Indian GP 2013 preview- Part 1
Like he had done at so many other tracks, Sebastian Vettel came, saw and conquered. Not just once, but twice. During 2011, at a brand spanking new Buddh International Circuit, Vettel led from lights to flag. The race wasn't the most critical, though, given that at the Japanese Grand Prix, Seb had leapt onto the podium in style, having won the race and taken the championship already. Thus the inaugural Indian GP was 'dead rubber'. 2012, though, proved to be more exciting. The glitches had been ironed out, the track had been improved, but most importantly - the championship title hadn't been decided. It was a different matter entirely that it was another lights to flag victory for Vettel. The win at the BIC proved to be critical to the way the 2012 championship turned out, which, as we're sure you know, ended with Vettel taking his third world championship title.
Now, as the pages of the F1 calendar turn to 2013, the championship hasn't been decided yet. But a pattern is rapidly developing, and for now it seems to point to Vettel being crowned world champion. Does the Indian GP look like it will be a Red (Bull) wash? As much as we're hoping that won't happen, it does indeed look likely.
But, other than the fact that the 2013 edition of the race could well see Seb Vettel waving that finger of his in the air once again, what else should the Indian F1 fan look out for? There's plenty!
If you're a fan of the current spec F1 cars, this is your last chance to see these cars in action at the BIC
This is your last chance to see the current generation of F1 cars. Just in case you've been living under a rock, and haven't heard, starting next year F1 is set for a major revamp. Major regulations have been put into place that see the coming generation of Formula 1 cars coming powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engine. So, if you've been a rather keen follower of the current generation 2.4-litre V8 engines, now is your chance to go and take a look at them. Ten years down the line, cars like the Red Bull RB9 and the black and gold Lotus E27 will be classics.
Out with the old, seems to be the current trend in Formula 1. And it all starts with Mark Webber bidding Formula 1 farewell forevermore. Good old Aussie Grit, when he isn't seething and fuming about Multi-21 and the like or walking out of press conferences (like he did at the 2012 Indian GP) is a thoroughly likable driver. He's won himself a dedicated fan following thanks to his determination on track and perhaps his somewhat sardonic demeanour off track. If you're a Webber fan, though, you already know that he's leaving F1 to drive for Porsche's LMP1 team next year. You never know, if the Red Bulls do extremely well, the BIC could well have Aussie Grit on the podium for the second time in a row.
At the time of going to press, Felipe Massa hadn't found a race seat for 2014. Even though Massa has declared that he wants to remain in Formula 1 and with a competitive team that can help him win races and titles, we're not sure that looks likely. Which means that this could also be your last chance to ever see Felipe race a Formula 1 car. Massa has been determined around the BIC before, tangling with Lewis Hamilton in 2011 and Kimi Raikkonen in 2012. What could end up being his last ever Indian GP could well be worth watching - we just hope he doesn't go bumping over the kerbs and into retirement like he did back in 2011.
The Force at home
Can Force India keep the Indian flag flying high at the closest thing to their home GP?
Well, Force India might be based in Silverstone, but that doesn't change the fact that it is the closest thing India has to a home team. And, with no Indian driver on the grid this year, for several F1 fans, Force India is the only home connection. The last two years, Force India has managed to finish in the points - Adrian Sutil took ninth place in 2011, while Nico Hulkenberg took eighth place in 2012. The team now appears to be going through tougher times - with four retirements of the last three races (at the time writing this piece). Will they manage to impress in India? There's will be fans decked out in the tricolour certainly hoping so.
The race itself
If you want to watch an F1 race in India, you're going to have to wait until 2015 for the next edition of the race, in the sweltering heat of the summer, no less. Provided it happens, which, if you've read the analysis in our previous few pages, might just be unlikely. So, now's a good time to go watch the third edition of the Indian GP