to do; and that is to go racing!
James Allison: “We face an unprecedented three-way development challenge”
Charged with marshalling resources at Enstone, Technical Director James Allison discusses the race in Korea, prospects for India, and looks at what’s keeping him busy with four races of the 2012 season yet to go
What are your conclusions after Korea?
We finished the race in our starting positions, which was solid if ultimately unspectacular. Kimi added more points to his tally and Romain achieved what we had asked of him by keeping his nose clean and bringing the car home to score valuable points for the team. We didn’t set the world alight, but we got both cars home in the points and were notably more competitive than in recent races in terms of the gap to pole position. Furthermore, over the course of the weekend we managed a successful implementation of our Coandă exhaust system as well as reacting to a front tyre graining issue that is a feature of the Korean circuit.
What’s our assessment of the Coandă system and will we see it in action again in India?
It was a solid debut for the Coandă system and we will see both Kimi and Romain using it in India. We were reasonably pleased with how it performed on its first outing. We knew that our first implementation would be a little power hungry, but we hoped for – and were delighted to register on the track – a good downforce boost. Our initial design was already a step forward relative to the previous system, but we expect more from this package as we modify the exhaust to recover much of the lost power.
What else can we expect to see on the car in India?
Romain used a new front wing in Korea which has proved to be a mild step forward and will be available to both drivers in India.
We’ve only been to India once before; how confident are we returning to the circuit?
Last year it was the track with the most important racing line in the world, with any deviation from that line punished pretty severely as the surface was very dirty. This year the circuit organisers have invested in impressive track cleaning equipment the likes of which we see in Bahrain, so matters should be somewhat different. We’ve learnt that it’s a pretty challenging circuit and a good test for both the car and driver with a bunch of nice corners. It’s a typical modern Formula 1 track and an interesting place to go racing.
Will development continue with the E20 and when does the focus move fully to next year’s car?
This question comes up a lot at the tail end of the season. In a normal year, the answer would be that the focus has pretty much shifted to next year’s car already. This is not a normal year though. Every team on the grid is facing the unprecedented challenge of working simultaneously on three cars. There are two principal reasons for this: Firstly, the rules for 2013 are relatively unchanged which – combined with the quite tight grid – means that there is still merit in developing the 2012 car even this late in the season. Secondly, the looming shadow of the 2014 regulations demands our attention. Anyone who followed the sport in 2009 will know that a large shake up in the regulations presents both opportunity and hazard which can significantly re-jig the traditional pecking order of the teams. The regulatory revolution for 2014 makes the 2009 changes look trivial by comparison. Choices have to be made with three babies competing for development food; do you put resources into the E20 and get as much out of it as possible or is it more prudent to make the most of what will be ‘the last hurrah’ for this generation of rules in 2013? Alternatively, is it right to focus more on the longer term future with the 2014 rules that will form the basis of the next generation of F1 cars? It’s a very finely balanced judgement and one that is a fascinating challenge. By the end of the 2014 season we should know if we made the correct decisions.
Tech Talk: India
Simulations show that the Buddh International Circuit is comparable to a Suzuka or Barcelona level of downforce; similar to that used in Korea which is a couple of steps away from maximum load.
There are significant braking demands at turns one, four and five but overall it isn’t a hard circuit for brakes. There is a long straight for the brakes to cool before turn 4 and they will also not be unduly stressed heading into turn 1.
There are no significant bumps or kerbs that require special attention here. Good change of direction in the medium speed corners is essential so suspension would tend to be at the stiffer end of the range.
Pirelli will again bring their hard and soft compound tyres to this race.
This will give us the challenge of making the hard tyres work well enough in the early laps while also managing the higher wear levels expected on the soft tyres.
Front wing downforce needs to be sufficient to eradicate understeer, particularly for the turn 10-11 high speed corners where it could cost a lot of lap time.
The first part of the circuit requires good top speed and power since 75% of this sector consists of straights. The second part of the track is twistier and requires a more driveable and responsive engine. The resultant engine requirements will be similar to Korea in this respect. Dust and grit from the surface can also be ingested into the airbox so filters will be regularly inspected to avoid blockages.
Track Guide: Buddh International Circuit
The pit lane is one of the longest in Formula 1 at over 600 metres with a notable influence on pit stop strategy as a result.
APPROACHING TURN 4
With speeds of around 320kph attained, the longest straight on the track leads into Turn 4; a corner which is quite wide to assist with overtaking. It’s also the heaviest braking point on the circuit – with cars going from 320-90kph in 140 metres – creating aspect which should assist passing.
TURNS 8 – 9
A fast right to left chicane, turns 8-9 require a quick change of direction from the car.
TURNS 10 – 11
The never-ending turn 10-11 combo is similar to Turkey’s Turn 8; long and fast, with energy building and compounding in the tyres. Turn 10 is uphill and heads straight into Turn 11, which combined to form one of the most exciting parts of the circuit. This section is overlooked by a grandstand with a capacity of 13,000. Through this long corner, understeer is the enemy and car setup is focused on countering that.
TURNS 13 –14
Turns 13-14 form another section requiring good change of direction. Here the car needs to be stiff to ensure receptive response.
Turn 16 is another wider section of track which promotes overtaking opportunities.
Andy Green and the Bloodhound Gang
15 years ago this week, Andy Green became the first man to break the sound barrier on land in the iconic Thrust SSC. As part of our homage to the men and women who have transcended the limits of technology, we spoke to Andy about his experience of that epic feat and learnt more of his next great challenge; opening up the world of science and technology to inspire future generations…
“A huge amount of research went into developing the Thrust SSC as it was something that had never been done before. Many people, including scientists and aerodynamicists, said that breaking the Sound Barrier on land was simply not possible. We had to develop new forms of technology to achieve it. 15 years ago CFD did not exist as it does today in Formula 1, so we really pioneered its development.”
“We headed to the desert to break the record with good confidence in the car, as we’d broken the barrier in testing. To fulfil the record however, we had to do it twice in just one hour and in both directions. After all the system checks, data checks, parachute checks etc. we were left with very little time to actually make the runs, particularly if something went wrong!”
“It was a huge driving challenge. As with Formula 1 cars, we had to compromise the handling to be able to achieve the speeds needed to break the sound barrier. Imagine trying to control 100,000 horsepower, and keep the ten tonne car in a straight line… although controllable, it was unstable near the speed of sound which made it a beast to handle!”
“People ask me if I was nervous but I’d say it was more nervous anticipation for all of us. As with anything in life, you need focus to do it correctly. All of the team who were involved with preparing the car needed to be totally focused and at the top of their game to get it right and make sure we achieved the record. We were and we did!”
Andy is now working with Richard Noble on their new record attempt to break the 1,000mph mark with the Bloodhound SSC. If all goes to plan, Bloodhound will be conducting ‘slow speed’ runway tests in the UK with an assault on Thrust’s land speed record taking place on a specially prepared track in South Africa by the end of 2013. It will be 2014 before the car attempts to go beyond 1,000mph, with this ground-breaking creation requiring a significant amount of development to perfect.
This time around there will be a full time Design Office of around 15 people working on the project, not to mention help from various partners such as Rolls Royce and Lockheed Martin. Andy – with his previous experience and Royal Air Force training – will once again be taking the wheel of the 1,000mph car and remains humble in his role;
“I see my job as helping to develop this car. It is a team project and although I’m the one who will be driving it, my role is to help achieve our goal of breaking the 1,000mph mark and inspire the next generation of young scientists and engineers.”
When travelling to any part of the globe, it’s always an advantage to have a good contact in place to help make the most of the trip. Luckily in Korea we had our very own local expert / aerodynamic guru Kim Hyo Won to show us how it’s done! We caught up with him to find out more…
“My day job with the team is as an Aerodynamicist back at the factory, but in Korea I muck in doing a bit of everything and helping where I can. I started working for the team back in 2010 when the Grand Prix first came here and was very fortunate that – as a native speaker – I got to come to the inaugural race. I’ve been doing it ever since and being out here with the team during a race weekend is a fantastic experience, so long may it continue!”
The Drivers A-Z…
Kimi has a total of 59 points from his time in the World Rally Championship. He also has a stage victory to his name from the 2010 Rallye Deutschland.
Romain has won at least one race in every year of his racing career, dating back to 2003.
Our History: Korean Grand Prix
2011 saw the inaugural Indian Grand Prix take place at the Buddh International circuit, with Lotus F1 Team competing under the Lotus Renault GP banner
Brazilian Bruno Senna and Russian Vitaly Petrov were the men at the wheel; the former taking P14 on the grid and clinching P12 in the race, while the latter climbed from a P16 starting slot to narrowly miss out on the points in P11
The Buddh International Circuit will be a new challenge for both Kimi and Romain; neither of whom have competed at this venue since it addition to the Formula 1 calendar last season. With both drivers having proven more than capable of adapting to new tracks last time out in Korea, there can be no doubting the potential for an equally impressive performance here in India
In Numbers: Buddh International Circuit
Highest g-force experienced for 6 seconds at T10 and T11
% of the lap spent braking
Total straight per lap (%)
Gear changes per lap
% of lap at full throttle
Lowest apex speed (kmh) at T3
Highest apex speed (kmh) at T12
Top speed (kmh)
Distance in metres from start line to first corner
Longest full throttle burst (metres) between T3 and T4
Sahara Force India F1 Team
- 2012 Indian Grand Prix Preview
- Sahara Force India looks forward to its home race, the Indian Grand Prix.
Indian GP: Vijay’s Vision
Dr Mallya talks about the team’s form in the second half of the year and gets set for the team’s home race.
Dr Mallya, the team continued its run of points finishes in Korea. What is your assessment of the season so far?
It certainly feels like we have upped our game since the summer break and it has been satisfying to see us up there fighting for good points. The only frustration is that we have not always managed to get two cars in the points and that has hurt us in the championship. But in terms of outright performance, I think we can be pleased with our level of consistency. We’ve had at least one car in the top ten of qualifying in over 80% of the races and scored points in 75% of the races. While we may not have finished on the podium this year, it is our consistency that has been key to our success and kept us in the fight.
The second Indian Grand Prix is upon us – what can we expect second time around?
Last year’s race was already a tremendous success and I’m sure we can expect an equally spectacular event this year. Buddh International Circuit always looks after us very well and I know that they have been working hard behind the scenes to fine-tune the circuit and facilities even more. But above all else, the most important thing is the layout of the track because last year all the drivers loved it. It’s certainly one of the best tracks in the world.
How is the team approaching its home race?
I remember how proud I felt last year to see our cars racing in India in the colours of the Indian flag. It was a moment I had dreamed about and a great sporting achievement for our country. To score points was the icing on the cake. This year I would like to go one better and see both our cars in the points – at the very least – so that we can give our fans something to smile about. The gap to Sauber is now 27 points. It’s a big lead, but not impossible to catch them before the end of the year. There’s still a lot of racing to go and we will keep the pressure up for the final four races.
Nico on India
Nico Hulkenberg reflects on his performance in Korea and looks ahead to the Indian Grand Prix.
Nico, after two strong results in Japan and Korea, you must be feeling pretty confident coming into the team’s home race…
The last two races were a lot of fun and probably two of my best races of the year. Korea was pretty much a perfect weekend. I said at the start of the weekend that we needed things to be perfect and that’s what we had: no mistakes, a smooth qualifying and a clean race.
Since the summer break you’ve scored 26 points – it seems you’ve found the sweet spot with the VJM05…
I feel comfortable and confident in the car and the team is doing a good job. We’ve just got a good rhythm and momentum, and that’s so important in Formula One. I’ve still had some tough weekends, like Monza and Singapore, but on the whole things have been going well. We just need to make sure we can repeat what we did in Korea during the final four races. We really need to stretch ourselves to get everything we can from the remaining races.
This is your first Indian Grand Prix and you’re driving an Indian car – how excited are you ahead of the weekend?
I was at the first Indian race last year, but obviously I didn’t get a chance to drive. I’ve been around the track in a road car and tried it on the simulator, but I still have a bit to learn on Friday. As a race it’s as big as they come for this team. We will be in Delhi at the start of the week to meet the local media and fans and they always show lots of enthusiasm for us. I hope that we will see their support at the track with lots of fans cheering us on.
Paul on India
Paul Di Resta looks ahead to the team’s home race.
Paul, tell us your thoughts heading into such an important weekend for the team…
It’s obviously our home Grand Prix and a special weekend. There’s pressure on us to perform and clearly we need to go there ready to keep the momentum going. It’s a busy week for everyone involved with the team and there’s a lot going on in terms of media work and extra events, but it won’t distract from our focus to come away with the best result we can.
What targets do you have in mind?
We’ve got to go there and qualify in the top ten. That will get us in contention and allow us to concentrate on the race. All year we’ve shown that we have a car capable of reaching Q3, but the grid is very close and we don’t have any margin so we need everything to come together perfectly. Also, based on our performance last year, we looked quite competitive at this track so you’ve got to hope that will carry over for this year.
What are your thoughts on the Buddh International Circuit?
It’s one of those new-style Herman Tilke circuits so there’s a good mixture of corners, plenty of run-off and a few areas where overtaking is possible. We found last year that the grip built up quite quickly and the track was exciting to drive with some satisfying corners. I remember that tyre wear was quite high last year and I had to stop three times during the race, so understanding the tyres on Friday will be the priority.
Sauber F1 Team
Preview – Indian Grand Prix
17th of 20 Rounds of the FIA Formula One World Championship, 26.-28.10.2012
With just four Grands Prix to go, the FIA Formula One World Championship is getting ready for its final spurt. The races follow in quick succession now and as double headers, beginning with the Indian Grand Prix on 28th October. The race in Abu Dhabi is just a week later, and then the inaugural event in Austin, Texas, will be held only days before the final round in Sao Paulo.
Kamui Kobayashi (car number 14):
“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 Pérez (car number 15):
“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, 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, 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 performe well on this track.”
Buddh International Circuit / 5.125 km
60 laps / 307.249 km
Qualifying 14:00 and Race 15:00 hrs local time (08:30/09:30 hrs UTC)
13.09.1986 Amagasaki (JP)
26.01.1990 Guadalajara (MX)
Height / Weight
1.68 m / 62 kg
1.73 m / 64 kg
Sao Paulo 2009 (9th)
Melbourne 2011, (7th/disqualified)
Best race result
3rd (Suzuka 2012)
2nd (Sepang and Monza 2012)
2nd (Spa 2012)
5th (Spa 2012)
1 (Shanghai 2012)
1 (Monaco 2012)
50 (currently 11th)
66 (currently 10th)
Points in total
The Sauber F1 Team is currently 6th in the Constructors’ Championship (116 points).
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Indian GP Preview
- When: Friday 26 to Sunday 28 October, 2012
- Where: New Delhi, India
- Round: 17 of 20
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: On the back of a disappointing result in Korea the team have worked extremely hard to address the balance inconsistencies that affected both cars. We believe that we have found a solution and look forward to testing and optimising around the updated car. The weather forecast in Delhi is good with predicted dry running throughout the weekend in reasonably high track temperatures and, as ever, the aim is to keep both the Pirelli hard and soft tyres within their optimal working window throughout the weekend.
Pastor Maldonado: India is enjoyable because it’s so different and the track is one of my favourites. It’s still a new track but it has a good combination of medium and high speed corners, chicanes and good changes in direction. Coming to the final few races, making the most of our cars potential is going to be important, so hopefully we can score points here and put ourselves in a strong position for the final three races.
Bruno Senna: I’m looking forward to this weekend because India has a different atmosphere to many other Grand Prix and it’s always a unique place to visit. As a new track the surface is very smooth and the layout is fast and flows well with some high speed corners which will suit our car. We should therefore be looking to improve on our performance in Korea.
Rémi Taffin, Head of Renault Sport F1 Track Operations: The first part of the track is mainly composed of straights, including an awesome 1.12km straight, the longest on the calendar. Unusually this straight dips in the middle. The second part of the track is a lot more intricate, with all the corners linking together, so 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, which need a steady application of power. At the start of the weekend dirt on the racing line and pollution within the atmosphere can have a detrimental effect on air filter performance, so this will need careful monitoring during P1 and P2.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director: For the Indian Grand Prix, we’ve nominated the P Zero Silver hard tyres and P Zero Yellow soft tyres, as we did in 2011. Along with everybody else though, this time we benefit from much greater knowledge of the track and the conditions so we can afford to be a little less conservative. It’s quite a demanding circuit for the tyres due to high ambient temperatures, some fast corners and notable elevation changes, as well as a long straight. All these factors contribute to putting plenty of energy through the rubber. We are also expecting to see a considerable degree of track evolution over the course of the weekend. Generally speaking, our tyre compounds are softer this year but we should still definitely see a performance gap between the two nominations selected for India, which will open up a number of different opportunities for strategy. Coupled with the wide and open track layout, this means that there is plenty of potential for overtaking as well.
Indian Grand PrixView
Race Laps: 60
Lateral and longitudinal forces are equally distributed throughout the lap
Track dirty every day
High temperatures with no rain expected during the weekend
In 2011 the prime tyres were hard and options were soft
Air/Track temp ( C): 30 / 37
Pitlane altitude (m): 213
ATM Press (HPA): 990
Hum (%): 20
Wind (kph): SE2
P1: VET (1:24.178 Q3)
P2: HAM (1:24.474 Q3)
P3: WEB (1:24.508 Q3)
CF1T best: P19 KOV (1:28.565 Q1)
P1: VET (1:27.249 L60)
P2: BUT (1:27.967 L60)
P3: ALO (1:27.953 L58)
CF1T best: P14 KOV (1:30.294 L58)
Overtaking chance: medium
Ride height setting particularity: none
Engine severity: medium / high
Gearbox severity: medium / high
Lat/Long grip: lateral
Aero eff ratio: medium
Safety car history: 2011 – none
Track grip evo during w/e: very high
Aero settings: high
Brake wear severity: high
Brake cooling necessity: low
Giedo van der Garde (driving FP1 in Heikki Kovalainen’s car): “With each session I’m doing I’m getting more comfortable with the car and the team and the feedback I’m getting from the engineers is good, so India’s another chance to build on that. It’s another new track for me but one that looks cool on my simulator, and the other drivers have told me it’s better than quite a few of the stop / start type of tracks so I’m looking forward to getting back out on track.
“I’m also really looking forward to going to India. I’ve never been before and I’ve always wanted to go to India, plus I’m a big fan of spicy food so it’ll be a chance to have a completely new experience, on and off track.”
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#03: “It’s our second time racing in India and I’m excited about getting back there. Last year I think we were all impressed with what they did with the circuit – the layout was really good, an interesting mix of elevation changes and different types of corners, not what we’ve seen at a lot of the newer circuits so one I think we all enjoyed.
“Performance-wise I think we’re all realistic about what we can do in India, but that doesn’t mean we’re not working as hard as we can to keep progressing. The guys behind us are putting up a good fight and, while we have clear air between us on track, we need to make sure we keep that gap, and, where possible, take advantage of anything that happens ahead.”
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#02: “The Indian track is one of the good ones. It’s pretty smooth, nice and wide, so you can take different lines into some of the corners, and it has a couple of really good corners like the double left turns five and six which you come into quickly, and then braking for the chicane through seven, eight and nine. The track surface itself is pretty similar to Korea. It will evolve a lot over the weekend and you’ll see times coming down as the grip levels improve but, as with the whole year, managing the tyres is going to be really important. In Korea we didn’t have as much track time in the practice sessions as we’d have liked, so one of the main objectives will be making sure we get as many laps done as possible so we go into Sunday knowing as much as we can about the tyre behaviour over a race distance.”
HRT F1 Team
Indian Grand Prix Preview
- 26th-28th of October
- Buddh International Circuit – 60 laps – 5.125 km
- Madrid, Friday the 19th of October 2012
After two consecutive races in Japan and South Korea, the calendar offers a bit of respite and an opportunity to recharge batteries before another two weeks of continuous racing in Asia which gets underway with the Indian Grand Prix from the 26th to the 28th of October. It will be the second time that Formula 1 visits India, after a successful first edition in 2011 where Narain Karthikeyan made history by being the only local driver to take part in the first Indian Grand Prix. It will be a very special occasion once more for HRT Formula 1 Team and, in particular, for local hero Narain Karthikeyan, who will also be of great help to his teammate Pedro de la Rosa, who has never raced at the spectacular circuit.
The Buddh International Circuit is made up of two long straights and a variety of corners which are demanding for driver and car alike. The track goes up and down with downhill gradients of 8% and uphill ones of 10% and the track has a width of up to 20 metres in some areas that make for various overtaking opportunities.
Pirelli has elected its hard and soft tyres for this Grand Prix.
Pedro de la Rosa: “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: “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 Pérez-Sala, 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”.
Marussia F1 Team
- What we’re saying about the 2012 Indian Grand Prix
- Buddh International Circuit, New Delhi
- 26-28 October 2012
All you need to know >>> Race date 28 October…Laps 60…Circuit length 5.125 km…Race distance 307.249 km…11 corners, 7 left-handers, 9 right…Circuit direction clockwise…Lap record 1:27.249 (S. Vettel – 2009)…The circuit was brand new for 2011 when New Delhi hosted the inaugural Indian Grand Prix…One of its most striking features is the undulation, for which over 4m3 tons of earth was moved to achieve the spectacular rise and fall through the lap, 14 metres between Turns 1 and 3 alone…Circuit hallmarks – likened by some to Spa thanks to its series of fast, rolling curves, which allow the drivers to put the car on the absolute limit…a mixture of slow speed turns and high-speed straights, drivers pick up speed on the straights but will need to be hard on the brakes at the end of each straight…Tyre nomination Pirelli PZero Silver Hard and PZero Yellow Soft – softer than last year’s debut race, which should lead to closer racing…
This week the sport returns to New Delhi for the second occasion of the Indian Grand Prix, where the Marussia F1 Team will be looking to consolidate 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship and continue to put mileage on its most recent car developments. Once again, Timo Glock has the upper hand in terms of experience of the circuit, while Charles Pic will no doubt relish the challenge of yet another new track in his debut season.
Timo Glock, Driver #24
“India, in my opinion, is a fantastic track. As soon as we did our first practice runs at the Buddh International Circuit last year, I enjoyed it straight away. There are so many special sections to the track, especially Turn 3, which is a very extreme corner. You have to completely turn into the steering wheel, followed by a very long straight. I’m excited to see what we will achieve there this year there, however with the long straight the KERS factor will again play an important role. Of course, we will try to get the best out of our package and achieve a two-car finish.”
Charles Pic, Driver #25
“Of the circuits I would be racing for this first time this season, this is definitely one of a few that I have been particularly looking forward to. The track is very interesting with some striking features, and it seems to have been widely praised in 2011. I have done a lot of work in the simulator to prepare and I can appreciate the parallels with Spa; it looks very fast and free-flowing. I think the long straight will be a challenge for us because we don’t have KERS, but we did a good job of achieving a good balance across the whole lap in Korea, so we will see how well the package works for us this weekend. This is my first trip to India – again, something I am looking forward to. 2012 has been a year of new and exciting experiences and I still have four new circuits to look forward to.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“We were all pleasantly surprised by the Buddh International Circuit last season, when we raced there for the very first time. It’s a fascinating blend of some of the very best features from circuits across the whole calendar, most notably Spa. The track is quite a technical challenge in terms of setting the car up and, from a driver’s perspective Timo had nothing but praise for it last year. Charles of course faces another Friday of acclimatisation, but he is really enjoying the challenge and is pushing himself hard. So we head to New Delhi this week hoping to benefit from the experience gained in 2011 and optimistic that we can keep delivering strong two-car finishes in the remaining races, to reflect our development progress and help us to keep a firm grip on 10th position in the Constructors’ Championship.”
The Indian Grand Prix from a tyre point of view:
Delhi, 26-28 October 2012
P ZERO SILVER AND P ZERO YELLOW FOR THE HEAT OF INDIA
What’s the story?
Formula One comes to India for only the second time this weekend, and just like last year Pirelli will bring the P Zero Silver hard and P Zero Yellow soft tyres. However, these compounds are softer compared to their equivalents last year, and with a better knowledge of the Buddh circuit plus some real data, Pirelli can afford to be less conservative this time – which should lead to even closer racing.
Compared to the last grand prix in Korea, where Pirelli brought its two softest compounds, India places heavy demands on the tyres. This is due to a number of factors, starting off with the high ambient temperatures in excess of 30 degrees centigrade. The track layout also takes in several fast corners that put plenty of lateral energy through the tyres: in particular the banked turn 10, which is similar to the famous turn 8 in Turkey. The front-left tyre is subjected to an acceleration of 4g on the exit of the corner, where maximum grip is required to hold the racing line, but the tyres are actually under full lateral load for six seconds during the corner, which increases wear.
At the beginning of the lap in particular, there are some notable elevation changes that exert vertical forces on the tyres as well, combined with a braking force of 3.6g into turn 4. The main straight, which is more than a kilometre long, is one of the longest of the year: while tyre tread temperature peaks at over 100 degrees centigrade during the course of the lap, it tends to cool down considerably by the end of the straight.
As the circuit is not used extensively during the course of the year, a high degree of track evolution is expected over the weekend. A dirty track causes excessive wheelspin as the cars struggle for grip: this also increases tyre wear. Generally though, the surface of the Buddh circuit is quite smooth, which means that degradation is contained.
Pirelli’s motorsport director says:
Paul Hembery: “There was an amazing atmosphere and an extremely warm welcome at the Indian Grand Prix for us last year, so we’re all looking forward to going back. This year we know a little more about the track so we’ve made a less conservative choice, with the hard and the soft tyres striking exactly the right balance between performance and durability. The circuit layout is one of the toughest that our tyres will face throughout the second half of the season and it’s also the last time that we will see the hard and soft combination this year, which was previously used in Barcelona, Britain and Japan – which gives you some idea about the demands of this circuit. The Buddh circuit has been specifically designed to encourage overtaking, which is also one of the objectives behind the design philosophy of our tyres, so we should be set for an action-packed race at a crucial point in the championship.”
The men behind the steering wheel say:
Narain Karthikeyan (HRT): “Last year the tyre choice was understandably a bit conservative, but with all compounds slightly softer for 2012 and the track in fantastic shape, it may be a different story this time. The layout is a great mix, which makes it challenging for the tyres as there are very few conventional corners, barring turn 1 and maybe the final corner. The first gear exit at turn 3 punishes the rears if you are impatient with the throttle. At turns 5-6 you are turning and scrubbing off a lot of speed simultaneously so it’s easy to test the limits of the track at the exit. There are a couple of fifth gear direction changes as well, with the esses of turns 8-9 and 13-14 negotiated at well over 200kph. Finally there’s the seemingly unending turn 10, where you have steering lock on for over six seconds while the minimum corner speed is just under 200kph, putting tremendous energy into the front-left. So overall, it’s a fairly busy lap but since the surface isn’t abrasive, wear shouldn’t be issue. We’ll have to wait until the Friday sessions to find out what we can expect in long runs with both compounds. The goal would be to see how the softs perform on high fuel. Obviously this is the most anticipated race on the calendar for me, there is already a great buzz around the event considering that the championship is still wide open and I hope all drivers and F1 personnel relish the Indian experience.”
Pirelli’s test driver says:
Jaime Alguersuari: “I think that the layout of the Buddh circuit is one of the best in Formula One, and it also happens to be one of the toughest on the tyres. I’ve got good memories of the track personally too: last year I finished eighth after a good qualifying as well. You get this interesting combination of low, medium and high speed corners, as well as long straights. A lot of the corners are quite unusual: for example we have a chicane right at the end of the lap that we take in fifth gear, which doesn’t happen very often! What puts the biggest stress on the tyres in India is the fact that many of the corners are very long, so there is a sustained lateral load with some fast changes of direction as well. You need all the grip you can get and there is a risk of graining as well if you do not manage the tyres properly. The hard and the soft tyres are a very good choice here – the hard will be perfect to race on – and I think that a one-stop strategy could be possible if you look after the tyres in the correct way.”
Technical tyre notes:
- There was a performance gap of up to two seconds per lap between the two nominated compounds last year, but this year the gap should be a lot smaller, allowing the majority of the front-runners to get through Q1 on the hard tyre.
- The asphalt of the Buddh international circuit was brand new last year, but one year on the characteristics of the surface may have evolved. A new circuit gradually releases oils from within the asphalt, which forms a slippery layer on the track surface. Over time however this film gradually disappears, giving it more grip and making it more abrasive.
- The pit lane in India is one of the longest in Formula One at around 600 metres. This leads to a relatively significant time loss when changing tyres, which is an important factor when considering the race strategy.
Renault Sport F1
Mark’s Indian Grand Prix Preview
Mark returns to the Buddh International Circuit this weekend for the second Indian Grand Prix. He finished fourth in this race last year and he’s looking forward to the challenge provided by the 5.1km track.
“It’s a good little track,” says Mark. “There are some interesting sections and there are some quick corners. Everyone talks about Turn 10, and it’s good because it’s a fast double-apex right-hander, but there are lots of other challenging corners and some quick chicanes. The track has the second highest average speed of the year, so there’s a lot to think about when it comes to setting up the car.”
Despite being built on relatively flat farmland, the track has lots of undulations. More than four million tonnes of earth was moved during the construction of the circuit, with the sole purpose of generating more excitement for the drivers. The track rises 14 metres between Turns 1 and 3 alone.
“We like a few hills,” says Mark. “It makes the circuit more exciting to drive when you have a few blind corners, through which you need to show some commitment. They’ve done a good job.”
As with so many Hermann Tilke-designed circuits, the Buddh International Circuit has a long back straight, along which the DRS zone has been extended for this year. It should generate plenty of overtaking opportunities, as should the heavy braking area into Turn 1.
“You can definitely pass here,” says Mark. “I had a good scrap with Fernando [Alonso] last year and I’m sure well get some good racing this year as well. One of the factors we’ll have to consider is how much the track surface is going to evolve. It’ll start the weekend very dirty because it isn’t used much and it should improve massively as more rubber goes down on the racing line. That affects car set-up significantly.”
Red Bull Racing comes to this race on the back of its first one-two of the season at the Korean Grand Prix two weeks ago. Mark is confident that the RB8 will be quick this weekend, but he’s taking nothing for granted.
“The car was quick in Korea,” says Mark. “But we have to keep pushing. What we had on the car three or four races ago can quickly be superseded. The cars are constantly evolving and we’ve had a two-week gap since the last race, so we need to see what the others have brought here. And let’s not forget that we were only 0.2s clear in qualifying in Korea.”