The Indian Grand Prix promoter says that he is confident that the Formula One race will return in a healthy state in 2015 after skipping 2014 – but says that the event would benefit from government support.
Thus far, the race has run without any help, and indeed has been held despite the controversy over the government’s attempts to collect tax revenue from the visiting teams.
“We have a very sound contract with the F1 management,” Sameer Gaur of Jaypee Sports told NDTV. “Bernie Ecclestone is a wise man, and he believes in India as a destination. The 2014 Indian Grand Prix is not happening because of logistical problems, but those problems will be sorted out, and in 2015, bang on, we will be on target.
“We will continue to have the Grand Prix till our five-year contract runs [out]. But after five years, let us see how the situation is. We don’t want to disappoint the F1 enthusiasts in India, the ones who have gotten used to watching the Grand Prix here. We have that in mind, and God-willing, we will find a way out.”
Regarding the role of the government, he added: “If F1 has to be in India on a long-term basis, the government of India should own the event like it is their own event, not only look at it as a Jaypee event. Yes, Jaypee has made the circuit. Yes, Jaypee has paid the license fee, but the government can share the license fee. There are many governments around the world that share the F1 license fee.
“We should see the model of Singapore and Abu Dhabi. When you go to these countries, it looks like a festival in those times. Their government popularizes F1 in every step, whether it is their buses, their metros, their restaurants. Jaypee as a private entity can only do that much to create the buzz. We have our limits. But large levels of interests can only be created by the government.”Formula 1, Formula One, Indian Grand Prix