Two of the biggest pieces of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix fell into place Saturday. The tickets for the event officially went on sale and Narain Karthikeyan confirmed his participation for the Hispania Racing Team (HRT).
"It was always a dream for me to race in Formula 1 and race in front of my home crowd," said Karthikeyan speaking to reporters at the press conference in Greater Noida. "And now thanks to the Jaypee Group that dream is going to be a reality."
India's second F1 driver Karun Chandhok, however, was non-committal about his participation in the Indian GP. "I've always maintained that racing in the German GP this year was a one-off," said Chandhok.
"The team (Lotus) seem to be pleased with my performance at the event so we will see what happens."Sameer Gaur, MD of Jaypee Sports confirmed the availability of tickets through ticketing website bookmyshow.com and that the tickets would also be available through vending outlets by the early part of September.
The Buddh International Circuit itself is due to be inspected by a technical delegate from F1's governing body, the FIA, on September 1. Gaur said that the track would be completed and opened to the media sometime in the third week of September.
Gaur dismissed suggestions that the event would be disrupted by protests from local farmers demanding greater compensation for the land sold to Jaypee for construction of the track.
"The sale of the land was finalised and completed when we acquired the land back in 2007," Gaur said. "I'm sure that we won't have any trouble with the running of the event."
Neither Karthikeyan or Chandhok were too concerned about the possibility of next year's GP being shifted to April.
"As racing drivers we go wherever the teams go," said Chandhok. "We're not too concerned about the heat as we race in Malaysia which is very hot and humid, but there are to be elections in Uttar Pradesh in May so that is a bit of a concern."