David Coulthard is one of the select few to have participated in more than 200 Formula One races, but a few minutes drive on the roads here was enough for him to conclude that this is different.
“I think driving here would need a special technique,” the Scot remarked tongue firmly in cheek apparently dazed by the state of traffic and the driving habits.
It will be a different story on Sunday, though. The traffic will be held up for a couple of hours on the newest city landmark, the Bandra-Worli sealink, to enable the erstwhile F1 driver to vroom across it in a team Red Bull car singeing in the vicinity of 225 kmph.
Having landed in the city late on Wednesday, the man wasted no time in having a dekho at the sealink. “I did go for a drive on the sealink,” said Coulthard here on Thursday. "And I think it is a bit bumpy but should not be much of a challenge. "Of course, I was in the comfort of the backseat of a Mercedes and driving an F1 car is a completely different thing."
About the F1 scene following the 'Crashgate' controversy involving Renault and their driver Nelson Piquet Jr, Coulthard said the sport has moved on. "I think it will be difficult for Nelson to come back," Coulthard said. "Nelson has to take more responsibility for his actions. I don't know how anyone can crash an F1 car? All through my career I was trying to avoid a crash!
"Obviously, the bosses would want you to do certain things for the sake of the team and I have been asked to do things which benefited the team but not me. One has to be a team player but he has taken it too far. He must be crazy."
Coulthard, who has won 13 races and is ranked seventh on the all time points list, said that it would help Force India get more support if they had an Indian driver but added that it is better to have a driver who can drive the car better.
"If you want to get any country involved, it is important to have local support and getting a driver would help a lot," he said. "But it is also about driving the car. You have a couple of guys with potential but it would be difficult to say how they will do if you put them in an F1 car."
Asked to comment on Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandok, Coulthard said: "(With Karthikeyan) Age is not an issue. It is about opportunity. Karun is racing in GP2, so I have seen him more.
"There seems to be good potential. But honestly it is difficult to say how a driver would do when he moves from one form of racing to Formula One.”