The cancellation of the 2014 edition of the Indian Grand Prix does not mean that the future of the Formula One race in the country is uncertain, Sahara Force India Team Principal Vijay Mallya has asserted.
"I am proud of the race, but I don't believe it is curtains. I know for a fact that the promoters in India have agreed all the commercial terms with Bernie (for 2015) and therefore I see no reason why it should not happen," Mallya said.
Mallya said India was an important destination and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone knows it well.
"I am hoping that we will see the race back in India in 2015 if Bernie has decided that there cannot be a race in 2014, because according to him the calendar cannot accommodate it. But I think Bernie is smart enough to understand the enormous potential that there is in India. I don't think he will take a short-term view," he said.
In words wrapped with caution, Mallya also questioned the logic of the shunting out of the Indian race from the 2014 calendar.
"Obviously we built a fantastic track, fulfilled the aspirations of hundreds of millions of young Indians, and then started moving and getting established in a country with huge long-term potential," he said.
"So to miss a year for whatever reason is obviously disappointing. Racing schedules are obviously important, but whether a country as important as India should miss out on a race in one calendar year is a debatable question," Mallya told autosport.
Mallya dismissed talks that if the race is dropped he will also turn his back on F1.
"It is a disappointment but please understand that I bought this team, named it Force India, and continued to race in the world championship well before there was any Indian GP," he said.