The race is expected to move to an early 2015 date and with organisers not seeing sense in running two Indian Grand Prix’s in the space of five months, it has been removed from next year’s provisional calendar. It is a circuit that is loved by the majority of the drivers, including the Williams duo.
Looking ahead to this weekend’s race, Maldonado said: “All the drivers seem to enjoy the Indian circuit due to its fantastic design and high speeds and I will miss it not being on the calendar next year. I particularly like the 180 degree right hander which is taken very fast and seems to go on forever. Of the new generation of circuits this is one of the best with its good variety, combining fast chicanes, slow corners, and corners that require a big KERS input.
“Normally the track is quite dirty on Friday as the track is not used that often outside of the Formula One race weekend, but it does tend to improve as the weekend progresses with more rubber being laid down and the grip levels vastly improving.”
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas is expecting the race to be physically challenging due to the high temperatures in India but can’t wait to return to the country after visiting as the Williams reserve driver last year. “India is always a unique place to visit and I enjoy the contrasts with other races on the calendar so I’m looking forward to returning again this year,” he said. “It’s a really interesting track to drive and normally produces entertaining races, with a good mixture of corner types that test the car and driver. The track does have some overtaking opportunities because it is quite wide, with the hairpin off the back straight a key opportunity. The weather can also be warm and humid which can be challenging physically.”
He will continue to fight for his first point of the season: “We have not had the sort of results that we would have hoped for so far in the second half of the season, but I will continue to fight as hard as I can and try to get the most out of the package we have to try and get us in to the points.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic