India gave its Motorsports fans a reason to cheer, way back in 2011, when it hosted its inaugural Formula1 race, at a world class facility at the outskirts of Delhi. The Budh International Circuit was dubbed as one of the most interesting tracks in the world, but the happiness didn't last very long, as the track hosted the race only for coming 3 seasons, officially getting de-listed from the 2014 calender.
The management ran into trouble with the Government and the 5 year long contract only lasted for 3 seasons. Now, after the end of the 2015 season, the contract will be renewed, and for the same purposes, race promoters and F1 kingpin Bernie Eccelestone held a meeting. Held on the sidelines of the inaugural Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, last month, the meeting came out to be 'fruitful', according to the parties involved.
"We (Sameer and I) had a good meeting in Russia. I was assured that the tax and other related problems will be sorted out in due course and then we are good to go back. It is too late for 2015 now, so we are working on 2016," Bernie Ecclestone, head, Formula 1 management, told PTI from his London office.
But the issues for the promoters with the Government are not yet over, the race promoters Jaypee Sports International (JPSI), headed by Sameer Gaur, first want to honour the five-year contract. This is why they need to host two more races in the coming years and then work on long-term future of the event in the country.
Sameer Gaur, Head, JPSI said, "Formula One remains very important for us. Unfortunately, because of the circumstances, we could not do the race this year but I see the situation improving soon. The important thing is that we and FOM are on the same page. 2015 looks tough as the calendar is more or less final, so we should look at 2016 as the year for the race."
As of now, adding Russia to the calendar moved the season total to 19 races, with 20 being confirmed for the 2015 season, with the addition of Mexico. Azerbaijan is already on the list to host their inaugural F1 race in the 2016 season, and if the India GP takes place, 22 races will be included in the calender. It will be interesting to see, how Bernie will manage the things.