‘The event will last a few days. The experience, a lifetime', reads the slogan on the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) guidebook.
To live up to this motto and to ensure that the BIC matches international standards in every aspect, the organiser of the Airtel Grand Prix of India and owner of the circuit, Jaypee Sports International (JPSI), has made every possible effort. The BIC is expected to provide the teams, drivers as well as the spectators a truly memorable experience during the Grand Prix of India — the first ever Formula One race in the country — on October 30.
The 5.14km track, with 16 turns, has many special features. It offers a lot of variations to the drivers and gives them the scope to touch a top speed of 320kmph. The 1.21km long straight should provide a lot of excitement as the drivers will go flat out on this stretch. The track's highest elevation point is 14m and this would demand some skills from the drivers. A gravel trap at turns 10 and 11 and some blind curves promise plenty of thrills in the competition.
The width of the track, which varies between 10m-14m, has been the talking point for the two Indian drivers, Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok. They are of the view that the extra width will allow the competitors to make some exciting overtaking manoeuvres.
For the technically minded, Farhan Vohra, the clerk of the course, provides some interesting facts. “To support the special electronics on the track, 680km of wiring has been done. There are 50 strategically located on-track cameras from which feeds go to the race control officials,” he said.
Vohra is a key official who would be involved in the conduct of the race.
The track has digital flag panels, which will give the drivers a clear signal even if there is a possibility of any shadow falling on it.
A well-equipped medical centre, with 225 trained staff, has been going through mock drills to meet any emergency situation. Besides, it will have 10 medical booths around the arena to look after primary healthcare needs.
An extrication team will always be on guard to pull out drivers from the cars within three minutes in the event of a crash.
During the racing weekend, there will be 20 ambulances and two helicopters on standby to rush the patients to nearest hospitals. “The flying time from here to Fortis Hospital is nine minutes,” said Deepak Venugopal, the COO of the medical centre.
The BIC, designed by German Herman Tilke, who also conceptualised world-class circuits in Malaysia, Bahrain, China, Turkey, Indonesia, the UAE, Korea, South Africa and the US, has a lot of scope to develop as a green track.
This suitably matches its eco-friendly construction. “Around 80,000 saplings have been planted on the premises,” said an official.
A lot of thought and work have gone into the development of spectator facilities as 100,000 fans are expected to throng the BIC on the race day.
Making things easier
Thirty entry gates with adequate parking space, four ATM machines, five ticket box offices, 35 food and beverages vending zones and a circular shuttle bus service in the circuit will make things easier for the motorsport enthusiasts.
The main building, facing the tri-coloured grandstand, has 41 pits and next to it is a set of 18 team buildings.
The well-furnished media centre and the press conference room are situated in between the team buildings.
The media centre is unique because of its three high-tech super-wide screens instead of the traditional drop-down screens. Each of these can be divided into various sizes of small screens for relaying different stages of the race live.
The countdown has begun and it remains to be seen whether the inaugural F1 race on the Indian soil can revolutionise the motorsport scene in the country.