Chennai: The president of the Federation of Motorsports Clubs in India (FMSCI) Vicky Chandhok feels that the decision to shift the 2014 leg of the Indian GP has been taken purely on the basis of commercial and logistical considerations and organizers should deal with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone as far as structuring of race fee is concerned.
Excerpts from an interview with PTI:
Q Do you think that the race fee can be curtailed from USD 40 million to USD 30 million to make it commercially more viable?
Chandhok: As far as the commercial charges are concerned, Bernie Ecclestone is the rights holder of Formula One. It is up to him to negotiate with each Organiser as to how much he will get paid. For example, it is between Bernie and the Indian Organiser (Jaypee Sports International) to discuss and negotiate on the rates.
Q Do you think that Indian GP won't be held in 2014 simply because of pressure from the drivers?
Chandhok: The primary reason is the calendar and other reasons are incidental. Since there are new venues are coming in like Russia and Austria, the September to November date are all favoured to premium dates. What FIA wants to try and do is that since Australia, Malaysia and China are wanting to have the events in beginning of the year, they also want to have Indian Grand Prix at that time.
Q Why is FIA looking at an early slot in 2015 for Indian GP?
Chandhok: Since FIA's present plan is to have an Indian GP in either March or April 2015, it is impossible to have an event three months prior to the 2015 event. Also, financially and infra-structurewise, it is impossible to have two events in span of three or four months. 2014 is definitely ruled out and 2015 and 2016 is what they are looking at.
Q Has lack of crowd support anything to do with cancellation of 2014 edition?
Chandhok: No. It has got nothing to do with crowd support. It is all a commercial contract and the FIA will take the final call on the calendar at its World Council meeting to be held in September in Croatia. Bernie will submit his recommendations and the FIA will place it at the World Council meeting and ratify its decision.
Q Are you confident of India getting the sanction for 2015 early slot?
Chandhok: At the moment, my focus is on the 2013 edition which is just round the corner. We are currently working for the success growth of 2013 and I am leaving it to the JP Group and Formula One Management to ensure that they come to an arrangement for 2015 and beyond.
Q As a lover of F1, what will be your appeal to FIA?
Chandhok: I would like to add that it has taken a lot of efforts to get Formula One to India by everyone concerned. After the disastrous Commonwealth Games, Fomula One showed that even we can organize world class event. I sincerely hope that Formula One is continued in India because it gives our country a good global profile.