Bernie Ecclestone says the Indian Grand Prix is likely to be dropped in 2014
F1 boss says reasons for dropping race are "very political"
By William Esler. Last Updated: 29/07/13 12:46pm
Bernie Ecclestone says the Indian Grand Prix is likely to be dropped from the schedule next year, despite its contract running until 2015.
New races are planned in New Jersey and Russia, whilst Red Bull confirmed last week that the Austrian GP will return for the first time since 2003.
Added to the existing calendar, those events would swell the calendar to 22 races, but the teams are keen to ensure there are no more than 20 grands prix.
"Is India going to happen next year? Probably not," Ecclestone said. When pressed for a reason why he added: "Very political."
However, despite Ecclestone's comments race promoters Jaypee Sports are keen for the grand prix to continue until at least 2015.
"We have not got anything in writing from the Formula One management regarding the status of the 2014 Indian Grand Prix," Jaypee spokesman Askari Zaidi said.
"We are keen that Formula 1 races take place in India at the Buddh International Circuit until our contract is in operation that is 2015."
One Team Principal keen to see the race remain on the calendar is Sauber's India-born chief Monisha Kaltenborn.
"It would be a pity if for these (tax) reasons we don't go there," she said.
"India is an important market for partners who are already in Formula 1 or who could get into Formula 1 because of that market so it really would be a pity if we would not manage to sort out these problems."
However, Indian Motorsport President Vicky Chandok believes the race will return in an early season slot in 2015.
"I work closely with both, the Jaypee Group and Bernie. Apparently they are trying to find a mutually convenient date to start early in the year in 2015," Chandhok said.
"With that in mind, 2014 obviously doesn't make logical sense and nobody can afford to have a late start in 2014 and then host another grand prix early 2015.
"I think what they are trying is to find a solution to run 2015 early in the year and 2016 instead of 2014 late."