Indian GP expected to be a bigger success

New Delhi: The Formula One fraternity is expecting the second edition of the Indian Grand Prix to be a greater success than the inaugural one last year.

The race last year was a big success with around 95,000 fans turning up on that Sunday. The drivers including the race winner Sebastian Vettel were all praise for the track at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida.

"India has turned out to be a fantastic destination for F1. The organisers (Jaypee) did a commendable job in getting the circuit ready on time. We are really excited to see how the event unfolds this time around," Pasquale Lattuneddu of Formula One Management (FOM) told IANS.

An FIA official said the organisation was confident that the Oct 26-28 event will be a step ahead from last year.

"The race was generally perceived as a success by the F1 fraternity. Many of them had apprehensions about going to India, but eventually the event organisation was well appreciated. We are hoping the second edition is a step ahead than the last one," said the official from sport`s world governing body.

"Everyone was touched by the enthusiasm of fans. We met a lot of interesting people in the paddock, we are eagerly looking forward to the visit again."

If the dust around BIC was a concern for the drivers last year, off it the fraternity met with unexpected problems in getting the Indian visa.

"I am told by teams, officials and the international media that they faced much less difficulty in getting the visa this time around. The visa process is still a lot complicated than other Asian countries but I see it getting better with time," the official said.

The official asserted that FIA had already shown its commitment to the Indian Grand Prix.

"It is clear that India is an important destination for FIA. The FIA`s Annual General Assembly and the prize distribution ceremony were held in India last year instead of the usual location in Monte Carlo. That says a lot as to how FIA treats India."

As far as the drivers` expectations go, seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher is hoping for the huge crowd support he witnessed last year.

"The Formula One debut of India last year was certainly a success. There were a surprising amount of fans during the weekend, and the track itself really is cool. We drivers were given a very enthusiastic reception, and it will be interesting to see if this enthusiasm has remained as strong," said Schumacher, who will retire from F1 at the end of the season, on the official F1 website.


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