The Indian Grand Prix has been a point of consternation for some time…every year, in fact. The reasons are not so clear but Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says that the likelihood of a 2014 grand prix is not looking good. He told Sky Sports F1:
“Is India going to happen next year? Probably not,” Ecclestone said. When pressed for a reason why he added: “Very political.”
In 2011, the Indian Grand Prix has not been a team favorite as the taxing authorities have levied taxes on just about every step of the F1 process from cartage to equipment space to driver winnings. The teams were given tax exemption but the politics were still surrounding the event with hints and allegations. Drver visas were rejected and the entire process seemed to be an example of Indian politics and dodgy business in general. Jaypee Sports agreed to cover the tax bill for Formula 1 in 2011 to get the show on the road but perhaps that generosity is not on offer for 2014?
Regardless, the Indian Grand Prix is at risk of losing its place amongst F1’s race calendar venues with Sochi, New Jersey and Austria set to make their debut in 2014. Time will tell if India can get a grip on its politics and taxation issues for sporting events.