It would appear that fans may have another Korean Grand Prix fiasco on its hands, with the latest reports claiming that Delhi’s Buddh International Circuit won’t be completed in time for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October.
Racing would still be able to go ahead it seems, however, the fans might not have anywhere to sit…
These are the claims attributed to Force India owner Vijay Mallya – who also acts as India’s FIA representative – following the news that the homologation of the venue has been pushed back to September, having originally been scheduled for the first week in August.
Local officials – headed by Karun Chandhok’s father, Vicky – are claiming that the delay is “purely administrative”, ostensibly under the guise that it would help save some frequent flyer miles for FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting if he paired his circuit inspection with the Korean International Circuit at Yeongyam.
The Korean venue staged its first event last year on a barely-sealed track with half-finished grandstands.
The delay in Whiting’s visit will give constructions workers more time to make progress on the aspects of the circuit that are still not complete.
“There is the possibility that the facilities will not be 100 per cent (finished), like the grandstand for the spectators,” Mallya was quoted in Brazil’s ESPN and Agencia Gazeta Press.
“But the technical areas – the pits, the paddock and of course the track – are practically ready,” Mallya added. “The promoters of the event, who are also the owners of the circuit, are very confident that everything will be ready in time.
“Charlie, of course, will have the final word.”
It would appear that much of the problem apparently lies with the design and construction of the imposing grandstand on the main straight, said to be one of the features of the Hermann Tilke designed facility.
“Some facilities for the spectators may not be complete, but there is no reason the race will not happen,” Mallya added.
While disappointing, the news is hardly a surprise to those outside India, particularly in the wake of the country’s shambolic construction efforts ahead of the recent Cricket World Cup and Commonwealth Games events.
Here’s hoping they can get cracking… and quickly…