Red Bull goes all out to make Rajpath India’s Speed Street

Watt a day it has been, electrifying to say the least! Today was the day when India’s capital witnessed the fury of F1 machines in real power and had a taste of things to come for the Inaugural Indian GP at the Buddh International Circuit in the last week of October! May I also tell you that this post is going to be long.

It was pretty long day at office for the Team Red Bull Racing and its engineers and technicians. On the other side was the production team getting ready with setting up their cameras, av and their editing suite.

The venue had been spruced up for the event and thanks all to the wonderful cooperation of the Delhi Police it was impeccable to start with from the word go.The security drill took its time but the police were on dot on the security for the event, a full dress rehearsal went on for quite sometime before the event actually started.

On the sidelines of the F1 event, Red Bull had organized a multicity event called Red Bull Racing cans. The students were to design a car using Red Bull cans on a chassis provided by the organisers. The event was a big hit among the engineering students and I had the opportunity to visit the Delhi leg at IIT Delhi a few days back.

Red Bull Racing Can is a university racing series. 12 teams compete per location on a set course with custom remote control cars. But to ensure fair play, the chassis of all cars are the same. It’s the body of the racers, aerodynamics and particularly design that make the difference. And that’s where tin metal joins the race! The body, aerodynamic features and design will be made of Red Bull cans. Because when it comes to the scores in this race, a can can make a difference!

The cars were remote controlled and were to go through the circuit laid out for them, it was race simulation with remote control.  You also had the same race week end style here. Practice sessions, then qualifying individually on the track and then the race together in style. You should watch it actually to see that.  Sometimes it resembled the first corner of a real race.

In the finals too there was a scramble at the start with cars getting into one another and the best team which had a clear track ahead of them won, very easy at that, but not easy to navigate and maneuver the corners or the one car that’s on track which the marshals cannot remove them.

The finals had 12 laps and the teams were raring to go and all the enthusiasm goes to the brink and there is a false start even before the word go is uttered. Getting back to start again this time it was perfect, start but there was a park created right near the start of the grid, and the cars wriggled out to make way through the track.

After some twists and turns in literal sense some cars made headway while one car got stuck some problem with the control and one car was pretty slow too. Amidst some loud cheering from the fellow participants and update on the number of laps, the race was over when the first team in Race Dynamics won it in a cool fashion. A chance to represent India at the Red Bull Racing Can World Finals at Red Bull Racing HQ Milton Keyes awaits them. For the record, Race Dynamics team’s Race Driver is Binoy John and the Technical Director is Rahul Saran. Congratulations Race Dynamics, Bangalore!

Getting back to the main event Red Bull Speed Street, the media was in full attendance to capture the glimpse of the car roaring down the Rajpath. As time sped fast, the dignitaries from the Ministry of Tourism started arriving. It should also be noted that they had made a difference in projecting India as a tourist destination with this event.

Very Happy to be here for the event. This event is a testimony of our efforts to promote tourism!  – The Minister of Tourism, Shri Subhokant Sahay

The hero of the day Daniel Riciarrdio had arrived, and he did arrive in style and it was an understated one if you ask me, very cool ever smiling and made him a darling of the crowd as he touch a chord in a truly Punjabi style with some Bhangra steps when he was led into the crowd and back to the paddock.

I would miss it if I didn’t mention the Bhangra team also had him in a huddle for a couple of minutes, may be taught him a couple of moves, will soon see him do it in the world stage.

He had already won the hearts over even before donning the racing suit. The preparations were all ready to go, the car getting ready and revved up. Final touches on the with ice cubes being set inside the radiator box.

So as the final preparations to were on the Delhiiites were treated to some awesome stunts by the Ghost Ryderz a five member team of bikers who held the audience in rapt attention. They left the audience spell bound with raised front wheel and another one raised with its back wheel. Someone rode atop the seat and someone was sitting at the edge of the bike. They too smoked tyres and set the pace for things to come.

It is pure stunt and can only be done by professionals and so don’t try to imitate them at any part of the road or your home.

Now it was the time for the Renault the long time engine partner for Red Bull to take center stage. The Drift Team with its six Koleos cars went on a first ride on the Rajpath.  Controlled aggression and more over speed and agility was hallmark of the show when they did a line up to set it in.

On the reverse gear they set a meeting of cars impeccably turning into a minimum radius and gathering steam. You would be surprised to know that they were all automatic cars that did the classic drive.

The stage was all set now as Indian Ocean performed for the crowd and as the music ended, the RB7 car was pushed from the paddock to the main Speed Street, the car revved and roared and made for music to the audience assembled there. No sooner had the car appeared there were lots of cameras in tow to take a shot at.  It was a match of getting the car in your camera and no! you were not going to make it happen.

I tried once and knowing that it was not possible decided to watch the beauty of the car speeding up the Rajpath with my own eyes, what a beauty it was to see the car and more so the speed with it raced off left only sound to be followed. Wish light also travelled slower.

Daniel Ricciardo set the straight line speed at over 270 kmph and did a classic turn at both ends and finished it with a donut as he locked it up at the center of the track and burnt rubber. He did also perform a donut at the other end too to the delight of the crowd.  The crowd went crazy after this and what a day it has been for Delhiites. Absolutely ‘once in a lifetime’ for them to see them up close and feel the revs and sounds of an F1 car in the main part of their city.

Daniel took his car out three times and all the three times had the crowds clamoring for more. But this is just the tip of what’s in offer especially given the fact that this is a public road and there are limitations but he did exploit all that to the core, setting the road on fire and there are marks on the road which will be gone in a few days but not the memory that he fired up the whole afternoon on Oct 1st at Rajpath for the Red Bull Speed Street.

The crowd was awesome and I enjoyed being here and driving on Rajpath, thank You! – Daniel Ricciardo

He also obliged a quite a few fans with autographs and shot pictures of them on their mobile cameras and you should have seen the happiness in their face and hearts. On a tougher day than a race weekend, Daniel slipped into roles from being the dancer to a F1 driver to a celebrity who knew how to connect with the fans and the media. This is one prelude that one will remember for long, as much as close to the Indian GP happening so near in Delhi. And thanks Daniel a big thanks from all of us from India! We loved it absolutely, and it was great hosting you!

We also had a wonderful guest in VJ Rann Vijay Singh and a surprise guest in Rajesh Kukunoor who is in Delhi to promote their film MOD.

Rann Vijay Singh felt this event has built up the buzz for the F1 in India and going by crowd reaction its going to be great at the Indian GP.

In other news, it was a privilege to be on camera with the Red Bull Production team, thanks a lot to Ismet and the whole team. It was a proud moment to be on a roll with the iconic India Gate in the background. Felt very very happy, Red Bull does gives you wings for sure!

R Senthilkumar