Connect with us

Latest F1 News

I can only feel very sorry for Indian F1 drivers – Mallya



Indian Formula One fans should be proud of their own team rather than bemoaning the lack of homegrown talent on the starting grid, Force India’s flamboyant owner Vijay Mallya has told Reuters.

“To be criticised, largely by the Indian folks, that I don’t have an Indian driver is I think just blatantly unfair,” he said.

“My only response to them would be that I know more about Formula One than they do.

“As far as the existing Indian drivers in Formula One are concerned, I can only feel very sorry for them. They are getting drives by the teams who clearly can’t compete…,” added Mallya, whose current drivers are German Adrian Sutil and Britain’s Paul Di Resta.

In Turkey last May there were, for the first time, two Indian drivers out on track together in Friday practice but Sunday’s British Grand Prix starting grid at Silverstone had none.

Narain Karthikeyan was dropped by Hispania to make way for Red Bull-backed Australian debutant Daniel Ricciardo, although the Indian should be back for his country’s inaugural grand prix in Delhi at the end of October.

Karun Chandhok, racing with Hispania last season, is now reduced to occasional Friday drives as a reserve for Team Lotus.


“If that’s what they want to do, drive a Formula One car for the sake of driving a Formula One car and winding up at the back, I can’t do anything about it,” said Mallya.

“There has got to be good, raw talent in India and I am determined to go find it.”

Mallya pointed out that British Grand Prix winners Ferrari, the most successful team in Formula One and the pride of Italy, had not had a regular Italian driver for years.

The last Italian to win the Formula One title was Alberto Ascari in 1953.

“If Ferrari is on the podium, the whole of Italy applauds. If Ferrari wins a race, the whole of Italy celebrates. Nobody ever asks the question of where is the Italian driver?” said Mallya.

“Why suddenly in India? Be thankful for the fact you have an Indian team, sporting the Indian colours on the grid to begin with. The Indian driver will follow but let’s not put the cart before the horse.”

The liquor and airline billionaire has launched a ‘one in a billion’ hunt to find an untapped talent that could be India’s answer to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

Using karting circuits across India, the search was initially restricted to children between the ages of 14 and 17 but has since been widened.

The prize at stake for the best three or four is a move to Silverstone, where the Force India factory is based, to continue their education on and off the track.

“We want to actually create a proper Indian Formula One driver,” Mallya told Reuters earlier in the year.

“What we are talking about is to have a structured programme much like McLaren did with Lewis and hopefully create a young, talented Indian driver capable of performing and getting into Formula One.”

That will take considerable time, and until then Mallya defended his achievements in turning a failing team – first Jordan then Midland and then Spyker before he became the owner and changed the name again — into one capable of finishing on the podium and starting on pole position.

“I have been involved in Indian motorsport for over 30 years. I have done whatever I could reasonably to promote the sport in India,” he said.

“And I take some credit for the fact that I put an Indian Formula One team on the grid, which nobody believed could ever have happened.

“I think there will be explosive growth in the popularity of Formula One after the Indian Grand Prix. So I have done my job for my country, for the hundreds of millions of young, aspirational Indians in terms of Formula One.”

Source:  Reuters


Latest Results

Latest F1 News

2018 F13 days ago

Can Red Bull Challenge Mercedes And Ferrari?

24SharesSo, things didn’t exactly go to plan for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone as the Brit made a disastrous...

2018 F13 days ago

Liberty working on securing future of British GP – Brawn

5SharesRoss Brawn says Liberty Media is working on securing the future of the British grand prix. Silverstone owner the BRDC...

2018 F13 days ago

Grosjean form ‘unacceptable’ – Haas F1

1ShareGunther Steiner says a “critical moment” could come amid his patience with struggling Haas driver Romain Grosjean. Frenchman Grosjean has...

2018 F13 days ago

No ‘negotiations’ with Raikkonen yet – McLaren

35Shares Zak Brown says McLaren has not yet opened contract talks with former team driver Kimi Raikkonen. It is rumoured in...

2018 F13 days ago

Wolff wants Hamilton beyond 2020

657SharesToto Wolff has revealed he wants to keep Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes even beyond 2020. Although not yet announced, it...

2018 F14 days ago

Renault engine power deficit a bigger problem – Verstappen

5SharesMax Verstappen says Red Bull’s title chances have taken a dive. Although the Dutchman won in Austria, he says at...

2018 F15 days ago

Ricciardo admits 2019 Red Bull contract ‘likely’

1ShareDaniel Ricciardo now says it is “likely” he will stay at Red Bull in 2019. Earlier, the Red Bull driver...

2018 F15 days ago

Alonso no fan of proposed expand points system

44SharesFernando Alonso says he is not sure changing the points system is a good move for F1. Over the British...

2018 F16 days ago

Renault felt like F2 engine – Verstappen

105SharesMax Verstappen says he feels as though he has been relegated to Formula 2. In the Honda era, Fernando Alonso...

2018 F16 days ago

Rosberg reveals what difference at Ferrari engine

1Share2016 F1 world champion Nico Rosberg says the engine is what is making the difference at Ferrari this year. The...

Most Popular is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media