The Indian Grand Prix may struggle to find its way back onto the F1 calendar following its absence from the 2014 schedule.
That’s the view of Vicky Chandhok (pictured with Bernie Ecclestone), president of the Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India and father of former F1 driver Karun Chandhok.
“If it doesn’t come back in 2015, it may never come back at all,” he warned ahead of this weekend’s race. “That is my concern. Once you lose a race it can be gone for ever.”
India held its first round of the world championship in 2009. However the race has been dogged by bureaucratic wrangles. In the run-up to this year’s race the regional government in Uttar Pradesh began moves to remove the race’s tax-exempt status.
Chandhok said rising costs associated with the race was part of the reason why it isn’t on the calendar for next year – and might not be again.
“First, Bernie wanted to switch the race to March but there was no way we could stage two races in five months,” he said. “Second, everything has become a lot more expensive.”
India may find it difficult to reclaim a place on an increasingly congested calendar. Even without its race there are 21 events listed on the 2014 schedule, including new events in Russia and New Jersey.