Memories of the year: An Indian adventure

Memories of the year: An Indian adventure

In the latest in our Memories of 2011 series, Marcus Simmons recalls how he spent a hugely-enjoyable weekend in the Indian Grand Prix support paddock, but was relieved to get home

'Strong Indian driving'. That's what our chauffeur had called it as we dodged through the chaos of Noida, diving for gaps between the colourful autorickshaws, the smoking buses, the languid pedestrians, the vans doing 60mph with five men clinging onto the back, the motorcycles – always ridden by helmeted men but often with beautiful, unhelmeted, sari-clad women riding pillion sidesaddle – and the dilapidated Tata and Maruti saloons. Not to mention the people we encountered driving the wrong way up a dual-carriageway…

The Monday after the Indian Grand Prix we were up at 3:30am to get to the airport. Our 'strong Indian driver' was missing. A quick phone call, "Yes, I will be there at 11". "But you're supposed to be here now." "Oh God!" – and the line went dead.

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