Sachin Tendulkar is excited that the high-profile Formula One race is coming to the country with the inaugural Indian Grand Prix next week and said that he will support the Sahara Force India team.
“I am excited about Indian Grand Prix F1 race. I will support the Force India team. I have friends like Michael Schumacher but I will support Force India because that is the Indian team and country comes first,” Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar, who is passionate about fast cars, has been invited by Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone himself to grace the Indian Grand Prix at Greater Noida on October 30.
“I was passionate about cars from a young age. As I grew up, my passion for fast cars has grown,” he said.
On which car fascinated him as a child, he said “when I was young I saw these Fiat, Ambassador, at the most Contessa or Standard 2000. But my brother and others would discuss about Pala car.”
“So, the car I loved to drive was Pala,” he told UTV-Bloomberg.
Tendulkar witnessed his first F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone in England while he was on the 2002 tour to England and met German legend Michael Schumacher the evening before the race day.
In fact, it was Schumacher who presented him with the keys of the Ferrari car which Tendulkar sold to a businessman from Surat recently.
On the upcoming Indian Grand Prix, Tendulkar said it would be a wonderful experience for the Indians to witness a Formula One race.
“It’s an incredible feeling for F1 fans. I have always waited for a Grand Prix in India. It will be wonderful for all Indians as it will give them a real life experience of the event. We have watched it on TV, but watching it in real life is different”, he said.
“It will also be a great opportunity for young drivers to meet their heroes. It’s a great platform for them. It will give them an opportunity to get to know the drivers”, he said.
Tendulkar also recalled how he gradually developed an interest in fast vehicles since his childhood as he watched the cars go by from the balcony of his residence in Mumbai.
On ace Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan, Tendulkar said .
“He is a brilliant driver. I have actually driven with him. I then realised how skillful these guys are. I wish him all the luck”, he added.