HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Hot racers, sexy WAGs and a rock act to remember — Formula One’s India debut just got hotter. Until now, organisers have been tight-lipped about which international racers will be part of the tournament next month. However, sources have told HT City that some of the biggest names from the circuit along with their glamourous girlfriends have given a nod to the event at the Buddh International Circuit, come October 28.

Racing legend, German driver Michael Schumacher and British hottie Jenson Button are among the biggies who are said to have confirmed. “It’s going to be a proper Grand Prix! Button and Schumacher have already scheduled their visit,” confirms an official with the organisers, requesting anonymity.

Michael SchumakerSpanish racer Fernando Alonso and Brazilian Felipe Massa will also finalise their India plans. Scottish driver Paul di Resta, 25, who is currently part of the Force India team, is another racer to watch out for.

While it has been known that British F1 racer Lewis Hamilton will be here, our source adds his girlfriend, Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger is also likely to accompany him. “Since it’s a glamorous event, we’re also expecting a lot of other wives and girlfriends (WAGs) to come,” adds the source.

Meanwhile, preparations for the teams’ stay and entertainment are on in full swing. “All the racers will be staying with us. We’ve
pre-booked all our 170 rooms for the teams. Bernie Ecclestone, CEO, F1 management will also stay with us. On his last visit to India late last month, we took Bernie around the place and that’s when he booked it for teams. He also specially requested for Indian food for the drivers,” says Manju Sharma, director, Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resorts in Greater Noida. Besides a lavish Indian spread and specialised menus, the resort has also lined up ayurvedic spa treatments for the racers.

The event kicks off with the ‘F1 Rocks’ concert by Metallica, who will perform in India for the first time. “We’ll help celebrate the first ever Grand Prix race held in India,” they said online.

F1 mania takes over the city
* Night club LAP in Chanakyapuri, owned by Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal, will host F1 parties from October 28-30
* The V Spot Café in Saket will have an F1 car on display. The café will soon host gaming nights and winners will get tickets to the races

With lucky 13, Vettel reigns supreme
Vinayak Pande, Hindustan Times
Greater Noida, October 29, 2011
First Published: 10:47 IST(29/10/2011)
Last Updated: 00:16 IST(30/10/2011)
Force India-Mercedes driver Adrian Sutil of Germany leads Williams-Cosworth driver Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela during the qualifying session of the Formula One's Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida. (AFP)

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel clinched his 13th pole position of the season and the 28th of his career. The milestone put him ahead of Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio in terms of career pole positions. Vettel denied that further cementing his place in Formula One history was what motivated him to push hard but appreciated the statistic nonetheless. "It was very different when Fangio raced and he had a lot fewer starts as well," said Vettel. "But I feel honoured to be part of a sport with such a rich history that we can compare ourselves to those in the past."

The eventful qualifying session was preceded by the third practice session in which Vettel also set the fastest time. As track conditions improved from Friday, the lap times started to drop and the drivers went hell for leather in an effort to get the maximum out of their cars.

Schumacher slips
The most high profile casualty was Michael Schumacher who made it into Q2 only after a last-ditch effort. Prior to that, he locked his front left tyre going into the final corner of the lap that created a massive flat spot. The former seven-time champion  failed to make it into Q3 after complaining of vibrations in his rear tyres. While the German has shown promising race pace, he has been consistently 'out-qualified' by Mercedes GP teammate Nico Rosberg who managed to get into Q3 and qualify seventh, while Schumacher will start from 12th.

"Qualifying has obviously been a problem for us," said Schumacher. "It's something we have to address although qualifying is not so important this year."

Splitting the two Red Bull cars of Vettel and Mark Webber was McLaren's Lewis Hamilton who would, however, start fifth after a three-place grid penalty incurred during Friday practice. This promoted Ferrari's Fernando Alonso to third.

Felipe Massa, who'll  start sixth, complained about the kerbs on the circuit after he damaged his right front suspension while cutting too deep into a corner but Hamilton believed that the kerbs were not an issue at all. "These are the smoothest kerbs we have on the entire calendar," said Hamilton. "I don't think it'll be an issue at all for tomorrow's race."

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