Indian GP dropped for next year
NEW DELHI (AFP) – The Indian Grand Prix has been cancelled for next year but is expected to return in 2015, an official said on Wednesday.
Vicky Chandhok, head of the Federation of Motor Sport Council of India, said the Indian event was being dropped because of an imminent reshuffle of Formula One's calendar for next year.
But Chandhok said India was targeting a 2015 return, and the Indian event, which started in 2011, was not under any threat of being abandoned for ever.
"The race in 2014 is definitely ruled out and 2015 is what they are looking at," Chandhok told the Press Trust of India in the city of Chennai.
Chandhok said F1 management wanted the Indian race to be held in March in the 2015 calendar instead of October, but it was impractical to have the race in October 2014 and then again five months later.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone also confirmed the change while speaking to the Times of India in London.
"The circuit in India is fantastic," Ecclestone was quoted as saying by the paper. "We are really disappointed that we can't have the Grand Prix in India in 2014."
"But we have now agreed to return to India in March 2015."
Race organisers Jaypee Sports International (JPSI) said they would have preferred an October date, but were willing to host the race in March if needed.
"The October-November period suits us better both weather-wise as well as it being the festive season in India," JPSI chief Sameer Gaur said in a statement.
"But if Formula One management wants us to hold our race in March, 2015, we don't have any problem with that."
The 2014 calendar is due to be announced in September. Three new venues -- in Austria, Russia and New Jersey in the United States -- have been earmarked for races in the future.
The Indian Grand Prix this year will be held on October 27.