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PHOTOS: India gears up for second F1 Grand Prix

Last updated on: October 27, 2012 09:46 IST

PHOTOS: India gears up for second Grand Prix

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Organizers of the second edition of the Indian Grand Prix are jazzing up the Buddh International Circuit in anticipation of a nail biting race that could decide the 2012-13 Formula One champion.

Battalions of painters, gardeners, mechanics and masons are busy giving last minute touches to the showpiece motor racing event.


Image: The view from the main Grandstand at the Buddh International Circuit
Photographs: Buddh International Circuit

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Askari Zaidi, the main spokesperson for the Buddh International Circuit that has brought the glamour event to India, said the shortcomings from the maiden Indian Grand Prix last year were being plugged -- including planting of thousands of trees and huge tracts of grass to make the track less dusty.

"We are fully geared up to hold the second edition of formula one car race here and as you can see, this circuit is far more greener, there are whole lot of plantations done around the circuit and all other facilities have also been perked up and we are very excited.

The circuit itself has 16 corners with cars hitting a maximum speed of 315 km/hour. Average lap speed last year was around 206 km/hour. The 1.12km straight is one of the longest on the calendar.


Image: The mechanics work on the Force India car
Photographs: Buddh International Circuit

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PHOTOS: India gears up for second Grand Prix

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Last year, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa had crashed during the qualifying after overshooting one of the kerbs and had asked the organizers to have another look at it.

Zaidi said they have incorporated the drivers'' suggestions and made the necessary changes.

"There are some kerbs, the height of those kerbs have also been improved, increased. These changes have been done in order to make sure that the drivers do not come onto the grass and they should see these turns from a distance," he said.


Image: The grid girls at Indian Grand Prix
Photographs: Buddh International Circuit

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PHOTOS: India gears up for second Grand Prix

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This year, the championship is wide open with Red Bull's double world champion Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus all in the running for the title.

Alonso lost the lead to Vettel in South Korea but the gap between the two is a mere six points with four high-stakes races remaining.

The tables could turn again on Sunday, but the odds favour Vettel, the 25-year-old German who won the inaugural Indian race last year and can chalk up a fourth consecutive victory in one season for the first time in his Formula One career.


Image: Local dancers perfrom at the Buddh International Circuit
Photographs: Buddh International Circuit

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PHOTOS: India gears up for second Grand Prix

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In the second year, the euphoria of a maiden race is missing and according to the media reports nearly half the tickets are still to be sold.

But organizers feel the prospect of a serious title deciding race would bring the f1 enthusiasts in large numbers, come race day.

"So far the championship is still in contest. Vettel is slightly ahead of Alonso but there are races left after this GP and we hope that this Indian GP will decide the champion. Whoever wins this will be the champion," Zaidi said.


Image: Fans at the Buddh International Circuit
Photographs: Buddh International Circuit

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Local interest will be focused on the Force India team, whose flamboyant co-owner Vijay Mallya has been keeping a low profile since the recent grounding of his loss-making Kingfisher Airlines.

The fans would also be keeping a tab on the performance of India''s sole driver Narain Karthikeyan who drives for HRT, hoping to see him finish in front of his home crowd after ending 17th last year.

Meanwhile, Ferrari have said they will race with the flag of the Italian Navy on their cars at the Indian Formula One Grand Prix in a gesture of support for two Italian sailors charged with killing Indian fishermen.


Image: Kimi Raikkonen during a practice session
Photographs: Buddh International Circuit

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Source: ANI