I Drove On An F1 Circuit
I have been involved in Motorsport for nearly 15 years now, but despite my associations, it isnâ€™t always that I get the opportunity to drive on an F1 circuit. My last memory of driving on an F1 race circuit dates back to 2005 when I drove many sessions in a Formula BMW car in Bahrain. After that, I have had to visit the local karting track to fuel my need for speed! (Read: Our Secret Tyre Test With Pirelli)
The Buddh International Circuit, home to the Indian Grand Prix, is Indiaâ€™s only Formula1 track. I have visited the circuit on multiple occasions, for all the editions of the Indian GPs and otherwise. And while I knew my way around the Paddock and its buildings, I knew that should an opportunity arise to find my way around the race track, I would grab it with both hands. And I did! (Read: Bernie Ecclestone Checkmates The Indian Grand Prix)
I was delighted to receive an invitation to the #JazzAtBIC by Honda Cars India. At first, I thought it was a mistake, given the non-automotive nature of my blog, but when I received my air-tickets and transport details to the circuit and back, I knew that my wait to drive around the Buddh International Circuit was only getting lesser. (Read: #MasterBlaster Tribute To Sachin Tendulkar By Force India)
â€” Kunal Shah (@kunalashah) July 4, 2015
My excitement grew manifold when I realized that I would get to try my hands on the â€˜All New Jazzâ€™ that Honda was preparing to launch in India (on 8th July). To be honest, the Jazz had caught my fancy when it was first launched more than 5 years ago only to be discontinued later. As a current Honda owner, I was curious to know the improvements and newer technologies Honda would bring to their premium hatchback. (Read: Formula One Is Funny) Driving the Jazz on the Buddh International Circuit was fun. If I could sum up my driving experience the F1 way â€˜controlled aggressionâ€™ would be the word. We had a Honda Amaze as the lead car followed by a string of Jazzes driving around the circuit. The speeds were controlled but that I knew I wasnâ€™t there for high speed action so I decided to turn my attention to the ride and comfort of the car an aspect I donâ€™t otherwise pay much attention to. (Read: Thank You Mclaren Honda)
Post the session, I spent time interacting with other fellow bloggers and employees from Honda who not surprisingly were avid Formula1 fans (special mention of Ms. Navneet Kaur (Head – Product Planning) who is an avid-er fan!). My most interesting discussion was with the CEO of Honda Cars India who is a self-confessed Formula1 buff. â€˜We need 70 more PSâ€™ was his sign off!â€™ (for Mclaren â€“ Honda!).
On a personal level, I am considering purchase of Fordâ€™s EcoSport as my second car later this year. But the versatile Jazz coupled with Hondaâ€™s hospitality and warmth have made me reconsider this decision, however accidentally so! (But not before I test drive the Jazz on the pot-holed roads of Mumbai!)
Irrespective of my purchase decision, I now wish Honda invites me over to a session to drive Honda race cars around the Buddh when they decide to enter and compete in Indian Motorsport.
(This blog post was commissioned by Honda Cars India as a part of their ‘Hangout with Honda’ initiative for the ‘All New Jazz’)Â