Archive for November, 2011

The TOI recently carried a sweet mention; that F1 was nothing but IF spelt backwards. And why not? While IF is about speculation, F1 is all about going beyond the impossible.
Back in 2007 when the first talks for a circuit were held, nobody imagined F1 would become a reality in India. But as time passed by, people started seeing an imagination being converted into a certainty. Thanks to some generous corporate giants who thought otherwise. Though the event was a big success in the end, it wasn’t easy for F1 or its organizers to achieve this herculean task considering the diplomatic hurdles. Much was said and written of the visa problems that the teams, media and the public had to face. The following bureaucratic drama also added to the list of miseries. Many then thought of F1 going the Commonwealth way with scams and mismanagement leaving the country and its citizens red-faced and ashamed. Owing to this, a section of media and the fan base stayed away from the event.
Indians, in general, were unfazed though. As India’s tryst with F1 came closer, the race for giving final touches to the venue started heating up. Any event in this part of the sub-continent is a mad rush, just like the Big Fat Indian Wedding. F1 was no exception. And when it came to the facility, almost all, if not everybody, were showering praises for the circuit. While some mentioned the track as the best, some described the team pits to be luxury villas. Celebrities and VIPs also poured in to have a sneak-peek of the world-class infrastructure adding to the glam quotient.
After two days of practice, it all came down to the final day of the race when the drivers and their teams came for a face-to-face encounter. On the 30th of October, a pumped up India turned out in huge numbers to watch its first ever F1. The sport once known as elitish had now become a popular one with the masses. From the smell of the burning tires to the noise of the screaming cars, from the frustration of the team members to the excitement of the drivers, India felt it all. They were witness to one of the greatest moments of history in Indian sport and it had to be made at the Buddh International Circuit. Nothing more was better than Sebastian Vettel, the season’s top driver, making it out as the ultimate champion.
As we go home basking in the glory of the success, there are few things we and the government need to learn; that, F1 is a sport that cannot be ignored and need recognition; that, we need a proper grass root set-up in order to give our kids an opportunity to emulate their heroes and that F1 is a platform for a growing economy to showcase it prowess through its competence, efficient working class and cutting-edge technology. Having said all, we must hope that a decade later we have our own Vettels, Schumachers and Alonsos competing with the very best. For what can be more majestic than winning it for our nation. Cheers!

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