Sebastian Vettel may be on the verge of sealing his fourth world championship, but the Red Bull driver is still keen on winning next weekend’s Indian Grand Prix to extend his perfect record at the circuit.
Since the inaugural race in 2011, Vettel has won both races and led every single lap of the grands prix at the Buddh International Circuit. Although he may only have to finish fifth next Sunday to clinch his fourth title, extending this record is certainly on his mind.
“So far everything has always gone perfectly for us in India,” Vettel said. “There is also a very nice trophy at the end of the race – so it would be great to hold one again this year! It’s a circuit that I like in a country that is very, very impressive every time we go there.”
However, he also explained in Red Bull’s grand prix preview that he finds the circuit particularly challenging despite his perfect record.
“It is not an easy track, because of a few complicated rhythm-breakers that are in there,” he explained. “The most difficult part is the uphill entry to turn three, because seeing the apex is practically impossible. So to drive a perfect lap around the Buddh circuit, you need a good driving instinct.”
The Indian Grand Prix will not feature on the 2014 calendar with race organizers wishing to switch to an earlier slot in 2015, but it appears that the lack of government support could make this year’s running of the race the last.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.