- Indian Grand Prix
Tilke admits to India fears
Buddh International Circuit architect Hermann Tilke admits that he was worried that the track would not be ready to host the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.
After India endured problems with hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2010, all eyes were on the circuit to see if it would suffer the same fate. While the official opening was pushed back until less than two weeks before the race, in the end the track was fully ready and the race was deemed a success, but Tilke said he had been "afraid" that it wouldn't all come together.
"You had to be afraid of course as the last asphalt layer was done later than usual," Tilke told the Times of India. "But everything worked out fine and the show was the best possible. We started the design four years ago. But construction only started two years ago."
Tilke said that one of the biggest time consumers had been moving so much soil to meet the track design.
"When we saw the land four years ago for the first time, it was a flat land and we asked our client (race organisers) Jaypee group to move some soil and some earth to get the land hilly so that we could design a track with a special character. Thankfully, they accepted to do it and agreed. We were able to move about four million cubic meters of soil. We wanted to make it very interesting which the drivers would like very much.
"We had to bring in the earth to make elevations. It was not logistically difficult but, more a challenge in terms of time. In the end, we were running out of time and then it became a big challenge. But high technology and quality was there... so the difficulties were mastered by (race organisers) Jaypee group."
Having undertaken such a task, Tilke said that it is the elevations that make Buddh a challenging track.
"It is like if you get into a third dimension. The car will be much lighter when you get to the very top of the bump. It makes it more interesting. With a flat track only, you are in just two dimensions, but with elevation you enter in a three dimensional system. It makes it more difficult and challenging.
"What is very special in this track is that the drivers can make easy mistakes in a long race. In a way with a difficult and perfect track we tempt drivers and expose them to easy mistakes. This is what we wanted to achieve. We wanted to make it difficult. I have been watching the mistakes. It shows that it is a really difficult track. But these are the best drivers in the world who can put on the best show for spectators."