Jaypee pushes for new contract, wants to take F1 lap beyond 2016

Debabrata Das, Roudra Bhattacharya Posted online: Monday, Oct 28, 2013 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : Real estate and power major Jaypee Group wants to extend its FI contract to beyond the initial five-year deal it signed in 2010.

Jaiprakash Gaur, Jaypee's founder chairman, met the management of the Formula One Group (FOG) during the India Grand Prix to work out a more long-term deal that would make Greater Noida's Buddh International Circuit a permanent feature of the F1 calendar.

"Gaur met a few FOG officials at the track on Saturday. He said he wants to extend the contract beyond the five years. However, a final contract is yet to be worked out," a Jaypee official said.

Incidentally, this comes soon after FOG decided to drop India from the 2014 F1 calendar.

The next two races, which are part of the original five-year deal, are now scheduled for 2015 and 2016 but they may happen in March-April instead of October.

Jaypee Sports International (JPSI), the company arm in charge of the sports business, is also renegotiating the terms of contract with FOG in order to increase its earnings.

Though it has invested over $550 million in the Indian GP since 2010, including $400 million on the track, it is yet to see a profit.

"We are renegotiating with the F1 management to reduce the licence fee. We are telling them that the current structure doesn't work because we are a private company, unlike other countries where the government or tourism department funds such events, said JPSI senior vice-president Askari H Zaidi.