This Sunday, I headed for India Gate with my Dad to watch the Renault Formula 1 Roadshow. Being a hardcore Formula One enthusiast, at least until Michael Schumacher retired, I have always wished to see a Formula One car being driven in real life. However, I haven't been able to do this, as it is very costly to go abroad to watch F1, and I haven't saved enough. I never thought there was a chance that I could get to see this happening, especially in India, until I opened the newspapers this morning and saw the advertisement.
Rajpath wore a festive atmosphere. The 'track' was bordered with ING Renault signboards and flags. The foreign marshals waving flags and security personnel moving around in official gear gave the place a feel of 'Raceday'. It was quite a cool day and I wore my new Rayban shades to look posh.
We waited some time for the show to get underway. It finally started at around 1.30 pm as three Indian Army parachutes with fans flew over the tarmac at Rajpath, whirring like little bees. This was followed by the Indian Army Band which led rows of Renault Logan cars in different colors. Next, a variety of Renault cars drove by in various formations to sexy music. Later, came the two Renault Megane Trophy cars followed by the tiger striped Cartoon Cars.
Video of Formula One ING Renault Roadshow at India Gate, New Delhi, India.
Soon, the moment that everyone was eagerly waiting for arrived. From behind India Gate, entered the white Renault Formula One R-27 flanked by the two yellow Megane Trophy cars. The vroom of the high-powered engines reverberated all through Rajpath as the cars sped down the tarmac. Everyone was excited. Street urchins and lower middle class folk who usually hang about the India Gate laws were all eyes agog. Many started imitating the sound of the Formula one cars ditto – which I found real funny and cute.
The F1 car was being driven by Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet Jr., the number two driver of the Renault Formula One team after World Champion Fernando Alonso. This season, Nelson Piquet Jr. finished 12th in the Drivers Standings with 19 points. He has one podium finish to his credit, gained when he finished second at the race in Germany. Nelson Piquet Jr. is the son of three time world champion Nelson Piquet.
The Formula One car went back and we were entertained by stunts performed by Hollywood stunt car diver Terry Grant. Later, the Formula One Renault R-27 returned with Renault test driver Lucas Di Grazzi of Brazil at the wheel. The cars zoomed along Rajpath and did lots of spins and turns on the piece of road in front of India Gate and near Central Secretariat.
It was truly an awesome sight. I have seen Formula One cars before such as the McLaren Mercedes, Ferrari, Honda and Renault displayed at the Auto Expo, but they were stationary and I doubt that there was an engine in the body. However, never in my wildest dreams did I expect to ever see a Formula One car zooming down Rajpath.
All I can say is the ING Renault Formula 1 Roadshow was an awesome start to the 2010 Commonwealth Games which was being promoted. I hope the government continues with such ventures and one day organizes a Formula One race in Delhi.