With the inaugural Indian Grand Prix less than three weeks away, the Sahara India Group announced on Wednesday its entry into the high-stake world of Formula One racing.
Sahara told the media it had bought a stake in liquor baron Vijay Mallya's Force India Formula One team, which will now be known as Sahara Force India.
Mallya and Sahara will hold 42.5% each in the team, while the remaining 15% will remain with Dutch businessman Michelle Mol.
Though Mallya had been denying any move to offload a stake in Force India, Sahara chairman Subrata Roy announced the partnership with Mallya and an investment of $100 million in the team.
Mallya will remain the managing director and team principal. Roy will take over as the Force India chairman. Roy and Mallya said the team would nurture racing talent and help promote future Indian drivers.
Asked about the future of drivers such as Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok, both sounded evasive. After failing to score a single point in its debut season in 2008, the team finished ninth in 2009 and seventh in the constructors' championship in 2010.