It wasn't the greatest starts to the inaugural Indian GP yesterday after the appearance of a stray dog at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) brought a brief halt to the first free practice session. The canine Formula One fan cut across the track shortly after India's Narain Karthikeyan (Hispania Racing Team), Karun Chandhok (Lotus Racing) and the two Sahara Force India cars of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta 'inaugurated' the BIC stepping out first for practice. Force India didn't record a lap time however and headed into the pits, leaving Chandhok the privilege of clocking the first lap at 1:52.148 to start off the day's action.
A dog runs on the track before the start of practice for the Indian Grand
Prix at the Buddh International Circuit yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
However, the 'dogged' controversy led to an immediate red flag coming out and the proceedings suspended for about 15 minutes. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton emerged the quickest in first practice clocking 1:26.836 on his final lap. The dog issue had set most tongues wagging, with the international media in particular hounding most drivers with the inevitable question pertaining to the animal.
ost drivers however didn't make a huge issue of it. Former world champion and Hamilton's current partner at McLaren, Jenson Button said such incidents have happened before. "It happened in Turkey I think, so it's nothing new. But yes, it is dangerous, not only because the dog can be killed but because if it hits any of us (drivers) on our head, we are finished," said Button, who also didn't make too much of a fuss about the dust factor on the track.
"As long as no driver goes off the track, it's fine. But overall, I loved the track � especially from Turn 5 to Turn 15 where it is very fast and that's good," he added. Seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher also brushed aside any doggy talk. "I love dogs, so I have absolutely no problem with it," he said.