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F1 stars await ‘fantastic’ Indian GP

More than anything else, the prospect of racing before a crowd, exceeding one lakh people, is what makes World Champion Sebastian Vettel wait excitingly for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October.

india Updated: May 10, 2011 00:46 IST

More than anything else, the prospect of racing before a crowd, exceeding one lakh people, is what makes World Champion Sebastian Vettel wait excitingly for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October.

Vettel, the defending champion from Red Bull, on Sunday won his third race of the season after starting from pole position.
"We are looking forward to it. We have heard a lot of things, a lot of good things. One thing I heard is that it will be sold out and there will be a lot of people there, so this will be fantastic," Vettel said after being asked about Formula One coming to India.

The Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida is scheduled to host the 17th race of the current season on October 30 but the confirmation is subject to homologation of the facility in July.

The circuit will have a length of 5.14 km and the seating capacity initially is expected to be 110,000 with provisions to increase it later to 200,000.

Vettel was a little disappointed to see some empty seats at the Istanbul Park and hoped that the scene would be different in India.
"This race here (Istanbul Park) has very often been criticised in the past for not having a lot of spectators.

Today, I have to say that the atmosphere was quite good and I really enjoyed the last lap, but surely there were some empty seats, so that's what I will be looking forward to most (in India), " he was quoted as saying by the official F1 website.

Vettel's Australian teammate Mark Webber, who finished second, acknowledged India's steady growth as a sports destination and expected to meet some of the top cricketers of the country during the race.

"Obviously, India has had some big events over the last few years, with the Commonwealth Games and the cricket World Cup -- I don't know which side won the World Cup.. yes.. I do -- but I am looking forward to going out there.”

Indian GP timeline

Sep. 2007: Greater Noida is revealed as site for Indian GP, to be held in 2010.

Sep. 2008: FOM rules out Indian GP for 2010.

Aug. 2009: Sports ministry refuses to remit $ 36.5 million to FOM on behalf of Indian GP promoters JSPK.

Sep. 2010: Formula One’s governing body confirms 30 October 2011 date for race.

April 2011: Circuit is officially named Buddh International Circuit.

May 2011: Farmers in UP begin protests against land acquisition in Greater Noida.