Istanbul: More than anything else, the prospect of racing before a crowd, exceeding one lakh people, is what makes World Champion Sebastian Vettel wait excitingly for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October.
Vettel, the defending champion from Red Bull, won his third race of the season after starting from pole position on Sunday.
"We are looking forward to it. We have heard a lot of things, a lot of good things. One thing I heard is that it will be sold out and there will be a lot of people there, so this will be fantastic," Vettel said after being asked about Formula One coming to India.
The Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida is scheduled to host the 17th race of the current season on October 30 but the confirmation is subject to homologation of the facility in July.
The circuit will have a length of 5.14 km and the seating capacity initially is expected to be 110,000 with provisions to increase it later to 200,000.
Vettel was a little disappointed to see some empty seats at the Istanbul Park and hoped that the scene would be different in India.
"This race here (Istanbul Park) has very often been criticised in the past for not having a lot of spectators. Today, I have to say that the atmosphere was quite good and I really enjoyed the last lap, but surely there were some empty seats, so that's what I will be looking forward to most (in India), " he was quoted as saying by the official F1 website. Vettel's teammate Mark Webber, who finished second, acknowledged India's growth as a sports destination and expected to meet some of the top cricketers of the country during the race.
"Obviously, India has had some big events over the last few years, with the Commonwealth Games and the cricket World Cup -- I don't know which side won the World Cup.. yes.. I do -- but I am looking forward to going out there.
"Formula One going there is a big event, it should go smoothly. All of us always love to go the new venues. It's a beautiful country in many areas, so I am looking forward to going to experience it and have some of the cricket players to say hello to us guys," the Australian racer said.
Fernando Alonso, who got Ferrari its first podium result of the season by finishing third on Sunday, said he plans to stay in India before the race.
"Yeah, same thing. Fantastic news coming from circuit and we are all excited to race there for the first time. It's also a country that I want to visit and I will remain for a week there between the races," Alonso said.