It is now confirmed that the Indian Grand Prix will be dropped from Formula One’s 2014 calendar and will be held the following year.
Jaypee Sports International (JPSI), the owner and promoter of the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida, on Tuesday said that it had agreed to hold the 2014 edition of the race (which had been held in late October so far) in the early part of 2015.
“October-November period suits us better, both weather-wise as well as it being the festive season. But if the Formula One Management (FOM) wants us to hold our race in March 2015, we don’t have any problem with that,” said Sameer Gaur, the JPSI managing director and chief executive officer, in a statement.
JPSI had signed a five-year contract with FOM to hold the Formula One race in India.
The first edition of the event in 2011 was a huge success with nearly 95,000 people thronging the BIC.
However, there was a drastic drop in the number of spectators with only 65,000 witnessing the race in 2012. The third edition of the motorsport extravaganza will be held in October this year.
Even as there was speculation that teams were not happy with tax being levied on them by the Government during the Indian GP, the availability of three new venues, including next year’s Winter Olympics host — the Russian city of Sochi — for the 2014 calendar, made things more difficult for India.
“They requested us to shift the race as they had to make their calendar. First, they suggested to have the 2014 race in March, to which we said no because it would have been too close (after holding a race in October 2013). “So, it has been postponed till March 2015. And there is an understanding that the fifth edition will be held in March 2016,” said JPSI vice-president Askari Zaidi.