F1 »

India poised to unveil $400m gamble

The wraps have come off the new Buddh International Circuit, which will host the inaugural Indian Grand Prix at the end of October.
India's first foray into the high-tech, high-cost world of F1 is poised to come another step closer today [Tuesday] when the wraps officially come off the new Buddh International Circuit.

The first Indian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place next weekend, and organisers hope that the unveiling will finally lay to rest the sort of speculation about the circuit's readiness that plagued last year's Koran GP debut. Doubts have been raised over whether the 16-turn, 5.14km Hermann Tilke-designed venue would be ready to welcome an F1 fraternity already jaded from back to back races in Japan and Korea, but recent images suggest that the circuit and infrastructure is waiting for its appearance on the world stage.

Concerns are not unexpected, given India's recent record with the Commonwealth Games, which was plagued by reports of unfinished accommodation, dirty conditions in areas that had been completed and general shoddy timekeeping and workmanship. Only emergency government intervention saved a project allegedly rife with corruption, but the F1 circuit - and the sports village that is planned to surround it - has largely avoided such problems as the result of being a privately-funded programme.

Both Bernie Ecclestone and members of the FIA have praised what they have seen of the Buddh International Circuit, and commented on the way in which Jaypee Sports International, the company set up to build the track and manage the race, had controlled the development, starting from the moment that 80-year old company founder Jaiprakash Gaur signed a $200m contract during his first formal meeting with Ecclestone.

According to the Indian media, the Jaypee Group will host members of the F1 fraternity at a 60-acre golf and spa resort, before the completion of the remaining attractions at the Greater Noida site, which will include sports facilities such as a cricket stadium, hockey stadium, tennis courts, squash courts and shooting range, and public amenities including apartments, offices and shopping malls.

At this stage, however, the investment represents little more than a $400m gamble, with only a fraction of that amount set to return in the shape of ticket sales. Undaunted, Jaypee is confident that the venue can be made to work - and profitably - having modelled itself on the success of Sepang in Malaysia.

"We've taken a long-term view on this," MD and CEO Sameer Gaur explained, "People will want this address. We're in talks with MotoGP, as well as other car and bike racing competitions for use during other parts of the year.

Gaur also revealed that his company expects to secure a deal for Mercedes-Benz to open a motor racing academy at the circuit, while racing enthusiasts will be able to drive the circuit on trackdays.

Early predictions suggest that 60 per cent of tickets have been sold in advance of the F1 race weekend, despite prices not exactly being cheap for all, and India appears to have grasped 'F1 fever', after 2000 eager onlookers turned out to see Daniel Ricciardo test a Red Bull showcar on one of Delhi's main thoroughfares.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
India flag
The unveiling of the Renault Sport Formula One Team car livery.
Mick Schumacher leads Harrison Newey in MRF Challenge Series in India
F1, Bahrain International Circuit, F1 [Credit: Bahrain]
F1, Bahrain International Circuit, F1 [Credit: Bahrain]
F1, Bahrain International Circuit, F1 [Credit: Bahrain]
F1 grid start, Bahrain International Circuit, F1 [Credit: Bahrain]
Alfonso Celis Jr - Sahara Force India
29.11.2015 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
29.11.2015 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
29.11.2015 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW37
29.11.2015 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
29.11.2015 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
29.11.2015 - Race, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 mechanics
29.11.2015 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
Sergio Perez - Force India
29.11.2015 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
29.11.2015 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Taz - Unregistered

October 18, 2011 5:18 PM

I see Korea is already trying to renegotiate their extortionate race fee's and unless India is careful they'll be in that situation too. Turkey dropped, half empty stands in China, unless you can make the tickets affordable and promote it properly it's going to keep happening. Bernie is just trying to line his pockets before he retires, flogging of F1 to news corp was evidence enough. has no one explained to him there a world recession? :rolleyes:

kf1 - Unregistered

October 18, 2011 3:22 PM

No these farmers were compensated for their lands and they bought cars and built houses with it ... their problem is that they are now saying the compensation was too low.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.