We’re less than a month away from the biggest sporting event, atleast in 2011, in the Indian calendar. That it will occur on the biggest holiday weekend in the country, of course, must be sheer coincidence. Right, Bernie?
Do I look like a guy with a plan?
Yes, Diwali has dared to fall at the same time Ra.One is releasing, and maybe SRK has planned the entire humungous orgy of the publicity campaign that way. National holidays galore, with the festival of lights coming a close second to SRK and his band of merry robots.
So, good luck to those who have woken up right now and are ‘planning’ to ‘catch’ the Indian GP, Live. If the tickets don’t get you, the flights and trains will.
Whether you like it or not, Kalmadi deserves a lot of credit for the final advent of Formula One in this country. The location being South of Delhi (Sector 25, Noida)- that only helped further, and if not for the lessons learnt during his disturbing reign, the race would have been indefinitely delayed for a couple of years- awaiting all sorts of contractors and their petty battles.
Sector 25, Sector 2
So here’s a minor lowdown on the track we’re all going to witness, come Oct. 28th. If you try to keep your eyes off Michael Schumacher’s car that will be advertising the release of a certain film, you will be able to figure out a few interesting things:
The track, designed by top architect Hermann Tilke, stretches over a distance of 5.137 kms (average length for Asian tracks) and the entire circuit is expected to seat up to 1.5 lakh spectators- that can fill two entire Indian cricket stadiums.
Two massive straights, along with a bunch of corners and 16 turns, will make this track a challenging and alien prospect for the plethora of the ‘world’s fastest men’ that arrive here soon. In an unprecedented move, the organizers and engineers have, in fact, been in continuous consultation with drivers and teams while building the track, in order to accommodate as many areas for overtaking and general speed control as possible. The planned hairpin at turn 7 has been removed for this purpose, and the track at turn 3 has been widened in order to allow some outrageous corner-overtaking procedures. Expect Lewis Hamilton to find himself on all sides of the turf (and stands) during different parts of the race.
Monte Carlo, this is not- but tell that to the drivers that express mouth-watering excitement as soon as they come within 3 metres of the car ahead, and immediately switch on their DRS systems- followed by the deafening roar of a crowd that wants entertainment at any cost.
Turkey’s infamous Turn Eight has inspired the double-apex corner between turns 10 and 12, which itself will be on full view to around 13000 spectators (cheaper tickets) on race-day. The lap times, of course, will depend a lot on track temperature and other variable factors- which is why the scheduling of the race is useful just at the onset of Winter. The last thing you’d want, otherwise, in a sub-continental country (the very heart of the world), is for drivers to pass out midway through the race IN their cars.
Shockingly, though, we know that the Capital is dead serious about Motor Racing in the country, considering the fact that primary construction and track development was done an entire YEAR prior to the race weekend. Well done, we say, because that is a step in the right direction.
With the race beginning mid-afternoon, there will be plenty of time for overzealous spectators to wrap up their sleeping bags, picnic luggage, tents, food and pickles- and duly hand it over to one of the many security counters outside. This, I repeat, is not a cricket match. Come early, alright, but make sure you’re at your seat with REAL tickets.
Final Destination 3D
If you are STILL concerned about the seating at this inaugural venue, please go here and breathe easy. Regarding ways to actually enter the venue, most details are up on this site, and with a click of the button, you will probably be able to make up your mind regarding whether to arrive in a car, bus, cab or on foot. Bus service facilities are optional within ticket prices, and we suggest that those who are car-less, seriously consider this option. There is a pickup and drop from all the metro stations, and you just need to choose your area.
The World Championship will be over within the next race, barring a miracle (like Vettel taking premature retirement because he is ‘bored’)- but things will be heating up for second position.
For most foreigners visiting India, this will what they will expect to see, a very non-stereotypical view of the India they WANT to explore:
The Indian GP might get to see a lot of desperate Ferrari and McLaren drivers pushing their way across the bumps and speedbrakers, swirling through the casual bunches of cattle chilling mid-road and then needling their way through errant jaywalkers intent on slowing down the afternoon to Siesta-proportions.