| NEW DELHI
NEW DELHI Nov 1 The indifference shown by the
majority of India's deep-pocketed corporates towards Formula One
has baffled team bosses who expect them to warm to the sport
following the success of last weekend's inaugural Indian Grand
The teams are mostly happy with Formula One's newest host
and believe they have chanced upon a huge untapped market in one
of the world's fastest growing economies.
"I think like everyone else we wanted to also attract Indian
companies and it is surprising that there are not many, as yet,
in Formula One, although from the financial potential they are
very much capable of doing it," Sauber chief executive Monisha
Indian-born Kaltenborn at least got local dairy brand Amul
on board for Sunday's race.
"We did try hard and we succeeded in getting one of India's
most known, prestigious owned brands with Amul.
"I think we will continue with that now. An event like this
is the best platform, that's where we can present ourselves and
show the companies here what Formula One is about," she said.
Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said teams could not
afford to ignore "markets for the future" like India.
"...it is very important for Formula One that we are racing
in India, that we go to these new markets that are interesting
and important for the future, like India, like China, Russia,
the Arabian area, South America.
"These are the markets for the future and this is
important... to bring in more sponsors," he said.
That would require a change in perception among the
cricket-biased corporates in the world's second most populous
"It has already changed, I think," claimed Force India owner
Vijay Mallya, who also owns a cricket team in the popular Indian
"Look at Sahara's investment in Force India. Look at the
investment of (Indian Grand Prix title sponsor) Airtel.
"I think after the corporates actually saw a real, good race
in India, the level of interest would grow because this is a
spectacular sport and a huge global platform."
Indian business conglomerate Sahara group invested $100
million for a 42.5 percent stake in Force India last month.
(Editing by Patrick Johnston; To query or comment on this
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