Next Stop: India

Written by Murtaza Ali on .

( 3 Votes )

Indian GP: A Tryst with Global Dominance?

For years the Western world has been looking at India as a land of Snake charmers, Yogis and Jungles. It all started with Rudyard Kipling’s allegory, ‘The Jungle Book’, and it is indeed not a matter of coincidence that I am holding on to one of its copies as I write this. Being an Indian, it’s more or less like a Bible to me, something that I am grown up with! In Jungle Book, Kipling is at his most imaginative as he takes his readers on a journey to an India that would remain etched in their minds for years to come. Though, the question that still puzzles everyone is Kipling’s contrasting opinion on the British Imperialism: On one hand he allegorically rebukes the British Imperialism through Jungle Book while on the other hand he eulogizes it through The White Man’s Burden. Only an elite few people, who happen to have a deeper understanding of Kipling’s oeuvre, are able to identify the undertones of sober warnings that Kipling had alluded to as the cost of Imperialism. In spite of him being termed as a “Prophet of British Imperialism”, I would always remember him as the creative genius who gave me my first childhood hero, ‘Mowgli’. It is indeed a testament to Kipling’s influence as a writer that all his successors in the West continued to portray India on the lines of ‘The Jungle Book’, as a land of the wild.

More than hundred years have passed since then, and though there have been some changes in the way we are perceived by the West, the myth continues to linger in the minds of many. Obviously, it’s not everyday that someone as influential as Kipling is born, who has the capability to completely reshape the global perception with a few drops of ink. In the last decade or two with the advent of globalization, India has been emerging as a force to reckon with on the global arena. The dogmas have been breaking as we are entering a new era, an era where the future is independent of the past, and though the past still lingers, but only in books and not in human minds. Today the world has started perceiving India as a land of techno-pundits and geeks. Our people are making names in a wide range of areas: medicine, literature, aeronautics, sports, commerce and economics.

The progress though considerable is still not very impressive as a major chunk of our population is still below the poverty line, primarily because of the delay in the turnaround. The nation needs a magic wand which can make up for all the inconsistencies and aberrations in our fast growing economy. Sports, historically has always managed to produce that scintilla of magic with almost a Midas-like touch which is often missing in other media. After years of waiting, India’s Formula 1 dream is about to become a reality. The land of Himalayas and Ganges is all set to become the hottest destination on the planet. The inaugural Indian Grand Prix is expected to provide the perfect cure. It would go a long way in exalting India’s name in the global arena. It would also improve India’s prospects in a multitude of ways: be it tourism, global identity, sports, cultural exchange, commerce and education.

About Indian Grand Prix:

The inaugural Airtel Indian Grand Prix, the 17th Grand Prix of the season, will be held on 30th October, 2011 at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida. The circuit has a seating capacity of 120,000 (100,000 to be used this year). The circuit has been constructed by the Jaypee Sports International Limited (JPSI) and is a part of the 2,500 acres Jaypee Greens Sports City, which includes a cricket stadium, golf course, hockey stadium, and a sports academy. The expected cost of the sports city is around 40 billions and it aims to generate $170m of revenue annually while providing employment to as many as 10,000 people.

Buddh International Circuit is a testament to Jaypee Group’s commitment towards bringing F1 to India. The dream of brining F1 to India goes back to N. Chandrababu Naidu’s second tenure as Chief Minister of Andra Pradesh. During his trip to Monza Park, Italy in September 2003, he had made a 45 minute presentation to the F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone in a bid to convince him to set up an F1 track in Hyderabad. Ecclestone had reciprocated Naidu’s gesture by paying a visit to the city during the Afro Asian Games later that year. However, the talks broke as the Naidu government was ousted in 2004 after Telugu Desam Party (TDP) suffered its worst defeat in 22 years. The speculations continued for some more years but nothing substantiated until the intervention of Jaypee Group, who have lived up to their promise of making Indian GP a reality.


About Force India and Indian Drivers:

If we go back to the history of Formula One, it was liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who gave India its first Formula 1 team back in 2007 by acquiring the Spyker F1 team for € 80 million ($110million) in partnership with Michiel Mol, renaming the team to Force India. It has been a long journey since then for Force India. Vijay Mallya when asked about the Indian GP said, “The race will definitely popularize motorsport and in particular Formula One in India. Now that India is finally on the Formula One World Championship calendar, my commitment to Force India only gets even stronger.” The Force India team is expected to get a boost with the Sahara India Group purchasing a 42.5% stake in it for $100 million. The team will now be called Sahara Force India Formula One Team.

Fastest Indian Driver Narain Karthikeyan is already confirmed to drive in the Indian GP with HRT. Karun Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan—both of whom have raced this season but neither has managed a full-time race drive at their respective teams—are the only Indian drivers who have managed to reach the highest platform in motorsport.


As an F1 enthusiast and more so as a patriotic Indian, I sincerely hope that this Epic event will mark the beginning of a new chapter in India’s History and will start the march of India’s global dominance in the days to come.


+1 #1 sahil 2011-10-26 15:34
Good going buddy .. keep it up 8)

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F1 Statistics

23-25 November, 2012

Practice 1 : Result

Practice 2 : Result

Practice 3 : Result

Qualifying : Result

Race : Result

1 Sebastian Vettel 281
2 Fernando Alonso 278
3 Kimi Räikkönen 207
4 Lewis Hamilton 190
5 Jenson Button 188
6 Mark Webber 179
7 Felipe Massa 122
8 Romain Grosjean 96
9 Nico Rosberg 93
10 Sergio Perez 66
Full Table

1 Red Bull Racing - Renault 460
2 Ferrari 400
3 Mclaren - Mercedes 378
4 Lotus - Renault 303
5 Mercedes 142
6 Sauber - Ferrari 126
7 Force India - Mercedes 109
8 Williams - Renault 76
9 STR - Ferrari 26
10 Marussia-Cosworth 0
Full Table