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India sets seven-year window to break even on F1

The man behind the development of the Buddh International circuit and the Indian Grand Prix admits that he is taking a long-term view when it comes to a return on investment.
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."



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Kf1 - Unregistered

October 04, 2012 5:50 AM

@Skidcarrera 80% looking for next meal? Get your facts straight buddy. I agree India has huge poverty and socio economic problems, but considering the size and complexity of the country, any issue is big. In the last 10-15 years, India has made amazing progress in improving the standard of living. By 2015, the poverty level would be halved in comparison to 1991. India is a big country and problems aren't solved easily and things take time, but India's economy is growing at incredible rates and the middle class (now estimated to be around 300-350 million) is ballooning every year. That is the reason why F1 is there in India and unlike the Greece proposal, the govt is playing no role in promoting the sport, it is an entirely private sector funded project.

Jay - Unregistered

October 04, 2012 7:49 AM

Yes, Kf1, agree. You know, as an Indian, it is extremely irritating that any time India does something, the world only just points out to the poverty and says that you're not welcome. As an economy, we are better off from a majority of the other economies. And, yes. the government is playing no part in this whatsoever. This is a purely private sector initiative. @Skid Carrera dude, if he believes that it was grace of god, then obviously he is not an atheist, unlike you. It is a completely personal perception and you don't have to include the entire country in that statement.



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