Lotus expecting a variety of strategies in India

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Lotus’ trackside operations director Alan Permane has said that he is expecting a greater variety of strategies at this year’s Indian Grand Prix thanks to Pirelli’s change in tire allocation for the event.

Next weekend will see Pirelli bring the soft and medium compounds to Buddh International Circuit, forcing teams into making more than one pit stop as they did at last year’s race where the hard compound tire was used. In Permane’s opinion, this will give teams more choice and more of a chance to catch the front-runners.

“The change from hard and soft compound tyres last year to medium and soft this year should make for quite a different race, where we saw one-stop strategies driven by the hard tire allocation,” Permane explained. “Last year the performance gap between the tires meant that everyone qualified on the soft and raced on the hard after a single stop. This year, the soft and medium compound open up the strategic permutations.”

The backend of the 2012 season saw a string of one-stop races due to the conservative nature of the Pirelli tires. In order to remedy this, the Italian manufacturer created more aggressive tires for 2013, causing a series of problems during the first half of the year that came to the fore at the British Grand Prix. The tires are now safe, but Permane believes that the changes made will still have an affect on strategy in India.

:With this season’s tires also being a step softer than last year’s soft tyre, we have softer tyres to both qualify and race with. It could be a far more interesting race with strategy split between two and three stops,” he said.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”