Even as nearly one lakh people -- 95,000 to be precise -- chaotically made their way out of the Buddh International Circuit complex yesterday, one man was silently smiling. Manoj Gaur, chairman of the Jaypee Group -- that built the enormous Buddh International Circuit and stadium complex, told MiD DAY that he was a relieved man. "Wow! This is a huge relief. By the grace of God all has gone well with the first-ever Indian GP.
I'm happy that my company has been able to successfully project to the world, a positive image of our motherland on the global map. It has been a tough period but after watching this great show, I'd say it's all been worth it," said Gaur, who was particularly stressed after reports emerged on Saturday that the organisers failed to send out a proper invite to union sports minister Ajay Maken.
"Our Indian culture teaches us to respect dignitaries and our elders and there is no way we could have disrespected Mr Maken. We did send across passes to Mr Maken, but I think there was no invitation letter attached to it and that may have upset him," Gaur said.
Never seen a Grand Prix before
It was amazing to learn that the elder son of Sahara boss Subrata Roy, Sushanto, had never been to a F1 Grand Prix before Sunday. The Sahara group recently pumped in an astonishing 100 million into the Force India F1 team, adding their name to it and also bringing in fresh impetus to the Vijay Mallya-initiated property. The executive director of one of India's biggest corporate houses however was honest, yet candid in his admission.
"It's really amazing to witness such a race from close quarters... the sound made by the cars, the atmosphere...it's all just unbelievable. This is my first F1 GP and it's been simply fantastic," Sushanto told MiD DAY. One thing is for sure, though. It surely won't be his last. "Oh ya... I'm definitely going to try and be there for other GPs too from now on," he said.
Track could have been cleaner Sahara Force India driver Adrian Sutil, who finished 9th in Sunday's race, feels the track could have been cleaned better. "There was still a little dust in the areas off the racing lines. I thought that could have been cleaned better. "But I'm sure that will happen next time," said the German.