MOTOR SPORT With just a couple of months to go before the first Formula 1 race in India, here’s hoping that the Indian champs make a mark on the F1 scene. SAGAR KAPOOR
After 14 years of arguments, debacles and changes in proposed sites, India is finally set to host a Formula 1 race, scheduled to be held in the last week of October this year. Delhi, which had already received a face-lift thanks to the Commonwealth Games, is all set to host this mega event on the outskirts, in Greater Noida, at the Jaypee Group Circuit, a track innovatively designed by the legendary track designer Hermann Tilke.
This track is 5.1 km long and contains 16 corners. The cars are expected to lap at an average speed of 210 km/hr and reaching up to a max speed of 320 km/hr, thus making it one of the fastest tracks in the world. The lap time is expected to be in the 1 min 17 sec mark. It is one of the best tracks with ample opportunities to overtake. The grand stands present all around the track have a seating capacity of a staggering 1,50,000 in order to give the audience its share of thrill and enjoyment.
Lewis Hamilton and the F1 legend Michael Schumacher have expressed their eagerness to race on this new track. India first stepped into the F1 arena in the form of Narain Karthikeyan popularly known today as the world’s fastest Indian. He competed for Jordan in 2005, Williams test driver in 2006 and 2007 and has represented India in the A1 GP in 2007. He also took part in the Le Mans series. Last year he also drove in the NASCAR World Truck Series and was presented ‘The Most Popular Driver Award’ as voted by his fans.
In 2007, however came India’s moment in the F1 domain with leading Indian businessman Vijay Mallya buying the crisis-ridden Spyker and renaming it Force India. The 2008 season saw the car adorn red and golden but sadly returned at the end of the year with no points in the bag, but with some promising performances from both the drivers.
The 2009 season however saw the team surprise all by clinching its first pole position and podium finish at the Belgium Grand Prix. In the next race Adrian Sutil, Force India’s beloved hero clinched his first point after heartbreaks in previous two wet races. This year, the team returned with honours. The 2010 season saw the most prosperous year for Force India as it bagged 68 points, seventh in the Constructor’s standings.
In the 2011 season, Narain Karthikeyan is driving for the Hispania racing team in place of another Indian Karun Chandok, who was chosen last year. Let us keep our fingers crossed and hope that India makes an indelible mark in the F1 domain.
Sagar is a II nd year , B.Tech ECE student of SRM University.
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