The uncertainty over the future of Formula One in India has already caused enough damage.
On Thursday, drivers like Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton expressed regret over the cancellation of the Indian GP for 2014 after just three seasons.
On Friday, it was the turn of Sauber’s Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn to join the chorus.
“If you objectively look at it, India is a very important market for the partners we have in Formula One, and there are Indian companies which could use the F1 platform to present their brands and create awareness at global level. If that’s no longer possible due to this uncertainty, both sides lose,” she said.
Drawing a comparison with the scene in Europe, she said: “We are yet to establish here. Three years is not enough.
“If you compare it to Europe, there, we have a certain heritage, where even if you don’t go for three four years, you can always comeback and connect. Over here, it will be difficult.”
The Dehradun-born Kaltenborn dismissed the idea of excessive paper work being one of the major problems in India.
“I don’t think it’s that big an issue. In India, we have to do a lot of administrative work. If we look at how much paper work we do with drivers here, we don’t do that anywhere else. But that’s something you can easily live with. That’s part of it,” she said.
“It’s not unusual, so that not something which prevents us from coming here.”
Looking at the issues pertaining to custom clearances, visa processes and other bureaucratic hurdles in addition to the withdrawal of exemption on entertainment tax and the filing of a PIL seeking a stay on the race, Kaltenborn asked:
“Why are these kinds of obstacles put up? What’s the agenda behind it? We see ourselves as a sport. We might be attractive due to platform we represent. But we are, first of all, a sport.”