F1 drivers say they will miss Indian GP next season
Greater Noida: It`s not only the Indian motorsport fans who are disappointed at the dropping of the Indian Grand Prix next year, leading Formula One drivers also feel that it was a "shame" to see the race being scrapped from the 2014 calendar.
After a one year break, the promoters of the race, Jaypee Group are hopeful of bringing the race back in 2015.
From Sebastian Vettel to Nico Rosberg to Mark Webber, who all have assembled for what is feared to be the last Indian GP, rued the scrapping of the race.
"We like coming here, it`s a very different country, always nice to visit and in that regard it`s a shame that we lose India from the calendar next year," Vettel, who is in line to win his fourth straight world title, said.
"But in terms of paper work it`s a big relief because there is lot of stuff beforehand, but I heard in 2015 it will be back. The track is very modern, more or less still brand new, facilities are good so we would like to come back," he added.
Vettel`s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber, who is racing for one last time in India as he is leaving F1 after the current season, said: "The fan base has grown in India and it is fantastic. F1 is a very high profile sport. I love cricket in India. But Indian fans have picked up F1 in a very short period of time. Media have done a big effort. A shame we are not coming back next year."
Talking about the Buddh International Circuit, Webber said it was similar to some other circuits.
"The second and third sectors are very quick so not a lot of chances to overtake. But attention focuses on the first sector where it is easier even if the racing has not been excited in the past years," Webber said.
Mercedes` Nico Rosberg added: "It is fantastic to drive here in India. There is a growing fan base and it`s great to be here. Pity that there is no Indian GP next year but we hope to comeback.
"In terms of driving, the DRS zone has been extended and it is going in the right direction," he added.
Lotus` Kimi Raikkonen, who will replace Felipe Massa in Ferrai next season, said he would like to see India more.
"It`s my second race in India. It is very nice to be popular in this country. Today there were many people when we came here. We feel less pressure when there are lots of fans. I hope we will give them a good time and a good race this weekend," Raikkonen said.
"Overall, it would be good to come in India on a non-race weekend with many places to go to," he said.