Michael Schumacher suspects that the dusty track surface at the Buddh International Circuit could make overtaking difficult in Sunday's Indian Grand Prix.
Formula 1 cars ran on the track for the first time today, with a total of three hours of practice. Even though this went a long way to cleaning up the track surface on the racing line, it remains very dusty off it. This means that even though the track configuration should be conducive to overtaking, the lack of grip off-line could make it more of a challenge.
"It is a little issue because it will never properly clean up and off-line it remains very slippery, so overtaking is going to be very difficult," said Schumacher. "A lot of people will have to go through dusty areas, which also puts it [the dust] back on the main line so it becomes slippery again. It's tricky."
Overall, Schumacher was impressed with the new circuit despite enduring a difficult hour-and-a-half of running in the afternoon. The Mercedes driver ended up 21st fastest, 6.1sec off pacesetter Felipe Massa's fastest time, and admitted that he struggled to find the right balance.
"It is a very interesting track and quite a good challenge," he said. "But it is very important to get a good balance for the car. This morning it was OK, but in the afternoon it certainly wasn't."