Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Ecclestone happy with track but not everyone is

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Not everyone shares Bernie Ecclestone’s enthusiasm for India’s F1 track.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Ecclestone impressed by India track

“Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone took one look around the Buddh International Circuit on Wednesday and exclaimed: ‘Great job!'”

Martin Brundle via Twitter

“Our commentary cell in India. No window, nowhere near track. Apologies in advance we cannot do our job properly in here: http://campl.us/gBwW

Darren Cassidy via Twitter

“Our company did a lot of the grandstand work [at Buddh International Circuit]. Our chaps are telling us the whole circuit is still powered by generators. […] Our pictures from a week ago showed huge amounts to do. Respect to them.”

Alan Permane – “I?m very impressed” (Renault)

“There are very interesting details with the entries to the low speed corners after long straights which are very wide but narrowing on exit which should promote overtaking with the DRS in the race into turn one and into turn four, in general, it?s a very nicely put together track.”

State of unease hangs over impressive circuit as India joins F1 party (The Guardian)

“Away from the track and off the record, though, there were those who still had to be convinced about the viability of the facilities to run a Grand Prix. ‘Listen, mate,’ said one engineer, who did not want to be named, ‘the place is chaos. The electricity doesn’t work [continuously], the gas doesn’t work and there are problems with the plumbing.'”

Kevin Eason via Twitter

“Bit of a wander. Wanted to see the stairway to heaven. Here it is http://t.co/BTChPKsK

Red Bull could use team orders (Autosport)

Christian Horner: “It is a conversation we would need to have with the drivers, but I am sure Mark [Webber] would want to achieve it under his own merit. I am not sure he would like to be given something, but I am quite sure if asked the question, Sebastian [Vettel] would be willing to do that.”

Mark Webber column (BBC)

“To have two crashes like this in one week has obviously put the focus on safety. It has improved immeasurably in the last couple of decades. People such as Sir Jackie Stewart had to deal with this sort of thing frequently compared to the relative rarity now. The powers-that-be are always looking to make it safer. In Formula 1, in particular, the FIA and the teams do a great job on that. But motorsport will always be dangerous – just because of the speeds involved – and people will always want to do it.”

Button on Lewis, Ferrari & life after F1 (F1)

“I was third back in 2004 and obviously won the championship in 2009, so finishing second doesn?t mean so much. But the aim for the rest of the season is winning races.”

No offers from other teams: Hulkenberg (The Times of India)

“No, I have not got any offers from any other team. There have been rumours and discussions going around, but I can only refer to what Vijay Mallya said.”

We can?t change nature of F1, says Button (Daily Telegraph)

“We hated the HANS [Head and Neck Support] device when they were introduced. But it is a much safer way to go racing. In terms of safety I think every driver would like our heads to be not so exposed to injury. We need to talk to the FIA and discuss it.”

Motor racing-Indian teenagers picked for F1 fast track (Reuters)

“Criticised by local media for not having an Indian driver, Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya was convinced the boys had it in them to become the country’s answer to McLaren’s [Lewis] Hamilton.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

StefMeister’s thoughts on the future of IndyCar oval racing:

Milwaukee and New Hampshire came back on the schedule this year and both put on a good race (ignoring the mess at the end of New Hampshire). However the crowd at both was quite poor. The 1.5-mile, high-banked Texas oval has consistently drawn a good crowd and been one of the best promoted races thanks to circuit owner Eddie Gossage and the Iowa oval is much the same and is usually a sell out.

I see a lot of people saying ??slow the cars down?, I don?t think thats the answer as getting them to run slower would just make the cars easier to drive flat out all the way round on all ovals and lead to more pack style racing.

In its worth remembering that it was when the IRL dropped the CART formula and went with lower powered cars and high downforce that we started to see the pack racing. CART/ChampCar ran with more power and less downforce on big ovals and produced some great racing without the big, close packs.

ChampCar tried the IRL formula at the German EuroSpeedway oval in 2003 and ran with less turbo boost and a higher downforce package and the racing was more similar to the IRL. Same is true when ChampCar ran at Las Vegas speedway in 2004.

The best way to disband the pack racing is to get them lifting in the corners, The answer to this is more power and less downforce to force the drivers to have to drive the cars again like in the CART days (as Alessandro Zanardi, Paul Tracy and other Ex-CART drivers have said).

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to D Winn, Nixon, Vinicius Antunes, Zahir, Doance and Eggry!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio won his first world championship on this day 60 years ago.

The first F1 race at Pedralbes also saw the last world championship race victory for Alfa Romeo.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 57 comments on “Ecclestone happy with track but not everyone is”

    1. Nice COTD. It would be nice for Indy to move a little back to CART, it was a great little series for racing.

      Seems like some of the fears about the Indian race have come true. The commentary box thing is just a joke, we often rely on them looking out of the windows to see something the TV cameras aren’t looking at – they might as well be back in London at Television Centre. But at least we don’t have the track fears like we did with Korea, which is the most important thing at the end of the day.

      1. Agree with @icthyes on both accounts.

      2. Exactly. If Brundle doesn’t do his grid-walk, they could have saved money and stayed in the UK!

    2. It’s interesting how making the cars faster could make oval raving safer, but still makes sense in my opinion. If people have to lift there’s a more human element to the race as different drivers lift at different points, providing enough variance to stretch fields out a bit.

      1. Raving? Damn you auto-correct :(

        1. new for 2012:
          teams will have to conduct raving and ballroom dancing during a race. in the event of rain, the “robert smith shuffle” will be performed.

    3. Bernie would say that if he is getting paid…

    4. nice commentary box!

    5. I can only imagine that chaos that would ensue if the electricity to the circuit cut out mid-race. There would be unprecedented mayhem.

    6. On-board lap of the new-New Jersey race track.

        1. Great video. Thank you for the link!

          One question I have though is: Where the hell are they going to put the fans? There seemed to be very little space for anything other than safety fencing….

          1. http://joesaward.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/tilke-map.jpg

            Apparently the off-white ‘peachy’ coloured areas.

          2. In the apartments! ;)

        2. @cacarella Cool video. I do especially like that long, sweeping downhill left-hander towards the end. Seeing them hit the apex there will be a thing of beauty.

        3. Great find @cacarella, I had seen a vid of someone doing it by night, but in this one you can really see its a pretty exiting layout just by itself.

        4. Great find @Cacarella! I honestly can’t see how they’re going to make that into an F1 track, though…

    7. As it was proved via Keith retweet yesterday dat the circuit is on generators, I wud add some info that I get from my sources is dat the circuit was hooked up to the main power grid as well as 2 new generators were added on site yesterday.

      As for plumbing and Gas, they may be a bit loose and unfinished, but it can only be fixed if they report it to the organisers.

      There are deficiencies but work is going on round the clock to ensure best possible facilities. I like the teams behaviour who have shown impeccable conduct by not complaining about all dis in public, instead choosing to focus on wats gud and working. I know Jaypees managers have been instructed to track twitter to ensure dat every bit of info is collected and the preparedness of the track is also bettered.

      1. Thanks for the infor @jj2691, nothing but a good effort put in to pick up on all problems, and adress them. Agree that the teams commenting mainly about the track itself is good. After all, that’s why they came over to you, to have a good race.

        A bit of a shame about the commentary booths and media center not getting a view of the track. I hope that is adressed for next year (or can it still be fixed/improved before the race?).

    8. Bernie has ruled out re-negotiating with South Korea:


      It’s a take-it or leave-it deal.

      1. Not a suprise, but good to see official clarity on that point. Might still be other corporate groups will be interested at taking over the deal, at a different venue.

      2. I have a sneaking suspicion it’ll be “leave it”, making this one of the shortest stints at a race track in F1’s history.

        1. And the biggest waste of money ever. It’s really quite sad on so many levels. It’s not as if the circuit is even going to get any use, either. The only support race they had was a Hyundai cup or something if I recall correctly. Not surprising considering the track isn’t really close to anything.

    9. “There are lots of things in life you can’t afford, and you don’t have to have them”

      Thanks Bernie, you’ve encapsulated everything that caused the global financial crisis. A rare bit of wisdom.

      Will we miss Korea? Probably not.

      1. To be fair, the Koreans knew what they were getting into. And when Bernie signed them up, they obviously had to demonstrate that they could afford to pay for the race in the long term. For all the criticism that he is only interested in pay day, he has never started up a race for a quick buck and then dropped it straight away. Even when Spa was having money problems, they still found a way back in.

        1. Fair enough. Just because you build it doesnt mean that the crowds will arrive. I spend my day listening to business dreams and pitches of all types. I’d love to see the pitch Bernie got.

        2. Yeah, I think the Koreans are not satisfied with their deal has a lot to do with now having other people in office then the ones who signed that deal. Not suprisingly they slack off their oponents ideas and see things differently.

          And the worldwide downturn in the economy probably did not help either.

          Funny how there’s already talk about other groups picking up on the GP idea in Korea and start planning on doing other tracks to take over though. Shows there is an interest from Corporate Korea and money to go into it as well.

          1. Tilke better not touch the design.

        3. Donington demonstrates otherwise. Insufficient checking to see if the venue could afford the price (at all, let alone long-term) and the circuit is still suffering the consequences.

    10. Happy birthday to D Winn, Nixon, Vinicius Antunes, Zahir, Doance and Eggry!

      I guess this is a record in F1F of having 6 people’s birthday on the same day!.

      1. Thank you! And thanks Kieth for remembering :D

        1. Happy birthday Nixon.

      2. I guess you are probably right about that @wasif1, we did have 4 or maybe 5 earlier, but not 6.

        Happy birthday to all of you, enjoy the Indian GP weekend in celebration!

        1. I second that. Happy birthday all. It’s always extra special if your birthday falls on a Grand Prix weekend.

          1. Thanks everyone – glad to share the glory with 5 others ;)

      3. This is the most bdays I have seen :-D Happy Birthday to you all! You also share your birthday with the one and only Bernie Ecclestone according to 5 Live! Lol

      4. Indeed. Happy birthday all! Sorry this is late.

        1. Thank you!

    11. Bernie is always happy as long as he received his cheque.

      1. I doubt he’d be so complimentary if half the circuit had no tarmac, even if the Indians paid in full.

        1. That’s why the Indians did the track surface first, instead of focussing on the buildings like the Koreans seemed to be doing.

        2. Seeing as Bernie only gets half the fee if the race is cancelled (unless the promoter pays early or cancels of its own volition), of course he would be upset if the FIA ruled that there was no tarmac on which to run his event.

      2. I have a feeling that as keen as Bernie may be to cash a cheque at this time of his business/personal life he’d be just as keen to protect his reputation and leave a legacy (he’s not immortal). At least thats usually what happens to old and rich.

    12. It is absolutely ridiculous that the FOM allow the F1 circus to turn up to a venue, where not so much as a test event has been held. A test event would iron out problems, such as power being supplied by generators, and the plumbing not working, and commentary box situation. The commentary box situation is utterly ridiculous – how many circuits has Tilke done, and yet something as simple as making sure commentary boxes have a view, yet alone a good view as been overlooked. I’ve also read that journalists cannot see any part of the track from the media centre.

      1. It was not overlooked, but moved. I understand the commentary booths had been planned with full view of the start/finish straight, but got moved to change them into hospitaliy suites ….

        1. As I understand that is the theory put forward by a journalist, rather than a known fact

          1. Several recent track redevelopments have been lacking in conventional booths, so I suspect that it was a characteristic rather than a mistake :(

      2. At least it seems the journo’s speaking out about it got some reaction. Brundle tweeted that Bernie hopped in and promised they would be looking at solving that issue for next years race.

    13. The US has a good amount of excellent road courses (both short and long) already. Maybe a couple need some safety tweaks (barriers/runoffs), but I don’t see any major safety problems that need the amount of corrections that ovals had to make in the last five to ten years.

      A balance of road/oval courses, or even a road/oval ratio in favor of both left and right steering might bring more fan support for top flight open wheel road racing.

      I guess we’ll see after next year’s F1 race, and if that attracts more people to pay attention to domestic open wheel road racing at every level.
      (Hey, it may not make a difference at all, but they have to start changing perceptions about Indycar racing *somewhere* !!)

    14. “Our commentary cell in India. No window, nowhere near track. Apologies in advance we cannot do our job properly in here: http://campl.us/gBwW”

      Oh dear. Might as well just hang around with the spectators and rent a couple of Fanvision monitors http://www.fanvision.com/. Surely that’ll be a better option.

      1. @Chalky yeah, fully agreed here. No windows. What à mess. And why is it like they threw around some old equipmemt? I mean, is that grey box an old 70’s Klein & Hummel speaker beneath that monitor?
        F1 unworthy.

    15. Happy Birthday to Bernie, 81 today

      1. Is it just me or is he looking more like Monty Burns as he gets older. More hair I grant you but have you ever seen them in a room at the same time?

      2. @dane-1 I spotted that on my tear-off calendar at work. I hope someone gets him a big stupid cake.

    16. Happy birthday to D Winn, Nixon, Vinicius Antunes, Zahir, Doance and Eggry!

    17. @andrewtanner maybe a cake similar to this one would be suitable.. http://i44.tinypic.com/4l2786.jpg

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