F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has made a shock statement that the race will “surely” not return to India next year even as the organisers, JPSI, remained optimistic that the Formula One caravan will arrive in the country in 2015.
The 2014 race was dropped from the calendar due to bureaucratic hurdles even as the official version was that it was scrapped due to logistic reasons.
Ecclestone was quoted as saying by media that “at the moment, India won’t be on for next year for sure”.
“Probably 2016... they are gradually getting over all the bureaucracy with the tax position inside the country and the general finance,” the 82-year-old was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
After dropping of the 2014 race, it was speculated that the race will be held in March, 2015 instead of October.
Jaypee Sports International Ltd (JPSI) CEO and MD Sameer Gaur, who last year during the third edition of the race had said that that he would “bet his life” on race’s return in 2015, said they will find a way to get it back.
“JPSI would not like to react to media reports on F1 Indian Grand Prix not happening in 2015 as we will discuss the situation with the Formula One Management soon and we’re hopeful that things will be sorted out,” Gaur said in a statement.
The organisers have a five-year contract with FOM to host the race at Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida. The first race was held in October 2011.
Citing “political” reasons, Bernie had taken out the race from the country. Due to bureaucratic hurdles and taxation issues, teams struggle to get equipment in the country.
The Indian government does not consider F1 as sport but as entertainment.