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Bollywood meets Formula One in Monza 12 Sep 2006

Bollywood star Gulshan Grover at the 2006 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. © Getty Images

As ever, the Italian Grand Prix lived up to its reputation as one of the most glamorous races on the Formula One calendar. Bollywood star Gulshan Grover was one of the many celebrities who took time out to enjoy paddock life at the legendary track.

“I’m just blown away by the spectacle,” enthused Grover. “The scale of the operation and the level of organisation required to produce a race is remarkable.”

A veteran of over 200 films, Grover has been an avid Formula One fan for years. This weekend was the first time a break in the actor’s hectic filming schedule coincided with a race and he jumped at the opportunity to attend. Despite being more used to life on a colourful Bollywood film set, Grover felt surprisingly at home in the pit lane.

“There is great deal of commonality between Formula One and Bollywood films,” he explained. “Although the budgets don’t really compare, both are full of the same love, hatred, politics and passions.”

Before the race, Grover visited some of the lavish motor homes, including those of Ferrari, Red Bull and Williams, and was surprised by how the desire to be the best was not just about the racing but permeated the entire paddock.

“Behind the scenes there seems to be the same competitive spirit that exists out on the track, with chefs, mechanics and in fact anyone wearing a coloured shirt competing to be the best for their team,” he said.

Overwhelmed by the experience of attending his first race, Grover is now determined to return next season.