F1 race arrival to India delayed by a year to 2011: Kalmadi

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/f/form1.jpg' class='caption'> India's date with high-profile Formula One race is delayed by another year to 2011, Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi said on Thursday. F

Updated: November 06, 2008 10:37 IST
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New Delhi:

India's date with high-profile Formula One race is delayed by another year to 2011, Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi said on Thursday but refused to give any reason for it.

"Formula One will be held in India in 2011. Berni (Ecclestone, Formula One supremo) and GP Group are working on this plan," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function.

Kalmadi, who had been saying that F1 race will be held in Greater Noida in 2010, however, did not give any reason for the delay.

"I don't know," he said parrying an answer to the queries regarding reasons for the delay.

This followed after President and CEO of Formula One Management Bernie Ecclestone said last month that the Indian Grand Prix will only be inserted in the 2011 season.

IOA signed a deal - reportedly for 10 years - in June last year to host F1 in Greater Noida and the site for the race track was surveyed by Hermann Tilke who has designed most new F1 tracks over the past decade including Sepang, Bahrain, Shanghai, Istanbul, Singapore.

Kalmadi expressed happiness that Olympic sports is on the rise in India after the Beijing Games and fine showing by the country in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune last month.

"We won the first individual gold, won bronze in boxing and wrestling in Beijing. It is not about only one or two disciplines. Our youth did well in the recent Commonwealth Youth Games by finishing on top. So, Olympic sports are beginning to do well," he said at a function to celebrate '700 Days to go for the 2010 Commonwealth Games'.

About the preparation work for the 2010 GWG in Delhi, Kalmadi said, "No one should be in doubt that the infrastructure will be ready by December 2009 and the trial events will take place on schedule in 2010 before the Games."

"I hope we will host the best Commonwealth Games in history and that will give more fillip to Olympic sports in the country," he added.

Meanwhile, a roadshow of the ING Renault F1 Team on the Rajpath on November 9 with race driver Nelson Piquet (Jr) expected to take part in it.

The roadshow is being held on the invitation of 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee of which Kalmadi is the chairman.

Asked why the IOA was encouraging motorsport which is not an Olympic sport, Kalmadi said, "IOA supports all sports in the country. Motorsports is one field in which the youth can do well given the right infrastructure. We are all for the participation of youth in sports. Only then we can become a sporting country.

"Since the Olympics and Commonwealth Games are all about youth and the competitive spirit, we decided to invite Renault to bring the roadshow to India," he said.

Renault India Managing Director Sylvain Bilaine said he is expecting a huge crowd to turn out for the show.

"It is a uniquely designed road show among all F1 teams, a multi-city world tour, conducted in five or six select cities across the world every year. We have done this in Brazil, France, London, Mexico, Johannesburg, Warsaw, Rotterdam and Moscow. We are expecting a huge crowd turn out in New Delhi," he said.

The roadshow of the F1 team, sponsored by ING Vysya, will have spectacular display of the 2007 Renault F1 cars driving down the Rajpath Apart, stunts by professional drivers on Renault Megane Trophy cars, the Toon cars and the display of their Logan cars. The stunt drivers will show their skills in tyre burnouts and making donuts.

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