I did not really consider covering this topic until I read this headline over someone’s shoulder in the airport last night. Funny how some things translate so much differently depending on where you are. Fortunately the man with the newspaper was gracious enough to let Chris photograph it, but I am quite sure that he had no idea why we would want a picture of it.
I probably should have been combing newspaper headlines since we arrived here because there is no doubt that this was not the only gem. Too late. My bad.
So, if you didn’t gather this from the headline, India hosted its first Formula One race yesterday in the capital city of New Delhi. For non-racing fans, I’m not sure if this was big news everywhere, but it sure was big news in India, getting plenty of media coverage both in the major newspapers and on television.
Lucky for us, as we played tourist in New Delhi yesterday afternoon, the big event did not seem to have much of an impact on either road traffic or air travel. Good thing, because we were on a mission to cram as much sightseeing as possible into our weekend by squeezing most major sites in the “Golden Triangle” into our busy weekend schedule. It was grueling, but probably for the best. We decided to use our last few days of vacation for the year outside of India, but we did not want to leave India for good (or, as Chris pointed out, more likely for now) in December without seeing some of the major sites.
Chris and I caught the last few laps of the race on TV last night as we were getting ready to head back to Chennai and I couldn’t help but think about what a big deal it was. While I don’t feel like it is all that popular in the US, F1 Racing is fairly popular on a global scale and bringing a big race to India plays a large part in creating positive buzz from the press and perhaps bringing in additional tourist dollars. Within India, I noticed a fair amount of negative coverage about the event, mostly citing concerns about the amount of money that was spent to hold one event for one sport, but I think those complaints are short-sighted. Just as the Rugby World Cup brought a lot of attention to New Zealand, this F1 race should produce a net positive impact for India.
Did anyone watch the race? It would have been super early morning US time, so probably not unless you are a die-hard F1 fan. I surely would have sat that one out.
More on our Golden Triangle Trip coming soon!