All eyes were on the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, as the Indian F1 Grand Prix made its debut with practice sessions on Friday. Some of the world’s top F1 drivers, such as Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button, are participating in the three-day event. Top Formula 1 teams — RBR-Renault, McLaren-Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari — are competing, and so is our very own Sahara Force India. Highlights of the day3.40 pm: Ferrari’s Massa fastest in second practice. He was followed by Vettel while Massa’s teammate Fernando Alonso finished third.3 pm: Red flag (race stopped). Marshalls out. Jaime Alguersuari of Toro Rosso hurt. Schumacher of Mercedes out too. Session restarts after incident. 2.50 pm: Ferrari’s Massa catching up. Teammate Alonso 29000th of a second behind him.2.30 pm: Narain getting close to his fastest time of the first session. 2.25 pm: Williams car spins off track. Being lifted away. Vettel fastest on lap time. His Red Bull team-mate Webber close.2.20 pm: Hamilton penalised for ignoring caution flags in first practice. Sergio Perez of Sauber also gets same penalty.2 pm: Second 90-minute practice session begins. Expecting no dogs this time. Better crowd turnout than the first practice. 12.30 pm: Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders among motley crowd at BIC watching Delhi championship with MRF practice session. Session breaks for lunch.11.45 am: Second practice session starts at 2.00 pm.11.40 am: First practice session over. At this stage, Hamilton leads followed by Vettel at 2 and Webber at 3. Karun Chandhok at 19, Narain Karthikeyan at 21. advertisement11.10 am: Adrian Sutil of Sahara Force India going strong. Tricolour theme resplendent at BIC.10.54 am: Sahara Force India car spotted. Will their drivers do the Sahara pranam too, asks our man at the race, Anam Arsalan.10.45 am: Fans throng gates. Confusion at the gates. Engines generate the almighty howl.10.38 am: Mercedes followed by Red Bull Renault in lap practice. 8 cars at the moment. Red Bull’s Vettel out there.10.30 am: Practice gets underway. Fans wait patiently to spot their their favourites.10.20 am: A stray dog on track disrupts practice as the race is red flagged (stopped) for a few minutes.10.00 am: Welcome to official practice-I of Indian Grand Prix. We have stationed our man at Curve No. 3. The speciality of this part of the track is that it rises 14 metres from point 1 to 3. So expect a few exciting moments here.9.45 am: Knives, fireworks, smoke canisters, air-horns, flares, wepons, dangerous or hazardous items, laser devices, bottles, glass vessels, lighters, musical items are prohibited at the F1 venue. Children below 5 are not allowed at the Indian Grand Prix event.9:30 am: BIC is operating bus services from Noida City Centre, Nehru Place Metro Station, Pragati Maidan (Gate No. 2), India Gate and Gurgaon-Leisure Valley Park. But they need to have valid bus ticket as well to commute in these buses. Those who do not have the bus tickets but have venue tickets are advised to reach Knowledge Park 2 in Greater Noida, where the BIC is operating buses for the F1 fans.9:10 am: The 5.14 km Buddh International Circuit (BIC) track has been billed as one of the fastest on the circuit.9 am: Welcome to the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. Even as we get ready for some high-adrenaline action over the weekend, it’s worth recalling that Sebastian Vettel has already won the Drivers’ Championship and his team Red Bull has bagged the Constructors.
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