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No quick return to calendar for India

NEWS STORY
05/03/2014

India's hopes of returning to the schedule in 2015 have been dealt a severe blow by Bernie Ecclestone.

The event, which first made it on to the F1 calendar in 2011, has been dropped in 2014 with plans to return it to the calendar in 2015. However, speaking to Reuters Alan Baldwin today, Bernie Ecclestone admitted that the race is not likely to return until 2016 at the earliest, sparking fears that the race - which had a five year contract - is already dead and buried.

Other than a local lack of interest, not helped by high ticket prices and the lack of national involvement in terms of a driver, the event has been marred by problems with the authorities in terms of tax; both events at the Buddh circuit, particularly the inaugural race, overshadowed by strict rules in India which see race equipment treated the same as any other import, and therefore liable to duty. This is mainly due to the fact that in India F1 is seen as entertainment (cough) rather than sport.

Asked about India's chances of returning to the calendar next year, Ecclestone told Reuters: "At the moment, India won't be on for next year for sure

"Probably 2016," he replied, when asked when it might return, "they're gradually getting over all the bureaucracy with the tax position inside the country and the general finance."

However, the news was a little more positive in terms of that other hot bed of F1 fandom... Azerbaijan. Dismissing media claims that a deal has already been agreed, Ecclestone admitted that a race is on the cards.

"It's nice," he enthused. “Be ready, because you'll have to go. We're having a look to see if we can get it done for next year. It's not particularly straightforward but it will be a street circuit."

Can't wait.

Chris Balfe

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1. Posted by The stogie, 07/03/2014 2:15

"The authorities neglected to tell Bernie and company that the race was actually going to be held in Stickit, India!!!!! LOL India wants to be known as a world class country. Unfortunately their government is still stuck back in the 19th century with many of their rules and regulations. To charge duty on race cars and equipment which will NOT be staying in country defies common sense. Sad."

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