There is a buzz leading into this weekend's Indian Grand Prix which I cannot remember any previous maiden Grand Prix generating. Not since the first floodlit Singapore Grand Prix have we seen such worldwide interest, but it runs deeper than that. There is an air of intense expectation.
Without doubt, the eyes of the world will be focussed on India. Motor sport desperately need a ‘good news' story after the sickening fatal accidents that have dogged the last two weekends. In addition, India is keen to prove that it can host a world-class event with equal brio and style to any other location in the world.
The first impressions are good. The track is finished and ready for racing and it looks as if it will become a driver's favourite. Architect Hermann Tilke, often blamed for bland, look-alike tracks seems this time to have got it right.
There are fast demanding corners aplenty and flowing, rolling, switchback changes of elevation. The final downhill sequence of corners is almost like Eau Rouge in reverse. It should give us a great race.
Of course Indian home expectations are running high. Sahara Force India (I have received a missive from their PR man that I must remember their new name) are of course at the forefront of attention. However I wonder whether there might be disillusionment if they don't immediately blow Red Bull, McLaren or Ferrari into the New Delhi weeds.
I hope that fans will manage their expectations. Sahara Force India (I remembered again) is a good team, but even the most hardened optimist cannot expect Paul di Resta or Adrian Sutil to do much better than a place outside the top half dozen.
Sahara Force India's (yes!) target this weekend will be to draw clear of Sauber and Toro Rosso in the Constructors Championship where just 12 points cover from sixth to eighth place. As most agree that the difference in prize fund in coming out on top of that battle maybe as much as 10 million dollars, getting both cars home in the points will be more important than any heroics.
India's two home-grown drivers meanwhile have demonstrated that money talks when in comes to securing a drive this weekend. With a gridlock of drivers queuing for any available seat, it has become a bidding war for a place on the starting grid.
While Narain Karthikeyan will be in the cockpit of his HRT on Sunday, it seems Karun Chandhok will be putting a brave face on things trackside. Chandhok's only outing will be as test driver for Team Lotus in the first practice session on Friday.
I fear that this has less to do with the relative pace of either driver than the amount of sponsor's cash they were able to bring to the table, and we are talking millions of dollars. Chandhok simply hasn't been able to raise sufficient funds to secure a seat this season.
Last year it should be remembered that Chandhok was in precisely the same HRT seat now occupied by Karthikeyan. Then at the British Grand Prix, Sakon Yamamoto arrived with a suitcase full of Yen and Karun was sidelined.
At this year's British Grand Prix, the pattern was repeated. The cash-strapped HRT team got a sniff of money in Red Bull's driver development budget to support protégé Daniel Ricciardo. Karthikeyan was dropped despite having brought what is rumoured to have been twelve million dollars of Tata sponsorship at the start of the year.
Karthikeyan though fought back, securing added budget from motorcycle maker Hero Honda to fund his return to the team. It is all credit to Narain's business acumen and resilience that he has fought his way back onto the starting grid - and perhaps it is appropriate that the man who in 2005 became India's first Formula One driver, should be the first to uphold his nation's honours in his Grand Prix.