a bit of pressure but it will be fantastic to perform in front of effectively a home crowd.”
Quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel has driven the circuit on a number of occasions but only four current drivers – Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen – have raced there in Formula One. None have won and only Raikkonen has stood on the podium.
The last winner at the track was Michael Schumacher, the seven times world champion who is now in hospital in Switzerland after recently emerging from a coma following a ski accident at the end of last year.
Schumacher also had one of the most controversial wins of his career at the circuit in 2002 when Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello was ordered to let him pass despite dominating the race.
Of the newcomers, McLaren’s Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen and Toro Rosso’s Russian newcomer Daniil Kvyat are those with the freshest experience having raced there last year in the Renault 3.5 World Series and Formula Three respectively.
“It’s a very cool place – it’s a circuit where you never really get to rest in the cockpit because the track is always going somewhere,” said Magnussen. “Every lap is a real adrenaline rush because the corners never stop coming.”