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Formula 1 figures say Indian Grand Prix will become one of the sport's highlights

The Indian Grand Prix has the potential to secure its position as one of the best events of the calendar on the back of a largely positive inaugural weekend, claim leading figures within Formula 1

Although there have been teething problems at the Buddh International Circuit, which have included some incomplete buildings, a lacklustre finish to some of the infrastructure, plus electricity and sewage issues, teams have been generally positive about the first impressions.

But with drivers raving about the layout of the new circuit - which looks set to produce an exciting inaugural race - those who are familiar with the event are hugely excited about the future potential for the Indian GP.

When asked by AUTOSPORT whether or not the event could become one of the sport's favourites in the next few years, Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said: "It certainly should.

"This track has come out very well, all the drivers love it. They are surprised at how wide it is, how wide the run-off areas are, and with two DRS zones there are some real overtaking possibilities. So clearly it has to rate as one of the best tracks in the world.

"As far as the facilities are concerned, they are vast, expansive, and generous in terms of space. Okay, maybe a couple of weeks of more time may have led to the grass being a little greener or a few cobble stones not coming loose, but other than that it is a world class facility. And given time, by next year, it should be right up there.

"F1 is the pinnacle of motor racing, and is such a hugely watched sport all over the world, that I think it puts India on the map, not just in motor racing terms but as a vibrant modern country.

"This event will not only have a great impact on motorsports in general, and F1 in particular, but I think from the tourism perspective and all the other economic benefits that arise from such mega events, India will be the gainer."

Track designer Hermann Tilke told AUTOSPORT that the Buddh venue "absolutely" had the potential to become on the best facilities - as he promised teams that the facilities will be much better next year.

"Everything will be sorted," he explained. "If you were here three months ago, then you would never expect a race could take place here. A lot of these things are just because the time ran out. It was really done very, very fast at the end."

For drivers, there have been no doubts that the layout of the track - which includes long straights, wide corner entries and some high-speed sections - is one of the best of the new events that have been added to the calendar in recent years.

Lewis Hamilton said: "I love it. It is fantastic. It is really one of my favourite circuits now, and it is very rare I would say that for any circuit to be honest.

"It is just really nice to drive, it is very flowing. I like the speed of the corners, the mid-section is fantastic. If anything, it is very rare you have sector one, sector two, sector three - they are all good sectors in terms of how to drive.

"The guys have done a fantastic job. I am looking forward to the race, and will be sad to leave tomorrow night and having to wait another year to come back here."

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