England set for A 1 Grand Prix

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> As the Formula One convoy rolls on in Brazil, another Grand Prix has just made its debut in England.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:49 IST
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As the Formula One convoy rolls on in Brazil, another Grand Prix has just made its debut in England. The A-1 Grand Prix, which is being touted as the World Cup of Motorsport, saw qualifying sessions on Saturday. Team India is 19th on the grid for Sunday's sprint race. Interesting concept The concept of A 1 Grand Prix came from the Olympics. The biggest sporting spectacle in the world, the A 1 Grand Prix comes with the backing of almost 80 per cent of the world's population behind it. A total of 25 countries including India, Pakistan and China will be taking part in the 12 race series. "I think the concept is very good. The car looks very interesting so I think it has been done very professionally," said Niki Lauda, Former F1 Champion. True test A1 Grand Prix is the brainchild of Sheik Al Maktoum, nephew of Dubai's crown prince. And he believes it will excite a whole new generation of motorsport fans. "A1 Grand Prix is the World Cup of Motorsport Grand Prix of Nations. Twenty-five nations, representing 80 per cent of the world’s population, will be vying to hold the world cup of motor sports in their hands,” said Sheikh Maktoum, Founder and Chairman, A1 GP. And that 80 per cent also includes India's one billion who will be represented by Karun Chandhok and Armaan Ebrahim. In the last test-drive they finished fourth behind Germany, Canada and Ireland. The cars for all the countries are the same so it will be a true test of the drivers’ skills. "At the end of the day you are looking at the similarities between the cars and whoever wins is the best, so I think this is a great idea," said Rubens Barrichello, Driver, Ferrari F1 Team. Being a winter series, A 1 Grand Prix will not be clashing with Formula 1 and will offer a total prize money of $1 million.