Jean Todt, president of world motorsports governing body FIA, has said that India deserves Formula 1 and he hopes the dropped Grand Prix returns to the country in the near future.
“It’s (the race is not my responsibility). It is the commercial rights holder (FOM) who is discussing with the promoter (Jaypee Group), with the country. Personally, as the president of FIA but more as a car enthusiast, I was happy to see an international circuit in India,” Todt said here today.
The Indian Grand Prix, which was dropped in 2014 after three editions owing to tax and bureaucratic hurdles, is expected to return next season, going by the wishes of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and Jaypee Group.
Todt said it was unfortunate the race was taken off the calendar after three successful editions.
“Unfortunately, the circuit is used for other categories of motorsports. Next Sunday I head there is truck racing championship and it is used for other things too. Of course the initial thing was to host Formula One. India is one of the biggest countries in the world. Does it deserve Formula One, yes it does but I am not in charge of it,” said the Frenchman.
Talking about issues facing F1, Todt, a former team principal of Ferrari, said cost reduction remains FIA’s prime focus.
“This year hopefully we will have 10 teams. Being a pinnacle of motorsports, it’s an expensive sport. We still need to work on one side to encourage Formula 1 supporting new technologies, always trying to enforce safety, and on the financial side find out ways to reduce the cost of Formula 1 because I feel Formula 1 is too expensive,” he said.
F1 has been grappling with high costs for some time and F1 team Marussia went out of business while another team Caterham went into administration.
Asked on ways to limit the cost, Todt said, “In my opinion I don’t think it is necessary to have 500-1000 people running a Formula 1 team. I think you can do with less people. I think you can highlight some technologies which could be cheaper. Maybe you need to go through standardisation of technologies, it is something we are continuously addressing.”
The 69-year old said the teams have to reduce the cost significantly.
“We need to reduce significantly. The is no point in giving a figure. I will be happy to share the figure once we have achieved but we need to reduce it significantly," he said.