'Difficult to Organise Formula One in India Without Government Support'
India last hosted Formula One in 2013. The high-profile event was taken off the calendar in 2014 owing to tax and bureaucratic hurdles.
As the future of privately-backed Indian Grand Prix stands in a limbo, Nissan India President Guillaume Sicard has said that it is very difficult to organise a Formula 1 race without government support.
Sicard's comments will be music to the ears of race promoters Jaypee Group, who have longed for Indian government's support ever since the high-profile event was taken off the calendar in 2014 owing to tax and bureaucratic hurdles.
"In the case of Formula 1, there is always government support required. If you don't have the support, it is very difficult (to organise the race). I am not judging anyone here but saying out of my personal experience," Sicard told PTI on the launch of Nissan GT Academy season 2.
Nissan is involved with a variety of motorsport activities world over, ranging from fielding their cars in the 24 Hours of Le Mans to their presence in the World Endurance Championship.
The Frenchman added: "I say this simply because the race in my home country (France) doesn't take place anymore, I have worked in Turkey too and the Grand Prix was cancelled there. Motorsport is an expensive sport. There is a lot of money involved.
"Having said that, every government is free to decide (whether it wants Formula 1 or not)."
Unlike the case was with India, most races on the F1 calendar are backed by the government, whether it is about coughing up the licensing fee or providing logistical support.
JPSI chief Sameer Gaur, who have been working with Formula One Management to get the race back, has already hinted that it would be difficult for his company to go beyond the existing five-year contract if the central and state governments don't offer more support for the global event.
Gaur had said to PTI: "We have signed a contract with FOM for five years and we will honour it. Beyond that, we will have to wait and see how things change. We organised three races in full harmony, full collaboration with FOM, Government of India and the state government.
"We will go the central government again in due time, once we are closer to organising the race again, we will go. It could be a win win situation. F1 is right up there with hosting Olympics or Football World Cup and its presence can only benefit India."
While it costs billions of dollars to host a Football World Cup or Olympics, a Formula 1 race could be staged annually with a much lesser amount.
JPSI is believed to have paid around USD 40 million per year for the first three editions of the Indian Grand Prix.