Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:45
Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:38
Hi Guys, did anyone go to the Indian GP, I will be going this year and any feedback, info, best place to sit etc would be very helpfull. There are no ticket prices yet though.
I suspect you won't get many replies to this topic, but here you go...
I thought the overall experience was disappointing, even allowing for the fact that it was their first race. The organisers got so many things wrong, with a lot of the problems due to sheer poor planning and nothing to do with the fact it was their inaugural race.
1. The track layout was interesting with some great corners, especially turns 10, 13 and 14.
2. Food at the track was great - curries etc. The Western food they offered was dire though!
3. The only beer served was Kingfisher, which I love. It was cheap (by F1 standards) at only 3 pounds a bottle.
4. The locals were incredibly polite. Great people!
1. Appalling transport to the track. Forget about driving to the circuit - the roads are mental. There are official shuttle buses which leave from various stops and metro stations in the city. Unfortunately the service was a farce. Instead of leaving every 30 minutes as stated, the jokers running the buses would wait for each bus to fill up before allowing it to leave. I waited on a bus for over an hour, twice, during the weekend and ended up missing the start of first practice as a result. The thing is, there isn't a better alternative than these buses!
2. The division of the circuit into four zones, where you weren't allowed into any of the other zones apart from your own. So India spends millions on a new circuit and fans only get to see 1/4 of it. Another farce. I actually bought tickets for three different zones over the weekend to see as much of the circuit as possible. The track (well, all tracks) need a proper general admission ticket in my opinion.
3. Actually buying food and drink. Firstly, if you didn't have a ticket for the main grandstand (35,000 rupees - x3 more expensive than any other race ticket) you couldn't buy any beer. A disgrace. They had a stupid voucher system for buying stuff which pissed everyone off. There were separate vouchers for food and drink, and you couldn't buy food with a drinks voucher or vice-versa. What a joke! Then, you couldn't take any food/drink into the grandstand, not even a bottle of water. This was just plain dangerous in that heat. Plus none of the outlets had any tables or chairs to eat/drink - no excuses for that!
4. The almost complete lack of entertainment apart from the F1 cars. (but this is by no means unique to India). There were a couple of Mercedes/LG stalls and a gaming station, but there was little in the way of performances/music/promotional activities that you see at other races. I'll forgive the lack of support races given the fact that motorsport hasn't taken off in India.
5. The ridiculously tight security once inside the venue. Obviously, India has had major issues with terrorism but once inside the circuit gates there was no need for the airport-style security. Each time you went to the merchandise stalls or the 'entertainment stage' you had to pass through turnstiles and have any bags x-rayed. Some of the entry requirements were silly, including no backpacks or big cameras and not being allowed to bring your own (non-commercial) food and drink. Never experienced this at any other GP.
Basically, my bottom line is that the organisers did a superb job with the circuit layout, but completely forgot about providing a great experience for the fans who actually attended the race itself.
They thought that the fans would simply be amused by the sight of the F1 cars going around and provided nothing for the fans in between the action.
Hopefully the organisers will have sorted out some of the issues, but knowing India they'll probably keep on making the same mistakes (I'm Indian by the way). Hope I'm not being too pessimistic...
The GA section at Picnic South was great. You could see the cars for well over 30 seconds and get an awesome view of T13-14. I also had a ticket for the Picnic Stand North, which was pretty poor. You couldn't see the start of any overtaking moves into the first corner, plus your view was blocked by two rows of fencing. I spent most of my time in the main grandstand, which had great views if you were high up. You could see a fair bit of the back straight and also look right into the pit garages. What a shame that the organisers have greatly reduced the spectator experience by not having proper GA sections and restricting you to one sector of the track (out of 4).
Of course, India is an amazing country with a great culture. Well worth a visit, even forgetting about the F1!
Hopefully you'll go over there and have a better experience than I did (sorry for the incredibly long and messy post!)
Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:25
We are going to India to tour for a couple of weeks which ends on the Friday night and I managed to add on two days at very little extra cost so we could go to the GP on Sat and Sunday, I was thinking of Classic east 1 and 2 as the best stands value for moneywise/ view of circuit, preferably stand 2, any thoughts?
We have booked a hotel in Greater Nodia, do you think a taxi would be better to get to the circuit if the buses run the same as last year? I have read a bit about the bus system which failed dramatically according to the posts!
Amazed that you can not even take a bottle of water in !!
Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:48
You're definitely doing the right thing staying in Greater Noida. The city centre is a building site - they're still working on the 2010 Commonwealth Games venues FFS!
Regarding stands, Youtube is your friend. Not sure if you've done this, but if you have a look there's a couple of videos from Classic Stand East:
The view is similar to what I had when I was in the GA section directly opposite - pretty good, in other words. You won't see much overtaking here, but then there wasn't much at any corner last year! Although Star Stand East 2 looks like where the best chance of overtaking is, so you may wish to consider that.
Note this year there's only one 'Classic Stand East' in 2012 - they've kept what was Stand 2 last year and got rid of Stand 1.
Hope this helps!
Posted 24 September 2012 - 14:12
I'm from New Delhi and did go for last year's Grand Prix. I've been to Silverstone twice before and I do admit the European races are quite different .
Security is tight, but usually that's the case everywhere in India even the underground trains and so on.
As far as picking the grandstands , I basically had the chance of sitting at every stand last year throughout the weekend including the main grandstand. Just like any other race, the main grandstand is probably the most boring place to be during on race day since the only action you get to see is the pit-stops. Friday and Saturday practice sessions are more entertaining there for sure just like any other racing track.
I think the brilliance of this track unlike most other tracks (except Hungary probably) is that the complex where most of the corners are ( Turn 5 to 15) is situated in an amphitheater of sorts. Due to the undulations of , sitting anywhere in this section you can clearly see the cars whizzing around even if they're in to the opposite side of it .
The best place to see the dynamics and the drivers working really hard is 5,6 and 7 or Classic Stand East . This is where I saw the race on Sunday last year.Luckily this is also the cheapest priced tickets. You always find someone having a big moment there and this was also where Massa and Hamilton collided last year. In practice almost all the top drivers took too much entry speed into this complex and went over the grass ,kicking up plumes of dust in the air . Pretty cool :-) . And like I previously stated, you can notice the different lines drivers take in to 8/9 and the big multi - apex 10/11
The South Zone grandstand is pretty much very similar to Turn 8 of Turkey, last year , the only distinctive thing you could notice about the various driving styles was by listening to the EBD noises as the drivers negotiated this corner , since its not flat out like Turn 8 . Very interesting but a bit too fast me and the stand is a little far from the track itself.
Classic stand west will be where I shall be buying tickets this year. You get a good view of the cars existing the high speed left-right chicane of turn 13/14 taken nearly flat in 5th gear and then braking for the wide-blind apex of turn 15. The different in drivers taking different lines is probably magnified here. Another good thing about this stand is that you can get a good view of the mini straight after turn 4 ( the overtaking spot) as the cars enter turn 5, the entry speed is just marvelous to behold. Staggers you all throughout the Grand Prix weekend .
The best overtaking spots are in the north section of the track , but I never liked sitting on the braking zone of a straight. Watching a car whizzing around negotiating corners at 250kph is more my thing
The circuit like off the main city, about 70-80 kms . Traffic is big issue getting to the circuit , and the shuttle buses were horrible. I drove down which was pretty convenient if you leave early and manage to avoid the traffic. Since most people come to just see the F1 race , I think its pretty okay to come a little early and watch the feeder races too. If anyone this year , wants to tag along , I wouldnt mind giving a lift :-) , otherwise a Taxi is your best bet. DO NOT USE THE BUSES AT ANY CIRCUMSTANCE .
Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:16
I am thinking of going to the grand prix this year, but can't quite decide which tickets to buy. The picnic stand positions look quite decent and I don't mind being on the grass, but does anyone have any experience with those areas? Do they oversell tickets for those areas, does it get very crowded? Knowing India, people won't be as accommodating and considerate as in other venues, and I don't want to spend all the time pushing and shoving trying to get a decent view. I can afford a grandstand ticket, just not sure I want to spend that much, and whether it will be worth it, after reading the experiences of other people.
For anyone thinking of travelling to India to the race, if you have any questions fire away. General tip: expect a certain level of chaos. As some others said, arrange your own transport.
Posted 13 October 2012 - 01:46
No (non-commercial) food and drinks - does it mean we can only buy from the circuit vendors? I was at Spa and had a terrible ordeal after I ate the food from one of the stalls and don't think I can handle the food at the circuit again! Can I bring my own bottled water from the hotel, for example?
No big cameras - this is unclear. It said on the site, no professional grade cameras - and I dun even know what that means. But we have a Canon EOS 5D and the lens is 50-500mm (I think) - Do you know if that is considered professional?
Thanks in advance!