Motorsport is one of the most famous non-group sports in the world. In fact, there are a lot of subtypes to this sport—the most widely known and prestigious of these is Formula One. In India chiefly, Formula One races happens in Buddh International Circuit. The venue opened in 2011 at an astounding ₹20 billion construction cost and a seating capacity set at 120,000 people. Jaypee Group owns the circuit and its Jaypee Sports International Limited sector operates the same. The group hired German architect and racetrack designer Hermann Tilke to design the 5.14 km long racetrack.
Sole Formula One Circuit
The Buddh International Circuit remains the only Formula One circuit in the country and is located in Delhi NCR at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.
The idea to build a huge racing arena for motorsport in India started way back in 2007 when the Indian Olympic Association and Bernie Ecclestone, then Chief Executive of the Formula One Group agreed to host the Indian Grand Prix. The meeting settled to build on a land in the north Indian state as the land is the most suitable for the demands of the course. A series of setbacks and financial crisis put the project on hold but eventually overpowered by the will and dedication of the group. Thus, in 18 October 2011, the racetrack was officially inaugurated.
Indian Grand Prix and Motorsport in India
Days after its inauguration, the track hosted the first Indian Grand Prix on 30 October 2011, months before the initial intended operational date. It is part of the Formula One World Championship and the 17th Round of the season. In the race, Sebastian Vettel from the Red Bull Racing team won after leading every lap and setting the fastest lap of the race. Mclaren’s Jenson Button and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso placed second and third respectively.
The following year in the 2012 Formula One World Championship, the Indian Grand Prix was still set at the 17th round of the season. Sebastian Vettel of the Red Bull-Renault defended his title while Jenson Button set the fastest lap of the race.
In 2013, the venue hosted its last Indian Grand Prix and was the 16th race in the World Championship season. Once again, Sebastian Vettel was proclaimed the best driver while Kimi Räikkönen from Lotus claimed the fastest lap.
The track was originally known as the Jaypee Group Circuit after its owners, the track was eventually named after Gautama Buddha, the district’s namesake and after the revered monk. International drivers who have raced in the track praised the venue for its high-speed layout and great corner combinations which they described as challenging to drive in fast speeds.
The industry was quick to recognize the racetracks grandeur with various awards. For example, some of its awards include the 2011 Motorsport Facility of the Year at the 2011 Professional Motorsport World Expo and the Best Promoter Trophy award given by the BIC in both the 2011 and 2012 FIA gala.
Though no international championship has been held since 2014, the track still holds recognition as one of India’s premier racetracks and people are looking forward to see it host again in the near future.