F1 »

Ecclestone adamant Indian GP 'on' for 2011 – despite delays

Bernie Ecclestone has insisted that there will be an Indian Grand Prix on the Formula 1 World Championship calendar in 2011 as was originally projected – brushing off fears that local politics have delayed the construction of the circuit to be used for the event.

F1 has never raced in India before, but the arrival of Force India in the top flight last year – with Giancarlo Fisichella stunning the paddock in notching up the Silverstone-based squad's first points with second place in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend – allied to having two drivers on its fringes in Karun Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan has significantly boosted interest and passion for motorsport in the country.

The sport's commercial rights chief executive Ecclestone has revealed that he expects work on the track in Greater Noida on the outskirts of the capital of New Delhi to begin later this year, telling news agency PTI: “It's been on for a long time; there's never been any doubt – the contract was signed a long time back. We are waiting for the circuit to be constructed. The foundation stone would be laid in late October, and I will be in India to lay it.”

However, recent reports emanating from the world's second-most populous country suggest that differences between race promoters JPSK Sports and the government are hampering progress, with the sports ministry blanching at the $36.5 million fee being demanded by Ecclestone's Formula One Management (FOM) company for the honour of hosting a grand prix there, regarding F1 as 'entertainment' rather than sport, something not particularly 'desirable' and an event that would have 'no impact on the development of sports in the country'.

“F1 is not purely sport,” a ministry source told the Times of India. “It is entertainment, and this venture by JPSK is a commercial initiative. They sought our recommendation for an outflow of nearly 200 crore rupees ($57.7 million), which the ministry felt was not justified for a motor race. The proposed F1 race does not satisfy conditions which focus on human endeavour for excelling in competition with others.”

Whilst former Jordan Grand Prix ace Narain Karthikeyan – the first Indian driver ever to break into F1 back in 2005 – has opined that the track 'will take some time to materialise', the dispute has been played down by Force India chairman and managing director Vijay Mallya [see separate story – click here], and JPSK Sports has revealed that it intends to approach the ministry again to bid for its support.

“Yes, we went to the ministry seeking government concessions,” acknowledged managing director Samir Gaur. “If need be, we will go again. We are 200 per cent committed to the F1 race in India. We are building a motor car racing track capable of holding an F1 race.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 4-6th, April, 2008
Chinese Grand Prix Infographic [pic credit: Crash.net]
Damon Hill on track during the 1994 Pacific Grand Prix
Ayrton Senna collides with Nicola Larini at the start of the Pacific Grand Prix
Sergio Perez (MEX), Sahara Force India 
09.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day Two, Sakhir, Bahrain.
Sergio Perez (MEX), Sahara Force India 
09.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day Two, Sakhir, Bahrain.
Sergio Perez (MEX), Sahara Force India 
09.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day Two, Sakhir, Bahrain.
Sergio Perez (MEX), Sahara Force India 
09.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day Two, Sakhir, Bahrain.
Sergio Perez (MEX), Sahara Force India 
09.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day Two, Sakhir, Bahrain.
Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Sahara Force India 
08.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day One, Sakhir, Bahrain.
Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Sahara Force India 
08.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day One, Sakhir, Bahrain.
Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Sahara Force India 
08.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day One, Sakhir, Bahrain.
Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Sahara Force India 
08.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day One, Sakhir, Bahrain.
Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Sahara Force India 
08.04.2014. Formula One Testing, Bahrain Test, Day One, Sakhir, Bahrain.
06.04.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07
06.04.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07
06.04.2014- Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07
06.04.2014- Race, Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.