Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone gave the thumbs up for the preparations of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix which is scheduled to be held on 30th October. He added that the organizers needed to make extra efforts to generate interest in Formula One races in India.
Racing as a sport itself, has not been able to catch the imagination of the country. India is a nation where cricket is treated more like a religion. Sponsors have been shying away either due to the low popularity of the event amongst the masses or because they have exhausted most of their money in cricket.
It will not only take effort but time as well for people to adapt and understand a new sport, that too one like Formula One. The technical advancements involved in this sport, is beyond the capability of an average mind. It is the absolute pinnacle of automotive technology, coupled with racing. The amount of rules, regulations, policies, guidelines that have to be kept in mind are huge. The worst part of it is that is seems to be very difficult for people to understand the basic concept of racing. The passion for professional racing is somewhat missing in this country.
Bernie said that he is pleased with the amount of effort put into the track but there is a lot of scope to improve. He knows that Formula One is very new to the country and that it will never be able to catch up to cricket in popularity but hopes to appeal to the masses. Hoping that it would be complete in time, he said, it would be one of the nicest circuits. Bernie considers India as one of the top five countries in the world currently and hence is keen on hosting a race here. He is happy with what he saw in India and hopes that Formula One will do good things for India.
He said that almost 30% of the spectators will be from abroad, mostly Europe. Airtel has been showcased as the main sponsors for the racing event in India. The sporting of Formula One is never a cheap event and the sponsors will have to shell out a fortune for the smooth progress of the race weekend. There are speculations that the association with Formula One may be a major reason for their withdrawal from the Champions League Twenty20.