INDIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW: Burning passion impresses Webber

Eye-popping support: Webber has been amazed by the support in India    PHOTO: Red Bull Media
Eye-popping support: Webber has been amazed by the support in India PHOTO: Red Bull Media

Mark Webber says he continues to be blown away by the huge level of support at the Indian Grand Prix.

The Aston Clinton racer says opportunities for overtaking make the Buddh International Circuit one of the most exciting on the F1 calendar, where it has only been a fixture for the last two years.

“One of the most impressive things about the Indian Grand Prix is the Indians’ passion for Formula One,” Webber said.

“There have been only two races in the country, yet already there’s a good following for the sport. There have been good crowds in both years and the atmosphere’s been great.

“The Buddh International Circuit is one of Hermann Tilke’s (race track designer) better tracks.

“It’s an interesting challenge for the drivers because it has a little bit of everything: fast corners, slow corners, fast changes of direction and some long straights.

“There are a lot of undulations too, which makes it fun.

“I had a busy race here last year en route to third place. A KERS issue early on meant I was defending for pretty much the whole grand prix, which made life pretty tricky along the 1km back straight.

“It was satisfying to keep Lewis (Hamilton) at bay, given the circumstances; let’s hope I can have a trouble-free race this year.”

Webber put in one of his best drives of 2012 in India last year. He finished fourth, despite having a KERS problem from early in the race.

Practice takes place on Thursday and Friday, qualifying on Saturday and the race is on Sunday.

While designing the track, Tilke consulted the teams about the layout – and it showed.

Mark started the 2011 Indian Grand Prix on the front row and went on to finish fourth in the 60-lap race.

Meanwhile, former racer David Coultard says Webber must face the fact that teammate Webber is ‘simply faster than him’.

Coultard was speaking after Webber criticised Red Bull for changing him from a two-stop to a three-stop strategy in Japan.

The former Stag at Mentmore co-owner said the change had potentially cost him victory in Japan.