India is to host a motor Grand Prix race in 2009 after the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) announced a deal with formula one boss, Bernie Ecclestone. IOA president Suresh Kalmadi says IOA is on the look out for land on the outskirts of New Delhi to construct a brand new facility to stage the race, and that a street circuit is out of the reckoning. Delhi will join such Asian cities as Abu Dhabi, Shanghai, and Sepang on the F-1 map of the world.
At one level, the announcement puts the lid on speculation on which city would be the F-1 venue, with Bangalore, Calcutta and Madras all jostling for the “honour”. At another level, the announcement reopens all the usual questions. Does “poor” India need Formula One races, especially after it was suggested that Chandrababu Naidu may have been toppled while bending backwards to get F-1 to Hyderabad?
Questions: For a country whose sporting achievements are far from Olympian, should the IOA be wasting untold millions on F-1? Are we creating lasting sporting infrastructure by building a new track, or are we squandering public money? Should Mani Shankar Aiyar‘s sports ministry, which has been at daggers drawn with Kalmadi over India’s failed Asiad bid, entertain the IOA to please a few F-1 fans? Or is it all OK if it can help present a nice image of India to the world?
indian authorities could not provide astro-surfaces for hockey at district -level grounds, there is no comprehensive sports policy yet, now they want to host F1. CPI,CPM—- WHAT R U DOING.
Aint this another variant of the guns vs butter question?
In a country like India which, has an enormous appetite for F1, it is a welcome development. It is also a great opportunity to show that India too can create world-class sporting infrastructure. Why is that we shy away from making bids to major sporting events like Olympics? A growing nation, with a billion aspirations, needs such extravaganzas once a while. Who knows, if things go well we might well have an Olympics by 2020.
Btw, CPI and CPM should not meddle in these issues – they have already done a great deal of damage to this nation.
Can we ever get our priorities right? F-1 circuit in India at such high costs is stupidity. I really wonder what this Kalmadi has contributed to Indian sports all these decades. There are so many advanced and better countries who have focused on other sports and stayed away from FI. India should take to sports (other than Cricket) in a big way and for this the Govt should provide the encouragement and infrastructure. This is where thousands of crores need to spent. For the time being, the F1 fanatics are better off watching them at their homes or on the large screens of a lounge bar.
Think beyond “doctored thinking”
We certainly need F1
DO NOT TALK ABOUT SPENDING TAXPAYERS MONEY FOR THIS…
REMEMBER THAT TAX MONEY is also wasted on so many subsidies/ reservations/ freebies to the non tax payers!
look at what F1 in Sepang did to Malayisa…it put Malaysia on world map of F1 tourism…(even them PM of Malaysia had to face lot of criticism when he declared his pet projects like shifting of capital to Putrajaya- venue for shooting indian movies/ bajaj pulsar ads now!- petronas twin towers- Sepang F1 circuit…and moreover KLIA- an international airport…see what all these did to thier image and tourism…)
Moreover, when we elect peoples representatives, we should allow them to do some activity, rather than protesting for the sake of protest…it has become a fashion of late…
IF WE DO NOT NEED SUCH INVESTMENT, DO WE NEED 100 CRORE INVESTMENT FOR A MOVIE???
My take on this is like this.
In US, counties vie among themselves to get F1 venue. The reason for this is that counties too get incresed tax revenues because of development that happen (construction of hotels and such supporting infrastructure for F-1). The decision to allot land is a pure profit v/s loss question. If increase in property tax and sales tax can pay back initial subsidy for cheap land , the deal is struck.
So a similar approach should be used in INDIA. Rather than trusting rhetorics, trust the numbers. Ask your government for numbers..Then you don’t have to waste days arguing..
The argument that India is poor etc do not hold any water. If F1 provides more revenue to the government probably you would be cheating the poor if you do not allow F1. Similarly the argument that Malaysia developed its tourism because of F1 is too simplistic.
Only way to decide here is to force a cost benefit study.
i never said F1 led to Malaysia tourism boom…but it certainly played a role in putting Malaysia on the tourism map…
it was the collective effect of then prime minister Mahatirs dream projects…
i am also for developmental projects in areas other than national/ state capitals…
Many developed countries have refused F1 promotion in their country because of the enormous pollution it causes. Now it will surely be passed on to India. This may bring in lot of money but at what cost?
Take for example One day cricket played under flood lights. We waste so much power on this when this can be played under sun light. The amount of power wasted can light many of our villages for years! UK does not subscribe to flood light cricket. They are wise.
Do we stop drinking/ smoking because someone in bihar/ bijapur has nothing to eat?
Do we stop wearing designer clothes because someone in the village has nothing to wear?
STOP THIS NONSENSE Mr Dharma!
I don’t think we should be wasting money on Formula One. Definitely, India’s participation at the top level is out of question, we just don’t have the heritage or a pathway for young talent to make it to the top. A Narain Karthikeyan is a total fluke, just his talent and backing from his family got him to the top. So, the only purpose will be to hope that it showcases India in a proper light and enhances its image in the eyes of the world. I’m not sure if F1 is the way to go, we have other avenues like the Commonwealth games to make an impression. Let’s try to do a good job there first!
US – counties vying for F1?!?! Do you really follow or have any clue about F1?
There is only 1 F1 track in the US – that is Indianapolis. And it is not even important and might be on the verge of being removed as an F1 track. And guess the alternate location – India!
Maybe you are talking of Nascar racing – but that is a totally local to the US. In any case I think you should read up or follow the F1 a little more before making sweeping statements to support your profit/loss analysis etc.
From a wikipedia article:
“The future of the United States Grand Prix is at this moment uncertain… In the lead-up the the 2007 race, Ecclestone reiterated this sentiment, stating that “it is not vital to Formula One to be in the United States. There are bigger markets for us to be in other parts of the world. We could be in India soon instead of the United States. We don’t have a lot of sponsors from the U.S., no American teams and only one driver.”
…And ergo the F1 needs India and not the other way around.
The F1 is just a race where the manufacturers parade their stuff and the winning/competing cars and drivers bring some joy to their home countries.
India is a big countries with one of the largest growing economies in the world. (However it is a loser in sports but that is besides the point)
This noise is similar to the one about Miss. Universe and India sometime ago.
India is a big country :) Damn the typos…
Anonymous …Thanks for pointing out..
Yes I was refering to NASCAR and not F1.
Both are alien to me.. and I do not follow any of these. However I was putting my two cents into discussion by pointing out how such decisions are done elsewhere.
I remember some counties in USA trying to get NASCAR race track.( That was in 2004)
And I also remember reading about potential cost and benefits for the counties and how their decision was purely an economic one and not based on rhetorics.
I was wondering if such a study is available for deciding if F1 is useful at India.
You argument still does not make much sense :)
Nascar is local to the US. It is not some international organization like the F1 wherein countries like India vie for a racetrack. Unlike F1 which is run like a little empire.
The equivalent to nascar is that India gets it own racing tracks and the local car manufacturers compete. No need to ‘get’ anyone like F1 here in that model.
Getting the F1 to India means lobbying (or whatever it is that is done) with the F1 powers-that-be and showing them the sponsors and paying public, so that F1 can make enough money directly or indirectly in India. So that their ROI is taken care of. Whether India makes money as a side-effect is a secondary matter to F1.
And as of now there is no way any Indian car manufacturer will ever produce a F1 car, so there is no way national pride will be involved. And we saw what our chosen driver (your almost namesake Narain!) was capable of, so for now even an Indian driver winning is ruled out.
So when you said economics, costs, benefits for who were you referring to? F1? In which case why should Suresh Kalmadi kowtow to them? Let them come if they want. Let Kalmadi establish the infrastructure to produce a few Indian gold medal winners at the next Olympics instead of thinking of making money or gaining cheap brownie points.
My take – India should be spending its scarce sporting budget towards developing a sporting culture/infrastrucure and at the same time producing (at least a few) winners to boost our national pride and inspire the young to make sports an important part of their lives.
S***w F1. And Kalmadi.
I am not batting for F1s ROI. I am interested in cost that will be incurred by India ( providing cheap land for F1 etc ) and then benefits that would acrue to India. If there is a benefit to India, we need not stop F1.
In fact IOA can use the money generated to produce Olympians from India.
There is no mention of cost and benefit study from the India perspective. I wished such a study be done and decisions should be based on the results of such study.
Mr.Raviraj, before Sepang, Malaysians also built super infrastructure to cater to these attractions. The basic requirements for its citizens were met first and then the thought of F1. And then, where do we find a Mahatir in India. Everyone will want to make money from the FI project as well. Forget it. Don’t you see some sense in what Dharma has said, instead of banishing it as nonsense. Afterall, he is not saying that we need to cover ourselves with leaves.
I agree with you, about an absence of a Mahatir in India…
but I do not agree with a non tax payer dictating what should be done with a taxpayers money…
Raviraj Valalmbe Gowda ! Tough guy ha!!
your point well taken. unfortunately, that is our plight.
…one day we might have F1, but if we have some 10k crores, it’s just the priority…whether we create an efficient transport system, a KLIA, a complete revamp of the existing sports infrastructure…
Ofcourse not, we dont need F-1 in India. This is a country which is just happy with Narain being there. It is not about winning at all. Let us first prove that we have a driver who can win then let us think about f-1 here
For all those people saying that advanced nations dont have F1, here is a fact – US, UK, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Belgium, Monaco, Spain, Canada, Italy, Bahrain and China, among other countries, have F1 circuits.
I agree that F1 needs India, perhaps more than we do. They cannot expand anymore in Europe or North America. So obviously, Asia, and in particular, India is a good choice. The question is whether this a good choice for us. Most of the funding for a sport must come from the private sector in order to have wider acceptance. The government cannot sponsor or sustain such huge bills for a long time – it hardly gives any results. Cricket is way better off because most of the funding and sponsorship comes from the private sector. Had this been the case with hockey or football, things would have been much different. Most sporting events in other countries are sponsored by the private sector – american football, baseball, basketball and soccer elsewhere, to give a few examples. Money is generated by these events. Why is that some of our hockey or football players barely make their ends meet while their cricketing cousins enjoy akin to a king? It is because hockey is not sold like cricket. But there is a Catch-22 situation here. The corporates wont sponsor unless the game is popular and the game cannot become popular without adequate funding, which is unfortunate. However, F1 is quite popular in India. The government has to give the initial infrastructural push. The rest will follow and, in due course of time we might see it become a money spinner.
I agree with Dharma.Should we do something, just because others do it! In other countries they are encouaging cycle rikshaw to eliminate polution and we are banning it in Delhi just because we want more western. The speed on Chandani chowk for Bus and Rikshaw is same, probably Rikshaw will be faster and less polution!
they are using/ importing cycle rickshaw for tourism sake! for tour around heritage sites…not in city centers…
you visit any major town in W Bengal, you will realise the menace of cycle rickshaws…it saves fuel, agreed, but the fuel spent on traffic jams created them exceeds the savings…
and some touristy countries even have motorized the trishaws, after the human rights buddhi jeevis created a stir!!!