GP ‘unlikely’ for India in ’09 – Karthikeyan

Mon, 13 August 2007, 01:26

F1’s only Indian driver has admitted that his country is “unlikely” to be able to host a grand prix in 2009 — or even within five years.

The Indian Olympic Association said in June that it had reached a provisional agreement with Bernie Ecclestone for a race somewhere in New Delhi.

But Karthikeyan, who raced for Jordan in 2005 and is now an occasional test driver for Williams, said of the possibility for an Indian GP: “It’s unlikely.

“I doubt it. F1 is very expensive. I don’t think they will be able to build a track by 2009,” the 30-year-old told the Hindustan Times.

He added: “Maybe five years down the line we can expect F1 in India.”

Karthikeyan admitted, however, that formula one teams would love to be able to race in India because it is now a “huge market” for carmakers.

But he said the racing industry is still in its infancy in the world’s second most populous country.

“We are still way behind the Europeans,” said Karthikeyan. “We don’t have enough money. The infrastructure is not up to international standards.

“India has just two racing tracks, whereas even a small country like England has 15.”

You may also like