Lewis Hamilton on the Indian GP : “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.”
Jenson Button said ““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.””
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.”