India will finally have its own F1 track, a full-fledged one in that. India is all set to host its first F1 Grand Prix in 2011.
The circuit in the Jaypee Greens Sports City bears the usual hallmarks of a Hermann Tilke-designed track. But from this first impression it seems to have some of the open, flowing corners that many modern tracks often lack.
It looks like a circuit in two halves, with several slow corners before and after the main start/finish straight. These are surely intended to increase opportunities for overtaking, something F1 car designers have been demanding recently.
But the other half of the track includes several longer-radius corners and some quick-looking bends. It is quite impossible to get any sense of gradient from this flat map, however.
It is an unusually short track which is slightly less than 5 km (3.1 miles). That would make it shorter than any track on this year’s calendar with an exception of Circuit de Catalunya, Hungaroring, Interlagos and Monte-Carlo.
The circuit is being built by JP Associates which is a part of a large industrial conglomerate called the Jaypee Group. The circuit is being built alongside the Yamuna Expressway, a new road being built to connect India’s capital New Delhi with the country’s biggest tourist destination, the Taj Mahal, in the city of Agra.
The road to the Indian Grand Prix has not been completely smooth. The race was originally slated for the 2010 F1 calendar but Bernie Ecclestone, the big boss of F1, confirmed it had been moved back to 2011.
In August this year the government’s sports minister M S Gill refused to support race promoter JPSK’s request for money to hold the race, claiming F1 is not a sport. Ecclestone dismissed the minister’s comments saying: “That’s his view. The rest of the world thinks it is a sport.”