Formula One big brass lavish praise on inaugural Indian Grand Prix

The now-famous right index finger went up skyward once again, as Sebastian Vettel scored a perfect victory in the inaugural Formula One Grand Prix of India at the Buddh International Circuit here on Sunday.

The German started from the pole, led every lap and whipped out the fastest lap time (1:27.249s), on way to his 11th victory of the season and the 21st of his career.

The Red Bull driver, who took the chequered flag, waved by the Indian cricket idol Sachin Tendulkar, pumped his fists from the cockpit of his car and screamed, “We've done it!” after team manager Christian Horner radioed him saying: “You have won the inaugural Indian Grand Prix; your last lap is the fastest.”

After receiving the winner's trophy from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and drenching himself in champagne, Vettel got down to praising the Indian organisers of the Grand Prix. “I am very proud to have won the inaugural Grand Prix of India. These guys have done a great job with the track in such a short time. No doubt, there are a few bits here and there that are not 100 per cent, but the people are there, and they are capable of fixing them.”

This comment from one of the greatest Formula One drivers in recent times is a tribute to India and rejection of the views held by the cynics at home and abroad, who had, at every stage, doubted the nation's ability to host a Formula One Grand Prix.

Though there were sporadic patches of vacant spaces in the stands, the spectator turnout was a lot more than expected.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, a man who seems to be always in a hurry, said the Buddh International Circuit is one of the best in the world.

“A good track, a good race and a good crowd — that's a good way to begin,” said Martin Whitmarsh, CEO of McLaren Racing.

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