Tony Jardine: Lotus on the rise
Tony Jardine feels Kimi Raikkonen is the main threat to Sebastian Vettel at the Indian Grand Prix.
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Situated in Uttar Pradesh, the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida is as hazardous to drive to as it can be to race on.
The teams are now well prepared for their annual culture shock though and everyone loves the colour and vibrancy of India which is embedded in this great track.
Lewis Hamilton says the track is a "revelation, most modern tracks have a similar feel but this is different it has more in common with Spa! It has an incredible flow from t4 that sweeps downhill the track becomes a series of fast rolling curves which let you take the car to the absolute limit."
It's dusty with elevation changes but this year the tyre choices from Pirelli are softer so the strategies could open out a bit. Teams efficient with their rubber like Lotus could benefit.
The two Indian races to date have been won by Sebastian Vettel. The German displayed superb control in Japan last time, easing his tyres in and being patient.
As a result he is on course for his fourth world title and will be very confident of winning a third - and last - Indian Grand Prix as the race isn't on the calendar for next year.
Vettel wants to win all the remaining races and take the title in style. He will settle for nothing less than the grand slam of pole position, race win and fastest lap this weekend.
But from a punting perspective he is a very short-priced favourite - so who can beat him?
For me it has to be Kimi Raikkonen but only if he can get a decent qualifying run and start from the front two rows.
He has been third, second and difth in the last three races from lousy grid positions and I can't wait to see what he's capable of from the front.
His long wheel base Lotus has been a huge success story. The team are happy that the tyre choice is soft and medium here and the team believe they will be competitive in the remaining four races.
Lotus have every reason to be feeling good right now. They've had four podium finishes in the last three Grands Prix and their second driver Sebastian Grosjean finished third in Japan after leading the race.
I think he he can claim a podium finish again here and Lotus are emerging as potentially the second strongest team behind Red Bull.
Mark Webber loves this track, he thinks you can really drive an F1 car on the limit here as it resembles one of his favourite circuits. "The middle sector is a bit like Silverstone, its truly enjoyable," he beamed. I have Mark in second place.
Mercedes have again flattered in qualifying only to deceive in the race of late. Hamilton was great through practice and qualifying in Japan but punctured against Vettel's front wing at the start of the race.
He now fears he can't win another race this year but says podium finishes are on the cards. I think that may be difficult here with tyre wear and two-three stop strategies a worry. Still Mercedes should be thereabouts with Lewis in fourth.
Theoretically even if Vettel slips up I still can't see him finishing lower than fifth which will give him the world title. He'll become only the third driver to win four consecutive world championships alongside Fangio and Schumacher.
Fernando Alonso appears to have cried enough as he believes the Ferrari is not competitive enough and that they could be caught for second place in the constructors' championship. I have him in a lowly sixth position.
Seventh for me will be Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes then eighth Nico Hulkenberg who has shown fantastic speed with great results of late.
He is still sought after which isn't surprising following his results from Monza onwards. His fourth place in Korea was magnificent and sixth in Japan was tge result of a very mature drive.
Although this represents a tougher track for the revived Sauber, I have him finishing well inside the top ten.
McLaren have been dire by their own high standards. Jenson Button loves the Indian track havingg stolen fastest lap form Vettel in the dying moments of the 2011 race. He should get into the top ten this year but it is difficult to put him higher that ninth.
Paul Di Resta wants to get his season back on track and Force India need a good result at home. They have only scored three points in the last seven races and Sauber are closing in on their sixth place in the constructors' table. Despite the pressure Di Resta can take the final point in tenth.
It's two out of two Indian GP's for Vettel, he should take the title with a win but if RBR slip up then Lotus are the team to take advantage and Raikkonen is the value alternative. Enjoy the weekend.