Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone remains hopeful that the Indian Grand Prix will be able to return to the sport’s calendar for the 2016 season, but has given the promoters two months to make a decision on the future of the event.
The race at Buddh International Circuit on the outskirts of New Delhi joined the F1 calendar in 2011, but was scrapped after just three editions due to spiralling costs.
In spite the pleas of Force India team owner Vijay Mallya to revive the race and the recent recognition of the nation’s motorsport federation by the government, there has been little in the way of positive news from race promoters Jaypee Group.
Ecclestone has reached out in a bid to get the race back on the calendar, but confirmed in an interview with PTI that he needed a final decision by the beginning of fall.
“I hope we have a race in India next year,” Ecclestone said. “I am waiting for the promoters to come back to me.
“We will do whatever is needed to make sure India is back. There are no added challenges to the event.
“We just need the Jaypee Group to say that ‘we are happy to carry on’ and we can revive the existing contract.”
With the Indian Grand Prix now also back in the running for a possible return in 2016, the sport’s ever-growing calendar is set to place even more pressure on the paddock next season.
Although a later start to the year in Australia is planned, with Germany and Azerbaijan all but set to join the calendar, a 21-race season is already on the cards. Factoring in a possible return for India and the potential addition of a new race in Qatar, the figure could yet rise further.