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'Fans will make Indian F1 GP a spectacular event'

Last updated on: September 17, 2010 19:19 IST

Lewis Hamilton has given the thumbs up to the proposed Indian F1 Grand Prix next year.

With Formula One's bosses giving a go-ahead -- subject to ratification after examining the track -- for the F1 GP to be included as the 20th race of a revamped calendar, starting next year, the former World champion said it will be a big success.

"The Indian Grand Prix will be the most spectacular F1 event due to the incredible fan support," said the Briton.

"It is the fans who make an event and here you have that element guaranteed," he added.

Lewis HamiltonIn Chennai, at the behest of promoters Vodafone as part of a contest, Hamilton also promised his participation in the proposed race.

"It will be a great moment to be in India and I will definitely be here," he said.

Asked if he feels India is, infrastructure-wise, ready to host an event of such magnitude, the Briton replied in the affirmative.

"India is ready for F1," said Hamilton.

"I have heard the track is ahead of schedule which is great. It is going to be spectacular to have a Grand Prix in New Delhi," he added.

The driver also talked about the possibility of F1 providing a solid alternative for cricket in India.

"Cricket, I know is huge in India and you guys are pretty incredible," said Hamilton.

"But with a Grand Prix in India and more exposure to F1 racing, perhaps kids can begin to think of race driving as an alternate sport.

"With more people and kids getting exposed to racing in India, they perhaps can aspire to become Chandhoks and Karthikeyans."

The champion driver also had a word of appreciation for Karun Chandhok, the lone Indian driver in F1 at present.

"Karun is young and it is great for him and for India (that he is in F1)," said Hamilton.

"I hope he gets better opportunities as he has a good future ahead of him.

"F1 is a tough sport but I am sure some opportunity will open up for him and he will get a better car," he added.

Bikash Mohapatra in Chennai