Will There Be a New Lewis Hamilton in 2012?

November 3, 2011

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton was given a three-place grid penalty at the Indian Grand Prix for speeding past a yellow flag during free practice and he had yet another coming together with Felipe Massa during the race. His season has been plagued with collisions, mainly with Massa but also Kamui Kobayashi and even his team mate, Jenson Button.

Bernie Ecclestone commented: “In life you go through ups and downs, and I think he is just going through a bit of a rough period generally in his life. When life is easy you get lucky and everything goes well. When things start going wrong they start piling up and going more wrong. He will get out of it. I spoke to him here in India. He is great. He will be okay.” Regarding his collisions with Felipe Massa he said: “It is not intentional, is it? These things happen. It is just really strange that it always happens between those two.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren’s Team Principal, believes that Lewis Hamilton has brought much of the pressure on himself. “If you’re honest, the first driver you want to beat is your team-mate. We don’t hide from that and nor does Lewis or Jenson. They are there to beat each other and Jenson’s been on a run.

“Lewis is the great exciting driver he is but he’ll not like being beaten by anyone, least of all by Jenson. Even though outside the car they have a fantastic relationship but Lewis will not like being beaten by his team-mate. I don’t want him to enjoy being beaten by his team-mate. I want him to try and beat Jenson just as I want Jenson to beat Lewis.”

Lewis’s father, his ex-manager, supported his son commenting: “He’s turned a corner in everything he’s done, his lifestyle and his love of motorsport. You’ve not seen Lewis Hamilton yet, you’ve seen a young Lewis Hamilton. Now a new Lewis Hamilton is coming.

“There’s only so much that one person can take. Lewis is an extremely talented individual and I tell you what, most of us would not have been able to come back from what he has had to face this year. I think in Korea, he showed just how much of a champion he is, not just as a racing driver but as an individual.

“Let’s face it, he’s had a tough year, he’s faced a lot of criticism and yet still he comes back fighting and can produce results that he did last week. He’s an incredible man and an inspiration to so many people.”

McLaren Race Report Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 30, 2011




“A very good result – and second place secured in the Constructors’ World Championship”


Buddh International Circuit, Sunday October 30



Started:            4th

Finished:          2nd

Fastest lap:      1m27.967s (+0.718s, 4th)

Pitstops:          Two: laps 18 and 46 (Op-Op-Pr)

2011 points:     240 (2nd)

“In terms of team effort, we did everything right today – our car just wasn’t quite quick enough to actually win.

“I got a good start, made up places on the first lap and then settled down to keep Mark [Webber] behind me for five or six laps. Eventually, I think we ‘broke’ his rear tyres, which enabled me to establish a gap. Then I could set about Seb [Vettel] – but it was very difficult to close him down.

“At the final stop, it was a risk going to the harder tyre earlier than Seb, but we had to give it a go and it worked pretty well as I was able to close him down by a further three seconds. My car felt really good: before Seb could find his rhythm on the Prime, I was able to get the gap down to 2.8 seconds, but it wasn’t quite enough.

“Still, this was a very good result for us – and I think we delivered the maximum possible. I loved the whole experience this weekend. And I think every driver will be excited about coming back here because it’s such a phenomenal circuit; fast and flowing with a bit of everything. It gets a big tick from me.

“The Indian people have really welcomed us to their country; I’ve never seen so many people smiling before. And the crowd has been wonderful. I hope that Formula 1 grows in India in the future and that we get an even bigger crowd here next year.”




Started:            5th

Finished:          7th

Fastest lap:      1m28.721s (+1.472s, 9th)

Pitstops:          Three: laps 16, 24 and 45 (Op-Op-Op & front wing- Pr)

2011 points:     202 (5th)


“The contact with Felipe [Massa] was just one of those things. I really didn’t feel like I was at fault – it was a racing incident.

“On the grid, just before the one minute’s silence, he and I were standing next to each other and I put my arm around him and told him: ‘Have a great race today.’ I’ve still got great respect for him.

“During the race, it felt like there was a vibration in the car through the right-handers: it felt like the floor was scraping on the ground, in fact. I was pushing as hard as I could, but couldn’t find the performance, so we’ll have to look into that.

“It’s been an eventful year, but there are more races ahead and I’ll try to score as many world championship points as possible in both of them. Jenson did a great job today, so clearly we were quick enough. I just need to try to pick up on that for the next race.”


Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Jenson made a great start and then drove a brilliant first few corners, working his way from fourth on the grid to second by the end of the first lap.

“He followed that with a truly excellent race-long performance, managing tyre wear where necessary yet still managing to keep up impressive race pace throughout. He didn’t ever have quite enough race pace to mount a concerted attack on Seb, but he got the maximum out of his car and beat everyone else fair and square.

“Lewis had a frustrating afternoon, but recovered well from his coming-together with Felipe to score a very useful half-dozen world championship points. We don’t yet know whether contact with the Ferrari caused damage to Lewis’s car – other than to the nosecone, obviously, which we changed in the pits – but, as I say, as a result of the 24 world championship points that he and Jenson notched up today, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has now secured second place in the 2011 Constructors’ World Championship. It’s always our aim to go one better than that – to win – and second isn’t good enough – but we’re pleased to have consolidated that position nonetheless.

“Last but far from least, I want to say that I thought the 2011 Indian Grand Prix was a fantastic success: a glittering spectacle and a marvellous addition to the international sporting calendar. Next, we go to Abu Dhabi, and then to Brazil, and we at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will be doing our utmost to win both those grands prix.”

Red Bull Qualifying Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 29, 2011

Microsoft Word - Indian GP - Qualifying.doc

McLaren 1st and 2nd Practice Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 29, 2011




We’re hopefully going to be fighting for the win on Sunday”

Buddh International Circuit, Friday October 28



P1 programme             22 laps                         1m26.836s                    1st

P2 programme                                     26 laps                         1m26.454s (0.748s)       4th

“The track is fantastic – the organisers here in India have done a great job. It’s very fast and flowing, the grip-level is fantastic, the run-off areas seem to be good, and the kerbs are probably the best of any circuit we visit: nice rumble-strips that you can drive on. Like any brand-new circuit, it’s been gripping-up throughout the day.

“We looked quick this morning. This afternoon, however, I had a problem with the driveshaft – it felt like it was causing some wear and tear so it prompted me to end the session a little early. We’ll fit a new gearbox for tomorrow, so the car will hopefully start behaving a bit better. That should make things closer at the front.

“Sunday’s race will be a long one. Nevertheless, there will be opportunities to overtake: it’s a high-downforce circuit and, although it’ll be very hard to follow other cars closely, the double-DRS zone should make it a bit easier. We’ll get a clearer idea tomorrow of just how quick we really are.”



P1 programme                                     23 laps                         1m28.394s (+1.558s)     4th

P2 programme                                     28 laps                         1m26.714s (+1.008s)     6th

“I really like this circuit. It’s great fun to drive. There are some tough corners, like Turns Three and Five, but there’s also a lot of high-speed stuff and it feels a lot faster than we initially thought it would.

“What’s also been quite a surprise is the amount of grip out there, particularly in the faster corners where the downforce is really working for you. And, because the high-speed corners are pretty smooth, you can really carry a lot of speed through them.

“It’s difficult to get the tyres up to their optimal working temperature range, but, once they’re in the operating window, the high-speed grip is phenomenal. From Turn Five onwards, the track is actually very quick.

“We’ll have a lot of fun this weekend and we’re hopefully going to be fighting for the win on Sunday.”


Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“First of all, I want to congratulate the promoters here in Delhi for having created a truly excellent circuit. The drivers love it, and the teams’ facilities are very good too. And of course India, whose population is second in magnitude only to that of China, is a hugely important new addition to the Formula 1 calendar.

“As is often the case when the Formula 1 circus travels to a brand-new circuit, today was a day of experimentation. As it happened, the circuit offered up more grip than we’d anticipated, which required a set-up review early on.

“I think we’ve got a little more work to do in order to unlock our latent first-lap performance, but Jenson in particular completed an extremely encouraging long run. By contrast, Lewis’s long run was interrupted by a driveshaft issue, which unfortunately prevented him from being able to complete it.

“Now, we’ll analyse our findings from today, and tomorrow we intend to convert that analysis in to a strong qualifying performance.”

Force India 1st and 2nd Practice Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 29, 2011

2011 Indian Grand Prix Free Practice Report – 28 October

Free practice objectives:
FP1 –  Track acclimatisation work, assessment of aero upgrade
FP2 –  Tyre data collection runs, continued evaluation of aero upgrade

Adrian Sutil (VJM04/04)
FP1: P8     1.28.705     23 laps
FP2: P7     1:27.316     34 laps

Adrian: “We had a good couple of sessions today. We ran an aero upgrade on the car this morning and I could feel the difference in stability straight away, so I think we are going to run it for the race. The circuit is good fun and very nicely done. It has some challenging corners and there seem to be plenty of opportunities to overtake. It should make for an interesting and exciting race on Sunday.”

Paul Di Resta (VJM04/02)
FP1: P11    1:29.700    24 laps
FP2: P9     1:27.853     35 laps

Paul: “It was a new experience today for everyone and we had a lot to get through with our programme. The track is quite exciting and the grip seems to be building nicely. It won’t be an easy race with the DRS zones being so effective and likely to result in lots of overtaking, but from our work today we are getting where we need to be in terms of the set-up. I still need to find a little bit of speed, but once we sit down and analyse the data I’m confident of more good runs tomorrow.”

Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director
“Arriving at the Buddh International Circuit and hearing the sound of Formula One engines in India once again was a very special moment. It’s something I have dreamed of for over thirty years and this weekend will be a very emotional one for me. Seeing both Sahara Force Indias as the first cars out on track when free practice began also brought a smile to my face. The Jaypee Group has done an excellent job with this circuit and we can all be very proud of this amazing facility. The drivers have been praising the layout and we all expect a thrilling race. On the track today there was a great deal to learn, but we can be pleased with the work we have achieved. I’ve made no secret of my desire to see both Sahara Force India cars racing well inside the points on Sunday afternoon and today’s work has taken us a step closer to achieving this.”

Dominic Harlow, Circuit Engineering Director
“It was great to get practice underway here at the Buddh International Circuit in India, which has proved to be an excellent track. There was some early dust on the circuit in FP1, but that quickly cleared and we saw grip levels rise. With an additional set of soft tyres invaluable for our programmes we evaluated some aerodynamic changes to the front and rear of the car with positive indications from the data. Obviously we targeted a slightly higher mileage to increase our data on the circuit and to evaluate the tyre behaviour. Overnight there is much to do to review our results and simulations looking ahead to the rest of the weekend.”

HRT 1st and 2nd Practice Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 29, 2011

Day 1 at the Indian Grand Prix

Buddh International Circuit, India

Friday, 28th of October 2011

Maximum temperature: Air 30ºC, Track 39ºC – Clear


Narain Karthikeyan   F111-002  #22  22nd   (30 laps)   1:34.113

Daniel Ricciardo        F111-003  #23  21st    (27 laps)   1:33.928


Narain Karthikeyan    F111-002 #22  24th     (33 laps)   1:32.824

Daniel Ricciardo         F111-003 #23  23rd    (33 laps)    1:32.728

“The first ever Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix got underway today with the first free practice sessions. 180 minutes on the Buddh International Circuit in which Narain Karthikeyan, the first ever Indian Formula 1 driver, made his debut in front of his home crowd. A historic moment for motorsport, F1 and HRT F1 Team. The vast amounts of dust on the 5.125km track meant that drivers had to be cautious and both Narain Karthikeyan and Daniel Ricciardo did their job step by step without taking too many risks to avoid any trouble. As the day went on, both drivers improved their set-up and their times by more than five seconds with Ricciardo completing 60 laps and Karthikeyan 66.”

Narain Karthikeyan: “The first lap was very special; I felt so many emotions driving in India. I just couldn’t believe it and there were so many things running through my head. In the first practice we were just trying to get into the swing of things and the second one went much better and we have a lot of things to try for tomorrow. Overall it was a good session for me, considering I haven’t driven a full race distance since July, so the body needs to wake up a bit. The track evolved a lot and so times were improving too. We have a few things to try ahead of tomorrow so I’m quite excited to see how qualifying goes”.

Daniel Ricciardo: “It was our first day here and I can say that it is quite a fun circuit, I’m happy with the layout and I think that most drivers will enjoy it. This morning the track was cleaning all the time so we just did as many laps as we could which is the most important thing. This afternoon we started to work a bit with both compounds. I’m not as happy as in the morning since we made some changes which didn’t work as well as we thought they could do. We’ll analyse that and work on it for tomorrow. I think we can compete with our main competitors here and give them a good run for their money”.

Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “Apart from what we had heard from Narain, we came to the Indian Grand Prix without knowing much about what we would find and I have to say that we are positively surprised. They did a really good job with the track within a short time. The down side is the amount of dust all over. For us it has been a positive day. We had a program with Daniel and Narain that we managed to follow perfectly. Both drivers improved throughout each one of the sessions and did what they were supposed to, gaining in confidence and taking the cars to the limit without going beyond it. Under such tricky conditions, it was important not to cross the line and bring the cars safely back to the garage. For tomorrow I hope that we can fine tune the cars’ set up for qualifying tomorrow and take another step forward”.

Fernando Alonso Previews Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 27, 2011

Microsoft Word - CARTA_INTESTATA_F1_2011.doc

“Fernando Alonso met the press this afternoon in the Ferrari hospitality unit in the massive paddock at the Buddh circuit. The location is new, but the first question was much the same as ever, about Scuderia Ferrari’s prospects for the rest of the season.

“We just need to be honest with ourselves and do the best we can in the remaining races and work a lot better and more than we did this year if we want to improve for next year which is already our target,” began the Spaniard.

“With both championships decided, all teams are now thinking of 2012, not just us. So we will tackle the remaining races in this spirit, trying to enjoy them, by doing things you maybe cannot do if you are fighting for a championship. We can be very aggressive and take more risks in qualifying for example.”
“Having only seen this track in virtual form on the simulator, the Ferrari man was keen to get to grips with it for real. “I am very excited to be here, a new circuit is a new challenge from a driver’s point of view,” said Fernando.

“This circuit looks very interesting, especially the last sector, which is very different and quick, allowing for good flowing speed to be used. Normally, with a new track, we find the real thing is better than the simulator.

“I hope we get a good first impression in tomorrow’s practice. It is also my first time in India and it is always nice to discover a new country and to see Formula 1 in a new culture for a new audience. Hopefully, we can put on a good show for them on Sunday.”
“The deaths of Dan Wheldon in an Indy Car race and Marco Simoncelli in MotoGP, within the space of one week have highlighted the dangers of motor sport. “It doesn’t affect you obviously when you are driving,” said Fernando when asked if these incidents make him more aware of the danger of the sport.

“The effect was during the week. Those were very sad days for motorsport. I watched Dan’s accident on a television replay and I was shocked for two or three days after that. Then with Marco, I saw that race live and I could not believe that these things still happen.

“When you close the visor, you don’t think about the risk. We love racing and we know it is dangerous, but the adrenalin it gives you blinds you to the risks. 320 km/h is approximately the maximum at this track and if something happens to your car there is a risk that you can have a big accident. But you don’t think about it when you are driving.”

Felipe Massa Previews Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 27, 2011

Microsoft Word - CARTA_INTESTATA_F1_2011.doc

“ Felipe Massa was one of the drivers called to the first ever FIA press conference at the Buddh circuit today, which hosts the inaugural Indian Grand Prix on Sunday. Asked for an impression of the track, the Ferrari driver was complimentary:

“It looks very nice, very interesting with some good opportunities for overtaking.” At this point, Felipe’s fellow countryman, Rubens Barrichello interrupted to explain the two of them had tackled the circuit on a computer game, racing one another sometimes playing for hours at a time over the internet. “It’s him my wife is angry with, not me” joked Rubens pointing at Felipe. “He is the one who introduced me to the game!”
“Then it was time for more serious matters, specifically the performance of the 150º Italia. “Recently, it has been okay,” said Felipe. “However, for the past four races, we have not had so many updates, as we approach the end of the season, which means our performance very much depends on the characteristics of the tracks we are at and Japan and Korea seemed to suit the car quite well.

“It is hard to tell, because sometimes this season we have done well at tracks where we did not expect to and not performed well at circuits where we expected to be competitive.”

“Asked what were the Scuderia’s goals for the final three races, the Brazilian explained they were twofold. “We will tackle these last races trying to get a podium finish and who knows, if possible maybe fight for the victory, which is always our target, always the direction we are working in. At the same time, we are also already working very hard for next year.

“Development of the car is ongoing as we put together all our ideas, trying to keep all the good points from this year’s car and changing those areas that did not work so well.”

Sahara Force India Preview Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 27, 2011

Fi India Preview 2011

Team Lotus Preview 1 Indian Grand Prix 2011

October 25, 2011



Karun Chandhok

“I am very excited about driving at the new Buddh International Circuit in FP1 in front of my home crowd and while I am obviously disappointed that I won’t have the chance to race on Sunday, I accept the team’s decision to opt for the experience and talent they have at their disposal with Jarno and Heikki.

“This is a team that is still young, still growing, and I know that they have to do their best to secure their future in the sport – sometimes the hard decisions have to be made, and in this case it must have been a very difficult choice, but I understand that this isn’t about me. It’s about the team and everything the 254 people on track and back at the factory are doing to build for the future.

“For me, I believe that I have grown as a driver in and out of the car this year with my role in the Friday practice sessions and I’m looking forward to playing my part in helping the team have another strong weekend on track.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04:

“I think India is going to be a fascinating race, for us and F1 in general. I suspect we are going to be given an incredible welcome, and to be able to race on a brand new circuit is always an interesting challenge, so whatever happens in the race I think it will be a great week for the whole sport.

“After Singapore I went back to Europe to do a day in the simulator to get used to the track, and it looks cool. There’s the obvious overtaking zone at the end of the long straight and then a few pretty standard medium speed corners but I think the main challenge for us is going to be finding a balance that suits the demands of T10 to T13, which is quick, and the hairpins at T3, T4 and T16.

“We won’t know anything about tyre degradation until we get out there, but whatever happens it’s going to be hot, probably a bit mad, but seriously good. I can’t wait!”

Jarno Trulli, Car 21 – Chassis T128-03:

“I’ve obviously been to a lot of new circuits throughout my F1 career but I’m looking forward to India more than most. I’ll do my usual cycle around the track on Thursday and have a close look at the circuit, and when I get in the car I’m usually up to speed within four or five laps.

“We’ll run similar downforce levels to the Korea / Suzuka spec and as we were genuinely competitive in the races at both those tracks I think we’ll be ok in India. I’m sure it will be another good race for us, and I think the whole weekend will be fascinating, for us and for the fans.”

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