For the 17th race in the 2011 Championship the Formula 1 circus came to India for the first time in its history, to race on the brand-new Buddh International Circuit just outside of New Delhi where tomorrow for the first time the Indian Grand Prix will be held. Our sport celebrates its debut in a new country, with enormous growth, but still characterised by huge contrasts. Nevertheless enthusiasm for motorsport in this country is impressive.
It couldn’t be in any other way considering the intense qualifying session in the afternoon, with the Ferrari 150° Italia confirming the positive results from the first day of free practice. Fernando drove the fourth fastest lap time, only one tenth of a second behind the first row of the grid. While Hamilton has been penalised due to him ignoring the yellow flag during yesterday’s free practice session and therefore being moved three positions back on the grid, Fernando will start from third position.
Sixth position went to Felipe, who had to end his qualifying early due to the right front suspension, which broke when he hit the kerb in corner number 8. The most important thing is that the driver was not hurt at all. Felipe got out of the cockpit unhurt, after the car had stopped in the barriers.
So what about tomorrow’s race? Difficult - if not impossible - to say. As usual a new track never offers the perfect grip conditions, but it will improve lap after lap. Regarding overtaking one has to consider an extra variable: every move outside of the racing line forces the drivers to put the tyres on the dirty part of the track.
In the race we’re usually more competitive than regarding the performance in the qualifying. If this will be the case also tomorrow, then the possibility to come back to Maranello with a nice result from the Indian Grand Prix is exceptionally high.