Indian ace Zaamin Jaffer ready for biggest race of career at new F1 home track

Zaamin Jaffer (No.9) Formula Renault


Indian racing driver Zaamin Jaffer is little more than a week away from the start of the biggest adventure of his motorsport career to date, his competitive debut in MRF Formula 1600 – a key support category to the Airtel Grand Prix of India, the country’s first ever FIA Formula One World Championship event.

Born and raised in Mumbai, the 21-year-old cannot wait to return to his homeland next week where the eyes of the world will be on the Buddh International Circuit on 29th/30th October as the stars of Grand Prix racing do battle around the 5.1-kilometre New Delhi track.

Zaamin Jaffer

Zaamin recently travelled to Chennai in India to take part in a pre-event test session, his maiden run in the MRF chassis he will race next weekend. Producing consistently quick lap times, the outing went very well and Zaamin feels justly confident ahead of the Delhi Championship with MRF races at the brand new Buddh circuit. His first experience of that track will come next Friday, 28th October.

“I really can’t wait for this”, he commented, “For me the whole year comes down to this one event, it’s going to be off the scale for India and a really proud moment for me to be racing at my country’s first ever F1 meeting. I’ve never raced in India before so that’s going to make everything even more special – it’s so important for my career too, I really want to lead the way as the top Indian driver.”

Having just completed his first season in Formula Renault in the UK, Zaamin has accrued some good experience of ‘slicks and wings’ action having previously competed in the non-aerodynamic world of Formula Ford.

The car utilised in the Delhi Championship with MRF is similar to the Formula Renault machinery Zaamin has been used to this season, running on full slick tyres and with wings front and rear to create requisite downforce. The Van Diemen chassis is powered by a 1.6-litre Ford engine.

Unfortunately, Zaamin’s aim of finishing comfortably inside the top 10 of the Formula Renault BARC Championship this year unraveled slightly during the last few events when factors out of his control, namely a blameless accident at Thruxton and a series of technical issues, hindered his points score.

“We had a few issues this year, especially the second half, which really did hold us back and meant we just slipped out of the top 10 at the end of the season”, added Zaamin, “It’s really frustrating as at the start of the year we had really good pace, I’ve learnt plenty though and the experience will definitely help in the MRF car next weekend.”

The current provisional schedule for the F1 weekend sees the MRF cars venture out on track for the first time next Friday, 28th October, at 10.00 (local time) for a short 30-minute free practice ahead of qualifying at 16.00. On Saturday, 29th October, race one is expected to get underway at 12.25 with race two scheduled to begin at 11.00 on Sunday, 30th October – the day of the Indian Grand Prix.

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