By Saumojyoti S Choudhury
Greater Noida: Oct 30, 2011
A self-confessed Formula 1 fan, Sachin Tendulkar today met seven-time world champion and 'dear friend' Michael Schumacher at the Mercedes team building ahead of this afternoon's inaugural Indian Grand Prix.
Tendulkar, who is expected to flag off India's maiden F1 race, arrived at the newly-constructed Buddh International Circuit with his wife Anjali and daughter Sara. However, his son Arjun was conspicuous by his absence.
The star Indian cricketer was received at the circuit by promoters of the race, Jaypee Sports International's Managing Director Sameer Gaur.
Soon after arriving at the circuit, Tendulkar met F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone at the lounge area and had a nearly half-an-hour interaction with him. The duo was later joined by legendary racing driver Jackie Stewart and Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover.
Tendulkar also obliged the waiting photographers along with Ecclestone, Gaur and Grover but refused to make any comments, saying, "I will talk to everyone later."
The cricketing icon then headed straight to the Mercedes team building where he exchanged pleasantries with Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn before meeting his long-time friend Schumacher.
Tendulkar also introduced his wife and daughter to the German driver and met the other Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg before heading straight to the VIP area.
Apart from Tendulkar, a host of other celebrities from the sporting world and Bollywood are also expected to grace the country's maiden F1 race later this afternoon.
Cricketers who are expected to be present during the race include India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose love for speed is well known, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, VVS Laxman and England's Kevin Pietersen. Tennis star Sania Mirza will also grace the occasion.
Bollywood will be represented by Shah Rukh Khan, Arjun Rampal, Hrithik Roshan, and Abhishek Bachchan among others.
Some big names from the political world including Arun Jaitley and Kapil Sibal are also expected to be at the circuit. (PTI)