Wednesday, July 31, 2013

F1 Indian GP for 2014 cancelled and rescheduled for early 2015

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that the Indian Grand Prix will not be held in 2014 but will return to the F1 calendar in 2015. 

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the Indian GP after initial reports indicated that the promoters of the event could be facing financial difficulties, but Ecclestone has reportedly now told the Indo-Asian News Service that an agreement had been reached with race promoter Jaypee Group for the event to skip a year on its contract in 2014.
The race is being moved to an earlier slot in the calendar to be a part of the opening 'flyaway' series of races in 2015 and there were concerns the 2014 and 2015 would have been too close together if that was done.

“When we signed the five-year deal with Jaypee we were keen on going to India in the first half and Jaypee wanted it to be in October,” said Ecclestone. “We gave in at that time, but now it looks we will have the race early 2015.”
The other issue surrounding the 2014 Indian GP was the inclusion of the New Jersey and Russian Grands Prix and the return of the Austrian GP would take the number of races in 2014 to 22. But during the Hungarian Grand Prix the team bosses placed a cap of 20 on the number of races they would be comfortable running.

The Korean and Indian GP's are the easiest for the sport to drop to keep the calendar in check.

The issue with the privately-organised Indian Grand Prix is that the government insists on taxing the teams and drivers at a full rate.

Vicky Chandhok, the president of the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of India, insisted that the problem is organisational, not “political” as claimed by Ecclestone.

“Bernie told me that he was alluding to the pressures arising out of expanding the calendar. He was not talking about politics in India,” he said.

“In 2015,” Chandhok explained to the Hindustan Times newspaper, “F1 is looking to start earlier than the usual March. This means that the 2014 calendar will have to be wrapped up earlier than November.

“As such, some races like India may be dropped.”

“If the 2014 race is dropped,” said Chandhok, “the Indian GP will be held in 2015 and 2016.”

Jaypee vice president Askari Zaidi told India's Telegraph edition, “The FOM is extremely unhappy with the way they are being taxed by the government. They (F1) get tax benefits at all other venues across the world.”

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