On a typical day, the most significant point of attraction at the Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai would be the Mannat – the residence of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. But it is not every day that a Formula 1 car, that too a championship-winning one, is driven on Indian soil.
On Sunday, former F1 driver David Coulthard whizzed the iconic RB7 of Red Bull Racing up and down the iconic promenade on a show run as he enthralled the thousands of spectators who packed the street.
The RB7, powered by a Renault 2400 cc V8 engine, is considered by many to be the most dominant F1 car to be ever built, as evidenced by the fact that it gathered 18 pole positions and 12 race wins in the 2011 season, with Sebastian Vettel and Max Webber behind the wheel.
“If you look at the rear of this car (RB7) you can see how small and tightly packaged it is. It is a beautiful piece of engineering art. It is very nimble, feels like an extension of your body,” said Coulthard ahead of the show run.
The 51-year-old Scottish driver, who was with Red Bull in its first-ever F1 season in 2005, took the iconic race car, which last graced these shores in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in 2011 won by Vettel, for a spin through the 1.2 km long street, displaying its power and speed.
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The Bandstand is ideally a walkway, built for tourists and locals to have a casual stroll, which should make it a tricky drive for a car as hefty as the RB7. But for Coulthard, who has mastered the street circuits of Monaco and Macau, it was as easy as it could be.
The 13-time F1 race winner amped up an already-excited crowd -- thanks to the deafening roar of the RB7-- with a few tricks on the bouncy road, with the doughnuts and burnouts he pulled off receiving the most appreciation.
Also in action was Lithuanian motorcycle stunt driver Arunas Gibieza, whose edgy, gravity-defying skills worked well in tandem with Coulthard, who concluded the event by taking a lap of the Bandstand with an Indian flag in his hand.