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Ecclestone unconcerned over India's Games 'shambles'

Bernie Ecclestone insists that there will be no repeat of the Commonwealth Games farce when F1 heads to India for its inaugural grand prix next season.

Bernie Ecclestone has reassured F1 fans that the current debacle surrounding the Commonwealth Games in Delhi will not be replicated ahead of next year's inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

Although there was some delay in getting the sub-continent's first F1 project off the ground, caused mainly by red tape and political wrangling, construction of India's first F1 venue is now underway, and Ecclestone is confident that everything will be in place by the time the series arrives in October 2011.

"It is a different organisation altogether, so I have no worries at all," he told Reuters reporters at a sponsorship engagement, referring to the Jaypee Group currently overseeing the circuit construction, "The people who are making a shambles [of the Commonwealth Games facilities] are not the people who we are dealing with for the race."

The new 5.14km circuit is being built on land just over 30km from Delhi, where a major rescue programme is now in place to ensure that the Commonwealth Games go ahead. Several teams, including all British nations and other major powers such as Australia, have criticised security and the state of the facilities waiting for them, both in the athletes' village and at the venues themselves, but are likely to continue with their participation after receiving assurances that everything will be ready for the opening ceremony in just two weeks' time. The Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, has since taken personal charge of the clear-up and build process which, despite the Games being awarded to India back in 2003, only began two years ago.

The Games, which were designed to highlight India's growing financial and international status, have become headline news in recent days, underlined by the collapse of footbridge leading to the main Jawaharlal Nehru stadium and the partial cave-in of the roof at the weightlifting venue. Reports suggest both that children have been seen working on some construction projects, and packs of stray dogs have taken up residence in the still incomplete accommodation blocks.

Security has also been an issue, with reports of militant gunfire in the city, while an outbreak of Dengue fever is currently being faced by the city of Delhi itself.



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