With the inaugural Indian Grand now just a few days away, the circuit in Greater Noida on the outskirts of Delhi is essentially completed.
Of course, while the track itself may be done, the perimeter features may only come into play in time to come. For example, the area is to eventually have an international standard cricket ground, amongst other sporting elements.
It will mark the latest addition to Formula 1’s eastern adventure – a precious horizon upon which the future of the sport may lie; however the build-up to the race has not been without its problems.
Continuous stories regarding VISA applications and tax payments have given the Grand Prix a touchy start, but it will still go ahead. Considering the investment, it was unlikely that much would stop this race from going ahead, although one does wonder exactly how much extra this “little problem” cost the Jaypee Group.
Alas, the race will start without Karun Chandhok at the wheel of a Lotus. A mixture of home pressure, lack of suitable track running, as well as a tight battle for 10th in the Constructor’s Championship have conspired against Chandhok in this instance.
Jarno Trulli will therefore retain his seat.
As such, the sole Indian driver to be on the grid this weekend will be Narain Karthikeyan, sitting in for Vitantonio Liuzzi at HRT. A temporary measure of course, but it will offer an interesting yardstick as we see how Karthikeyan fares again new boy Daniel Ricciardo over the course of a weekend rather a single morning practice session.
Another Red Bull associated driver, Neel Jani, visited a different India recently. Jani – a Swiss national of Indian origin – drove an old Red Bull F1 car (possibly be the RB4 or RB5) the world’s highest motoring road – a mountain pass amidst the daunting Himalayas.
Jani took the racing machine to an altitude of 6,000 metres, overlooking the region of Ladakh as he reached the summit.
If this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix in Delhi is only one-tenth as spectacular as Jani’s adventure, then we shall be in for a fantastic race.
We can only hope the passion burns bright amongst the local population – motor racing is no fun when all you do is annoys the locals.