The Liquor Baron, Vijay Mallya, chairman and CEO of Kingfisher Airlines, is targeting to bring Formula One to India by 2010 if not 2009. A few months back, Vijay Mallya had met Shiela Dikshit to express his willingness to support in hosting the event.
Mallya said it did not take him long to decide to participate in Formula One once it became clear that he was looking for a global platform.
He said, “I have participated in Formula One with the Benetton team in the 1990’s. I have a basic interest in Formula One. I am the chairman of the local FIA for the past 20 years so; motor sport is second nature to me”.
Mallya said in an interview with Formula One,
Given the sheer size of India and its booming economy, it should be on the Formula One calendar. I am pushing all I can to make sure that if not in 2009, India can host a race in 2010.
The Delhi government is also keen on it as infrastructure will be in place to host tourists, as Commonwealth Games are scheduled a year after the F1 event. With an eye on tourism potential of Formula-1 events, the Delhi government is in process of identifying land for laying the track. In a preliminary move, the government has zeroed in on land along Yamuna near Wazirabad, where Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) is developing riverfront to attract tourists.
Finances for the project will not be a problem, as private players will be willing to chip in given the high visibility of the event.
Update : 02-09-2007
India’s road to hosting a Formula One Grand Prix seems to be gathering momentum. Vijay Mallya, who took over Spyker, and is actively involved in bringing F1 to India, revealed that IOA have three sites (from New Delhi) in mind for a circuit which will be inspected on 03-09-2007.
Bernie Ecclestone (F1 boss) has sent ace designer of GP circuits Hermann Tilke for the inspection. Tilke will look at the land options and report back to Bernie Ecclestone.