|Hours after creating history on the Formula One tracks, Force India owner Vijay Mallya slammed Sports Minister MS Gill for his ill
conceived remarks over Formula one.
Just a few days ago the Sports Minister had refused a grant for F1 races to be held in India, saying that it was not a sport.
"F1 is not purely sports. It is entertainment and this venture by JKSP is a commercial initiative. The proposed F1 race does not satisfy conditions which focus on human endeavour for excelling in competition with others, keeping in view the whole sports movement from Olympics downwards," said MS Gill.
The tricolour finally conquered Formula One, after Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella drove a fairytale race to finish second in the Belgian Grand Prix to score the team's first points on Sunday.
This is a significant step by Force India in putting the country on the Formula One map. However, the sports ministry thinks otherwise.
But Vijay Mallya is not buying that argument. Speaking exclusively to TIMES NOW Mallya said, "F1 has a huge growing fan base in India, particularly amongst youngsters. The sport is probably the most widely watched sport in the world. The viewer ship on TV is next to Olympics or Football World Cup. I can't understand anyone who says it is not a sport."
And not just Mallya, even noted F1 commentator Steve Slater feels the same. He said, "I know there is a controversy in India on whether F1 is a sport or not. If those who believe it is not a sport and if they were watching the race, they might change their decision on Monday morning."
An Indian team on the podium may change the sport ministry's attitude. If that doesn't it could be the popularity of the sport that could possibly change the outlook the ministry.
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