There has been massive excitement building around India's inaugural F1 Grand Prix ever since the race was passed by the F1 honchos and scheduled in the 2011 calendar. India is finally entering the elite group of countries that host this elite sport. But as the date of the race nears it seems defending champion Sebastian Vettel may have single-handedly taken away half the sheen off the Indian GP.
Now, don't get me wrong. He has done or said nothing to put down the newest venue on the block. He has in fact hardly put a foot wrong this season. And, that is exactly what has taken some shine away from the GP. His absolute dominance has left little to aniticpate and the championship is set for an anti-climax. Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix, in fact, could have seen him wrap up the drivers' title. That did not happen despite his race win, but it is nothing more than a slight delay in the inevitable. Mathematical calculations have still kept others in the race. Vettel's car and his form and points nonetheless, have ensured the upcoming Grands Prix have become mere formalities.
The Indian GP takes place on October 30, over a month from now, and the Japanese and Korean races are scheduled in between, all but assuring that the championship battle would have been decided by the time the F1 circus arrives in India. Given how close most championships have been in recent times, going down to the wire, it is only unfortunate that the Indian F1 fans - for many of whom it will be their first experience watching the race from the stands - are likely to not be party to a race that plays a decisive role in the championship battle.
Still getting to watch the youngest double world champion (Vettel after he defends his title) and the record 7 time world champion (Michael Schumacher) race wheel to wheel in our backyard is not a bad bargain. Add pretty pit babes to that and I'm guessing most people will still get their money's worth and go home happy.