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Opinion

Why the Hyderabad E-Prix is only a first step in India's motorsport emergence

OPINION: Motor racing still has some way to go to usurp cricket as India's favourite sporting discipline. The long-awaited return of international motorsport to the country this weekend with the Hyderabad E-Prix is an important step in the right direction, but it will take more than Formula E's arrival to cause a true shift

This Saturday’s Hyderabad E-Prix will be a landmark moment for motorsport in India. It will mark the return of world championship-level motorsport to the subcontinent, nearly a decade after Formula 1 last visited the Buddh International Circuit in October 2013. The extended absence of top-tier racing championships in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies might seem shocking to some from the outside, but in truth motorsport has never been able to establish a foothold in India.

Cricket has been the dominant sport in the country for as long as anyone can remember, with the addition of the T20 format in the mid-2000s taking it to even greater heights. At a recent auction, the TV and online streaming rights for the Indian Premier League were sold for a staggering five billion pounds, putting IPL in the same breath as the English Premier League and NFL in terms of broadcasting revenue.

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