Abu Dhabi: Ferrari`s Giancarlo Fisichella and former F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve will be the main attractions in the upcoming i1 Super Series which will get underway next year.
Fisichella, who is a former Force India driver and now represents Ferrari along with Villeneuve, Karun Chandhok and Vitrantio Luizzi are some of the names that will compete in the city-based races which will be held in Sepang (Jan 22nd), Bahrain (February 4th), Doha (February 11th), Greater Noida (February 26th) and Abu Dhabi (March 10th).
"We wanted to bring in a city based loyalty and that`s why we have chosen big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Pune, Goa which will represent the teams. We know that as of now we can`t have more than one race in India (at the Buddh International Circuit) as for driving SR 3 cars, we atleast need a Grade II track," Darshan M, head of Machdar MotorSports Pvt Ltd, the company organizing the races, told mediapersons at the unveiling of the drivers.
"Look IPL became a successful brand because of the content and that`s why we have tried to bring in the best drivers who would compete once the F1 season gets over. Also young Indian drivers like Arman Ibrahim and co will get a chance to improve their performance under the guidance of F1 stars," Darshan, former CEO of Deccan Chargers said.
Asked how the i1 Superseries will sustain in times of economic crisis as A1 GP died a premature death, he reasoned, "That`s precisely why we didn`t get a big company like Ferrari to invest and then start bleeding as they will be unable to foot the bills. That`s what happened when they joined A1 GP. As far as I am concerned, we would be looking at a period of four years to get break even."
Iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar has been the brand ambassador and is expected to be present at one of the races after the tour of Australia gets over.
"Ideally, we wanted Sachin to buy a team but he wants to focus totally on cricket but he has said that he would extend his whole-hearted support in our endeavour which has boosted our morale," Darshan informed.
It was also known that former India captain Sourav Ganguly will intimate on whether he will be buying stakes in the Kolkata based team.
"I will get to know from Sourav by the next weekend. Probably, he will be forming a consortium with prominent city based businessmen if he comes on board at all."