NEW DELHI, Sept 1, 2011 (AFP) - India is on track to host its first-ever Formula One race next month, a top official said after inspecting the circuit on the outskirts of New Delhi on Thursday.
Formula One race director Charlie Whiting said he was satisfied with progress after visiting the new $350 million Budh International circuit. "He stated that the progress was more than satisfactory and exceeded expectations from when he last visited the site," Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India president Vicky Chandhok said in a statement.
"He also expressed confidence that the inaugural Indian Grand Prix will be a huge success. Physical issuance of Grade-1 certification will happen one week prior to the event, as a common practice for new circuits."
The race will be held at the 5.14-kilometre (3.2-mile) circuit, designed by renowned German architect Hermann Tilke, in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi on October 30.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who visited the country last month, also said the circuit would be ready for the race. "It will be one of the nicest circuits and will be completed in time. People are working hard and checking everything on a daily basis. It will be in good shape," said Ecclestone.
Formula One has been followed closely in India since 2005 when local driver Narain Karthikeyan raced for the now-defunct Jordan team. Karthikeyan returned to the circuit in 2011 following a deal with the Spanish Hispania racing team.
Another Indian, Karun Chandhok, drove last year for Hispania, who finished 11th out of 12 in its inaugural year.