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.
Ross feels that 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.”
“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,” says Norbert. “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.”