Formula One, Tata Communications end eight-year partnership

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

Tata Communications has worked extensively with champion outfit Mercedes, which has been winning the Formula 1 constructors’ title since 2014. Besides Mercedes, Tata has also worked with Williams, as recently as last season.   -  Getty Images

The sole Indian presence on the Formula 1 grid has ended with the sport’s connectivity partner, Tata Communications, deciding to put an end to 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, which has 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.

READ | Charles Leclerc: The Ferrari youngster with history in his sights

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 now 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.