Next weekend's Indian Grand Prix has been dogged by similar concerns to those which followed the inaugural F1 race in Korea right up until cars took to the track in Yeongam, but is determined to prove the doubters wrong.
The Indian cause has not been helped by a series of mishandled construction projects in the otherwise booming country, headlined by last year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi, which required last-ditch intervention from the government to ensure that the event went ahead as scheduled after accommodation and venues went unfinished weeks before the opening ceremony.
While construction of the Buddh International Circuit has been overseen by a private concern, Jaypee Sports International, doubts were continually raised over its likely readiness until Tuesday's official unveiling, which appeared to confirm Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA's view that all was in hand ahead of next Friday's first F1 session.
Now, Jaypee founder Jaiprakash Gaur has said that the project's goal is to change the public perception of Indian construction projects - many of which are rumoured to be rife with corruption - and erase memories of the Delhi fiasco.
“We will make up for the shameful memories of the Commonwealth Games,” Gaur told The Associated Press
after the wraps had been taken off his latest construction, “The world's perception of India is going to change after the grand prix and people will forget what happened because of the Commonwealth Games.”
“This is a great chance for India to promote tourism, as many people from different countries will be here. India has seen incredible growth in the past 15 years and this will push it up a few notches.”
Jaypee has invested $215m in the F1 project, which will form the heart of a major international sports complex at Greater Noida, some 40km from New Delhi. The venue has a contract to hold a grand prix for the next ten years, and still requires a handful of cosmetic flourishes, but Gaur is confident it will not only wow the F1 fraternity on its debut next weekend, but also recoup the massive financial investment that has been put into its construction.
“We're giving the venue final touches and the next seven days are enough to take care of that,” he confirmed, “The ticket sales have been fantastic, with 70 per cent of all tickets and 90 per cent of the corporate blocks sold.”
Narain Karthikeyan will give the local fans something to cheer when he takes to the track in the second of HRT's two entries, while Karun Chandhok continues to wait on Team Lotus to make a decision as to whether he can return to a race cockpit for the first time since Germany in July, and only the second time since last year's British GP.