India on track for first F1 race

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2011, 11:00 AM IST

Shanghai: Organizers of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix later this year insist that the track will be ready on time for the Oct. 30 race.

The late, late finish of the circuit for last year`s first-ever Korean Grand Prix - seats were still being installed in the grandstands over the race weekend - and the chaos surrounding preparations for last year`s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi had raised concerns about whether the Indian circuit will be ready.

Organizers say most of the work on the track itself, the pit complex and major infrastructure was completed early to avoid the risk posed by wet-weather delays, and it is only the internal work that is outstanding.

"Even if it rains tomorrow, no problem. I`m already inside the building, the civil work is done, and we are absolutely confident and sure that we will not embarrass our country this year," Indian Grand Prix chief executive Sameer Gaur was quoted by Autosport.

India has little pedigree in Formula One, although involvement is growing. Airline and brewing tycoon Vijay Mallya runs the Force India team, while this year Hispania added Narain Karthikeyan as a driver, attracting sponsorship from Indian carmaker Tata.

October 2011 will be a game changer for India," Gaur said. "Motorsport in India will become very big because there are lots of motorsport lovers all across India.

"At least the first race, the second race, there will be so much hype, and the hype and the marketing will start in a month`s time. We should be OK with the crowd, there`s a lot of buzz."

Bureau Report