Vettel hoping to extend perfect record in India

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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.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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