Greater Noida: It may not be the same as inaugural year in terms of response, but the second Indian Grand Prix still recorded a turn out of 65,000 spectators, which included the who's who of tinsel town, politics and sporting fraternity. Unlike last year that witnessed a whopping 95,000 turn out, response was lukewarm this time around but buzz and enthusiasm surrounding the race was pretty good.
Even though the orgainsers had slashed the ticket prices as compared to last year, it failed to generate a similar presence at the 1,20,000-capacity Buddh International Circuit. However, the organisers of the race, Jaypee Sports International Limited were happy with the crowd presence.
"Though it is less than last year, we are happy with the turn out. Slowly and steadily the F1 craze is increasing in India," said Manoj Gaur, executive chairman of Jaypee Group.
But the crowd turn out had very little impact on the event as those present had a great time. Apart from an enthralling race, they were also treated to a concert by singer Shaan and music composer Vishal and Shekhar, who performed at the F1 village area before the start of the race. Adding glamour to the event were actors Anil Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Gul Panag, Dino Morea, Sonali Bendre with her husband Goldie Behl, Mandira Bedi, Ajay Devgan and Sonakshi Sinha.
Devgan and Sonakshi, the lead actors of an upcoming movie 'Son of the Sardaar', opened the race by singing the national anthem with Shaan. Among the sporting stars who were spotted at the BIC were India's medallists at the London Olympics, wrestler Sushil Kumar, shooter Vijay Kumar and Gagan Narang, who waved the chequered flag at the end of the race. Other Indian athletes -- archer Deepika Kumari and chess player Tania Sachdev -- also made it to the event.
The cricketing fraternity was led by Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh, who came along with his long-time girl friend Geeta Basra at the circuit as defending champions Sebastian Vettel scorched his way to his fourth consecutive win of the season.