FIRST EVER INDIAN GRAND PRIX
if you hadn’t been hit by the formula 1 fever, there was no escaping it on sunday, 30th october , when the kings of speed enthralled the indian audience with their speed and skill in what was a spine tingling, ear splitting, high octane, adrenaline- pumping inaugural indian grand prix.
Before the race ended, there was only one question on everyone’s mind – will india deliver? But as the race came to a thrilling end, the critics were left to eating their own words as india delivered in grand style!!With an embarrassing end to the commonwealth games last year, the indian gp bought a sense of relief and pride as well as wide smiles on the faces of those present. India’s a-list celebs turned up in full force for the race, with sachin tendulkar waving the chequered flag. The shutterbugs were kept busy all day as stars like m.s.dhoni,v v s laxman, harbhajan singh,shah rukh khan, hrithik roshan, abhishek bachchan, deepika padukone, richard brasnon graced the occasion.
Sebestian vettel cruised to his 11th win of the season, a race in which he dominated from the start to the end, leading every lap of the race. Vettel won the race from pole position, leading every lap, and setting the fastest lap only to make the race extra special for him.
It was a proud moment for indian motorsports in many ways. The lone indian team in f1, sahara force india managed to register points with adrian sutil bringing the car home in the 9th position. It was a special day for narain karthikeyan as he had an impressive drive in front of his home crowd despite having started at the back of the grid due to a five place penalty. But the high point of the race was on lap 24 when felipe massa and lewis hamilton collided once again, for the sixth time this season. It was left to that remarkable facial contortionist rowan atkinson, a guest of the mclaren team, to convey the true sense of the frustration experienced by lewis hamilton and his employers after the collision. But atkinson reserved one of mr bean’s most anguished expressions as hamilton’s awful season continued and his meaningful interest in the race was ended before it was half-finished.
The buddha international circuit became an instant hit with the drivers giving it big thumbs up and even expressing their desires to come back to india and drive on this spectacular track.
The track has many fast sections where the car can reach speeds up to 320 kmph and some really challenging corners which are a driver’s delight. The circuit not only towers over up’s squalor –ridden landscape, it might well stand testimony to the country’s growing stature as the next big sporting destination. It will also make incredible india even more fascinating with all its wild contrasts and baffling contradictions.
India is known for its colourful and diverse culture as well as the hospitality of the indians, and even the drivers were simply amazed by the simplicity and loving nature of the people
In the post race conference, vettel said “for us we sometimes measure happiness in our lives, in our world, by what we have achieved, what we have, etc. But for the people here, it doesn’t really matter. They’re happy with what they have, even if you compare and they have so little, but they are happy, friendly, helpful and respectful. Obviously i haven’t spent a lot of time here, but it was very inspiring, with a lot of things making you appreciate more than you probably do. It opens your eyes, it was an inspiration and something you should never forget.”
The start to a new era of sports in india has begun with a bang, but only time will tell if it could catch up with the popularity that cricket enjoys.
—harshal d. Bhangale
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