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The Routine Meets the New: The 2011 Indian GP

October 30, 2011 by Matt

2011 Indian India Grand Prix Formula 1 One Track Circuit Map Buddh

Guess who won the inaugural 2011 Indian Grand Prix, contested at the brand new Buddh Circuit (shown above) near New Delhi? If your guess has a German passport and a last name starting with the 22nd letter of the alphabet, you’re right on the money.

As usual, it wasn’t even a contest, as Sebastian Vettel led from pole to checkered flag, piling on one fastest lap after another. Farther back in the field, though, there was some excitement between Felipe Massa’s Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren, as they duked it out for fifth place. And as had already happened four times this season, there was contact between the two cars as Hamilton tried to squeeze through. Neither car was irreparably damaged, but the McLaren driver eventually had the last laugh as Massa retired a few laps later with suspension failure. Slumming 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher had a noteworthy drive in his Mercedes, starting from 11th on the grid and finishing fifth. And I was pleased to see Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari hold off Mark Webber’s Red Bull for a podium finish in third place.

As for the venue, I thought it looked like an exceptionally rewarding circuit to drive, with many elevation changes, some nicely strung-together esses in the backfield and a couple of flat-out straights. It was fun to watch the F1 cars dance from one apex to the next, up and over the crests and dips. The organic, almost “natural” quality of Buddh presented a remarkable contrast with the sterile, quasi-clinical atmosphere at Singapore a month or so ago. From what I’ve seen, when it comes to the new crop of venues dotting the formerly F1-deprived expanse between Europe and the far east, I’ll take the new Indian GP hands-down.

Filed under: Formula 1, News, Racing

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