Boss Ecclestone says an F1 race cannot be held in India before 2011 as there is no infrastructure
SINGAPORE: Narain Karthikeyan has got it right this time in Formula One. The A1 GP driver, who has had a rather forgettable F1 career, had recently ruled out the possibility of India holding a Formula One GP in 2010. On Friday, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone echoed his views by saying that he plans to hold an Indian GP in 2011, a year later than what the Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi had planned.
“Right now, there is no infrastructure to hold an F1 race,” Karthikeyan was quoted as saying.
It may be recalled that last year Kalmadi had enthusiastically announced India would be ready to hold its first Grand Prix in 2010. “The first race has been finalised for the year 2010. We’ll be signing the contract for 2010. The month is not finalised but it could be March, the first race, or after the Bahrain Grand Prix,” he had said then.
Kalmadi’s enthusiasm was based on the fact that Ecclestone had approved two sites near Delhi (Noida in UP and Sohna near Gurgaon) to build the circuit. It was left to IOA to choose one among the two.
The IOA had announced in June 2007 that they had received a letter from F1 administration to hold a race in India.
According to Kalmadi, track architect Hermann Tilke had inspected the prospective sites in September 2007 and had reported back to the F1 supremo.
Ecclestone, who is in Singapore to attend the inaugural night Grand Prix didn’t specify a reason for the delay. “Things are going as usual, but things take time,” he was quoted as saying.