The liquor and aviation tycoon, no longer a billionaire according to the latest Forbes list, flew in from London on his private Airbus after suggestions that he might stay away to avoid having it impounded.
"Was there any doubt about my presence here?" he told Reuters, minutes after walking through the paddock turnstiles with cars roaring around the Buddh circuit as final practice got under way.
Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines had its licence suspended by India's civil aviation authorities last week and has not flown since the start of October after a protest by employees, unpaid since March, turned violent.
The airline has never turned a profit and, according to the consultancy Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, has total debt estimated at about $2.5 billion.
In Image: Force India team principal and businessman Vijay Mallya waves as he walks down the F1 paddock after the third practice session for the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012.