Formula One racing is forever on the move and in 2011 ventures east yet again for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. In light of recent F1 successes in Korea and Singapore, India - and more specifically its capital city New Delhi - is the latest Eastern powerhouse to welcome the paddock with open arms. After learning plenty of lessons from hosting the 2010 Commonwealth Games, New Delhi plans to wow the international sporting stage once more with its first race in October.
A brand new circuit has been built to the south of the city in the suburb of Noida. The track, designed by renowned circuit architect Hermann Tilke, stretches to 5.137-kilometres and is expected to seat up to 150,000 spectators. Two sizeable straights and an interesting mix of corners should guarantee a track full of challenges for drivers and engineers alike.
In an interesting move, organisers also consulted several of the Formula One teams before construction began in earnest. The track design was run in various factory simulators and as a result several amendments were made in an effort to boost overtaking for the drivers - and excitement for the fans.
Four million cubic tons of earth was moved to give the track plenty of undulation, and it rises 14 metres between Turns One and Three alone. Inspiration has also been drawn from rival venues' best features, with Turkey's infamous Turn Eight inspiring a double-apex corner, slightly banked, which forms part of a 'mini-arena' which alone will accommodate 13,000 spectators.
The earthworks for the circuit were finished ahead of India's 2010 monsoon season and everything is on course for the track to be completed well ahead of its October debut.