All is well, India very much in F1 race, says Jaypees Gaur

Written by Deepa Jainani | Lucknow | Updated: Jul 31 2013, 15:58pm hrs
All is well with the Indian Grand Prix. There is no threat of India losing out on the F1 championship, Samir Gaur, CEO, Jaypee Sports International, assured on Tuesday, a day after Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone hinted that the event may not be held here next year.

The only issue of consequence is that there may be a rejig in the 2014 calender due to cargo logistics and the addition of two new venues, Russia and New Jersey, along with Austria, which is expected to make a comeback to F1 after an 11-year absence. In that case, the October 2014 event can get rescheduled to early 2015 as it is not possible to host the event twice within a span of 5-6 months.

Ecclestone had told a section of media at the Hungarian Grand Prix that next years race at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida was in doubt.

Logistics are a big issue and the cost of ferrying them is too high. The F1 management is looking at how to cut them. Out of the options that are being weighed are that the events be placed in the calender in such a way that the Asia stretch is done in one go and the Europe stretch gets done in another. If you see the present calender, you will see how the teams criss-cross around the continents many times over, thereby raising the costs of ferrying logistics, Gaur said.

According to him, in order to set things right, the calender is being reworked in such a way that the India dates are likely to come up early on in the year.

They are trying to tag India dates to that of Australia, which will happen at the beginning of the calender year. In that case, doing an event in October 2014 and then again in March or April 2015 would be difficult. It is in that scenario that the option of India skipping the 2014 dates is doing the rounds, he said, adding that apart from this, the F1 calendar for 2014 is packed with 22 races as against 19 now, what with new venues and circuits bidding for the forthcoming seasons.

Jaypee Sports International has a 5-year contract to host the Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit till 2015.

The first event was staged in 2011. We are discussing the issue with Ecclestone, said Gaur, adding that the controversy would in no way effect this year's races scheduled for October 25-27.