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Ecclestone: India almost a no-go

NEWS STORY
23/10/2011

Days after a leading executive with the organisers of the Indian Grand Prix said a successful event would erase shameful memories of last year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, the F1 supremo has admitted that only a week earlier he feared for the Buddh event.

"I was pessimistic a fortnight ago," he told the Guardian. "I was sent pictures of the track and I thought: 'Christ, we're not going to get it finished in time.

"But what they have done in the meantime - and I've been sent more recent pictures - is incredible," he continued. "The people there are very anxious to be sure they're doing a good job and they are very passionate about their sport. I'm really looking forward to next Sunday's race."

The Englishman's enthusiasm was backed by HRT's Narain Karthikeyan who will be taking part in the event, possibly the only home-grown driver on the Buddh grid.

"There is still some work being done on the landscaping but everyone is working 24/7 to make sure everything will be fine on the day," he said. "Everyone is determined that the finishing touches will be completed and that everyone will enjoy the experience. I think the drivers will enjoy the circuit. It's a fantastic facility, one of the best four or five in the world. There are lot of elevation changes. The up and down nature of the track reminds me a bit of Turkey, while some of the corners remind me of Australia. It's a technical circuit.

"Those who come will be fans for ever," he added. "I'm expecting a good crowd and a terrific atmosphere with everyone anxious to see what it is all about."

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