The fast and the not-so-curious

'So I'll see you at the F1 race, right?' In the days leading up to the Indian GP, this was a question I got asked on an almost daily basis – it was taken for granted that I would be attending. 'No, you won't, actually – I'm not going to be in Noida for the race' was the answer I gave everyone who asked, and it was invitably met with a slightly shocked silence. 'You're not? How come?! Don't you work for a car and bike magazine? And don't you want to be there?' The straight answer to most of those questions, quite frankly, is that I wasn't beside myself with excitement about the race.

Yes, I had put in an application for official accreditation as a photographer, which was the part that interested me, more than the racing itself; the idea of being able to wander around in the pits and paddock, taking candid photographs of behind-the-scenes action, appealed to me. I've never really been a fan of F1 anyway (rallying and MotoGP interest me much more), and even other kinds of car racing actively bore me – standing around watching cars go round and round a track is fairly soporific, in my opinion.

In the end, my accreditation didn't come through (demand was very high) and Vaishali, deservedly, went to cover the race as BSM's representative and did a damned fine job of it too (read her interview with Michael Schumacher in the December issue of BSM). A couple of invites from manufacturers were received as well, but for logistical reasons they could not be taken up and, all said and done, on the day of the race, I was watching a film in a movie hall while millions of people around the world caught the race live on TV - I didn't even know who had won until I asked the mob in the office the next day. The whole shebang, of course, appeared to have gone off really well, with drivers and audiences alike singing the track's praises, and this was very pleasing for me to hear – despite a few (inevitable) hitches and controversies, an Indian company had promised the moon and had pulled it off. Will I be at the race next year? I'd like to be – but if I am, you'll mostly find me away from the racing action, taking pictures of mechanics, drivers, pit girls and the like!