|© Mark Thompson/Getty Images/Red Bull Racing
Sports in India is synonymous with cricket and Formula 1 drivers attending the Indian Grand Prix last weekend acknowledged the influence of the sport in the country.
Mark Webber met Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir ahead of the weekend and took his chances of brandishing a cricket bat at a media event, although it would be safe to presume his skills were better off racing cars.
The Red Bull driver though was later asked about his opinions on ace batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s recognition by his country with the Membership of the Order of Australia, which had headlined some controversy Down Under.
“Sachin Tendulkar has just been an incredible cricketer and one of the most amazing sportspersons the world has seen,” Webber was quoted saying by Indo-Asian News Service. “Australians have utmost respect for Tendulkar. The government, the people, everyone respects him.
“We have given the Order of Australia to cricketers from other nations too. They have been doing it for a while now. We gave it to Garfield Sobers and Brian Lara. If we can give it to Lara then Tendulkar certainly deserves it,” he reasoned.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton saw an obvious connection between the two sports.
"A trip to India is incomplete without the delicious food and a game of cricket. Cricket as a sport requires a lot of concentration and hand-eye coordination, especially under extreme conditions, and so does Formula 1," the McLaren driver was quoted saying by the Press Trust of India.
"I am a fan of West Indies cricket team and I am amazed by the Indian cricket team who have such excellent batsmen in the team," he added.
On Sunday, Indian spin bowler Harbhajhan Singh and former cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin made an appearance in the paddock with the former seen in the Ferrari garage and the latter mingling with Force India team principal Vijay Mallya.