As a part of the Kingfisher Premium ‘Race with Force India’ contest, winners got to race against Nico Hulkenberg at the Hakone Go-Kart track in Powai, Mumbai.
It may have been the culmination of just another online contest for 16 lucky fans of the Force India Formula 1 team, but for the fastest 9 out of them, it was a day they will remember for the rest of their lives. Nico wasn’t the only Force India driver around though – he was joined in full force (pun intended!) by Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta as well who flagged off the event with Mr. Samar Singh Shekhawat, Senior Vice President – Marketing, United Breweries Limited. Addressing the media the Force India drivers expressed their delight of being in India and engaging with their fans from across the country, along with their expectations from the ensuing Formula One Season. While Adrian has visited India before, it was Paul and Nico’s first time in the country. Speaking about the upcoming Indian Grand Prix the drivers expressed great delight stating that the event will be like a second home Grand Prix for the team that is based out of Silverstone.
The 16 finalists that had been shortlisted from thousands of applicants in the online contest first went head to head in a qualifying heat out of which drivers with the 9 best times were then selected to race with Nico Hulkenberg in batches of three. The 9 fastest drivers also included the only female driver who had made it to the final 16 – Raagini from Bangalore. The fastest lap times from each of the three group events then made it to the final race with Nico Hulkenberg which was won by Naveen Kumar.
Commenting on his third visit to Mumbai, Adrian Sutil, said, “I am delighted to be in India and look forward to many more visits! It is exciting to see the passion that the youth holds for the sport and quite a thrill for all three of us to meet with the Force India Formula One team fans here!” Speaking on the 2011 Formula One season, Sutil mentioned, “I have high expectations from this season. I would like to be in the top eight. And for the team we would definitely be aiming to do much better than last year”.
Speaking on his first visit to India, Nico Hülkenberg said, “It was a fantastic experience to be driving along with the Force India fans here in India. I am already looking forward to interacting with many more fans on my next trip to India”. Nico Hülkenberg went on to say, “This is my first season with the Force India Formula One team and I am looking forward to driving the new car and being part of India’s only Formula One team at the Indian Grand Prix”