New Delhi: The Indian Grand Prix may be dropped from the 2014 Formula One calendar. This, after F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone was quoted as saying the problem of hosting the race at Greater Noida was "very political."
Speaking at the Hungarian Grand Prix - held in Budapest on Sunday - Ecclestone said that the Indian leg of F1 may not take place from next year. "Is India going to happen next year? Probably not," he said, hinting that political reasons made the event a nightmare.
The Buddh International Circuit has hosted two F1 races since its debut in 2011 - both won by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel. While the initial response to the track was positive, there have been niggling issues, including imposing tax on cars and machines which are brought in for the race. And with two other venues - Sochi in Russia and Austria - being strong contenders in getting a race each from next year, India's chances of retaining its October date with the motorsport does not appear too bright. (What is your take on the future of Indian GP? Comment below or here)
Ecclestone plans the F1 calendar and usually presents it to the International Automobile Federation in September for ratification. He currently has a possible 22 races jostling for space. Teams prefer a maximum of 20. (Flashback: Pics - Grid girls at the Indian Grand Prix in 2011)
"It would be a pity if for these (tax) reasons we don't go there," Sauber's Indian-born principal Monisha Kaltenborn said. "India is an important market for partners who are already in Formula One or who could get into Formula One because of that market so it really would be a pity if we would not manage to sort out these problems."