With it being the first ever Indian Grand Prix this weekend, the question put to Badger’s staff and fans was simple – what will happen at the Buddh Circuit? But of course we’re not just talking about the podium placings and pole – as ever, we want to hear anything that springs to mind about the upcoming race.
What will happen in India?
We’re only bringing you the one entry this week – it’s that long. Damon Smedley (@damonsmedley), who hails from the city of Launceston in Tasmania (we’ve checked Wikipedia and it is indeed a real place) has written what can only be described as a madman’s account of how the Indian Grand Prix might occur. But, in his sheer disregard for facts, precedent and, in some cases, the laws of nature, he bowled us over. And left us a little worried. Take it away Damon…
After Sauber have their cars blessed on Friday by a pujari, they duly lock out the front row, with Kamui Kobayashi starting ahead of Sergio Perez. The Force Indias elect to sit out qualifying altogether, but the FIA allows them to race on the grounds that it’s the Indian Grand Prix and their team name features the word “India”. This creates no controversy. None.
In the race the threat of rain arriving just before the start means Force India gamble on sending their drivers to the grid on intermediate tyres. HRT also fit Karthikeyan with inters. As the lights go out Kobayashi accidentally looks and stares, and the Saubers swap positions into turn 1. Kamui then uses the slipstream to retake the lead down the long back straight, to the delight of the fans. By lap three, with the track still dry, Kamui is coming up to lap the two Force Indias and Narain’s HRT, who are still bumbling around on intermediates.
But suddenly the FOM cameras dramatically cut to a ground-level shot of some strange objects sprouting from the ground around the edge of the track. More dramatic cuts from the director show the track is now lined with black objects, and the crowd falls silent. Bernie is shown relaxing in the stewards room with Charlie Whiting, but quickly diverts the cameraman’s attention away. Now the strange black plastic objects that recently unearthed themselves are spraying water onto the track. Surely it couldn’t be… sprinklers?
There are cars off all over the place as they desperately scramble back to the pits. The Saubers, however, are mysteriously not affected as badly as the rest of the field and continue without pitting.
However the fastest man on track is now Narain Karthikeyan, and he has quickly caught the Saubers after just 10 laps, with the two Force Indias 10 seconds adrift. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel is told to let Mark Webber through in order to secure second in the championship. Vettel obliges, but Mark shows his pride and pulls over to the side of the track at turn 3, switching the engine off and walking home.
The sprinklers are still running with just 2 laps to go, but Vettel is catching the Force Indias, whilst Karthikeyan challenges Perez for second. As they cross the line to begin the final lap, Kobayashi leads Perez by 4.5 seconds, who now has Karthikeyan climbing all over his gearbox. Vettel is just 1 second behind the Force India of di Resta, who is trailing his team-mate Sutil by 5 seconds.
[editor’s note: just to be clear, the order is Kobayahsi, Perez, Karthikeyan, Sutil, di Resta, Vettel. Got that? Now, back in to Narnia…]
As they enter the long back straight, Perez struggles to put the power down and Narain gets a run on the Mexican. They are side-by-side into the braking zone for turn 4, and remain that way as they exit the corner. Eventually, Perez yields as they approach the fast kinks, and the sound of the engines is scarcely audible for the immense roar from the grand-stands. Vettel is pestering di Resta, but fails to find a way through, as Kamui Kobayashi heads local hero Narain Karthikeyan across the finish line, with Karun Chandhok waving the chequered flag. Perez spins on the exit of the last corner, promoting Sutil to third, hence securing Force India a podium at their home Grand Prix. Sergio recovers the spin to finish just ahead of di Resta, who has managed to drop Vettel by a second on the last lap.
As the drivers head to the podium, fireworks light up the late afternoon sky and the crowd dances to the Japanese national anthem. The 2011 Indian Grand Prix has been one of the most amazing sporting events in the history of sport.
..and that concludes this week’s Scrutineering Bay – good work Damon, a truly brilliant ‘prediciton’ – you’ve entertained us all here at the Sett!