Buddh Circuit gears up for second Indian Grand Prix

Organisers make improvements to track to weed out minor glitches

Two weeks from now, the ear-splitting roar and the fast-paced action of Formula One will back at the Buddh International Circuit which is all geared up to host its second Airtel Indian Grand Prix from October 26-28.

After a hugely successful inaugural edition, the organisers are keen to put up an even better show this year and weed out the minor flaws.

Dust on the track that became a headache last year for the organisers — Jaypee Sports International Limited (JPSI) — with several drivers complaining, has been largely controlled, the run-off area is ready and the 5.14 km circuit has become greener.

Although there have been no major overhauls, the organisers this time have extended the kerbs at turn 6-7 and 8-9 from 5m to 15m to ensure the drivers do not go for the shortcuts. The turn eight last year hogged the headlines when Ferrari's Felipe Massa crashed in the qualifying race with a broken front right suspension after he misread a chicane and bounced over the kerb.

The organisers though made it clear that they introduced the changes as per instructions from the world body, the FIA.

“We have introduced orange-coloured sausage kerbs at turn 6-7 and 8-9 kerbs to discourage drivers from using the shortcuts. The height of all the kerbs across the circuit has been made uniform at 25mm ,” said Farhan Vohra, general manager, race operations.

The turns 2-3 and 7-8 will have astroturf lining to provide additional safety to run-off areas. “The astroturf lining has also been introduced at the run-off areas at the fast turns 10-11. The inside part of the turn has gravel and it tend to come on the track,” he said.

Vohra said the numbers of marshals from abroad have been reduced this year and the track should be far more cleaner this time.

“Dust on the track should not be a problem. We have hired mechanised dusters from Bahrain and these will start working from October 15 to clean the dust particles from the track that cannot be washed with regular dusters,” he said.

Apart from this, two sweepers from Bahrain will come here to ensure the track is spic and span by the time the race begins.

Meanwhile, the cargo has also started to come. “The movement of cargo has been smooth so far. The ship cargo has started coming here including tyres, car fuels, etc,” said  Sougoto Das AGM, Cargo & Logistics, JPSI.

The cars will be coming after the Korean Grand Prix this weekend. The organisers are also looking to cash in on the retirement of German legend and Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher, who will be running one of the last races of his feted career.

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