Tata Communications Ends Partnership with Formula 1

New Delhi, Jan 16 (PTI) The sole Indian presence on the Formula 1 grid has ended with the sport's connectivity partner, Tata Communications, deciding to end its sponsorship agreement after an eight-year association.

A source close to the Indian company confirmed the development to PTI.

"Yes, both Tata Communications and Formula 1 have ended their partnership. The sponsorship deal ended on December 31," the source said.

The Pune-based provider of telecommunications solutions and services contributed significantly to sport's digital transformation. Tata Communications has also worked extensively with champion outfit Mercedes, who have been winning the Formula 1 constructors' title since 2014.

Besides Mercedes, Tata has also worked with Williams, as recently as last season.

Under new owners Liberty Media, which took over in January 2017, Formula 1 has embarked on an intense digital journey in times when more people are live streaming race content than watching it on television.

In 2018, Formula 1 introduced a television subscription streaming service with an aim to engage 500 million fans worldwide.

Tata was the sole remaining Indian presence in the sport following the unceremonious exit of Vijay Mallya from Force India (now called Racing Point) in 2017.

The last Indian to race in Formula 1 was Narain Karthikeyan who drove for the defunct HRT squad in 2012. The only other Indian to have reached the pinnacle of motor racing is Karun Chandhok.

India hosted a Formula 1 race for three years (2011-2013), at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, before it was dropped from the calendar due to financial and taxation issues.

According to Forbes magazine, Tata Communications was paying Formula 1 USD 4 million annually as part of the deal. PTI

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