If you love enthralling speed, thrills, skills and cars, then here’s something to which you can look forward : this year’s 17th event of Formula One or F1 as it is often called, will be held right here in India, close to Delhi, on 28 October. Formula One or F1 is the brand used to identify the most prestigious motor racing competition in the world. Each event of the Formula One World Championships is called a Grand Prixand conversely, Formula One is still referred to as Grand Prix racing. F1 is an endurance test for both cars and drivers.
This will be the second edition of Formula One ( F1 ) motor racing in India. Before the opening weekend in 2011, the expected lap time for a Formula One car around the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, was 1 minute, 27.02 seconds, at an average speed of 210.03 km/h (131 mph), though Formula One cars were expected to reach a top speed of about 318 km/h (198 mph). In the inaugural qualifying session, Sebastian Vettel turned in a lap time of 1 minute, 24.178 seconds, beating the predicted lap times from tyre manufacturer Pirelli. Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari posted the top speed through the speed trap, reaching 324.2 km/h.
Already, with seven different winners in 2012 in as many races, the unpredictable nature of the sport is evident. Formula 1 racing is extremely competitive with the best drivers and teams battling it out for the win. However, because of its unpredictable nature, the competition is a great leveller. As a blogger with a large following has put it, “There are the “have’s” and the “have yachts” in F1 and I understand the notion that Williams F1, Sauber, Toro Rosso, Force India and Lotus F1 all have their place on the grid. But winning a race against Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari? As Webber alluded to, Williams F1′s Pastor Maldonado’s best placing prior to Spain was around 8th and now he’s winning races with a team that has no where near the resources or capacity to challenge the big teams…”. He goes on to add, “one could argue that the tactics are the most important issue and the team who gets the tyre’s optimum window of performance right with the race distance and pit stop strategy should win regardless of how much money they spend on their programme”.
Bigger teams may have bigger budgets but they still have to ‘crack the case’ every race weekend much like their poorer on-track cousins. For many fans and spectators, this represents something like an equal opportunity for mid tier teams, that even if you don’t have the big bucks to develop your car like a Mclaren or Red Bull, you still can dream of a super weekend and strike gold (case in point Sauber and Williams). Further, F1 enthusiasts like the idea of the so called best in F1 getting tested by the rest of the field day in day out. Besides, F1 as the pinnacle of motor racing has often so heavily relied on tinkering with all possible variables in a race car. The new rules of the game are just forcing the F1 teams to be ‘smarter’… not faster! We keep hearing things like ‘smarter cities’, ‘smarter commerce’ … so there you go time for a ‘smarter F1′!
In addition to having the greatest number of races (20) in a championship year, the 2012 season broke several records. Six current and former World Drivers’ Champions — Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Räikkönen, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher — started the season, breaking the record of five established in 1970. The 2012 season was also the first time that the first seven championship races of a season were won by seven different drivers.
The Indian F1 team namely Sahara Force India-Mercedes will be one of the 12 teams participating in this event. Paul di Resta and Nicolas “Nico” Hülkenberg are the two drivers of the Sahara Force India team. Mercedes is the constructor of car which is being used by the ForceIndia drivers for the 2012 F1 season. Among teams like Red Bull-Renault, McLaren-Mercedes, Ferrari, Force India’s performance has not so far been upto the mark in 2012. Fans at the Buddh International Circuit will no doubt be keeping their fingers crossed.
INDIAN GRAND PRIX
The Indian Grand Prix is the name of the race in the calendar of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) recognised F1 World Championship, which will be held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India on 28 October. In 2011, Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull- Renault team won the Indian Grand Prix while Jenson Button of McLaren-Mercedes team and Fernando Alonso of Ferrari team finished as the runners-up and second runners-up respectively. Adrian Sutil of Force India finished at 9th position in the event. The official sponsor of the 2012 Indian Grand Prix is Bharti Airtel and the co-sponsors are Fiat, Philip Morris International, Kaspersky Lab etc.
NAME AND LOGO
The name ‘Buddh International Circuit’ was been chosen because of the area where the racetrack is situated – Gautam Budh Nagar district (near Greater Noida). Because of its location, naming the circuit ‘Buddh International Circuit’ was a logical choice for the owners. The Buddh International Circuit (BIC) logo consists of a ‘B’ which also resembles a heart. The BIC logo is a stylised ‘B,’ the letter that stands for ‘Buddh’ and for ‘Bharat.’ The orange, green and white colours used in the logo are representative of the Indian flag, while the curves in the stylized ‘B’ in the logo represent the lines of a racetrack.
Buddh International Race
According to the owners, Jaypee Group, “The Buddh International race track has been designed as one of the fastest, most exciting circuits in the world. The track’s combination of straights, corners and elevation changes has been designed to allow high speeds and provide opportunities for overtaking, which is what makes motor racing exciting. At the same time, in terms of adherence to safety norms and regulations, run-off areas and medical facilities etc., Buddh International will be one of the safest racetracks in the world.” The 5.14 kms long Buddh International Race Circuit located in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, just a forty minute drive from New Delhi, has been designed by renowned German architect and racetrack designer, Herman Tilke, who has also designed other world class race circuits in Malaysia, Bahrain, China, Turkey, Indonesia, the UAE, South Africa, South Korea and the US. Spread over an area of 874 acres (354ha), the circuit was built at an estimated cost of about 10 billion ($215 million). The circuit was officially inaugurated on 18 October, 2011, just about two weeks before the first race. The seating capacity was initially expected to be 110,000 with provisions to increase it to 200,000 later on. Actually, the circuit is part of the 2,500 acres (10 km) Jaypee GreensSports City, Greens Sports City home which also includes a 100,000 seat cricket stadium, 18-hole golf course, 25,000 seat hockey stadium and a sports academy have been planned. Going by initial estimates, the sports complex was expected to cost 40 billion ($820 million) and generate $170m of revenue annually, and employ 10,000 people.
Teams in 2012 Formula One World Championships