The 1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill who is the international brand ambassador of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2014 said here that F1 is an expensive sport and out of reach for many aspirants. ``It’s virtually a European sport and there has to be a strong grassroots base for it to become a successful sport in any country. And for that Kart racing is the way to go and Kart racing itself is expensive, people spend several thousands of pounds,’’ said Hill here on Thursday.
The 53- year-old former F1 driver’s first visit to India coincided with the inaugural Indian GP at the BIC circuit. He said that bureaucratic hurdles may have stalled a continuous place for the Indian GP which has a very good track. ``The F1 GP is often used as a great advertisement for a city and I hope it will make a successful comeback in India,’’ he said.
Hill who had an eight-year run in the F1 competition said that sport is all about learning about it and oneself. ``I started with racing bikes, got to learn it by trial and error method. These are little moments that become parts of a long journey. And it’s not always necessarily about results, but about competing in a long campaign overseas. At the end of the championship the results become meaningful. Great achievers have been failures. I had the stubborn streak and had a number of wins in the competition,’’ he said adding that running is not his thing because he has heavy bones and big feet.
He also said that when he entered the fray, F1 drivers were not regarded as super athletes. `` Michael Schumacher introduced the concept of fitness and we owe a lot to him. I don’t know him personally very well, but his accident has made us all realise how vulnerable we all are. We are shocked by what has happened to him.’’