Marred by embarrassing incidents, Formula One kicks off in India

Formula One kicked off at Buddh International Circuit (BIC), Greater Noida near Delhi earlier yesterday. Being the first Formula One Grand Prix in the country, not only Indians, but the world was watching to see if there is any change in the so-called New India from the Old India.

Yes there is a change, but it was not seen at the F1 race yesterday. Seats were empty, infrastructure seemed to have been given finishing touches in a hurry, and people didn’t know timings of the practice sessions, while some were seen entering as late as 6 in the evening. BIC failed to give an impression of a world class racing circuit.

Transportation facility organized by the event organizers, to the BIC from various parts of Delhi, Noida and Greater Noida, seemed to be in a disarray. Some even complained of waiting for hours and still had to arrange for their own transport when no transport arrived. Others were stuffed in rented buses (vehicles used by organizers) and had to make the entire journey in a jam packed bus standing on their feet or getting stomped upon.

Apart from these incidents, there was a dog that managed to enter the track while first practice was in progress. Luckily nobody was injured and the dog was later rescued after the session was halted for 5 minutes. Later at the press conference there was a power cut, which was being addressed by Brazilian Ferrari driver, Felippe Massa, the fastest on track yesterday.

F1 supremo, Bernie Eccelstone, downplayed these incidents stating, “These things are quite normal. These things happen and it’s not a big issue. Better if we don’t have dogs at all.” While Mr Sameer Gaur, owner of BIC, was visibly disappointed with the embarrassing situation and stated, “We had foreseen this, with the track placed where it is. We installed proper barricades to stop animal intrusions, but it somehow sneaked in. We’ve deployed more security to catch dogs and take them to a secluded place.”