Team principal Ross Brawn described India as "a new adventure for F1" and said that he and the team were excited about seeing the brand new facilities at Buddh International Circuit for the first time this week.

"A tremendous amount of work has gone into the new venue and the preparations for this inaugural event, and the interest in India seems to be growing daily," he said. "The circuit itself looks to be an interesting challenge."

Noting that only so much can be done pouring over maps, data and simulations, Brawn added that "Nothing replicates the feedback from the drivers on their first laps out on the new circuit on Friday."

Brawn and the Mercedes team will be hoping that they can build on recent signs of strong improvement to deliver some good results in India and in the remaining two races of the season that follow. "We will be aiming to finish the season on a high and pushing hard to score good points at each one," said Brawn.

"We saw some signs of promising potential in the early stages of the last race in Korea, although this did not ultimately translate into the final results," agreed Norbert Haug, the Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. "But we will be aiming to build on this potential in India, and our team will keep pushing at every race this year to extract the maximum from our current technical package."

At Korea, Michael Schumacher was taken out in a collision with Renault's Vitaly Petrov, while Nico Rosberg suffered from locking his brakes up mid-race while battling the Ferraris, forcing him to pit early and have a long final stint that left him unable to defend seventh place from Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari on the final lap.

"I hope to be able to fight in amongst the top six cars again [in India] like during the last race in Korea," said Rosberg. "But this time hopefully I will be able to stay ahead of one of them until the end of the race."

Rosberg was keen to head to India and try the new track for the first time, feeling that this would be a boost for the Mercedes squad.

"I enjoy going to new tracks for the first time as I tend to learn them quickly," he said. "It will be very interesting to set the car up as there will be so many unknown points."

Haug agreed: "A new circuit levels the playing field somewhat between the teams and all of us must start from zero," he pointed out. "However, it does provide an opportunity for our race team's operational excellence to pay dividends," he added, describing Buddh as "a complete challenge to the cars with a range of faster and slower corners, as well as long straights that may make the compromise between downforce and straightline speed delicate to find."

More than anything, Rosberg was just looking forward to getting his first experience of India.

"This will be my first visit to India, and it will be very exciting for me to discover the new culture," he said. "I am planning to spend a few days in the country and looking forward to doing some sightseeing, particularly making a visit to the Taj Mahal.

"I hope the first race in India will be a great show for all motorsport fans there, and a big success," he added.