iconimg Monday, April 27, 2015

Sharmistha Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times
Greater Noida, October 29, 2012
If reaching the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) last year was a Herculean task, this time it was a smooth ride, literally. Probably, the only difficult part was actually going to a mall in Noida to collect the Rs. 2000 ticket in person a day before the race! Waking up early (by journalistic standards of course) on a Sunday to reach the venue before 3pm just needed to be planned right.

From the auto ride to the Metro station, the train journey and then availing the bus shuttle to BIC, it all went like clockwork.

There was no unnecessary hassle unlike the inaugural edition when even the organisers weren't sure of how it was all going to be handled.

While last year I left my house at 9am to reach office about 11 hours later, it was amazing to see how well the traffic was conducted this time.

No long snarls on the road, no hassles, simply an easy ride with fellow F1 fanatics. And there were all kinds - the Tifosi, Vettel lovers and Schumacher die-harders.

Stands in delight

Preparing for the 60 laps with overpriced beer, just the energy among the south stand picnic fans put a smile on your face. While the true fans stuck to the race, the picnickers were busy taking pictures to post on Facebook as Formula One albums!

Remember the saplings planted last year to do their bit for the environment? A year later, they've started blooming and the picnic stand fans were careful to not tread on them. And one couldn't complain of the exercise — walking down to the food areas and carrying snacks back up a long flight of stairs.

'Kaun jita?' you hear as you try to escape the mad rush after the race and navigate your way down the picnic area. 'Koi Vettel…' com-es the far off reply. What a crowd!

Surprisingly, the fans actually followed a line this time and boarded the shuttle. Unlike 2011, when the ride back to the Metro station took forever, today you couldn't even get a chance to squeeze in a snore or two!