When F1 went to football-mad Brazil, they got Pele to wave the chequered flag. As the glamourous sport debuts in cricket-crazy India, can there be a better man to do the honours than Sachin Tendulkar?
Tendulkar, a motorsport buff, is likely to wave the chequered flag at the end of the 60-lap Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit on October 30.
The 38-year-old’s name has been put forward by the organisers, Jaypee Sports, to Formula One management, which will take a final call when F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone arrives on Thursday. Jaypee officials are confident that their request will be accepted.
“Sachin's love for motorsport is well known, and he is also the biggest sporting icon of the country. It’s only logical that we nominate him,” said Jaypee's vice-president of communications, Askari Zaidi.
During the 2002 Brazilian GP at Interlagos, football legend Pele was chosen to signal the end of the race. However, the task proved to be a tad onerous.
When winner Michael Schumacher completed the final lap, Pele was busy chatting officials and missed the scarlet Ferrari crossing the line. He ended up waving the flag when Takuma Sato, who was two laps down, passed. But Tendulkar, with his keen eye and lightning reflexes, is unlikely to get his timing wrong.