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Your views: Could F1 take on cricket in India?

Could F1 rival cricket in the popularity stakes in India?
Ask a youngster in India what the national sport of the country is, and you will most likely hear cricket as the answer and not the officially recognised hockey. Try driving through the streets of Mumbai and you will have to go past innumerable stones or brick stands that double up as cricket stumps.

Cricket is to India what soccer is to Brazil or F1 is to England. BCCI or the Board of Cricket Control in India manages advertising and commercial revenues in billions of dollars and is among the richest sporting associations in the world.

Come 30th October and F1 will mark the arrival of the world's most expensive and commercially successful sport to a cricket crazy nation.

Though an F1 ticket is considered to be expensive, you will be surprised to know that it is not uncommon for a popular cricket match ticket to be sold in the black market at prices that will humble F1 ticket rates.

So, what are the chances that F1 will rival cricket in India? Ask Lewis Hamilton and he might say the chances are pretty good. At a promotional event in Bangalore that was planned for 4000 guests, over 25,000 people turned up to watch Hamilton burn some serious rubber.

At the E Zone Kart track in Bangalore, you will find boys and girls in their little helmets and gloves intensely staring at the timing screen to find where they lost that elusive second. Ask Thanish, a six and half year old boy who was been go-karting for a month, who his favourite driver is and he will say 'everybody'. In just a month's time, Thanish is setting consistent laps in the lower 29 second bracket on a track that has a fastest lap time of 27 seconds in an adult kart of comparable power.

Daniel and David, the seven year old twins and first time karters are excited about their karting adventure. They know more F1 drivers and team names than the players in the Indian cricket team. Expectedly, Ferrari and Red Bull are their favourites.

Arjun, a software employee along with five of his friends is taking a 21 hour train ride from Hyderabad to Delhi to watch the race at the Budh International Circuit on the outskirts of Delhi. He says that F1 is his life and there is not a single race he has missed on television since 2002.

“The flight tickets are more than double the price for this week to New Delhi and so we were lucky to have got these train tickets”, he said trying to hide his excitement.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lewis Hamilton thrills an estimated 40,000 Formula 1 fans in India, as he drives his award winning MP4-23 – the F1 car in which he won the 2008 Drivers’ World Championship – through the streets near Bangalore, as part of a showcase event for Vodafone.
25.05.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
25.05.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Mattia Binotto (ITA) Chief Technical Officer, Scuderia Ferrari and Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
24.05.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
24.05.2017 - Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.05.2017 - Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.05.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.05.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Sahara Force India F1 VJM010, detail
24.05.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.05.2017 - The motorbike of Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
24.05.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
24.05.2017 - Press conference, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MCL32 and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
24.05.2017 - Press conference, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10

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Calvin _

October 25, 2011 1:21 PM

Pretty stupid question. To play cricket, you get a bunch of mates, a couple of bats and some stumps and away you go. Contrast this with the very singular focus of F1, not to mention the cost! Not sure how many average Indians can afford to go to an F1 race.

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