For a live Formula One race virgin, it’s all about the sound. Forget the fact that you get to see world champions in the flesh (or rather their helmets peeking out from their cars) or the elaborate planning needed to make your way to the Buddh International circuit. It’s the 140 decibel sound waves, screeching tyres on the tarmac, which gets you hooked the moment you see your first F1 car whiz past. All doubts are erased and the feeling ‘yes, it was worth it all’ sets in.
Head over to the Premium stands and the initial in-your-face greeting is by a wave of Tifosi fanatics. Look left, Sebastian Vettel jerseys and flags dominate. Amidst all the deep blue and rosso corsa, you can also find specks of McLaren and Lotus. Earplugs, advised by the media and racing websites, are found aplenty. But then, they're only for the weak-hearted, isn't it? If you get the taste of nectar, you can never make do with artificial honey.
With ticket sales skyrocketing a few days before Sunday, it wasn't surprising to see the saffron, green and white stand seats getting filled, not only with true fans but also to-be fans. The old, young, rebel teens, toddlers, newly-married, you saw them all. Carrying high-tech cameras and boxes of food, they awaited with bated breath for the five red lights to go off. And as they did, the cheer was deafening.
The key to lose one's self is in the sound of V8 engines roaring past. By the time 60 laps end, the adrenaline rush is replaced with sadness as to 'why is it over so soon'. But then, you hear 'same time next year' blaring on the microphone and you comfort yourself knowing all's right with the world.