29 October 2013
Indian Grand Prix: Jaypee: We will definitely host Indian GP again
Despite falling attendances, political and financial obstacles and missing out on next year's schedule, Indian GP organisers remain confident that the event will return.
Jaypee Sports International insists that the Indian Grand Prix will return to the Buddh International Circuit after a one-year hiatus in 2014.
The event, which is only three races into a five-race deal with FOM, is taking a year out owing, according to the organisers, to the pressures of running twice in six months, as would have been required by a change of slot on the calendar. While others, including F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone, cite political and financial wrangling as a major cause for the break, leading to speculation that India may be lost to the sport, but JPSI is adamant that the race will return.
Lower than expected ticket take-up for this year's event, after a drop-off in attendees for the 2012 round, is also seen as a bad sign for the race, but officials insist that the numbers at this year's race – reckoned to be between 50-60,000 - remain comparable to other, more established, races on the schedule, despite a crowd of around 95,000 having watched the first Indian GP in the flesh.
“We were always confident of good crowd numbers,” a media officer told Gulf News, “F1 is new to the country and it will take time for fans to warm up to it. We are close to the average attendances worldwide on race days, except perhaps in Silverstone, which attracts a bigger crowd. We will definitely host the race again in 2015.”
India faces increased competition from other countries as Ecclestone attempts to contain a calendar at around 20 races. Next year's schedule, even without a trip to Buddh International, currently stands at 22 rounds, with additions slated in Austria, Mexico and Russia.
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