Thursday, September 16, 2010
The Indian Grand Prix
If you were to visit the city of Greater Noida , situated around 55 km from New Delhi , and you chanced to view a vast expanse of never ending flat land , dotted with a few puddles of water thanks to the monsoon and some heavy machinery, located just off the newly constructed Yamuna Expressway , then don't for any reason whatsoever exclaim - " What sort of lunatics would be crazy enough to build something on this barren piece of land in the middle of no-where". That's because , that temporarily barren-piece-of-land will , in a few months time , host what can only be described with words like "The pinnacle of Motorsport" or "The Petrol-head's Heaven ". Yes , it's official , Formula 1 is coming to India.
The Jaypee Group Circuit designed by Hermann Tilke features a 5.14 kilometer long track filled with challenging and exciting set of blind high speed corners ,with sudden elevation changes. For instance , crossing turn 3 there is a long crest first dipping 8 meters and then rising 12 meters ! Also Turn 8 at the Istanbul Park , famous for it's four apexes and it's ,fast and sweeping nature often resulting in many drivers spinning off the track , is also replicated at Turns 10 and 11 providing a very good overtaking opportunity. Another surprising aspect about the design of this track is that , the track is not solely designed by Mr.Tilke. Once the basic design was complete , the whole track was simulated and each driver was asked to try it out and give their feedback, and based upon their feedback and comments the track was further modified.
The constructions are all on schedule and the track is expected to be completed as soon as February 2011 for the track inspection. The actual race will be held on the 30th of October and since the race is towards the end of the season , a podium finish in this race might just fetch all the required championship points to win the 2011 championship title. Apparently there are plans that the Jaypee Group Circuit might also host Moto Gp and the Volkswagon Polo Cup.
All this is really good but there could be one problem . In a country where cricket has such a huge fan following that some fans even go to the extent of regarding cricketers as Gods and worshiping them , it may seem impossible to raise awareness about this fantastic sport and popularize it. But you never know. With a few Indians such as, Karun Chandokh , Narain Karthikeyan and of course the Force India Team owner, Vijay Mallya, who have made it into the Formula 1 arena and more importantly have a big fan following in the country , it just seems that the 150,000 seats at the Jaypee Group Circuit might be completely booked.