Indian Grand Prix Dropped From 2014 Formula One Calendar
Formula One Chief, Bernie Ecclestone and organisers of the Indian Grand Prix, Jaypee Group have confirmed that the Indian Grand Prix has been dropped from the 2014 Formula One calendar, and will be held in the first half of 2015.
There has been intense speculation about the future of the event for the past few weeks, amid major tax issues with Indian authorities. Ecclestone said from that he and his Formula 1 management always wanted the India round early in the season, but the organisers preferred October.
When we signed the five-year deal with Jaypee, we were keen on going to India in the first half and Jaypee wanted it to be in October. We gave in at that time, but now it looks we will have the race early 2015.
– Bernie Ecclestone, Chairman & CEO, Formula One
The 2014 round will not take place as it is not possible for Jaypee to host two races within six months. The organisers shell out $40 million (Rs 237.7 crore) for every Formula One race at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) as licensing fee. During the Hungarian Grand Prix last week, Ecclestone said that the Indian Grand Prix was unlikely to happen next year due to political reasons. Widespread interpretations took it as the unhappiness of Formula One teams regarding the heavy taxation policy of India and its rigid structure, which is largely inflexible towards Formula One teams.
The ditching of the Indian GP clears the way for Ecclestone to slot in the Russian Grand Prix in October next year. A race at the start of the 2015 season means India will have to be clubbed with Australia, and the Asian nations Malaysia, Bahrain and China.