Indian business baron Dr. Vijay Mallya has bought a 50% stake in the Dutch F1 team – Spyker. In fact, Mallya has been very keen to enter the lucrative world of F1 and his recent sponsorship deal with the Toyota F1 team and the more-recent F1 Yacht party at the Turkish Grand Prix were the major indications of his intentions.
Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya has emerged as the potential new owner of the struggling Spyker Formula One team. He and Michiel Mol, Spyker’s director of F1, have had a £50m bid accepted by Dutch owners Spyker Cars NV.
“I have been dreaming about owning a Formula One team. I was looking at the right opportunity to show up at the right time,” said Mallya. “2008 will be the starting point for a gradual improvement. No miracles are going to be produced.”
Mallya is chairman and controlling shareholder of the UB Group, which has beer, spirits and airlines operations in India. With him in charge, it could mean an Indian driver in F1 next season, potentially Narain Karthikeyan, who is currently a test driver for Williams. It is also likely the team will race under a different name in 2008, although Mallya was unable to confirm driver or team name possibilities.
Well, it is too early to anticipate the team’s name but if Mallya has his maverick way, I think we may see the Kingfisher F1 Team on the race track for next year’s F1 races. Maybe a modality would be worked out between the co-owners that the drivers would be one’s choice and the name would be the other’s! Now that would put down the idea of having Narain in the driver’s seat but it ain’t done until it is done! With the Indian GP still some years away, an Indian-owned team in the F1 World will go some way in establishing the sport’s fanaticism in India. Yay! to that…….