11 December 2012
Indian GP promoter Jaypee Group has revealed that it would be interested in playing host to an F1 pre-season test, although the teams are not so sure....
The Buddh International Circuit has admitted that it would be interested in staging a pre-season F1 test session, but acknowledges that it is unlikely to happen soon.
With two grands prix now under its belt, circuit promoter Jaypee Group has expressed its offer to the sport's management, as well as the teams, but has so far been frustrated in its attempts to drum up interest, despite the guarantee of decent weather conditions – something that could not be taken for granted in Spain earlier this year.
FOM has already decided that next year's preparations will again take place exclusively in southern Europe, with Jerez and Barcelona again sharing the three sessions before racing gets underway in Australia in March. With no mid-season test confirmed at last week's FIA assembly in Turkey, India will have to wait before making another pitch for additional F1 action.
The local IANS news agency quotes a couple of F1 insiders, who admit that logistics remains the main obstacle to testing on the sub-continent, even though, some years ago, several teams – notably Ferrari and Toyota – opted to run separate tests in Bahrain away from the majority of the F1 pack, which was preparing in Spain.
"Given the time and logistics constraints involved in testing new cars pre-season, it's unlikely we'd look for venues outside of Europe,” Lotus press officer, former Crash.net staffer and celebrity houseboat restorer Andy Stobart explained, “The BIC is a fantastic facility, but not one we've considered for pre-season testing."
"As most of the teams are based in Europe, it is convenient to do the testing here,” an unnamed Force India representative confirmed, “No doubt the weather in India is a lot better than the snowy conditions here, but the cost involved is something most teams are not ready for. Also, the cumbersome customs clearance is a dampener….."
Interest in the Indian Grand Prix continues to grow, although marketing experts admit that there is still some way to go before the event can be deemed a success.
“The racing circus finally arrived last year - and what a welcome it was,” Navroze Dhondy wrote on the Pitch website, “Over a hundred thousand flocked to see the very first Airtel Indian Grand Prix.
“The track was a beauty, and acknowledged by the drivers and the teams. The sandy outlays were definitely very demanding for those who arrived for the race, with some teething trouble with the park and ride experiences, the entry and exit points getting choked and even our very own wonderful celebs Tweeting how frustrated they were stuck in traffic or moving at snail's pace when just a few minutes ago they were dreaming of sitting in those mean machines and becoming legendary F1 drivers.”
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