In October 2010, the 3.192 mile Buddh International Circuit hosts the Indian Grand Prix the latest addition to the Formula One World Championship as the sport's supremo attempts to make the sport truly global.
The circuit will form part of the 2,500 acre Jaypee Greens Sports City, which will eventually include a 100,000 seat cricket stadium, 18-hole golf course, 25,000 seat hockey stadium and a sports academy.
Estimated to have cost around £135m ($216) to build, the circuit was officially inaugurated on 18th Oct 2011. It covers an area of 875 acres and while seating capacity is initially expected to be 110,000 it should later increase to 200,000.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, just one week before the race, local hero Narain Karthikeyan, who will drive an HRT in the maiden Grand Prix, described the track as "one of the best in the world".
"I have raced on all the major F1 tracks across the globe," said the 34-year-old, "and I rate this track as one of the best in the world".
According to the company; "Jaypee Sports City, will be India's first fully integrated megacity built around a sporting lifestyle and featuring premium residential and commercial spaces, designed by world-renowned architects and planners, WATG. One of the world's leading design consultants for the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries, WATG has made a significant contribution to making Jaypee Sports City the best of its kind anywhere in the world."
The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke, the man behind so many of the recent additions to the F1 calendar, including those in Malaysia, Bahrain, China, Turkey, and South Korea.
The original design was forwarded to the teams in order to gather feedback on how the circuit could be altered to improve overtaking and this has resulted in various changes. A planned hairpin was removed, and Turn 3 was widened to allow drivers to take different lines throughout the corner.
The anticipated lap time for the track is expected to be around 1:27, with average speeds of 130 mph. At the end of the long straight between Turns 3 and 4, the F1 cars are expected to reach a top speed of around 200 mph. The inaugural race will comprise 60 laps.
Formula One has become increasingly popular in India in recent years, thanks in part to Vijay Mallya's purchase of the Spyker F1 team, which started out in life as Jordan, and talents such as Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok, and it is widely believed that hosting a round of the world championship will boost global awareness of the country. It is also hoped the race will provide a significant fillip to the Indian economy in terms of promoting businesses in various direct and indirect ways including tourism.
Originally known as the Jaypee Group Circuit or the Jaypee International Race Circuit after its owners, the circuit was officially named the Buddh International Circuit in April 2011. According to Sameer Gaur, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Jaypee, the name is derived from the word Buddha, and represents peace and calm. The name is also a reference to the Gautam Budh Nagar district in which the circuit is located, itself named after the Gautam Buddha. The Buddh International circuit logo consists of a 'B' which also resembles a heart.
In order to build the circuit, the land of some three hundred farmers was purchased by the state government. However, in August 2011 - three months before the inaugural race - the farmers expressed dissatisfaction with the project and threatened to dismantle the circuit "with force if necessary", demanding more money and stating that they felt the land should have been zoned for industrial estates to generate more employment in the area.