Home  //  Circuit Guides Formula 1 Not on the current F1 calendar India (New Delhi)
Written by @Damien_Marquez   
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 19:25

WHY GO?

India is still very much a new destination as far as motorsport is concerned, let alone Formula 1. However, the enthusiasm of the locals, the culture and the organised chaos make this F1 round rather unique.

The Buddh International Circuit has hosted a couple of grands prix so far, both of which were won by Sebastian Vettel. The inaugural event was a resounding success with a huge spectator turnout despite the predictable teething problems. Attendance in 2012 was down on the previous year, eventhough most issues were ironed out. Sales figures for 2013 are slowly picking up; and the picnic and natural stands are nearly sold out.

Don't expect a European atmosphere in this land where cricket is king. This is one for the curious, the Vettel supporters, or simply the travellers spending some time in this vibrant country, and who will be attending the F1 weekend as part of their itinerary.


Grandstand A - PHOTO : FRANÇOIS FLAMAND / DPPI for Renault Sport F1

 

CONTENTS

1 // Location and accommodation
2 // Money matters
3 // Ticket prices
4 // Which grandstand to choose
5 // Tips and recommendations
6 // GrandPrixAdvisor fixes
7 // Useful links to prepare your Indian trip

 

1 // LOCATION AND ACCOMMODATION

The Buddh International Circuit (BIC) is located Greater NOIDA (an acronym for New Okhla Industrial Development Area), some 35 kilometres away from New Delhi. It takes between 90 minutes and three and half hours to commute from New Delhi. Staying in NOIDA or Greater NOIDA is advisable if you are attending all three days. Hotels should be reasonably new and there is a Western style shopping mall in NOIDA that wouldn't be out of place in South-East Asia or in the US.

From New Delhi, the most convenient way to get to the track is probably via the clean and efficient Metro system to NOIDA City Centre Metro Station. From there, take a BIC bus service if you have purchased a pass at the time of booking your grand prix ticket online with in.bookmyshow.com/sport/formula1.
Alternatively, book an air-conditioned taxi all the way from Delhi to the circuit. Just make sure to keep the directions handy. (Taxi companies are listed in section 7 below.)

Directions:
- From New Delhi, take the NOIDA-Greater NOIDA Expressway, which then connects to the Yamuna Expressway.
- Leave the expressway at Exit 2C and enter the circuit from South Zone Gate. If you've missed the ramp, turn around at the next opportunity and leave the expressway at Exit 12 (coming from Agra).
- Once you reach the BIC, follow the directions to one of the three taxi parking lots and take the Circular Shuttle Bus to get to your grandstand if you don't want to walk.

There are other transport options include Park and Walk and Two Wheeler Parking. Some knowledge of the local road system is preferable and you will need to have purchased a parking permit at the time of booking your tickets.


Picnic Stand North - Image: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

 

2 // MONEY MATTERS

Return airfares to New Delhi from:
- Tokyo $1200 / £800 / €1000
- Abu Dhabi $320 / £220 / €250
- London or Frankfurt $1100 / £800 / €900
- New York $1300 / £900 / €1100
- Sydney $1100 / £800 / €900

Accommodation (4 nights) from $200 / £130 / €150 for a double room in a three star hotel in NOIDA. There are cheaper alternatives in New Delhi.

Tourist visa: $60 / £30 / €64 / A$75 / ¥1200 paid in local currency, not in Indian Rupees.

One way metro fare from New Delhi to NOIDA City Centre Metro Station: ?21 / $0.40 / £0.27 / €0.31

BIC Bus Service fare from/to NOIDA City Centre Metro Station (per day): ?300 / $6 / £4 / €5

One way taxi hire: ?3000 / $60 / £40 / €50 from New Delhi.

 

3 // TICKET PRICES

Tickets are reasonably priced, which is no surprise considering Formula 1 is still new to Indian audiences. Picnic and natural stands are equivalent to general admission but do not allow to walk around the circuit.

A ?28.09 handling fee (less than $1 / £1 / €1) is added at the time of purchase. Grandstand prices have been rounded up to the nearest $10 / £10 / €10 and picnic or natural stands to the nearest $1 / £1 / €1.

Exchange rates are from xe.com and are based on the highest rates since the last Indian Grand Prix.


Image: Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.

 

4 // WHICH GRANDSTAND TO CHOOSE

The venue is divided into four zones: West (red), North (yellow), East (blue) and South (green). Although spectators are restricted to the zone they hold a ticket for, the prices are low enough to consider buying several tickets to move around the track.

Temperatures can still be very hot (35 C) in this part of India and it might be worth opting for cover from the sun. In this case, select tickets for the Main or Premium grandstands.

The views from the Main Grandstand differ for the upper and lower parts. From the Upper platform, you can see both the main straight and back straight as well as Turns 3 and 4. For a closer look of the cars, grid and pitlane, book a seat in the Lower tier. Facilities and security are good and it feels generally well organised. There are only two TV screens for the whole of the Main Grandstand and depending where you are sitting, it might be difficult to watch the action on screen.

From the Premium Stand North, the cars can be seen for about 30 seconds, from the pitlane exit through to Turns 1, 2 and 3.

The Premium Stand South boasts good views of the cars going from Turn 6 to Turn 14. Unfortunately, the superscreens are too small and too far away to be useful. Facilities are very clean, however, there isn’t much of an atmosphere in this part of the track, due to being far away from the F1 Village.

If overtaking opportunities is what matters, then pick a seat for the Star Stand 3 East, as close to Turn 4 as possible, so as to see the cars in the long back straight. Because of the linear motion of acceleration, it is easier to take pictures of cars coming out of the Turn 4 rather than braking into it. With this in mind, the Star Stand 3 East is probably better suited to that than the Star Stand 1 East. Grandstand facilities are also very good here.

A lot of the track can be seen from from the Picnic Stand South, thanks to the elevation changes. It is a better view than most other circuits’ general admission areas.


Main Grandstand and Premium Grandstand North - Image: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

 

5 // TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Taking a bus back to Delhi can be hazardous. Unless you like the idea of the driver using on the bumpy shoulder of the road because it’s the quicker way back, it might be preferable to book a taxi.

Taxis need to be booked in advance. Contact Mega Cabs, Meru Cabs or Wyn Cabs. Reconfirm bookings one day in advance. (Links below.)

There are two queues for food and drinks at the track. A first queue to pay and get the tokens used for ordering at the second stall. Purchase the tokens as soon as you arrive, when there are less people waiting in line than during the day. That way you only queue for the food and drinks when it matters.

Official merchandise is only available from the F1 village, located behind the Main Grandstand. Use the Circular Shuttle Bus, which stops at most grandstands, picnic and natural stands to get the West Zone.


Star Stand 1 East - Image: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

 

6 // GRANDPRIXADVISOR FIXES

More, bigger and better located TV screens are needed. There needs to be a third one added opposite to the Main Grand Stand. The videowalls facing the Premium Stand South either need to be larger or placed closer to the grandstand. Adding another superscreen might also help.

Food choices could be more varied and it would be good to have somewhere to sit for eating, drinking or socialising at the back of the grandstands.

F&B vendors need to provide better value for money than the past two editions. Spectators want higher quality dishes and more staff to serve them. Orders need to be taken more efficiently and delivered faster. More fridges and freezers are also needed to ensure there are enough cold beverages to meet demand. England is the place for a warm beer, India is not.

Ushers and stewards need to do a better job at keeping all spectators sat, paying a particular attention to the front rows. It is pointless to pay for a seat if you have to stand because the person in front of you is also standing due to other spectators obstructing their view too (see picture above).

Better wheelchair access for disabled spectators.


Premium Stand South - PHOTO : FRANÇOIS FLAMAND / DPPI for Renault Sport F1

 

7 // USEFUL LINKS TO PREPARE YOUR INDIAN TRIP

buddhinternationalcircuit.in - venue information
in.bookmyshow.com/sport/formula1 - online ticket / BIC Bus Service / parking permit sales and ticket outlet listing

delhimetrorail.com - Delhi Metro Rail
megacabs.com - Taxi service
merucabs.com - Taxi service
wyncabs.com - Taxi service

Booking.com - our reliable hotel reservation partner
doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/india/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-new-delhi-noida-mayur-vihar-DELMVDI/index.html - Noida accommodation
nirulas.com/NoidaHotel.aspx - Noida accommodation
parkplaza.com/noida-u-p-hotel-in-201307/indnoid/home - Noida accommodation
redfoxhotels.com - accommodation

www.formula1.com/races/in_detail/india_909/circuit_diagram.html - General Information and schedule

 

Many thanks to all those who submitted their review of the 2011 event:
- Ajay Kuruvila
- Darshan Chokhani (follow @DarshanChokhani who also write for www.autoindiasports.com)
- Shradha Todkar (follow @shradha_todkar)

Have you been to the Indian Grand Prix? Help improve this guide by leaving your impression of the Buddh International Circuit in the 'Write a Review' section of this website.

If you would like to add further information or correct any of the above article, please leave your comments below.

Indian Grand Prix spectator guide
 

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