Having claimed that caution among Indian companies could harm his chances of remaining in Formula One for a second season, Karun Chandhok unveiled backing from Jaypee Sports International at the British Grand Prix.
The Hispania Racing driver admitted his concerns on the eve of the Silverstone race [see story here
], acknowledging that while potential sponsors 'sat on the fence' between backing him or the Force India team, he could lose out to better funded drivers.
However, in a week where HRT dropped Chandhok's team-mate, Bruno Senna, in favour of test pilot Sakon Yamamoto amid claims that it is struggling for the finance to continue [see story
], JPSI, the company behind India's bid to join the F1 calendar, has stepped up to lend its support.
“We are very happy to be sponsoring Karun Chandhok in F1," managing director Shri Sameer Gaur said, "He is a talented racing driver and deserves all the support that we can provide. Apart from establishing our commitment towards F1, we also hope this move will provide a fillip to the popularity of F1 racing in India and build excitement for the first F1 race that we hope to host in the country towards the end of next year.”
JPSI is currently constructing a 5.14km circuit near Greater Noida, about 40km from New Delhi, which is expected to host the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October or November 2011, and Chandhok will act as brand ambassador, endorsing the group, its brands and products. Meanwhile, the Jaypee Group will have exclusive rights to sell Hispania Racing and Karun Chandhok merchandise in Uttar Pradesh and the National Capital Region.
“It's a great privilege for us to have the Jaypee Group as a partner," Chandhok admitted, "They have taken the bold step to bring the F1 world championship to India next year and it's something I am very excited about. To be the Indian driver on the grid for the first Indian Grand Prix next year will be very special for me and I look forward to working with the Gaur family and their team at Jaypee to make sure the Indian Grand Prix is a huge success for all of us.”
JPSI also hopes that inking its deal with Chandhok will help promote other opportunities for both the driver and company as India ramps up its involvement in the top flight.
“With JPSI sponsoring Karun for the remainder of the 2010 F1 season, we hope to significantly boost the level of interest in this sport in India," vice-president Mark Hughes confirmed, "For businesses, top-flight motorsport coming to the country in 2011 will open up a whole new range of opportunities for brand-building, high-end corporate entertainment, sponsorship deals and, ultimately, revenue generation. We're glad to be playing a major role in getting this started.”