The Federation of Motor Sport Clubs in India (FMSCI) president, Vicky Chandhok, put to rest doubts over the future of the Indian Grand Prix.
Speaking to The Hindu on Friday, he said both the Federation and the race organisers were determined to carry on despite the nagging problems they have been facing.
“The promoters are even keen on running the Indian Grand Prix for another five years after the first contract (five years) is over,” Chandhok said.
“The last two days, race promoter Sameer Gaur and I have been discussing the issue at length. He is determined to have the race back here in 2015,” said Chandhok.
“We have such a massive, world-class facility here. The promoters have invested huge sums of money into it. Besides we also have a contract with the Formula One Management (FOM). Therefore, I don’t see why the Indian Grand Prix won’t be back in 2015,” he said.
Talking of the importance of running a Formula One race, the FMSCI chief said, “It is such a crucial marketing tool.
“Investors are looking at India as a great destination and by successfully hosting the Indian Grand Prix we have boosted the confidence of the investors. So we now need to capitalise on the advantage we have gained.”
Initially Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of FOM, wanted to move the Indian Grand Prix to March-April in 2014. But since the prospect of hosting the 2013 race in October and running another one in early 2014 would have been more than daunting for the organisers, especially considering the costs involved, the race was dropped from the provisional schedule for the 2014 season.
There was, however, an assurance from the FOM that the race would return to the Buddh International Circuit in 2015.
In the run-up to the race, issues such as taxation and a PIL seeking cancellation of the event led to speculation on whether the Indian Grand Prix’s future was safe. Chandhok, however, stated peremptorily: “I would say the race is definitely on in 2015.”