By Brandon Turkus
BBC Sport is reporting that Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One boss and indicted briber, has said the Indian Grand Prix will “probably not” happen in 2014. The race, which takes place at the purpose-built Buddh International Circuit, is in danger due to a combination of reasons, including Ecclestone’s desire to move India from its current slot in October to the beginning of the season, in March or April.
According to the BBC, this is to accommodate a schedule envisioned by Ecclestone that adds races in Austria, New Jersey and Russia, in addition to the current 19-race calendar. Why the shuffle, though? The teams aren’t too excited about a longer season, and Ecclestone is hoping that by moving India to the start of the season, with China, Malaysia and the season opener in Australia, he can knock out four of the seven Asia-Pacific-region races in one fell swoop.
This poses a problem for India, though, as it’d be forced to run a race in October of 2014 and then do the whole thing over again in six or seven months. According to the head of India’s motorsports federation, Vicky Chandhok, that doesn’t give the country enough recovery time, with Chandhok going so far as to say the early season date “would be impossible for us in terms of finances and resources.”
There’s also a dustup over India’s import tax, that could hamper this year’s race. The Indian government is attempting to tax teams on their Indian earnings rather than on their profits, which would result in teams having to paying considerably more in taxes.
2013 marks only the third F1 race at the Buddh Circuit. But if Bernie doesn’t get his way, and the tax issues aren’t sorted, the track could go the way of Turkey’s Istanbul Park, another circuit built solely to attract F1, that lasted a mere six seasons before being dropped from the calendar.
Indian Grand Prix in jeopardy? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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