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Friday press conference – Indian GP - Pt.2

I think Adam has summed it up very well. I will go along with what he says. There's no evidence that anybody is busting the agreement and there's certainly no signs of cracks within FOTA that would leave the entire Resource Restriction plan to blow up. I think everyone – even from the biggest team owner down to the smallest team owner – everybody wants to spend money wisely and not waste money, so if there is any way in which all the teams participating in F1 can be efficient, can reduce their costs and yet have fun competing and be competitive, I think that's the way forward. As far as we're concerned, Force India is fully in compliance.

Q: (Shridhar Potdar –Sakaal Media House).
Dr Mallya, when you bought the Spyker team, you said that you didn't think of becoming the best of the rest. As you know, in F1 there are two teams who vie for number one and there are other teams whose ranking starts from number three. Now, with the first season, if we look at the stats, this was the first year and it was a learning experience for you. Since then your team has gone places. Do you think the passion and the love for racing is the biggest asset and the biggest weapon of Force India?

VM:
When I took over the team at the end of 2007 and our first season was 2008, we just waited and watched because the Spyker team, even though re-named Force India, sort of continued the way it was. And then we made several changes in the team and set out a three year road map from 2009 onwards and I think we're well on track. I think I owe it to all my colleagues in the team who've put their best foot forward and I'm glad we've been able to achieve what we set out to achieve.

Q: (Panagiotis Seitanidis – Alpha TV).
Dr Mallya, you said that it was a dream come true for F1 to come to India. How did you feel when not only you had this wonderful circuit but you received all the good comments from the drivers and the other teams?

VM:
There has been a lot of speculation, a lot of people were sceptical as well, and I think we proved them all wrong, which is very, very nice. I drove around the track a couple of times yesterday, I spoke to several drivers. They simply love the track. It's complete, it's finished. As a member of the World Motor Sport Council I read Charlie Whiting's report – the FIA track inspection report – and I was amazed to see how complimentary he was on the technical facilities here at the Buddh International circuit, and of course, as we look around, it's all there, finished on time. The race is happening, it's real, it's a dream come true. Can't complain.

Q: (Matt Youson – Matt Youson & Assoc).
Vijay, in addition to the race, we have an FIA General Assembly and the FIA end-of-season gala and prize-giving in India now. What do those add to Indian motor sport potential?

VM:
There are two mega-events happening within a few months of each other. At the World Motor Sports Council meeting, I suggested that the FIA General Assembly be held in India and that the annual prize-giving also be held in India, and the World Motor Sport Council accepted it and so this is going to be a huge event as well, high profile. Our Indian Government's Ministry of Tourism has kindly got involved, giving us full support and so following this Indian Grand Prix and then having and hosting the FIA General Assembly and the annual prize-giving, where we will present the World Championship awards, including to Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel, it's an event that will obviously serve to boost motor sport even to a far greater extent in this country, and I think this is all great because this country has the potential. India is a modern, vibrant nation, we have a huge number of young people here and as you can see all around – Adam mentioned about the promotion through the media as other platforms promoting this race, this event – all this is great stuff and I think it puts India firmly on the F1 map and helps build a huge fan base.

Q: (Kartikay Mehrota – Bloomberg News).
Dr Mallya, do you expect the government to increase their involvement, perhaps financially down the line, to help cover the cost of bringing F1 to India, as you mentioned that the Ministry of Tourism is interested now?

VM:
The Ministry of Tourism is supporting the FIA General Assembly and annual prize-giving in non-cash ways. In a country like India, with the profile of our people, with the number of under-privileged people we also have, it would be too much of an ask if we went to government and said 'subsidise motor sport.' So this initiative here at the Buddh International Circuit is a private initiative by the Jaypee Group - God bless them, they've done a wonderful job and invested a lot of money and they haven't depended on any sort of government grants.

Q: (Francois Tremblay – Pole Position, Canada).
A lot of F1 fans across the world complain that it's always the same teams fighting for the win, frustrating for a few of you guys also. Is there anything that has been proposed to help the poorer teams to get more competitive, like having some private testing – the lower you finish, the more private testing you get, something to help you guys to fight for the win?

FT:



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