Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Indian tycoon set for Spyker deal

Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya has emerged as the potential new owner of the struggling Spyker Formula One team. He and Michiel Mol, Spyker's director of F1, have had a £50m bid accepted by Dutch owners Spyker Cars NV. "I have been dreaming about owning a Formula One team. I was looking at the right opportunity to show up at the right time," said Mallya. "2008 will be the starting point for a gradual improvement. No miracles are going to be produced."Mallya is chairman and controlling shareholder of the UB Group, which has beer, spirits and airlines operations in India. With him in charge, it could mean an Indian driver in F1 next season, potentially Narain Karthikeyan, who is currently a test driver for Williams. It is also likely the team will race under a different name in 2008, although Mallya was unable to confirm driver or team name possibilities."It would give me immense pleasure to see an Indian drive an Indian F1 car, but we have to consult with the team principal and chief technical officer," he said."As of today I won't be able to commit whether Spyker Ferrari will continue to maintain the same name or not next season. "What name the new team will race under is subject to approval of other teams and the F1 management."But the deal is good for F1. It's good for India and for F1's management because viewership (in India) is going to shoot up now."

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