Formula One is not just a sport but a business too and the global brands associated with it are eager to tap the market in India [ Images ] with an eye on its vibrant economy and the ever-growing middle class population.
After speaking to a few team officials, it is quite evident that it's not just India that needs F1 but even the sponsors associated with the F1 teams need this country to further strengthen its consumer base.
Leading teams like Mercedes [ Images ], an upmarket car manufacturers, and the sponsors associated with MacLaren team want to use this opportunity to spread their base.
F1 is an expensive sport, involving heavy investments and its survival depends hugely on the sponsors. Annual budget of teams like Ferrari [ Images ] runs into anything close to $ 400million.
The teams declared that India is an important country for them and they all are keen to be the first to win in India.
Mercedes officials said the sale of their cars have increased in the last 12 months and they are keen on getting more buyers.
"This is the most important race for us in the year and a very important country. Our sales grew by 80 per cent in 2010 as compared to 2009. And between the January and September this year we have gained a 28 per cent growth. We have sold remarkably high class vehicles. The prospects are fantastic," Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes said.
Matt Bishop, Head of communications of McLaren [ Images ], also said that the sponsors back home are keen that their respective teams do well in this particular race.
"We want to win the inaugural Indian Grand Prix [ Images ] not only because we are competing here as a team but our sponsors too want that we win here because of the huge potential that India offers," said Bishop.
"Vodafone, Lenovo, Tag Heuer, Johny Walker, Hilton Hotels, Hugo Boss are all impressed with the development and growth of the middle-class here. It's a great commercial opportunity," he added.