Indian Grand Prix, New Delhi
27 October, 9.30am GMT
Live on BBC and Sky Sports F1
First Grand Prix: 2011
Track length: 5.125km
Number of laps: 60
Lap record: 1:27.249 – Sebastian Vettel (2011)
95,000 people crammed into the Buddh International Circuit in 2011 to watch Sebastian Vettel romp to victory on his way to the drivers’ championship.
Another relatively new destination in the Formula 1 calendar, New Delhi welcomed the teams just a year after its troubled hosting of the Commonwealth Games. But the issues that ‘dogged’ the athletics didn’t prove a problem for the F1 organisers, and drivers had nothing but praise for the new circuit.
Extra wide corners make for plenty of overtaking opportunities, and the long straight leading up to a hairpirn is ideal DRS territory.
The only sour note in proceedings is the haze that often settles over the city and the circuit: not a problem for the TV cameras, but what the people in the grandstands make of the reduced visibility is up for debate.
The circuit has been a happy stomping ground for current champ Sebastian Vettel, winning both 2011 and 2012 with plenty to spare. He equalled Ayrton Senna’s record of leading every lap of a race for three consecutive grands prix when he topped the New Delhi podium in 2012.
India hasn’t provided an outstanding grand prix yet in the two years it has been in the calendar, but that’s more down to the dominance of Vettel than any failings in the track design. The streets of New Delhi may be gridlocked with traffic, but this race is far from a procession.
2012 memory: A record equalling Vettel giving India his blessing: “It’s a very special grand prix, I really like the flow of this circuit,” he said. No surprise given how well the Red Bull has performed there.
2012: Sebastian Vettel
2011: Sebastian Vettel