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.
You never really know what to expect until you are there
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."