Delhi is so powerful, powerful enough for being blessed with the presence of many of world’s VVIPs as the likes of Obama, Pope etc, Delhi is speed too, speed enough to change the course of the life of a Billion Indians within a flash or so fast to complete construction of 100s of KMs of metro or stadiums and flyovers ahead of schedules but neither that power nor that speed makes any excitement to any common folks of Delhi.
But when it was confirmed that Dilliwalahs are lucky to witness the marriage of power and speed together in a race track in Noida along with super humans in the drivers category and their mean machine which can be compared to some alien space shuttles and to be precise that changed the perception of many Indians with the anticipation and excitement has reaching sky high.
The sheer thrill of getting a chance to see the Formula 1 race and wave the hands to the undisputed kings of speed in the world like Mark Webber, Micheal Schumacher, Rosberg, Fernando Alonoso, Lewis Hamilton and India’s own Narain Kartikeyan etc – doesn’t matter for mere mortals like us whether they will notice it or not – someone from that group is standing on the podium with that handsome smile splashing champagne on others was enough for to face the big question “how to grab a ticket and a leave?”
Sorry to copy Wikipedia but the only option to mention few lines about this super fast special race is to refer somewhere and it is defined as is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Formula One cars are the fastest road course racing cars in the world, owing to very high cornering speeds achieved through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic down force. Formula One cars race at speeds of up to approximately 375 km/h or simply in the end the fastest lap of covering a distance of 5.17 Km race track recorded on that day was 1.27 minutes or a total of 307 Kms in 60 laps in 1 hour 31 minutes and 10 seconds, guess the speed if you would like to?
The Budh International circuit where Jaypee group was spent millions to construct the track was admired by all the heavy weights of racing due to its special design and curves and is situated far away from Delhi. But for an event of such magnitude for which people from across the continent flies to watch it live, this distance was as silly as walking few meters.
The actual race was in the afternoon and the moment Delhi border was crossed by entering into the Jaypee highway which the construction of road was matching with any international standards looked like almost all the vehicles were moving toward the racing arena. Sign boards and specifically prepared boards were installed in every few meters to guide every one coming to attend.
Most of the people might have been begin to wonder much before the actual event starts after seeing how huge the space allotted for the parking of visitor’s vehicles. The entire Noida looks like belongs to the development going on from which the race circuit complex forms a part that situated in an area of around 800 acres and the long walk from the parking area to the main entrance felt like much tedious than the 75 km that travelled to reach here.
Going through the boring security screening as always to cross the main entrance and once in, it was quite a bit of amusement by seeing such a huge sports arena in India, incomparable with few stadiums experienced earlier for football and cricket. The location of this part looked so small compared with the huge size of the whole race circuit.
There were separate wings with many rows of seat for a each category of different classes of tickets purchased but it was immaterial whether the class is low or high as witnessing such an event live sitting even in the farthest corner was a sheer luck because being in the city at the time of event with every convenience to reach the location on time was like a privilege to very few people in India especially when thought about some friends who were mad and crazy on speed and cars.
The different sections were arranged in a semi circular shape with separate entrance gate and food stalls inside. Some space was arranged like a garden with grass spread over where people seen relaxing with refreshment and chit chatting as there was enough time left for the start of the event. All varieties and types of food including chilled bear was available albeit at the cost of 5 star hotel charges.
F 1 race is not common like football or badminton or cricket hence mastering the rules of the race was in fact kept out of syllabus from the sports knowledge. But technical terms like Pit stop, Tyre change, lap, grid etc were familiar too and the most positive aspect that any kid can easily understands about the race is that whoever comes first and cover all the distance will be eventually be the winner logically, the same may be applicable to convince here too at least for the sake of enjoying.
There was a distant dream though like it would had been so great if the location of the seating arrangement was far from somewhere that could get a glimpse of starting and finishing point . But it was no where in the vicinity when I found my seat inside. Even if it was not possible to get a clue about the size of the whole racing circuit covering the entire distance of 5.1 KiloMeter race track but the announcement and loud voices from the drivers and cars were seemed to be coming from another universe, the simple analogy that could explain the situation.
But the seats we were allocated looked like in a perfect location too as it was exactly on a turning of the race track. It is easy to think like that turnings or corners were critical points in a race track where drivers could show their potential and Budh circuit has consisted of 17 such corners. A big screen was also installed in the corner of the turning for the viewers to know what is going on in the starting point and on other important spot during the race.
Admiring the magnitude of the event, the thoughts were such that in other sports like cricket if we so early to the ground we could get a glimpse of the players while they do some practice or warm up. But instead here it was with not F1 race cars instead an open jeep with organizers on board that the spectators around were able to see.
But soon some announcement has greeted with thunderous claps and whistle by everyone in the stands. It was precursor to the main event that all the race cars with driver making a round along the track slowly most probably the F1 way of acknowledging the presence of spectators and welcoming those who came to see the event sitting in the pavilion.
The excitement within the stands was so high and the magnitude of craziness at the other side where everything must be happening and monitoring in breakneck speed prior to the start of the race like preparation of drivers, final round testing of the racing machines to know everything is alright, support staff’s attempt to make everything perfect prior to start, presence of lovely grid girls, organizers hurried effort to avoid any unwanted incidence can easily imagine sitting far away from the starting point.
Many VVIPs and whos and whos of political, sports and bollywood heavy weights converged in the most important location of the event has added the importance and charisma of the event. Speed lovers of the grand prix across the world has directed their attention to this particular stretch within India’s National Capital eagerly to assess whether India is capable of handling such an event without a fuss.
By exactly 3 pm the actual race started with 23 racing cars on the grid lines one by one with Vettel leading the pole position determined based on the qualification round. Needless to say that might had been the most sought after moment too. Olympian Gagan Narang has been honored with the flagging off and for the next one hour and 20 minutes everyone in the complex ie approximately 60000 people (though the seating capacity was around 100000) sitting by the side of entire race track had seen speed unraveling in front of their naked eyes.
As the waving the chequered flag – the technical term for the starting formality of a race is – is announced and the sound of the racing machines exploded in the air we were eagerly waiting to get a glimpse of the first car at the far end of the track on the left side of us and everyone who came to witness this event live was so elated and thrilled as the cars were approaching us that so far witnessed only on TV sets.
Wroom wroom sound and lightening speed combined together that looked like comets were passing through the track in front of us one by one with only a barrier screen between the spectators and the race track, everything was happening in a hurry within a blink of eyes as cars slowing and breaking to maneuver the turning in front of us, driver’s attempts to overtake the cars moving in front, the breaking and accelerating sound of the cars ans all.
The race was consisting of 60 laps covering a total distance 307 Kms with each lap is enjoyable with different kind of actions which makes it 60 events eventually. Everything from Tyre bursting, Tyre changing, Collision, Crashing, slipping from the track and pit stops were happened within these 60 laps which are recorded as part of the rules of the race.
Though never in the radar of getting into the first few positions everyone have the feel Indianness too with Narain Karthikeyan of Force India team has been also competing with full vigour that immediately we got the news that he overtook two from the last position, but that lasted for only few minutes. We couldn’t but appreciate the technology when 10 to 15 seconds was the time lapse between the race cars that recorded for evaluating the winner ultimately.
Never a moment was dull even for few minutes when no cars are anywhere near to my left or in front as the profile of the track as viewed from the gallery we sits. No action for some time then we could see far from the end as cars or most suitably racing machines were appears in all of a sudden like someone had destroyed a bees nest.
Only it is to be experience to know the thrill of feeling the speed in those 5.14 Kms of tracks. Most of the time it was very difficult to distinguish what was exactly happening between two drivers, sometimes the race was between Senna and Roseberg, then there was Schumacher who was far behind than expected which was real disappointment to even the FIA community and an enquiry has been ordered, next there was a crash between Maldonado and Bruno Senna, a tight fight between Webber and Alonoso for the second spot which soon joined behind by Hamilton.
And finally it was Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull that came victorious for the second consecutive time in the Indian Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber followed to the podium with second and third position.