Toro Rosso

Indian Grand Prixview

Indian Grand Prix Getty Images

Just four more races to go and we resume hostilities with another pair of back-to-back Grands Prix, in India and Abu Dhabi. This year’s race at the Buddh International circuit will be the third ever Indian Grand Prix and sadly, it will be the last for a while, or forever maybe, as it is meant to return in 2015, but nothing is certain. The race could well be remembered as the one that saw the Drivers’ championship title assigned, as Sebastian Vettel is within touching distance of the crown for an impressive fourth consecutive year. If the German does it by winning the race, he will have won all the Indian Grands Prix held to date.

From a sporting point of view, it would be a great shame if the Indian sub-continent was not represented on the F1 calendar, as the track is definitely one of the best and, despite a complete absence of trees (and rain for that matter) it has been compared in parts to Spa-Francorchamps. It might not have the trees, but it does rise and fall in parts like a rollercoaster while Turn 10 goes on forever and has four apexes. A whopping 95,000 spectators turned out to watch the inaugural Grand Prix, despite ticket prices which are high when compared to the average wage in India. The 5.125 kilometre circuit is located in Greater Noida, which is about 40 kilometres away from the Indian capital of New Delhi and is another track designed by Hermann Tilke. Seeing little use during the year, it is the sort of circuit where drivers and engineers have to be patient and wait for the surface to clean up and develop some grip before making definite technical choices relating to set-up. Sector 1 features the long straights and slower corners that are a recipe for overtaking. Pirelli is bringing its Medium and Soft tyres, as degradation is minimal and hopefully they won’t be rolling through the dust, which is a problem here from the heavy industries in the area, as better track cleaning equipment was introduced last year. Last year, Toro Rosso finished thirteenth and fifteenth with Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne respectively, so there’s plenty of room for improvement. As usual, it’s a hot weekend in prospect as temperatures are usually in the mid-30s.

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