Three-time F1 world champion Jackie Stewart told Sunday MiD DAY yesterday that he's seen a variety of different animals, besides dogs, run on to the racetrack in his heyday. The first free practice session for the Indian GP on Friday was red flagged briefly after a dog was seen on the track.
Narain Karthikeyan takes time off the track to attend a party in Delhi along with wife Pavarna. PIC/Atul Kamble
Stewart said: "I've killed a dog once during a GP in Mexico. But I've seen all sorts of animals come on to the track. There have been deer and even hares that have cut across tracks during races in my time. Yesterday, there were two dogs near trackside -- a black and a brown one -- and I liked the black one," he said in lighter vein.
An F1 car's steering wheel costs more than your car! A Formula One car should cost a few million dollars, and that figure certainly won't raise eyebrows, considering the sport is worth billions. But to learn that the little oval-shaped piece of gadgetry in the front centre of the cock-pit -- the steering wheel -- costs a cool two million rupees is quite a shocker.
It's no wonder then that Lotus Racing's Karun Chandhok held on dearly to his steering (which is detachable) even as he took a few guests around for a garage walk yesterday. And when one of them asked if he could hold the multi-button gadget, a reluctant Karun said: "uhhh ok, but please be careful not to drop it. It costs about Rs 20,00000." Needless to say, the guest immediately handed the steering back to the driver.
Passes, please anyone? Whenever there is any high profile sports or entertainment event in India the demand for tickets from VIPs is a given. However, in his own admission, even Sahara Force India Team Principal Vijay Mallya never expected to be inundated with calls from big shots requesting for a seat at the Buddh International Circuit.
"The amount of publicity the Indian GP has got over the last few days is so amazing that every five minutes I'm receiving calls from VIPs requesting for passes," Mallya said after yesterday's qualifying for the Indian GP. On Saturday, India's first F1 driver, Hispania racing Team's Narain Karthikeyan revealed how he faced a similar situation. "There are no problems with the track, the only problems are off it with all the requests for passes," he said.