Renault's travelling Formula One Roadshow initiative broke new ground at the weekend, as Nelson Piquet Jr and Lucas di Grassi demonstrated a range of cars on the streets of New Delhi in India.
Having already visited Johannesburg, Kiev and, most recently, Lisbon this season, the ING-backed operation followed up several weeks of preparation in close collaboration with Renault India by taking to the streets of the Indian capital in front of an estimated 120,000 crowd.
Despite the inaugural Indian Grand Prix being put back to at least 2011, Piquet and di Grassi received a rapturous welcome as they put on the first contemporary Formula One demonstration on the subcontinent.
“It was my first trip to India and, even though I have not been able to see an awful lot of the country, I have to say that I've really enjoyed being here," di Grassi commented, "We have been really warmly welcomed and I hope that the public now have a better understanding of the true potential of a Formula One car.”
Piquet, recently confirmed for a second season as Fernando Alonso's team-mate in 2009, and compatriot di Grassi - who was overlooked for a race role despite sterling service as the team's third driver and an impressive GP2 Series campaign in 2008 - demonstrated the R27 along a 1.2km circuit specially designed for the event and taking in the famous Rajpath Road through the heart of the Indian capital from the India Gate to the Janpath Road.
“I have to say that I have been really amazed," Piquet admitted at the end of the show, "I hope that our demonstration entertained the fans and that they enjoyed the day as much as I did. I'm really happy to have been involved with this event, which was important for Renault, for ING and for India, which is becoming more and more interested in F1.”