Fast Cars, After-Parties, Girls and Lots of Money! Nevertheless, F1 and India missed the apex!
Airtel Indian Grand Prix,2011 Grid Walk
It had to be grand if it was coming to a land where everything was getting bigger from hearts to pockets.
Formula One, the most lucrative sport was arriving in India after years of inter-state juggling and hurdles of bureaucracy.
Jaypee Group, India’s construction consortium was ambitious to develop a sport city around the the Budh Intl.Circuit in Greater Noida.
Jaypee thought that building houses overlooking the circuit- something that people witness in Monaco would reward them.
Moreover, the state government in Uttar Pradesh at the time, in 2013 was interested in maximising their profits-let alone promote the race.
But,Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his champion cabinet can bring back motorsports to the country.
Prime Minister’s ambitious economic endeavours, will and dedication to create jobs for his fellow Indians can guide F1 revival along with urge for ‘Khelo India’.
Three years after the financial meltdown, India was finding its feet in the deep-global economy waters.
Any effort that could have pumped billions into the economy would have helped the country dearly.
One and I guess! The only way to do that was stage an F1 Grand Prix that came along with its own richness, luxury and world-apart experience.
India was a bustling hub of billionaires, high-net worth individuals, actors and actresses, fashion divas and musicians.
India, if it wanted to could have staged international shows such as the one where Lady Gaga performed at 2011 Indian GP.
Attracting music lovers and not F1 fanatics, allowing fast cars, F1 glamour to capture crowds.
Lady Gaga at her performance, Born this way, 2011 Indian Grand Prix
Bollywood heartthrob Arjun Rampal, the owner of after parties host LAP Lounge-wanted to drop the biggest after party of the year.
Vijay Mallya, the liquor baron could have used the same for his team-Force India and his Kingfisher to soar high.
Kingfisher Calendar Girls could have added Indian spice to the weekend attracting not so subtle spectators as well.
Singers like Shankar-Eshaan-Loy and Shaan and many other performed and could have just added to the F1 weekend in the following years.
And as sport and Bollywood go Hand in Hand in India, Sachin Tendulkar, Deepika Padukone, Bipasha Basu, Preity Zinta, Richard Branson and Mr.Bean- Rowan Atkinson graced the first ever Indian race.
Making it yet another jewel like Monaco and Singapore.
F1 on its debut attracted 95,000 people, which is good attendance.
Can F1 Kick-start in India?
India could not find any ‘Jugaad’ to its diminishing hopes of carrying F1 in 2014 and beyond.
Virtually all of the new races had come about thanks to funding by local governments.
In India, where poverty levels and need for development are a priority despite the booming economy, government support of a car race that could have helped was not a priority.
The government in centre after 1997 kept on juggling the mantle between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to host the race.
By 2007, five sites around the country were being considered. In the end, Formula One signed a deal for the race with the Indian Olympic Association.
It was decided to build the circuit in Greater Noida, outside New Delhi, with funding entirely from the private sector.
Given the infamous, Commonwealth Games Scam in 2010 and widely criticised organisation, skeptics were vary of government’s will to promote and fund the sport- rather an inclination to sit and earn.
It was also the race at which teams, drivers and journalists overall dealt with the most bureaucratic paperwork, and there were last-minute problems involving driver and team taxes and importation of equipment.
Many in team garages also went down due to food-related illness.
The drivers and teams complained about incomplete infrastructure, rodents in pit lane, and dogs on main straights, no cooking gas, limited water supply and non-home crowd.
The Indian Grand Prix ended up fulfilling one of its main roles for the wealthy: As a place for business-to-business activity, it instantly became one of the most popular for the corporate team sponsors, potential sponsors and their guests to meet.
It was the third largest paddock or luxury area of the circuit.
However, taxpayer’s money was used a certain state government to build park-cum statue center, teaching scheduled people about the leaders of political background.
Indian Talents likes of which Karun Chandok and Narain Karthikeyan could have atttarcted young motor racing talent.
The state government in Uttar Pradesh at time under BSP also imposed entertainment tax rather than sports tax which was 65% higher than later.
The new government under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministers could again see revival of F1 in India.
Prime Minister’s ambitious economic endeavors, will and dedication to create jobs for his fellow Indians can guide F1 revival.
Prime Minister himself is large crowd attraction and lover of sports has urged his fellow country people to play, ‘Khelo India’ has become synonymous to PM’s dream of healthy India.
India is yet another jewel waiting to be realized as it ushers into new and exciting phase of its life.
Sebastian Vettel winning the 2013 F1 World Championship and entertaining crowd at India GP