7 June 2011
Indian circuit 'ready by original F1 date'
Indian motorsport president Vicky Chandhok claims that the Buddh International Circuit will be ready by end of October as originally planned, despite the country's first grand prix being moved to December.
Organisers of the nascent Indian Grand Prix have insisted that the race's rescheduling for December is entirely down to the desire to allocate its date to the returning Bahrain round.
There have been rumours that the switch, which gives construction at the Buddh International circuit an extra six weeks of preparation time, may have been engineered to give the venue every chance of being ready for its F1 debut, but organisers are keen to stress that no leeway will be needed.
Suspicions that the Indian project may not have been ready on time are heightened by recent problems with both the Korean GP, which only made its slot in 2010 by the narrowest of margins, and the Delhi Commonwealth Games, which caused headlines with its last-minute rush to be ready. Grand prix organisers, however, insist that the F1 construction - which is being privately, rather than government, controlled - will be ready by its previously-appointed October date
"[The rescheduling] has nothing to do the race track, which is getting ready well ahead of schedule," Vicky Chandok, president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs in India, told The Associated Press, "If you ask me if it the track will be ready as per the original date, the answer is yes.
"We spoke to our promoters, who said there was no problem [moving to December], [and] we are happy to make the adjustment to accommodate the Bahrain GP."
Asked whether the weekend of 4 December had been considered for the new season finale, Chandhok admitted that the Indian organisers had asked for a two-week gap between the preceding race in Brazil and the debut at Buddh International. The gap also falls within F1 guidelines for not scheduling new venues as the second half of back-to-back race weekends, owing to uncertainties over border entries and other potential hold-ups.
"That's just owing to the logistics like distance between South America and India and transporting the cars," Chandhok said of the 11 December date published last week, "It has nothing to do with the race track."
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