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F1: India axed, Nurburgring for sale

2014-03-06 13:50

INDIAN GP BACK IN 2016? F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said, "Indian F1 GP could probably return in 2016". Image: AFP


LONDON, England - India's return to F1 will have to wait until at least 2016 by which time a new race in Azerbaijan could be on the calendar.

That's the latest from Bernie Ecclestone whn interviewed by Reuters and it dampened India's hopes of the Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi hosting a race again in 2015.

The track was dropped from the 2014 championship.


Ecclestone said: "At the moment, India won't be on for 2015, for sure. Probably in 2016 they'll be getting over all the bureaucracy with the tax position inside the country and the general finance."

Ecclestone said in November 2013 that a deal had been done for the Indian GP to return in 2015 and for six years beyond. The problem was that India's tax authorities saw F1 as entertainment, not sport, and the considerable bureaucracy to be overcome in bringing the F1 circus into the country is seen as an obstacle to the race's return.

South Korea has also been dropped from the 2014 calendar; Ecclestone said that country too would have to wait for a comeback: "It's never been for  2015. We've been thinking about 2016 for them, too."

Russia, with a circuit threading through the Olympic Park that hosted the winter Olympics in Sochi, is 2014's new addition. Ecclestone saw no reason why that race should not happen despite international tension over the dispute between Russia and Ukraine.

"Don't cancel," he said when asked his advice for anyone with flights booked for the race in Sochi, a Black Sea resort, in October 2014.

Azerbaijan, with a street race in the capital Baku, could soon join Sochi as F1 plans to increase its presence in the region. Ecclestone said he would be having discussions about that subject today (Mar 6 2014) with details yet to be determined. "It's nice. Be ready, because you'll have to go," he said. "We're having a look to see if we can get it done for 2015. It's not particularly straightforward but it will be a street circuit."

Austria will be back on the calendar for 2014 - its first GP since 2003  - with a race at the Red Bull-owned Spielberg circuit. Germany's future is less likely, despite the heavyweight presence of Mercedes in the championship.


An investor group led by buyout firm HIG Capital is poised to acquire the financially troubled Nurburgring in Germany, two sources familiar with the transaction said on (Mar 5 2014).

According to a German weekly publication, Economy Week, HIG is paying the equivalent of about R950-million for  the Nurburgring. HIG Capital declined comment.

"It depends who buys it," Ecclestone said, when asked about the chances of F1 returning to the Nurburgring, one of the sport's historic tracks.

The 2014 calendar has 19 races after plans to include Mexico and New Jersey were put on hold.

Both remain on the cards for 2015, even if there is considerable scepticism within the sport about New Jersey happening, in what looks like an increasing fixture headache for Ecclestone.

Mar 16 - Australia (Melbourne)
Mar 30 - Malaysia (Sepang)
Apr 6 - Bahrain
Apr 20 - China (Shanghai)
May 11 - Spain (Barcelona)
May 25 - Monaco
Jun 8 - Canada (Montreal)
Jun 22 - Austria (Spielberg)
Jul 6 - Britain (Silverstone)
Jul 20 - Germany (Hockenheim)
Jul 27 - Hungary (Budapest)
Aug 24 - Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
Sep 7 - Italy (Monza)
Sep 21 - Singapore
Oct 5 - Japan (Suzuka)
Oct 12 - Russia (Sochi)*
Nov 2 - USA (Austin, Texas)
Nov 9 - Brazil (Sao Paulo)
Nov 23 - Abu Dhabi

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