It’s one of those statements in sport that has been passed on through so many people over so many years that nobody can ascertain if it is true. An aspiring Indian race driver, many years away from becoming famous, was asked a question on cricket. He is believed to have said: If I make it to Formula One (F1), I will be able to buy the Indian cricket team with loose change.
The next many years saw an unimaginable sequence of events. Narain Karthikeyan made it to the starting grids, an Indian bought an F1 team and the race itself came to the country. Now in its second edition, the Indian Grand Prix (GP), to be held at Greater Noida from 26-28 October, brings in glamour, entertainment, money and, yes, lots of noise.
Here, we go behind the scenes with Force India, meet the faceless people who work tirelessly to make every race a success, try and understand why no one is shedding tears over Michael Schumacher’s retirement, look at this season’s statistics and analyse why F1 fits uncomfortably in India, even if thousands of fans believe otherwise.
Whether Formula One is a sport or a business can always be debated, but there’s no doubt about its fan following. The 2011 Indian GP was the biggest global “sporting” event to be held in the country, and now it’s back. We give you something to warm up with before the engines rev up.