`Indian GP will be a spectacle for fans`
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Last Updated: Saturday, August 20, 2011, 17:22
  
Greater Noida: Gearing up for Formula One action on their home track for the first time, Indian drivers Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok on Saturday said the challenging Budh International Circuit will provide fans with quite a spectacle when F1 comes to the country this October.

"I can relate some of the corners to corners of some other circuits in the world. There are a lot of overtaking opportunities and long straights. Spectators can see the speed of an F1 car, which would go up to 320kms per hour. It will be a huge spectacle," Karthikeyan said.

Adding to that, Chandhok said, "It (circuit) is challenging for drivers. The elevations change...then there are 2-3 corners with double the width for overtaking...great for spectators. It's a tremendous facility."

Chandhok is optimistic but still not quite sure about his chances of racing in the event but Indian motorsports' long-time flagbearer Karthikeyan will be there on the grid.

Karthikeyan, the first Indian to be in the driver's seat of an F1 car long before Force India came into being, today confirmed that he will race on October 30 for his Spanish outfit Hispania Racing but Chandhok said does not yet know whether he would be joining his compatriot on the grid.

Karthikeyan had competed in the first half of the 2011 season for Hispania before being replaced by Daniel Ricciardo for the rest of the season.

"My seat was never under question for the Indian race. Yes, I would like to have a race or two to warm up for the Indian GP," Karthikeyan said as the tickets were launched online for the first ever F1 race in India.

"It's a dream coming true. I got goose bumps when I saw the circuit. It's a massive facility and I am very excited. It will be a great showcase," Karthikeyan added.

Chandhok, who signed with Lotus Team this year as a reserve driver, said it actually makes a lot of sense if Indian drivers race in their home GP for their respective teams.

Chandhok drove for the first time this season at the German Grand Prix when he replaced teammate Jarno Trulli.

"I am quite optimistic about it but I can't say anything at this stage. We have discussed it but nothing is final. It makes a lot of sense if Indian drivers are there but nothing is final at this moment," he said.

Both of them hailed the Budh International circuit, the venue for the race, as a tremendous facility, which they said will be challenging for drivers and benefit the future generations.

Asked how F1's arrival will help motorsport in India and whether it will be able to bring people to the circuit, both the drivers had no doubt that benefits will be huge.

"We are not trying to compete (with any other sport). The viewership of F1 in India has gone up astronomically. I am told there are 27 million viewers and we need only 0.5 per cent of that to fill the circuit's capacity of one lac and 20,000," said Chandhok.

"People do relate to Michael Schumacher and there is overdose of cricket. Motorsport will grow bigger. For future generation of drivers, it will be a huge infrastructure.”

Having a GP here will bring change like it happened in Malaysia and China," Karthikeyan said.

PTI


First Published: Saturday, August 20, 2011, 17:22


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