With the second edition of the Indian Grand Prix just round the corner, fans of the motorsport have their flags ready. Some, really passionate about the sport, have already bought themselves a grand stand spot at a hefty price, while the others and less luckier ones have reconciled themselves to watch the race from the comfort of the couch in the living room. This time, the ticket prices have been slashed much to the delight of the fans who jumped up to grab them online from the various sites. Though slow, the sales have picked up and if you are planning on buying one now, it is rather late. Online reservations for tickets on Bookmyshow.com, bookf1.com and many other websites were sold out. But where is the buzz, really? The inaugural Indian Grand Prix generated a lot of buzz across the country last year. “With the novelty factor gone, this time, it is just the fans!” say city students who are all set to fly to Delhi for Sunday’s mouth-watering race.
For fans like Ishaan Agarwal, a student of BITS, Hyderabad, this is going to be a treat. Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen will be on track and what more, the title race for the 2012 Formula One season has almost turned into a clash between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Both are separated by just six points. The two would look to strengthen their positions when they hit the track at the Buddh International Circuit on Sunday. And of course, there’s the home team as well.
Ishaan Agarwal has booked a spot in the Premium Stand South. “The last time, I got grand stand tickets, but this time it’s a different place at the Premium Stand South. I am looking forward to new action and I am very much excited as my favourite Kimi Raikkonen is back. It is going to be great to see if Fernando Alonso will be leading after this race. Michael Schumacher is just for the fans here. I don’t think a lot have put their money on him,” he says.
His cousin Pragun Aggarwal believes young guns will have a great experience this time around. “We have so many budding racers in the country. Karan Chandok, Narain Karthikeyan and many others will get a global exposure. This will also open windows of sponsorship for them, with Vodafone and Ferrari participating in the event. This year is a treat for fans,” he says, pointing out that “Alonso has called the Indian Grand Prix a mini-championship.”
Those going from the city hope that the facilities will be better this time at the Buddh Circuit, especially eateries and parking space. “People were clueless last time. But, this time things look well planned,” observes Ishaan.
India stands at 16th place on the racing calendar and is pretty much going to be a decider. After India, the next venues are the USA, Abu Dhabi and finally, Brazil. “Last time, Sebastian Vettel was always going to win because of the huge difference between points. But this time, the point difference between the first and second positions is just six. So, anything can happen,” feels Anudeep Buddhi, a motorsport enthusiast and also a student of BITS, Hyderabad.
If one were to go by form, Alonso has been the most consistent this season and pundits are betting on him. Are you?