BIC gets a big thumbs-up from drivers

Just a year old on the Formula One calendar, the Buddh International Circuit has left a lasting impression on the drivers and their teams.

The BIC had minor issues such as dust and a couple of highly-decked kerbs in its inaugural season but organisers Jaypee Sports International have ironed out the chinks and have put forth an impressive circuit for the second edition of India’s biggest motor sport event.

“Coming from the first year to now is not much of a difference but there have been some improvements made to the circuit,” said Williams’ Bruno Senna during drivers’ press conference on Thursday here. “Last year there were a lot of speculations on if the race would be held or not but it ended up rather well. This year, the track is a bit more mature so there will be a lot more grip on offer.”

Talking about his experiences in India, late great Ayrton Senna’s cousin, said: “Off the track it’s a whole different thing.

“For everyone who is not used to India, it (difference in culture) comes as a shock. It is full of history and full of richness and if you can appreciate that sort of thing, it can be a lot of fun.”

India’s first F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan insisted that this year’s race would be a fun-filled affair for the drivers and hoped that there would be a good crowd gathering at the circuit on race day.

“We are coming off a hugely successful race last year so expectations are sky-high. Come Sunday, I hope a good crowd turns out. As far as the track is concerned, it is better than last year.

“I drove here  a couple of months ago and it is great. All this landscaping really makes the circuit special,” said the Coimbatore-born driver.

Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen, who returned from a brief stint in the World Rally Championship, was not present for the inaugural edition of the Indian Grand Prix and is among those who have the least experience on this 5.125-km long track.

“I came last night at one o’clock in the morning. I haven’t gotten to see anything yet but if you really want to know… the hotel (I am staying in) is really good,” said the ‘Iceman’ with a typically dead-pan expression emanating peels of laughter in the hall.

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