In a huge dampner for Formula One enthusiasts in India, the 2014 Indian Grand Prix was on Tuesday dropped following a rejig in racing calendar for the coming year, according to race organisers JPSI, who said the motorsport extravaganza will now come back to country in March 2015.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has already taken the decision to drop India from the 2014 calendar and has conveyed it to the Indian authorities.
“October-November period suits us better both weather-wise as well as it being festive season, but if Formula One Management wants us to hold our race in March, 2015 we don’t have any problem with that,” said Sameer Gaur, MD and CEO, Jaypee Sports International Ltd (JPSI).
Askari Zaidi, the JPSI spokesperson also confirmed the development to PTI.
“It has now been decided to hold the race in March 2015 and 16. There would be no race in October 2014, and both parties have agreed to this decision,” Zaidi said.
“Bernie Ecclestone spoke to our MD Sameer Gaur and conveyed the decision. We have agreed to it as it won’t be possible to hold 2 races within a span of six months (Oct 2014 and Mar 2015),” he added.
The JPSI spokesperson said that the decision was arrived at after prolonged discussions with Ecclestone.
Vicky Chandhok, President of Federation of Motor Sport Council of India (FMSCI) said the primary reason behind the decision is the calendar and other reasons were incidental.
“I have heard that the 2014 Indian GP has been dropped and instead they will hold the race in the first half of 2015. But I am yet to get the confirmation in writing,” Chandhok said.
“Basically they are looking at an early slot in 2015.
Since their present plans are to have an Indian GP in either Match or April 2015, it is impossible to have an event three months before the 2015 event. Also, financially and infra-structure wise it is impossible to have two events in span of three or four months.
“Consequently, if they are going to have an event in 2015, the 2014 round is going to pushed back by three to four months and run it 2015 in early part of the year and then 2016. That is what they are presently working on. 2014 is definitely ruled out and 2015 and 2016 is what they are looking at,” Chandhok added.