It has been announced today that barely a week after it appeared the Indian GP won’t return to the F1 calendar next year, Bernie Ecclestone has given them fresh hope.
The South Asian country made its Formula 1 debut in 2011 and the Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi hosted the race for three seasons before it was dropped ahead of the 2014 campaign due to tax and bureaucratic issues.
Indian papers reported that the race was unlikely to return in the near future, let alone 2016.
However, F1 supremo Ecclestone says they are still in negotiations with promoter Jaypee Group. In an interview with the media today, Ecclestone stated the following about the situation at the moment as follows:-
‘I hope we have a race in India next year. I am waiting for the promoters to come back to me. We will do whatever is needed to make sure India is back. There are no added challenges to the event.
‘We just need the Jaypee Group to say that ‘we are happy to carry on’ and we can revive the existing contract. They need to be in a hurry. Within the next two months, we need to know.’
From what Ecclestone has stated in his interview with the media today, it is clear that he is happy to have India back on the calendar; provided that they are able to commit to the event and find the money needed to host the event to the high standard that they need to by FOM and the FIA.
The situation appears to be the same as last week which is that they are currently evaluating their options about hosting the race and if they can afford it. But time is running out for India and they need to make a decision quickly as Ecclestone has granted them two more months and he’ll want an answer either way and you can be sure that he will have another interested country to take India’s place on the calendar.
But will India be back on the calendar for next season? I would say at this moment in time; no. But anything can happen in F1 and it usually does.