BBC News

India F1: Buddh International Circuit 'dog proof'

By Jasvinder Sidhu
Buddh International Circuit, India

image captionThe authorities say that stray dogs will not get in the way of F1 drivers like Vettel, Alonso or Hamilton

Formula 1 organisers in India say they are determined to ensure that the track near Delhi is completely "dog proof" ahead of Sunday's race.

Canine entry points to the state-of-the-art Buddh International Circuit have been blocked ahead of the race.

Last year stray dogs roaming free on the circuit during the first practice session caused some embarrassment.

However, plans to install ultrasonic devices to keep dogs away from the track have been dropped.

Officials from the circuit say that they have drawn up a plan of action to prevent stray dogs from appearing on the track following difficulties created by the animals last year.

image captionWhen the racing starts, it is hoped only cars will be on the circuit

"We detected between six to seven entry points through which dogs or other stray animals were able to intrude on the circuit," Askari Zaidi told the BBC.

"These points have been completely sealed off, while fencing around the circuit has now got two layers. In addition there will be a few teams of dog catchers around the circuit."

Officials say that the problems caused by stray dogs last year were exacerbated by the fact that there was a lot of construction work going on.

"A huge number of labourers were camped around the circuit. They used to cook on site and that in turned attracted the dogs. But this time that sort of thing is not happening. So, we are confident," Mr Zaidi said.

The plan for ultrasonic devices was dropped, officials say, because the circuit has since last season staged at least 40 events at the circuit - including car testings and other promotions - without incident.

Meanwhile, Indian F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan told the BBC that the circuit was "looking amazing" and that the problems caused by stray dogs had been over-exaggerated.

"It's never going to be a problem with the drivers," he said. "These are very minor things. Look at the larger picture and we have a world-class facility - everyone likes the track."

Despite this optimism though, it has to be remembered that no-one - least of all race officials - can ever definitively say in India that the grand prix will be an animal-free event.

In the area surrounding the stadium there is no shortage of stray dogs and stray cows.

So while it is no doubt true that "every dog has its day", officials are confident that day will not be Sunday.

More on this story

  • Indian Grand Prix preview