Formula 1 News

No Indian Grand Prix in the 2014 Calendar?

With the race count set at 20 and two new venues joining, Sochi (Russia) and Spielberg (Austria), it might be hard for few track to keep the sport from visiting.
Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29th, 2013 (F1plus/J. Leslie).- Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has said that the Indian Grand Prix will "probably not happen" in 2014.

He blamed "political" problems with the race and that he is looking for F1 to travel to India early in the season. It is by no means off the calendar overall, but its future for next season looks to be in jeopardy.

When asked about the race, Ecclestone told Reuters: "Is India going to happen next year? Probably not." He later added that the reason for this was "very political."

Indian Motorsport Federation boss Vicky Chandhok - father of former F1 racer Karun - told BBC Sport that Ecclestone and organisers from the Jaypee Group were attempting to find a new date.

He revealed that Ecclestone wanted the Indian Grand Prix to sit early in the calendar and that wouldn't make financial sense with a late October race next year: "To have it in October 2014 and again in March or April 2015 would be impossible for us in terms of finances and resources,"

A possible solution to this - sources say - is to drop the race from the 2014 calendar and extend the race's contract to 2016 so it can rejoin in 2015 with the proposed date change.

Ecclestone - who is in charge of the calendar - is looking to squeeze 22 races into a season. Those would include the additions of New Jersey (Grand Prix of America), Russia and Austria alongside the current 19 race schedule.

Teams are not keen on pushing the calendar beyond the 20-race mark but Ecclestone is looking for F1 to branch out into new areas and is pushing for a second American race alongside the current race in Austin.

Another threat to this years race - the third Indian Grand Prix in the sports history - is the changes by Indian government to try and tax teams when entering the country on the basis of the proportion of revenue rather than profit.

Chandhok is hopeful that these issues will not affect the "baseless and malicious" rumours, saying: "It took a lot of time and resources from F1 and the Jaypee Group to bring F1 to India. Everyone worked really hard to get the permissions for the event to run.

"Much as some people complain about all the negatives to do with F1, the race had done for India what nothing else has."

He added: "We keep talking about ourselves as a high-tech country and this event proves it. It shows India is capable of holding an event of this magnitude, so it would be a shame if it was off the calendar. I hope whatever issues there are between the Jaypee Group and F1 are resolved soon."

Sebastian Vettel has so far won both Indian Grand Prix's held at the Buddh International Circuit.

Indian-born Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said: "It would be a pity if for these [tax] reasons we don't go there. India is an important market for partners who are already in Formula 1 or who could get into Formula 1 because of that market, so it really would be a pity if we would not manage to sort out these problems.

The Korean Grand Prix is also being thrown into doubt due to a lack of spectator interest in the country and the poor location of the track, it's fair to say drivers, teams and media are not fans of the Korea International Circuit.
 

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