No Indian GP for 2014?
Will the Buddh International Circuit be deprived of Formula One action next year? We study the situation...
Been hearing a lot of "No Formula One for India in 2014" today? We wouldn't blame you for believing those words. After all, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone sounded apprehensive about the Indian GP's 2014 chances at the Hungarian GP this past weekend. So, will this year's GP be it for the BIC? What exactly happens to the Indian Grand Prix if there is no F1 action next year? We've been studying the matter quite closely, and we've found answers. Possibly.
According to our inside sources, it hasn't yet been confirmed whether the 2014 Indian GP will be cancelled or not. When Bernie said what he said, what he possibly meant was that the Indian GP slot may be given to the new GPs that are being added in the 2014 calendar – the Russian and the Austrian GP.
The interesting thing here is, the Indian GP contract is valid till 2015. Which means, if the 2014 event is cancelled, then the FIA could further pursue the Indian GP authorities to hold the 2015 race in April instead of October, so that India becomes a part of the initial fly-away races taking place in Asia. Also, if the 2014 race does not take place, it won't entirely be cancelled; instead, the FIA might just swap 2014 with a slot in the 2016 F1 calendar.
Now you would ask, why did Bernie talk about dropping the Indian GP in the first place? Here’s why. If we were to take into account all the current events and new venues for 2014, there would be 22 races in total. And the F1 teams are against this. The teams would rather not travel so much in a single season. Thus, the FIA is planning to swap some current venues with the new ones. The European GP was binned this year, leaving us with 19 races. And now, because of what Bernie describes as "very political" conditions prevailing in India, and the fact that our Government refuses to recognise Formula One as a proper "sport" and levies massive amounts of import tax on F1 teams shipping equipment into and out of the country, leaving quite a few teams bitter, the Indian GP might be the next venue to be dropped.
Anyway, these are possibilities, and possibilities only. All shall be confirmed only in September when the official FIA 2014 Formula 1 Calendar is out. In the meantime, you can put your feet up and let out a sigh of relief, because all isn't doomed. This isn't the end of it, and as new developments come our way, we shall bring them to you in a jiffy. Stick close...