“Politics” could force end to Indian Grand Prix


Bernie Ecclestone says the Indian Grand Prix is likely to be dropped from the Formula One calendar next year.

Speaking to Reuters, Ecclestone said: “Is India going to happen next year? Probably not.”

He described the problems facing the race at the Buddh International Circuit as “political”.

Askari Zaidi of race promoters Jaypee Sports International said: “We have not got anything in writing from the Formula One management regarding the status of the 2014 Indian Grand Prix.” Jaypee have a contract to hold the grand prix until 2015.

Indian motorsport federation president Vicky Chandhok suggested one solution could be to postpone the next race at the track until 2015 while the problems are sorted out.

India held its first round of the world championship in 2011 at the purpose-built track in Greater Noida outside New Delhi. It proved a popular event but teams were unhappy at local attempts to levy taxes on their activities.

Next year’s calendar is under pressure as teams do not wish to see the schedule expand beyond twenty races. There are nineteen on this year’s calendar and a potential three more vying for a place.

Last week it was announced the Austrian Grand Prix will return to the calendar next year. A second race in the USA is also planned along with F1’s first visit to Russia for a grand prix at Sochi.

Although Bahrain has been lobbying to take over the coveted first round of the championship, Australia has been tipped to retain its place as the season-opener.