FIA race director and chief technical delegate Charlie Whiting has declared progress at the Buddh International Circuit – the stage for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in just under two months' time – as 'more than satisfactory' and having 'exceeded expectations from when he last visited the site'.
The race is scheduled to take place on 30 October – the 17th of 19 outings this year – but to-date, construction has been persistently hindered and delayed by a variety of issues, most recently opposition from local farmers angry at having to surrender their land and demanding greater compensation [see separate story – click here
That has raised fears that the build-up to the event will turn into another Commonwealth Games-esque fiasco, but F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone has insisted that he is confident everything is firmly on-track – and following his visit this week, Whiting palpably agrees.
'FIA inspector and F1 race director, Mr. Charlie Whiting visited the Buddh International race circuit for a planned routine inspection,' read a statement from Vicky Chandhok, President of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI). 'He stated that the progress was more than satisfactory and exceeded expectations from when he last visited the site. He also expressed confidence that the inaugural Indian Grand Prix will be a huge success.
'Physical issuance of Grade-1 Certification will happen one week prior to the event, as a common practice for new circuits. The first-ever F1 grand prix in India will be held on 30 October, 2011 at the 5.14km Buddh International Circuit, promoted by JPSI.'