F1 video: Hamilton’s thoughts on the 2011 Indian Grand Prix

PUBLISHED: 15:45 27 October 2011 | UPDATED: 10:31 30 October 2011

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton thrills F1 enthusiasts in Bangalore, India [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton thrills F1 enthusiasts in Bangalore, India [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]


FORMULA 1 racer Lewis Hamilton will get his first taste of driving around the 2011 Indian Grand Prix track tomorrow (Friday) morning.

The sub continent’s inaugural grand prix takes place on Sunday and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ace Hamilton goes in first practice at the new Buddh International Circuit on Friday from 5.30am.

The 26-year-old from Hertfordshire was runner-up in the Korean GP at Yeongam earlier this month and is looking for another podium in India.

He said: “We were quick at Singapore, Japan and Korea – and I think the pattern at the front has sort of settled down now as we reach the end of the season.

“I think we have a car that can be quick anywhere, so I’d like to think we’d be in the hunt again.”

The 2008 F1 world champion and team-mate Jenson Button give an exclusive behind the scenes insight into preparations for the 2011 Indian Grand Prix in an official Vodafone McLaren Mercedes video.

In this week’s instalment of Inside Track, the two British former world champions look ahead to the first ever race at the Buddh International Circuit, discuss what they expect from the Indian fans, while also reflecting on their individual performances in Korea.

On the challenge faced when learning a new track, Button said: “The first time you run on a new circuit is a strange experience because you’re piecing together an incredibly diverse and vivid set of data in your mind. That’s quite an intense experience.

“You’re quickly gathering everything together – constantly assessing the grip-level, watching for unexpected bumps, checking the kerb-height, run-off areas, pitlane entry and exit, gradient. And that all happens at about 170mph!”

Of the Buddh circuit, which is situated in Greater Noida near New Delhi, he said: “The track has quite a nice mix of corners – the start of the lap is pretty stop-start, there are a couple of long straights mixed with tight hairpins, but it’s the end of the lap that’s more interesting: there are some pretty high-speed changes of direction through the esses and some gradient change.

“One of the things that looks really interesting is the double-apex banked corner at the back of the circuit – that’s pretty unusual.

“It’s sort of a mix between Turn 13 at China and Korea’s Turn 11.”

Qualifying for the 2011 Indian Grand Prix takes place from 9.30am on Saturday.

The inaugural F1 race in India starts at 9.30am on Sunday.

* To take a ride around the Buddh International Circuit with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes simulator development engineer Matt Daley, click on the video.

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