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Mallya confident that Indian GP will happen in 2011

NEWS STORY
30/08/2009

Still celebrating his team's maiden pole position, Force India boss Vijay Mallya claims that his country will host a Grand Prix in 2011 despite the country's sports ministry refusing to provide financial backing.

Earlier this week, the ministry said that it was not willing to provide financial backing claiming that a Grand Prix will not help further the development of sport in India, indeed, it described F1 as entertainment rather than sport, a comment that we're sure Flavio Briatore would take issue with.

However, speaking at Spa, in the wake of Giancarlo Fisichella's historic lap, Mallya told Reuters: "The Indian Grand Prix for 2011 is on track. The promoters of the event have acquired land and spent a fairly significant sum of money in getting the track built, together with surrounding infrastructure."

"I think the recent media reports of the government of India ministry of sports not supporting the event is limited only to permission that the promoters sought to remit about $38 million to FOA, because we still have exchange controls in India," he added. "They ran into some difficulty with that. But in this entire environment of exchange control in India, this is not surprising at all.

"Maybe they just have to go back to the ministry of sports and give some better explanation. At the end of the day, its a lot of Indian rupees and so a typical government officer would not just readily sign off."

Speaking to a Pitpass source on Thursday, Bernie Ecclestone reiterated that India will be on the 2011 calendar, while dismissing claims that Canada will host a race in 2010.

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