Lewis 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?óÔé¼Ôäós because it?óÔé¼Ôäós got an incredible flow ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ 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 ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ almost like a motorway ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ in order to stimulate different lines into the corner and encourage overtaking. I hear that?óÔé¼Ôäós an element that?óÔé¼Ôäóll 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 ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ it?óÔé¼Ôäós a huge, bowl-shaped double-apex right-hander, a bit like Spoon at Suzuka. It?óÔé¼Ôäós unusual for a new circuit to have such fast corners, and it?óÔé¼Ôäós really enjoyable when you get the car hooked up through there ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ 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?óÔé¼Ôäós 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 ?é?® McLaren/Hoch Zwei