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GP Week : Issue 140
n The much-hyped Metallica concert attached to the Indian Grand Prix led to riots in Delhi. The American thrash metal superstars were due to play their first Indian gig, but delayed the start due to fears the barriers were not safe. When it was announced that the concert had been postponed until the following evening, fans rioted, destroying the band’s equipment. As a result, the concert was cancelled altogether. n Mike Coughlan has been promoted to technical director of Williams, Adam Parr revealed during the Friday press conference in India. “The new technical team consists of Mike Coughlan, who we have just confirmed as our new technical director. Mike joined us in June.” Parr refused to be drawn on further details of Coughlan’s contract. Coughlan replaces Sam Michael, who tendered his resignation after Williams’ worst season start in the team’s history. n Should the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi not be deemed a success, plans are already underway to relocate the race to Moscow, according to reports in the Russian press. “ The Volokolamsk circuit is fully in line with Formula One safety requirements,” Igor Yermilin, vice president of the Russian motor racing federation, told Sovietsky Sport. “However, some additions to the infrastructure would be needed, particularly as far as the VIP goes. A [move to] transfer the Russian grand prix will depend upon the commercial success of the race in Sochi. If the race is successful, there will be no talk of moving it elsewhere. If not, it would be more profitable to hold in the Moscow region as of 2017 or 2018.” The Moscow News is currently reporting delays to the project caused by the reams of paperwork needed for the various levels of state approvals. Sochi is due to join the calendar in 2014, but there are claims the first race could be delayed until 2017, a claim race organisers vehemently deny. “Either the first race takes place in 2014, or we won’t have Formula 1 at all,” Alexander Ivanov, deputy chief of the Krasnodar region, which houses Sochi, told a Moscow press conference this week. n “Mega” is how Lewis Hamilton has described the 2013 American race in New Jersey, which will speed along the banks of the Hudson River across the water from Manhattan. “I’ve been waiting for a race there. If they do it right it will compare to Singapore, and if they do it at night it’ll be even better. I’m massively excited that there are going to be two races [with Austin], as there’s a massive following in the States. It’s an area we should be going.” Short Straights No race is perfect, and no new race ever runs smoothly. When putting on an event with the size and international scope of a grand prix, some form of teething troubles are only to be expected. This weekend’s maiden Indian Grand Prix was no exception to the rule. But while mislaid paddock paving, late-night grandstand building, and last minute touch ups to the paintwork are all par for the course when it comes to a new race, the Buddh International Circuit had a few surprises of its own for teams and media alike. Williams arrived in their hospitality suite at the start of the week to discover it was already occupied by an Indian family. The family had been living there for some time, making what they saw as efficient use of an unoccupied property. But this week the property is occupied, and circuit officials saw to it that the family – and their Primus cooking stove – were evicted without fuss. Journalists, meanwhile, were excited to discover a bat in the media centre on Thursday. Presumably attracted by the dark periods caused by semi-regular power cuts, the bat spent several hours in the press room before eventually being chased out with a broom. Power cuts were a running theme of the weekend, and even affected the opening FIA press conference. Circuit officials ran intermittent tests in which all power was turned on to see if the systems would be able to cope during the race. Fans were not spared the teething troubles either, with many spectators stranded at the track in the dark when promised shuttle buses failed to arrive. Reports on Twitter spoke of waits over three hours before buses began to trickle in from central Delhi, eventually returning fans to their hotels around midnight. IndIan GP battles teething troubles 10