Passionate about cars since childhood: Vijay Mallya

March 24th, 2008 - 4:32 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, March 24 (IANS) Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya says motorsports like Formula One has caught the imagination of the young and successful in India. “Cricket is like a religion in India but cricket is for everyone. The young successful Indians want something different, something with a bit of glamour element in it,” Mallya told The Star newspaper.

“Formula One has something different and has glamour in it. It fits right in.

“There are about 500 million Indians under 25 and over 400 million under 20,” said the Indian businessman, who is the chairman of the United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines.

The liquor baron of India also owns a Formula One team and says he was passionate about cars since his early childhood.

“My mum said the first word that I ever uttered when I was a baby was ‘car’.

“I have always loved motorsports and when the opportunity came for me to own a Formula One team I grabbed it,” he said.

“It is not every day that a Formula One constructor is up for sale. I looked at it in the Indian context,” said Mallya, the first Indian to own a Formula One team.

But Mallya is no stranger to motorsports. Having started off as a driver in the 1970s and sponsored Formula One teams such as Benetton in 1995 and Toyota in 2007, he took over the Spyker team and renamed it Force India this season.

“I don’t do it as a hobby. Nobody in their right mind will own a Formula One team as a hobby. It takes a lot of passion, commitment and dedication,” he added.

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