After the race of his life in Korea, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari believes the all-new Buddh International Circuit shares many characteristics with last week’s Korea International Circuit, albeit with much more speed.
“I think it’s a very promising track: very fast, very technical,” said Jaime, strolling back into the paddock with just the slightest sweat on after walking the length of the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, India. His reconnaissance completed, and a bottle of water in hand, he added. “Hopefully we’ll have lots of fun, and hopefully we’ll score lots of points.”
'It’s going to be much higher-speed lap than Korea.'
Pressed for further details Jaime added: ““It’s a little bit like Korea, actually. The tarmac looks very similar and the corner profiles look similar. I think you have loads of speed here though, so it’s going to be much higher-speed lap than Korea. There’s long straights and hard braking areas, but also some technical areas… it looks like Korea to me.”
Coming off the back what he describes as ‘the best race of my career’, Alguersuari has spent time back in Europe, using Red Bull Racing’s simulator in Milton Keynes to familiarise himself with the layout of Buddh. The Catalan, however, is one of the least enthusiastic racers when it comes to the merits of the simulated lap. “It’s always a good help to do it, and using the simulator for track familiarisation is always important and a good tool for the team - but I don’t believe it’s the best tool for the driver.
“When a driver gets really fast it’s when he feels the car as an extension of his body – like the trainers worn by a runner or when you swing a golf club and it feels like it's part of you. The car needs to be part of your body like that but the simulator is always the simulator. In there the car is something you’re aware of visually but not physically. With all due respect to the technology, which is obviously the future, reality is still reality and you can’t beat getting out there and driving.”
Despite the dust and dirt on the new surface, Jaime was still confident that he’d attempt to do a full session in FP1 rather than sit it out in the garage and wait for others to clean the track. “We have loads of tyres and I think we’ll be good to push right from the beginning. Obviously the track will be very slow at the start and we’ll get faster as time goes on. That’s just how it is.”