And now it's confirmed.
After a day full of speculations, it has now been confirmed – the Indian Grand Prix will be dropped from the 2014 F1 Calendar. However, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has also confirmed that the F1 circus will duly return to the Buddh International Circuit in 2015, albeit at an earlier date.
It was at the Hungarian GP that Bernie Ecclestone had first cast doubts over next year’s Indian GP. There was a strong possibility of the BIC’s 2014 slot be given to one of the new GP venues being added to next year’s calendar. That stands true. Either the Russian GP or the New Jersey Grand Prix would take the slot vacated by India.
In return, the event promoter Jaypee Sports, who had signed a five-race deal to hold Formula One at the BIC, will now get a slot in 2016. Also, the cancellation of the 2014 round will bring along further tweaks to the 2015 calendar where the Indian GP is most likely to be a part of the early fly-away races in the Asia-Pacific region. However, it is yet to be confirmed how the Indian GP be slotted alongside other Asian races like the Malaysia, China and Bahrain.
Bernie Ecclestone had made it clear in the past that he would prefer the Indian GP to take place in April rather than October. So far, the Jaypee group had managed to convince Bernie for an October date, but it seems the F1 boss will now have his way and slot the 2015 Indian GP most likely during summertime. This change in schedule wouldn’t be possible with a race in October 2014 as it would have been difficult for the promoters to successfully pull off two races in a span of six months.
During the Hungarian GP, Bernie had described the ‘political’ conditions prevailing in India to be one of the reasons to drop the event in 2014. And the fact that our Government levies massive amounts of import tax on F1 teams shipping equipment into and out of the country has left quite a few teams bitter. So, this gap between the 2013 and 2015 races should give the promoters enough time to mend ways with the Indian authorities and we are hopeful that our honourable Government recognises Formula One as a ‘sport’ in the coming years.
What happens to the F1 race at BIC this year? As of now, it’s very much a part of the calendar (fingers crossed) and this could be our last chance to listen to the 2.4-litre V8 engines before they are replaced by the new 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engines next year.
Source: BBC TopGear Magazine India Blog - Confirmed: No Indian GP in 2014