29 Oct 2011

India deserves F1 despite poverty - Mallya

5:45 pm on 29 October 2011

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya has defended India's right to host a Formula One grand prix race, saying the country's economic growth is as much a reality as its poverty.

Critics see the inaugural Indian Grand Prix this weekend as an instance of misplaced priority, but Mr Mallya says that does not mean India should not host such events.

"In every country," he says, "there are the privileged and the underprivileged. We have underprivileged people in our country, but that does not mean the country must be bogged down or weighed down.

"India is a progressive country, we have a strongly growing economy, a large economy. The government is doing all it can to address the need of the poor or the underprivileged people, but India must move on.

"The Commonwealth Games were held in India and now it's Formula One."

There has been an Indian team in Formula One racing since 2008. The Indian Grand prix will be run on the outskirts of Delhi.