India to sit out 2014?


India looks likely to be dropped from the 2014 calendar, possibly to return in early 2015.

With local fans failing to be won over, and new contenders eager to join the calendar, F1 faces a conundrum as it looks ahead. While some teams welcome the extra money that more races would bring, others fear the toll it would have on their staff and infrastructure.

Speaking on Sunday, Bernie Ecclestone suggested that India, which has failed to capture the public's imagination since joining the schedule in 2011 was likely to be missing when the 2014 calendar is announced.

"Is India going to happen next year? Probably not," he told Reuters at the Hungaroring. Asked to reveals the obstacles facing the event’s future he would only say: "Very political."

It's understood that promoter Jaypee Sports International is keen to drop the race from the 2014 schedule but return in 2015 and extend the current contact to 2016.

With Russia and Austria due to host races next year the calendar looks likely to feature 21, possibly 22, rounds, the most ever in the history of the world championship.

Following Ecclestone's revelation, Vicky Chandhok, head of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India, shed further light on the situation.

"I work closely with both, the Jaypee Group and Bernie," he told Reuters. "Apparently they are trying to find a mutually convenient date to start early in the year in 2015.

"With that in mind, 2014 obviously doesn't make logical sense and nobody can afford to have a late start in 2014 and then host another grand prix early 2015," he added. "I think what they are trying is to find a solution to run 2015 early in the year and 2016 instead of 2014 late."

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Published: 29/07/2013
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