Formula E debuts in India: 'It will get even more crazy'

Formula E debuts in India: 'It will get even more crazy'

08-02-2023 19:52 Last update: 19:58

According to estimates, India has a population of nearly 1.4 billion. A huge population, yet the number of world-renowned top athletes from the Asian country is limited. Only in cricket does India consistently rank among the world's top players. Indians are however trying to break through in motorsport. As a result, motorsport is growing in popularity, Formula E hopes to experience this next weekend during its first visit to India.

Narain Karthikeyan is the only driver from India to win points in Formula 1. He did so in 2005 in the controversial race at Indianapolis, which went down in history as the race in which only six cars participated. Karthikeyan then finished fourth. His successor in Formula 1, Karun Chandhok, never managed to collect points. Jehan Daruvala, next season racing in Formula 2 for MP Motorsport, may be the next Indian to get a try in F1, although his focus seems to be on Formula E.

The Great Unknown

Daruvala has been test and reserve driver since this season with Mahindra, an Indian car brand and racing team trying to create a furore in the electric class. That is happening this season with former champion Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Rowland, who are likely to receive a hero's welcome at Formula E's debut in India.

In a racing class with Maserati, Jaguar, Nissan and Porsche as fellow entrants, Mahindra is the Great Unknown to many people outside India. However, in the car market in the Asian country, Mahindra is one of the major players. "I think Mahindra is a brand is massive in India," Rowland told GPblog.

"Obviously if you say in the UK, not many people really know who Mahindra is, but I think from a, from an Indian car making perspective, obviously it's a huge brand." 

Many fans to reach

Honda in Japan, Ferrari in Italy: these are examples of car brands that locals are immensely proud of and passionately support during international races. This is expected to be true for Mahindra in India. "I've seen on social media we have a big following," says Rowland, who has never been to the immense country himself. "I think we will reach out to a lot more fans. It will get even more crazy."