While the F1 racing brigade heads to the Capital of India for arguably the most crucial Grand Prix of the year, let us take a look at the circuit and the reactions of popular drivers after the inaugural 2011 race:
The 5.141 km circuit was universally lauded last year by the drivers and managements after a relatively incident-free and enjoyable race. Located South of Delhi, the Buddh International Circuit has been designed by famed German Hermann Tilke. Around 4 million cubic tones of soil has been used to create depressions and elevations, with the track rising the maximum between turns 1 and 3. 16 corners and 3 high speed straights offers plenty of opportunities to fans sitting all around the circuit to catch more than a glimpse of their favorite F1 Champions in action. While the Main Grand Stand is where it’s all at (even price wise), it is at the Premium Stand South and Picnic Stand South that most of the cheers and jeers will be heard, with a maximum amount of overtaking procedures possible down the sharp broad hairpin.
The lap record is held by who else but Vettel at 1:27:249 over the 60-lap race. The Mercedes team, comprising of Schumacher and Rosberg, have partnered with Airtel this year to run some extremely cool contests for die-hard F1 fans and spectators. Your TV viewing experience could just be converted into a soul-stirring in-the-pit race experience if you’ve been following their adverts.
Schumacher, who had one of his most successful races last year at India, qualifying at 11th but finishing strongly in 5th thinks that the Airtel Indian Grand Prix was surprisingly enthusiastic for its first year in 2011, and looks forward to turning luck onto his side after having an unsatisfactory last few races. This will be his last Indian GP, and one of his last races in Motorsport ever.
The common fan will want to savour this experience to be able to tell their grandchildren one day that they watched this living legend go out in style. Rosberg, who will partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next year, agrees with Schumacher, with the highest average speeds in Formula One. Though not a lot of overtaking happened last year, the drivers are more familiar with the track and have warmed up enough to know that this year, there is a lot more at stake for their careers and the Championships.
The expected temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius during the race will provide additional challenges to the F1 drivers– all in all, creating a pulsating all-around environment for everyone in attendance.
Don’t forget to buy those ear plugs and extremely interesting merchandise being sold outside your gates- because this is the best picnic you’re going to be on all year. You could be a bit hard on hearing for the next week, but that is a very small price to pay at the end of it.
You know where to book your tickets (hint: this website could have a lot to do with that), before it’s too late, because they’re selling like hot cakes, with just 5 days to go for the qualifying sessions.