Formula 1 India: An overview

Formula 1 India: An overview

India joins the world motor sport calendar on October 30. Lady Gaga's playing the after-party. It's going to be nuts
Formula 1 India
The Buddh International Circuit in New Delhi is the second-fastest F1 track (laps-wise) in the world.

India's Formula 1 debut takes place over this weekend at the roller coaster Buddh International Circuit (BIC), 40 kilometers from New Delhi in Greater Noida.

Let's hope the roar of the 800 BPH V8 engines and the coup of getting Lady Gaga to perform at the closing party will forever erase the shame of the Commonwealth Games.

Or so says Jaiprakash Singh, octogenarian, billionaire and founding chairperson of the Jaypee Group -- the man who's just spent a whopping US$400 million to put India on the world motor sport map.

The 2011 Formula 1 Airtel Grand Prix of India is attracting not only F1 fanatics but Bollywood stars, the international glitterati and some of the world’s hottest entertainers.

Tickets for the 100,000 plus seater grandstands begin at Rs 2,500 for plebeian seats and up to Rs 1 crore for the 55 platinum corporate boxes, which are completely sold out.

Yet the Jaypee Group barely recovers a paltry US$16 million in ticket sales, says a report in The New York Times, making this India's biggest carte blanche PR exercise since, well, the Commonwealth Games.

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Parties and post-parties: Greater Noida goes Gaga

Lady Gaga IndiaLady Gaga will perform at the F1 after-party at Lap Lounge in New Delhi on October 30. Champagne sky bars where showgirls descend from the ceiling on silk ropes to top up your glass -- that about sets the tone for the kind of entertainment taste Delhi has.

Spread over Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort, Lap Lounge is a 1,400-square-meter pop-up version of the New Delhi nightclub Lap, promoted by Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal and restaurateur AD Singh.

DJ Roger Sanchez on October 28, Edward Maya on October 29 and Lady Gaga and Tom Novy on Sunday October 30.

Lap Lounge expects 12,000 people every night; individual tickets for Friday and Saturday are Rs 21,000, and Rs 25,000 per person on Sunday -- when booked in advance.

The top-floor VIP areas have a price tag of between Rs 8 to 10 lakhs, and are sold out.

Rumor has it Lap is where F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone will be partying it up for his 81st birthday, on October 28.

Supplementing Lap post 10:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday is Amber Lounge, the travelling Formula One party, of which there are only a handful a year globally.

Hosted by Sonia Irvine, the sister of ex-Ferrari star Eddie Irvine, Amber Lounge has tied up with Mercedes-Benz and The Claridges Hotel in Surajkund, around 43 kilometers from Greater Noida.

It costs a mean 650 Euros to enter Amber Lounge, and tables begin at 5,200 Euros but for that you're assured exclusivity.

India will be the next country to host the party after Singapore where 24 F1 drivers showed up to party including Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and Force One India teammates Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta.

Bollywood is also expected to be in attendance here, with actor Imran Khan confirming his attendance already.

For bookings at Amber Lounge contact or +91 99901 35339

For bookings at LAP contact The Only Network, M71, 2/F, M-Block Market, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi; +91 (0) 98111 39910;

The Claridges, Surajkund, Shooting Range Road, Faridabad; +91 (0)129 4190 000;

F1 surround sound: Auto fair and vintage mania

Vintage Rolls RoyceVintage Rolls-Royce fans with F1 tickets for Sunday October 30 can go to a pre-race event featuring 28 old automobiles. Gawk at the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé at automobile fair Motor Match which will be held in Greater Noida from October 28 to November 1.  

Vintage car enthusiasts holding F1 tickets for October 30 will get to witness a pre-race event when 28 vintage cars will make a lap of the Buddh Circuit.

Organized by F1 in association with the Heritage Motoring Club of India, 28 cars selected from private collections include a Rolls-Royce Phantom 1925 for Mark Webber, a Buick Convertible 1947 for Sebastian Vettel, a Lancaster 1928 for Jensen Button, a Studebaker Commander 1930 for Fernando Alonso, an Essex Super Six 1929 for Lewis Hamilton, a Jaguar XK 120 Roadster (1950) for Adrian Sutil and a Jaguar XK120 roadster 1948 for Paul Di Resta.

Motor Match, India Exposition Mart Ltd., Plot No. 25,27,28,29, KnowledgePark II, Greater Noida; +91 (0)120 2328011/20

What happens to Jaypee Sports City after F1?

After the F1 dust settles, the Jaypee Sports Group’s plans for the 1,000-hectare Jaypee Sports City include cricket and hockey stadiums, tennis courts, squash courts and a shooting range -- the remaining space will be for apartments, offices and malls.

Using the Malaysian Sepang International Circuit model for inspiration, the Jaypee group hopes to keep the track in use for most of the year with events such as the Motor GP, and other car and bike competitions.

The most anticipated of these is the Mercedes-Benz Motor School planned at Buddh Circuit for next year, to train aspiring sports car drivers at both the professional and amateur levels.   

Isha Singh Sawhney is a writer, musafir and obsessive people watcher. She loves seeing new places and hates leaving them. She writes on anything that glitters, especially when she finds out it's not gold.
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