Button predicts big future in India

Jenson Button believes the Indian Grand Prix will become one of the all-time great Formula One events.

Motorsport News: F1 India

The first race on the sub-continent in the sport's history on Sunday proved to be a resounding hit with teams and drivers.

Like with any new race there were a number of teething problems, but they are not insurmountable for the future.

As for the fans, it would appear India is poised to embrace F1, although it remains years away yet from penetrating through to the masses, the majority of whom still live in poverty.

However, there were 95,000 who voiced their support for F1, with the prospect such a number will grow given the positivity that has been generated around the entire event.

McLaren star Button, second to race winner Sebastian Vettel who took the chequered flag for the 11th time this season, feels a seed has been sown.

"There was pretty good advertising for the place, so I think the word is going to get out," Button told Press Association Sport.

"Even though it was the first race there was a pretty good crowd, and the Indian people seem to love motor racing.

"They were very excited about the racing out there, and also when we were on the drivers' parade before the race.

"I think it will turn out to be one of the great events on the Formula One calendar.

"There are obviously things in the paddock that aren't quite there yet, and hopefully after one grand prix they will realise the areas they need to improve."

What has clearly added to the appeal is the fact the circuit itself is what Button has described as "a massive challenge" for the drivers.

That in turn lends itself to a good race, which will further attract the fans in the years to come.

"It's one of the more physical circuits as well because there aren't really that many for us any more, so it's great," added Button.

"The only thing is the dust, but I don't really know what you can do about that in India. It's very dry at this time of year, but overall the circuit is great."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh felt the promotion of the race was crucial to its success, in contrast to many other venues where F1 has been badly let down in the past, such as Turkey and Korea.

Whitmarsh said: "The response from the people here in India was great, and I believe it will be a successful event.

"You sense it in Delhi, you sense it in the people. There is a sporting passion there.

"You go in to Delhi and you sense there's a grand prix happening.

"There are some other circuits out of big cities we go to that when you are in the city you wouldn't know there's a grand prix happening.

"But there they've embraced it, so we now have to work with them and I'm sure we can build it up."

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