The Indian Grand Prix will be dropped for 2014, as Bernie Ecclestone and the race organizers have confirmed a one-year absence from the Formula One calendar.
An internal date conflict – Ecclestone and FOM preferred an early month date, while the Indian Grand Prix Jaypee Group wanted it later in the year – was cited as the official reason.
“When we signed the five-year deal with Jaypee, we were keen on going to India in the first half and Jaypee wanted it to be in October,” Ecclestone said in a Times of India report. “We gave in at that time, but now it looks we will have the race early 2015.”
Alleged “political” problems involving the race, explained here on Monday, may also be to blame for the dropping of the event.
For 2015, the race could return as part of the series of Australia and Asia flyaway rounds. The opening four races of this year were at Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain and China.
Russian and Austrian events already have been announced for 2014, with the on-again, off-again and now on-again New Jersey round of the championship at Port Imperial set for inclusion as well if it gets its financial house of cards in order.
With 20 races already on the calendar in 2013, inevitably there would be drop-offs to accommodate the new rounds, and this is the first domino.