Greater Noida : Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar showed his passion for motorsports by being the first of the high-profile guests to arrive at the Buddh International Circuit for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix here Sunday.
"His love for motorsport is well known and I was not surprised to see him three hours before the race time. I went to the gate to welcome him," Sameer Gaur, managing director of Jaypee Sports International, told IANS.
Tendulkar, who will do the honours of waving the chequered flag, spend a lot of time at the paddocks before going to the VIP lounge area.
His meeting with seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher was widely anticipated and that was one of the first things he did after arriving here.
Tendulkar went to the Mercedes GP team garage and chatted extensively with Schumacher and fellow driver Nico Rosberg. He also introduced his wife Anjali and daughter Sara to Schumacher.
It was Tendulkar's second meeting with seven-time champion Schumacher after 2002 when the German gifted the Indian the keys of a Ferrari.
The Mumbaikar then went ahead to meet F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in the Formula One Management team building where they were joined by Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover and legendary three-time former champion Jackie Stewart.
Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was the second cricketer to reach the venue.
Besides Tendulkar and Harbhajan, Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone were also spotted.
Jammu and Kasmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was spotted in the paddock for the second consecutive day. Robert Vadra was also seen chatting with the organisers.
Earlier in the day, 24 drivers took part in a vintage car rallly and waved to the fans to kick off the celebrations. (IANS)