In another stark warning to the Greek government, whose plans to create a home for F1 in their cash-strapped country [see story here
], organisers of the Indian Grand Prix admit that they will not see a return on investment until around 2016.
The event, the latest addition to the F1 schedule following its debut in 2011, proved to be a hit with the drivers, who enjoyed the Buddh International circuit, but organiser Jaypee Sports International concedes that it will have to take a long-term view in order to gauge its ultimate success. With F1 set to return on a multi-year contract, the World Superbike series was also attracted to Buddh International, with a four-year deal now in place, but JPSI managing director and chief executive Sameer Gaur told Reuters
that it will be some time before his company sees the economic benefit of the circuit.
"The commercial proposition is such that you can't hope to recover it in a couple of years," Gaur, who oversaw the $450m construction project, explained, "You have to look at it from a long-term view. Maybe five to seven years, that's the time when one should be looking at breaking even."
With the first grand prix in the books, and the second due to take place at the end of the month, work hasn't stopped at Buddh International, with the next phase of construction concentrating on building up the infrastructure that helps make the visit of F1 more of an attraction for the fans.
"It's time to create some entertainment zones," Gaur commented, "Fans want a race which would be a three-day picnic. We have to create that facility and we are doing it. The proposed underground metro service would improve transport and there would be more restaurants and hotels too. In the next couple of years, we have to create an F1 village there, so that a fan can enjoy the race and the entertainment surrounding it.
"God was very kind, we got a perfect start [to racing] last year. Of course, some finishing touches were missing, but everything is in order this year and you won't hear any complaints. Jaypee Group is proud of what we have created and we would be disappointed if it does not happen. We have to make this circuit one of the most favourite tracks on the calendar. It won't happen overnight, it's a process, [but] we had nothing but positive feedback from the drivers and teams after the race last year, [and] some 95,000 people turned up to cheer them on the race day. We hope fans will come again with the same spirit."