Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Formula Win

Sports’ greatest travelling circus comes to India. Some news from the ringside

Published: Oct 17, 2011 06:11:11 AM IST
Updated: Oct 10, 2011 03:15:17 PM IST
Formula Win
Image: Reuters

1. Everyone wants a piece of the Formula 1 pie: For instance, Amul. It signed up with the Sauber Formula One team. Amul claims the branding association works for its image because Amul, like everything else seeking association with F1, is at the forefront of technology. Buttermilk stalls in the paddocks, anyone?

2. Mercedes Benz has a global contract to provide track safety cars. So, earlier this year Mercedes bagged the deal to provide AMG Mercedes Benz cars for the Noida race. It was around then that Volkswagen and Audi woke up to the opportunity. Audi offered 28 of its best sports cars. But despite high-temper meetings, Audi could not get its foot in the door.  

3. It is a given that you need to spend big money to watch the action — tickets to the Buddh International Circuit cost between Rs. 2,500 and a hefty Rs. 35,000 for the grandstand. What you might not have expected is paying Rs. 1,500 as parking charges at the venue.  

There’s much more than the race taking place, of course. Within the privileged confines of the Paddock Club, rub shoulders with the richand- famous, sip champagne and have multi-course meals; get access to support race paddocks or opt for personalised garage tours; or, if all the adrenaline gets to be too much, listen to a little soothing live music. All this for a little more than Rs. 2.5 lakh.  

5. And if you are one the mere mortals jostling among the crowd in the cheaper stands, you’ll find consolation in the fact that no matter where you are, you will be able to see four or five corners of the track, something quite uncommon on other racing circuits.  

6. The F1 hoopla has also ensured that hotel rates and airfares accelerate too. Noida hotels are packed during the race weekend, with some exorbitantly-priced suites — that had never been booked before — finding takers as well. Mumbai- Delhi flights too have risen to double their usual fares.

(This story appears in the 21 October, 2011 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)