Greater Noida: India’s grand entry into Formula One came grinding to a halt on Friday when a stray dog interrupted the first ever practice session at Buddh International Circuit.
After years of planning, hundreds of millions of dollars in expense and frantic work to get facilities ready on time, it was an improbable hitch as the black dog ran onto the track, causing a five-minute delay.
A stray dog runs on the track during a practice session at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida. (AP photo)
The dog ran aimlessly around the purpose-built course near New Delhi, pursued by officials in a safety car, before practice could resume.
It was the latest minor glitch to hit the Indian Grand Prix, where organizers are under pressure to deliver a high-quality event after last year’s shambolic Commonwealth Games.
On Thursday, veteran driver Rubens Barrichello was interrupted mid-sentence by a power cut during the first news conference at the $400 million race track, one of many during the day.
“I hope that doesn’t happen tomorrow when we’re in the middle of the track,” joked the Brazilian.
Workers have been out in force sweeping dust from the track, while a small bat trapped in the media centre flew around for an hour, chased by a man waving a brush, until it was finally freed.
The Grand Prix is an initiative of the private Jaypee group, which has pledged to erase the “shame” of the Commonwealth Games which were plagued by shabby facilities and poor organization.