Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Drivers praise India’s ‘Spa-like’ Buddh circuit

2012 Indian Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2011Lewis Hamilton praised India’s F1 circuit as “a revelation” as F1 prepares for its second Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit.

“Most modern tracks have a very similar feel,” said Hamilton, “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 ?ǣ 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.”

Jenson Button compared the home of the Indian Grand Prix to another much-praised track, Suzuka:

“There are a couple of unusual factors: firstly, the approaches to turns three and four are incredibly wide ?ǣ almost like a motorway ?ǣ 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 [Circuit of the Americas] track at Austin, too.

“Secondly, the combination of turns 10 and 11 is also pretty special ?ǣ 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 ?ǣ the lateral G feels great.”

Sebastian Vettel, who won the inaugural race at the circuit last year, also lavished praise on the track: “With an average speed of 235kph (146mph), 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.”

*NB. The fastest lap of the track last year was Vettel’s pole position time of 1’24.178, an average of 219kph (136mph). That was the seventh-fastest pole position time of 2011, behind Monza, Silverstone, Spa, Suzuka, Melbourne and Istanbul.

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei