Safety first is Indian Grand Prix mantra

Strict security measures will be in place on Oct 30, say organisers

The men behind those ground-breaking machines have been known to overcome dire situations without breaking a sweat and have stood firm in tough situations in the past.

They were there at the Circuit de Catalunya months after the Madrid train bombings in 2004, in Silverstone three days after the blasts in the London tube 2005 and in Indianapolis less than three weeks after the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001. That apart, driving at venues which have been hit by natural calamities only weeks later, takes some doing.

The drivers and teams might put on a strong face and stand firm if there was to be an incident but the organisers are not willing to take any chances. 

“We are using the help of the Delhi Police and the Uttar Pradesh police to get it all in place,” a source from the organisers, Jaypee Sports International, said over phone from New Delhi on Monday. “We have brought in experts to handle this, like ex-Delhi cops and ex-Army officers and several other high profile people to make sure nothing is out of place during the race.”

“There should be anywhere between 3,000 to 3,500 security personnel in and around the track to watch over every nook and corner of the facility. We also have police in Delhi watching the movement of traffic to and out of Noida round the clock. While, we have our security agencies in place and so will other organisations, the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) will also have their own field of security. All this is going to make the Buddh International Circuit free from any trouble, and even if there is any trouble, we have the required people to fix it in quick time,” said the source.

“There will also be a three to four layer security field in place all around. Basically, we are not willing to take any chances and hence the stringent procedures in place,” he added.
The only two Indians -- HRT’s Narain Karthikeyan and Team Lotus’ Karun Chandhok -- to drive in Formula One too had a similar opinion of the blasts and of the security.

“We were deeply moved by the incident, but let me assure you... we will drive at the Indian GP,” said Chandhok, who might drive in the Indian GP on October 30. “A few drivers came and asked me about the blasts but they didn’t seem too worried. Everyone knows that the security will be top notch during the event, and that kind of assurance is enough for us to participate. We have driven under severe conditions and this will be no different. Drivers and their teams are a little more concerned about the radiation leak in Japan (Japanese GP, Suzuka, October 7-9) at this point.”

The Chennai-born Karthikeyan, who will begin warming up for the home GP with free-practice drives starting with the Singapore GP, said: “The organisers have assured us all of their security arrangements so everyone is looking forward to coming here.”

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