Belgian Grand Prix facts and figures

New Delhi: Luxury automobile major Mercedes-Benz on Wednesday said it had become the official automobile partner to the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, which will host the inaugural Indian Formula One (F1) race in October.

"We have become the official automobile partner to the circuit for three years. Our cars will be used as safety and monitor vehicles in the circuit for all the events held at the track," Debashis Mitra, director sales and marketing, Mercedes-Benz India said.

The company gifted a Rs.6 crore state-of-the-art SLS AMG sports car to the circuit for use as an official safety and fast intervention vehicle.

According to Mitra, the tie-up with the Jaypee Group promoted race circuit was an attempt by the company to reach out to more customers.

"We are known for luxury in India, but we also want the people to know of the role of Mercedes-Benz in the racing world, our team and latest racing technologies that we imbibe in all our vehicles."

The company also revealed a slew of promotional activities before and after the F1 race. These include a youth-based show in collaboration with MTV, a street race in Mumbai in the third week of October and the setting-up of a performance driving academy in India by 2012.

"We have many activities which are youth based like reaching out to colleges, malls and other places. This will show the new side of the company," Peter Honegg, managing director and chief executive, Mercedes-Benz said.

The company did not disclose the investments that will be utilised to set up the performance driving academy.

The academy would only be the fourth such facility after Germany, US, China, and will be based out of the circuit, where experienced race car drivers will give practice lessons.

The company further said that the tickets to the inaugural F1 would now be available at its dealerships, and that the customers who book a Mercedes car after Sep 1, would be offered a chance to drive on the race track.


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