The Sahara Force India F1 team is spearheading a major promotional drive to get the local motor sports fans lined up in support of next weekend's inaugural Grand Prix of India at the new Buddh International Circuit, near New Delhi.

The team's 'Raise The Flag' campaign is covering nine cities across the country, and was launched in Srinagar on Wednesday by the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah.

"This is the only F1 team which carries the colours and name of the country," said Omar at the launch on the banks of Dal lake. "We wish you all the best and we hope you bring laurels to the team and the country."

The third stop of the campaign was Kolkata, where the guest of honour was Saurav Ganguly, India's legendary former cricket captain.

"I wish the team all the very best for the first Indian Grand Prix," said Ganguly. "I'll be there at Delhi myself along with my daughter to support the Sahara Force India Team."

The 'Raise the Flag' roadshow is giving fans the opportunity to change the tyres of the Sahara Force India's 'pit-stop' show car - specially created for the event and the only one in India to enable visitors to perform a realistic pit stop on an F1 car.

Theres also a specially created simulator allowing fans to get behind the wheel of the virtual Sahara Force India F1 car in which fans compete for Force India merchandising.

The campaign is seeking to ensure huge local support for the F1 Grand Prix of India next weekend, from 28-29 October.