The F1 team owned by Indian business tycoon, Vijay Mallya, Force India, was in the news a week ago. Their driver, Giancarlo Fischicella put the car on pole position and went on to finish the race, an impressive second.
The ride for Force India has been all but smooth. Being known to be traditional back markers last season, they switched their engine supplier earlier this year with a hope to get out of being one. The investments have certainly been coming good and their other driver, Adrian Sutil was threatening to score their first points a few races ago. He didn’t eventually do that was a different story altogether.
This success has internet sites and social networking sites filled with messages of national pride! The public seemed to go head over heels with the supposed Indian team making waves in the pinnacle of motor sport. What’s been baffling me is the fact that there is nothing Indian about this team. Here are some facts that absolutely matter to me:
- The constructor of the car is British – based in Silverstone, they work with Mercedes, a European car maker to build their cars
- The drivers are not Indian – Fischi is Italian & Sutil is a German
- The crew is all British & European
One might argue that Indian constructors will never ever get to build an F1 engine – agreed. I can understand that argument and will be smoking pot if I believed that was untrue. Why employ drivers when there is talent available in India? It’s not certainly the best talent in the market – that said, Mallya does not have the best drivers that money can buy anyways.. in Narain Karthikeyan, he has someone who has done a full season in F1 and in Karun Chandok, he has an emerging GP2 driver who has clearly demonstrated that he is someone with talent worth considering for the future.
Hypothetically, had the Force India team won the last race, the flags and the anthems to go would have been Italian and British. There’s nothing Indian about them, except the owner though. With growing popularity and speculation that the sport may come to India soon, Mallya missed a huge opportunity to get someone Indian in replacing Fischi who went to the mother ship. Being Italian, it is a matter of huge pride to drive a Scuderia in front if an Italian crowd at Monza – without going into whether Ferrari were right or wrong, I thing Mallya missed a huge opportunity to sign on an Indian to drive that monster package that he seems to have laid his hands on. He’s kept his chin up in saying that anyone can drive a good car – I hope for his sake that his replacements drive half as well as a pro like Fischi.
With Kingfisher being a major sponsor themselves in this business, I’m not too sure if this is something to write home about – quite frankly, there is nothing Indian about this!!!
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