A self-confessed Formula One fan, Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday met seven-time world champion and ‘dear friend’ Michael Schumacher at the Mercedes team building ahead of this afternoon’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix here.

Tendulkar, who is expected to flag off India’s maiden F1 race, arrived at the newly-constructed Buddh International Circuit with his wife Anjali and daughter Sara. However, his son Arjun was absent.

The star Indian cricketer was received at the circuit by promoters of the race, Jaypee Sports International’s Managing Director Sameer Gaur.

Soon after arriving at the circuit, Tendulkar met F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone at the lounge area for a half hour interaction. The duo was later joined by legendary racing driver Jackie Stewart and Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover.

Tendulkar also obliged the waiting photographers along with Ecclestone, Gaur and Grover but refused to make any comments, saying, “I will talk to everyone later.”

The cricketing icon then headed straight to the Mercedes team building where he exchanged pleasantries with Mercedes team principal Ross brawn before meeting his long-time friend Schumacher.

Tendulkar also introduced his wife and daughter to the German driver and met the other Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg before heading to the VIP area.

Apart from Tendulkar, a host of other celebrities from the sporting world and Bollywood are also expected to attend the country’s maiden F1 race later this afternoon.

Cricketers who are expected during the race include India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, V.V.S. Laxman and England’s Kevin Pietersen. Tennis star Sania Mirza will also attend.

Bollywood will be represented by Shah Rukh Khan, Arjun Rampal, Hrithik Roshan, and Abhishek Bachchan among others.

Some big names from the political world including Arun Jaitley and Kapil Sibal are also expected at the circuit.

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