Ratan Tata pampers his cars
“Ratan Tata pampers his cars”
Mumbai: He’s got a thing for cars, and it often teeters on the brink of fanaticism. His partners in crime — Gautam Singhania, John Abraham and Jai Mehta — occasionally try to outdo him on that count. But if anyone wins hands down over them all in terms of pure passion for cars, says Hormazd Sorabjee, it is another Parsi gentleman who goes by the name of Ratan Tata.
“There’s this popular perception about Parsi car lovers and I can’t think of anyone who exemplifies it more fully than Ratan Tata,” says Hormazd, the editor of Autocar. His meeting with the doyen of Indian industry who has pioneered the Nano with one hand and picked up Jaguar and Land Rover with the other, was a revelation of sorts.
“He just pampers his cars. His level of attachment with his beautiful machines — though he’s a little partial to his Ferrari and Cadillac — is almost astonishing to see, given his forever jam-packed schedule. He makes it a point to take them out himself for drives on Sundays whenever he can. And he treats them so gently, it’s a delight to watch,” says Hormazd, who’s just as keenly watching the developments in F1, particularly the fluid situation within Force One and the move to bring the sport to India.
Giancarlo Fisichella, who raced Force One to its first podium finish, displayed even faster speed in defecting to Ferrari. But what really concerns Hormazd is the lack of Indian drivers in the sport. “For every sport, you need a hero. People don’t cheer machines, they cheer the driver. I still feel Narain Karthikeyan is the best we have — no one’s even a close second to him.”
In fact, the move to bring F1 to India so soon, feels Sorabjee, could be a mistake. “I agree with Sports Minister Ms Gill’s view that Formula One is an elitist sport we can do without. Wherever they tried force feeding it to the public like in China and Turkey, it flopped. We first need to develop a culture for motor racing and then look to bring Formula One,” he says.
Courtesy : Kersi Limathwalla