Indian Govt. re-recognises motorsports as a sport, Formula 1 could return soon

This might act as a boost for Formula 1’s return to India.

Indian Government has acknowledged motorsports as a sport and has added private regulatory body FMSCI to the list of National Sports Federations (NSF) which is supported by the ministry.

Indian Motorsports Polo Cup side up

Yet, this does not warrant the return of Formula One Indian Grand Prix, as it depends only on Jaypee Group (event promoter) and (FOM) Formula One Management (commercial rights holder).

This move comes after the government taking FMSCI off the NSF list in 2011, which was the time when Formula One debuted in India. Although the ministry has re-included motorsports in the latest update of NSF, it has put the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) in ‘Others’ category. Hence no financial assistance will be granted to the body.

However, the inclusion of FMSCI in NSF offers certain benefits. Certain procedures and getting clearances to conduct motorsport championships, be it car, kart or bike racing, would be a lot easier now. This was one of the main problems faced by Formula 1 teams. With this out of the way, we could see F1 back in India, sooner than expected. Though no official word is out yet.

Second advantage, is educational institutions like schools and colleges will also begin to consider motorsports as a real sport and they would involve in participation and promotion, which will nurture the sport as a whole in the country.

David Coulthard Indian flag

David Coulthard with the Indian flag in Hyderabad earlier this month for a promotional event.

Another important benefit that is hopeful after this re-recognition, is the grant of subsidy or excise duty exemption for equipment that need to be imported for motorsports. Now FMSCI will be able to approach the sports ministry and even the finance ministry for such favours.