Mar.6 (GMM) F1 will not be returning to India next year.
The race near New Delhi, having joined the calendar in 2011, is absent from this season’s schedule mainly because of the sport’s issues with the Indian tax situation.
It was thought the final race of India’s initial contract would take place in 2015, but F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is quoted by Reuters: “At the moment, India won’t be on for next year for sure.
“Probably 2016. They’re gradually getting over all the bureaucracy with the tax position inside the country and the general finance,” he added.
Another missing race this year is Korea, and Ecclestone sounds unsure the sport will ever return to unpopular Yeongam.
“Korea? When they get a new government, then maybe,” the 83-year-old is quoted by journalist Caroline Reid.
Writing in Racer, Reid also quoted Ecclestone as saying F1’s return to Mexico after more than a two-decade absence “is signed for 2015”.
Many in the F1 paddock believe New Jersey’s chances of staging a street race have now faded, but Ecclestone revealed that organisers “have just written to me”.
“Somebody has paid some more money for outstanding bills and they are saying they have got more money coming in. If they do what they have to do, I’m happy,” he added.
Ecclestone continued: “We have got a contract on the table with France for a race at Magny Cours.
“To meet the terms of our contract, the organisers will need money and we will want some kind of guarantee that it’s not going to be a one-night stand.”
He also allayed fears the conflict with Ukraine could affect the inaugural Russian grand prix this year, telling those planning to visit Sochi: “Don’t cancel.”