Formula 1 has 'failed' over Indian Grand Prix says Sauber boss

Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn thinks it will be tough for India to return to the grand prix calendar, and that Formula 1 failed to promote itself effectively in the country

Formula 1 has 'failed' over Indian Grand Prix says Sauber boss

The Indian GP is missing from the 2014 schedule, officially because Bernie Ecclestone said that Indian officials did not want an event early in the season.

However, amid a backdrop of disputes over tax in the country, other factors have played their part in the decision.

Kaltenborn thinks it will not be straightforward for India to win back a place on the calendar, and laments the way that F1 did not make the most of the nation's early interest.

"I think it is very difficult once when you leave a country to come back to it - especially where we have not really managed to establish the sport," explained Kaltenborn, who was born in India.

"In the first year we had the benefit of something new coming in there, and a lot was done around the race.

"There was a tremendous amount of in-depth coverage, not just about telling the people the sport was about 11 teams, and all the celebrities and parties and the show.

"It was about explaining what are the teams about, why are the tyres important, what are the strengths/weaknesses of the people? It was very comprehensive coverage - even before the race.

"That was already less in the second year, and the critics came up more about the race. Was it really a sporting event? Then people put up issues, like the tax and the difficulties many people had. That was put further ahead in the second year.

"I think now it is a bit like giving up. When you know you are not planning to be there the next year, maybe the interest has gone down through that."

Kaltenborn says F1 as a whole could have done more to maximise the marketing and commercial opportunities that would have lifted local interest.

"That has been the problem - that we have not been able to market ourselves properly in there," she said.

"We have not been able to convince that many Indian companies. You can count the Indian companies that are in F1 since then on one hand. We've somewhere collectively failed to do more there."

shares
comments
Ferrari admits it eyed Robert Kubica to partner Fernando Alonso

Previous article

Ferrari admits it eyed Robert Kubica to partner Fernando Alonso

Next article

Lotus denies Kimi Raikkonen has lost interest after Ferrari deal

Lotus denies Kimi Raikkonen has lost interest after Ferrari deal
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Sauber
Author Jonathan Noble
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021