India on course for 2011 F1 Grand Prix

Written by Deepa Jainani | Lucknow | Updated: Jan 17 2009, 04:58am hrs
New Delhi is all set to open its doors to F1 in 2011. Funded by public-private partnership JPSK Sports, a subsidiary of Jaiprakash Associates, will stage the first ever Formula One India Grand Prix.

Says Samir Gaur, MD and CEO of JPSK Sports, Land acquisition for the 5.5 km track is on and we are hopeful of completing the exercise by February. The designer and contractor for the job too, have been finalised and we are sure of getting the track ready by February 2011, in time for the championship. The launch of Force India as one of only 10 teams on the Formula One grid, has stimulated the interest in Formula One in India dramatically and the possibility of Narayan Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok driving in F1, will further spark an explosion of interest that would soon rival that of traditional sports.

According to experts, the benefits of a booming economy like India joining the F1 calendar are clear. Not only would the hotel and tourism industry get an immediate boost, the countrys profile, too, would get a lift.

Experts are also of the view that once the Indian Grand Prix kicks off, it has the potential to generate around $170 million in revenue and employ as many as 10,000 people. The opportunity in advertising tie-ups between manufacturers and F1 cannot be overlooked either.

According to Ashok Khurana, executive vice-chairman of JPSK, the core area of the circuit would be spread over 4,000 hectares and building the infrastructure of the circuit would cost between Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,500 crore.

Once the process of acquiring land is completed, we will go into top gear to have the construction done. We will get the track ready for inspection by the FIA (Federation Internationale de LAutomobile), the governing body for world motor sport, by February 2011, he states.