Charles Pic has expressed an affinity for the Buddh International Circuit that will host next weekend’s Indian Grand Prix, believing it to be one of the better additions to the calendar in recent years.
Over the past decade, the F1 schedule has swelled and become less Euro-centric thanks to new races in Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Korea and India, but the circuits have lacked the character that many of the older tracks enjoy. For Pic though, the circuit just outside of New Delhi is an exception.
“I raced for the first time in India last year and, like most of the drivers have said, it’s a great track, one of the best of the modern era,” Pic explained. “I had a strong race there in 2012, particularly at the start where I made up five places, so the aim is obviously to do the same again in 2013 and keep pushing the teams ahead where we can.
“The track itself is a good mix of a few quick bits, especially into turn five and through ten and eleven for example, and a bit more stop-start like turns one, two and three, but the main thing is to find a good rhythm around the whole lap to get the most out of the car, like Spa for example.”
The track is known to improve rapidly across the course of the weekend as more and more rubbed is laid down by the twenty-two cars. Additionally, Pirelli are bringing a softer tire allocation to this year’s race, meaning that the optimum pace will not be found until the latest part of the weekend and making a late run in qualifying particularly beneficial.
“As the track evolves so much over the weekend you don’t really find the quickest pace until quali and then the race itself as the track is so dusty on Friday, and then again on Saturday morning,” Pic said. “They did make some improvements last year to help manage that, including washing the track each evening, so hopefully it will be better again this year.”
Caterham enter the race weekend trailing Marussia in the constructors’ championship by virtue of Jules Bianchi’s thirteenth place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix back in March, requiring a top twelve finish to move ahead into P10 in the standings.