Firstly a very happy Diwali to all our readers.
Once again , sorry for the hiatus in posts, work has been a busy busy place and I didn’t get time to update the blog despite there being so many juicy news updates, from the Sahara Group acquiring stake in Force India Formula One team to Sebastien Vettel and Red Bull winning the drivers and constructor’s titles with a couple of races to spare. Congrats to Vettel who has proven his mettle once again (that almost rhymed).
However this post isn’t about his achievements or Red Bull’s continued domination of formula one now and whether its making the sport monotonous. Its about the marketing blitzkrieg that’s been unleashed in India to make the inaugural formula one Indian Grand Prix a resounding success. And it will be, but it wont be a success for the formula one fan. It would just be a commercial success.
Step into a shopping mall, you see models and people dressed up in formula one gear greeting you, formula one car shells spewed here and there and more ‘offers’ on the Indian Grand Prix, win tickets, win VIP passes, win hospitality suite passes etc. Real fans have been unable to grab any decently priced tickets, while models who pose for sponsors have been bathing in VIP suite passes. Well you may have guessed, I wasn’t able to get passes for the event. That’s ok. What sucks is that some super random folks I know have VIP passes and they certainly don’t care about formula one, just the whole sponsor hoopla over the Indian Grand Prix has assured them passes, or so they claim.
I am a reasonable person, I am all in for the Indian Grand Prix, but for the formula one fan. I would rather not have random wannabees at the circuit who know nothing about formula one , watching the race just because they think its cool. Not only will that spoil the environment it would ensure a new breed of fanboys into the sport of formula one who speak for a team without knowing anything about the history of the sport or the team.
Already news channels are broadcasting random viewpoints of street folk who are disappointed that Karun Chandhok wont race for Lotus or those who feel Narain Karthikeyan might just get podium. Now imagine 15000 of these at the formula one track. Others wonder how Red Bull can be a race team and blindly cheer for Manchester headquartered Force India formula one team.
The ticket prices honestly are atrocious except for the Rs.2500 one. Paying Rs.25000 (roughly $500) plus some more for parking doesn’t sound right to me. No normal formula one fan can afford that and it would make the event a showcase for the rich and famous. Now that may work in a place like Monaco, but in India , it doesn’t. Being a formula one fan for more than a decade, I wasn’t able to secure reasonably priced tickets. I often get invites to team’s pits for a number of races on the calendar, but for the Indian Grand Prix, I wasn’t even able to get cheap 3 day no seat passes. Doesn’t sound fair to me !
Hoping the Indian Grand Prix organisers take a cue and make it more of a people’s event from next year.