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Team input 'invaluable' to Indian circuit design 24 Aug 2010

Computer generated image of Indian Grand Prix circuit. © Jaypee Group (L to R): Jose Ramon Carabante (ESP) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) Team Owner with Mark Hughes (GBR) JPSK Sports Vice President, a Jaypee Group subsidiary; Karun Chandhok (IND) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 9 July 2010 3-D track layout for the Indian Grand Prix circuit. © Jaypee Group Computer generated image of Indian Grand Prix circuit. © Jaypee Group

Organisers of next year’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix are hoping that input from Formula One teams into the design of the new circuit will help make it one of the most challenging and exciting on the F1 calendar.

Hermann Tilke, the architect behind several recent new circuits including Turkey and Abu Dhabi, came up with the initial design for the Indian track, but several teams were also consulted before construction began in earnest.

“We have shared the design with some of the Formula One teams to put it into their simulators, and they have come back with some recommendations on how to modify it to make it a little more exciting,” explained Mark Hughes, vice president of JPSK Sports, who has experience of other new F1 projects.

“I have been lucky to have worked in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi before, so I have a good relationship with the teams myself. I was able to go to some of them and ask them if they are able to give their input and the feedback has been invaluable.”

Four million cubic tons of earth has been moved to give the circuit plenty of undulation, with rising 14 metres between Turns One and Three alone. Inspiration has also been drawn from Turkey’s infamous Turn Eight, with a double-apex corner, slightly banked, forming part of a ‘mini-arena’ that alone will seat 13,000 spectators.

“I think the drivers are going to find it a good challenge,” added Hughes. “The track is quite unique, and hopefully the drivers and teams will not complain as they have given their own input. I don’t think that as a promoter and venue owner this has been done before.”

Earthworks for the circuit have been completed ahead of India’s July/August monsoon season, and Hughes predicts the track will be ready for FIA homologation in July next year, with the race organisers anticipating a late-season slot on the 2011 calendar.