Formula 1 to skip India in 2014: Might be back for March 2015
Formula 1 signed a 5 year deal with promoters Jaypee Sports. Speaking about the latest development, Bernie Eccelstone says, “When we signed the five-year deal with Jaypee, we were keen on going to India in the first half and Jaypee wanted it to be in October. We gave in at that time, but now it looks we will have the race early 2015.”
More and more venues are vying for a spot in the F1 race calendar. Including India, there are 19 venues this year. From next year, Black Sea Resort in Sochi, Russia and New Jersey will be added, while 2014 is also expected to see the return of Austria, after an 11 year absence. This makes a total of 22 venues for 2014, and teams do not want more than 20 races per calendar. This makes it even more difficult for India to hold on to it’s position, especially when the Indian government does not consider it as a sport, and does not grant F1 teams a customs exemption.
India could have still hosted a race in 2014, but then it would be almost impossible for promoters to manage two races in a short gap of three months, considering the $40 million (Rs.237.7 crore) licensing fee. So it was best in the interest of both, Jaypee and F1 to give India a skip for 2014 and comeback in March 2015 (probably).
It is still not clear whether India will get to see F1 in 2016, as the contract expires in 2015, but considering the miss given in 2014, there is a slight chance of F1 coming to India in 2016. As far as renewing contract with India is concerned, Bernie says, “I really want it to continue, but it all depends on a lot of other factors. The sport is expanding its base every year,” reveals TOI.