India's roller-coaster Formula 1 circuit

With the Indian Grand Prix all set to make its debut on October 30, finds out why the Buddh International Circuit is so special from a racing point of view.

Indian Grand Prix circuit

By Shoumeshwar Sen

The Buddh International Circuit was unveiled on October 18. The circuit is one of the fastest in the world and can be described as a bit of a roller-coaster with high speed corners, dramatic elevation changes, long straights and loads of overtaking opportunities. Only four of the 16 corners on the race track are slow in nature - 100 km/h or less. It's all fast and furious otherwise, with an average lap speed in excess of 200 km/h in a Formula One car!

The Hermann Tilke-designed track is 5.14 km long and the race will consist of 60 laps, which means a race distance of 308 km. It's a clockwise track, split into three sectors with 16 turns in total, and includes up to 14 metres of elevation changes.

Tilke has designed some of the latest circuits on the Formula One calendar, including China, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, and it would be safe to assume that the Greater Noida track is his fastest and most ambitious design to date.

The most interesting part of the circuit is in the first sector. Starting off from the start-finish straight, drivers can be expected to kiss 300 km/h just before braking hard for the first corner - a slow right-hander.

The next highlight is Turn 3, the slowest corner on the circuit at around 80 km/h. A good exit out of this corner is essential since it leads into the longest straight of the race - a 1.2 km long stretch. Drivers will be able to pick up speed and eventually reach a whopping 320 km/h.

The straight ends in another tight right-hander and spectators can expect to see lots of drivers trying to out-brake each other here while they try to overtake as they slow down to about 100 km/h.

The next segment of the track will test the technical skills of a racer, since it demands rhythm and accuracy. After a few tricky chicanes, there's a long, winding right-hander which could see racers trying to experiment with different racing lines in order to find the best possible combinations for the turn's entry and exit.

The final sector, again, includes a tricky uphill chicane which leads to a sharp right-hander at Turn 15. The cars then enter the final corner, which is a tight left-hander that leads back to the start-finish straight.

The BIC has got everything - long straights, fast corners, along with a few tricky slow speed turns thrown into the mix. It will be interesting to see what kind of setup the cars use during the race since the fast as well as the slow corners require a high downforce configuration, while minimum amount of drag would obviously help in the long straights.

All-in-all, it's a fantastic circuit which is sure to challenge the technical skills of drivers and F1 engineers alike. 

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