New Delhi: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone gave a thumbs up to the preparations for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix on October 30 but said that the organisers need to put in extra effort to generate interest for the race in the cricket-crazy nation.
Ecclestone, the Formula One Group CEO, was speaking on the occasion of an announcement to mark telecom giant Bharti Airtel`s association with the race as its title sponsors.
"F1 is new to India. It would take efforts to generate interest. We will never catch cricket but we can get close to...perhaps with extra effort," Ecclestone said after unveiling the logo of the race.
Ecclestone, the 82-year-old British sports entrepreneur, was pleased with the pace of work at the Budh International Circuit, the venue for the race.
"It will be one of the nicest circuit and will complete in time. People are there, checking everything on daily basis. It will be in good shape," he said.
Asked whether F1 needs India or India needs F1, Ecclestone replied, "India is one of the top 5 countries, it`s a major part of the world and we wanted a championship. When I came here, I was pleased (with what I saw). Things will be fine. In the end we will do good things for India."
He also said that 30 per cent of the total spectators will come from abroad, especially Europe.