Home > Personal, Sport > The Indian Grand Prix; A less than satisfactory debut

The Indian Grand Prix; A less than satisfactory debut

The Indian Grand Prix was held today, and as an F1 fan I can promise you it was the last race I would want to see on my calender. For those who do not I am biased when it comes to India and their sporting events. This grand prix lived up to its expectations, and those expectations were pretty low.

When India was finally given the go ahead for the race a few years back, it was not an announcement that had been welcomed in the highly selective world of Formula 1 racing. Looking at the tradition and European influence on the sport, you can understand why the followers were not all too impressed.

In the recent years, the sport of racing has seen a greater emphasis placed on money ahead of tradition, this was seen through the increased races in the Middle East and Singapore. It has now moved to what is being described as the largest market possible, India.

After controversy and problems existing in the construction of the track, the race weekend was finally upon us. For most people, the interest in the season has dropped with Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull securing the driver championship and the constructor championship. The only real interest in the race stood with how India will handle this glamour filled sporting event.

So what did India have planned for the race weekend? They were certainly going all out, similar to Singapore they were going to have a concert including the performance of rock legends Metallica. The event was being built up all over the city with vendors getting in to the mood.

Unfortunately the race did not go according to plan, the first big incident was the cancellation of the Metallica concert, which enraged thousands of fans. True to Indian tradition, disappointment was followed by vandalism as the fans ransacked the stadium. A sad showing for Indians, the world’s attention was on them and they certainly slipped up.

The situation only got worse when the first practice session was delayed due to non-other than a stray dog running on to the track. A situation that is common in cricket matches seems to have transferred to the racing track. Apart from the funny side, the dangers of such an incident seems to have been missed.

We’re only lucky know drivers were on that stretch of the track. For all you animal lovers the dog was safe, probably the biggest relief for me this whole weekend.

The track itself was a state of the art affair, certainly India can be complimented on that. Just make sure you do not look outside of the stadium, a barren wasteland lies in view. The dust and sand was so intense that on TV the race was at times difficult to see. Of course, to maintain the tradition Indian ticket prices were on the slightly higher side, but that was too be expected. Whether or not that will keep the standards remain to be seen. India ended the weekend in a fashion that was both embarrassing and sums up their mentality. Sachin Tendulkar was given the opportunity to wave the chequered flag, I mean why would he be given it? Yes he is a sporting god in that country, but he has no connection with the sport nor is he from New Delhi. Its a shame such a emphasis was placed on this man in a sport where few will know his name.

So the race is over, and the event was not as exciting as many of the other tracks. I guess now it waits to be seen how its following seasons go. Of course one thing we are assured of is that money rules all things sporting.

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Categories: Personal, Sport Tags: , , ,
  1. Zaman
    November 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Your post gives enough evidence of how much unbiased you are. I am an Indian but I am also one of the biggest critic of my nation as I believe in quality. But the Indian Grand Prix was an extremely successful debut and every F1 fan (barring you) has mentioned that. Except for the dog there was no problem at all. Every athlete including Vettel, Schumacher, Alonso, Button and everyone else praised and told how great it was. Listen to their interviews for FFS or for that matter even F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone’s interview. Sachin Tendulkar is a great F1 and a good friend of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari had gifted Sachin one of their sports cars through Schumacher nearly a decade ago. It was none other than F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone who invited Sachin personally and requested him to raise the checkered flag. Go and learn to read properly instead of making BS judgments. And the race was held in Noida which is an upcoming planned city and that is why there is dust as most of the projects are still in construction. You will have a cricket stadium, massive golf courses, multi-sports facilities and many more projects near that area in the coming years. That is why it is called “Sports City”. Anyways it is not xyz country where you can find free land everywhere. It is India where land can hardly be found and that too such large patches as required for a F1 track or a planned city. This is India where property prices are going higher than US or UK and so, it is not just another country with free land everywhere. That is why the F1 track is somewhat outside Delhi and upcoming planned city instead of the National capital. The only thing I could make from this post is that you are a pessimistic South Asian who will struggle to appreciate anything and will make conclusions based of half-baked minimal knowledge about the topic.

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