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“India is a very welcome addition to the calendar…”

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 04:00
Group Lotus ambassador Jean Alesi looks back on the inaugural Indian Grand Prix...

Jean Alesi Vitaly Petrov LRGP F1 2011Lotus Renault GP narrowly missed out on points today, but were you happy with their race pace?

To be honest, it looks like something is missing. The performance of the team is inconsistent. We seem to have the rawpace to get both cars in the points, but the speed isn’t there when it’s reallyneeded. We’re struggling to score points now, whereas we started the season so strongly. I cross my fingers that we’ll end the season on a positive note.

What did you think of the Buddh International Circuit and the racing it produced?

It looked nice on TV, but to be honest I was expecting more competition between the cars. We’ve seen many races this year where, in the last 20 laps, you’ve got the top four or five guys fighting, but that was not the case in India. Jenson Button wasn’t far off Sebastian Vettel, but Vettel was just managing the gap and cruising to the line. By setting the fastest lap on the last lap, he was telling us how much pace he had. There was not a lot of overtaking today – I was definitely expecting more.

Are you glad to see India on the calendar?

It’s always nice to go to another country, and India is a very welcome addition to the calendar with enormous potential - I think India could end up loving F1. I read in the papers in Italy that this is actually the 30th different country to be visited by F1, and that’s cool.

We’re headed to New York in 2013 – you must be excited about that...

It’s going to be fantastic for F1. We need to make the sport work in America, and soon we will have two races – Austin next year and then this new street circuit with Manhattan as a backdrop. It’s going to be amazing, I can’t wait.