Indian Grand Prix Removed from 2014 F1 Race Schedule

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Indian Grand Prix Removed from 2014 F1 Race Schedule
Photo courtesy of The Guardian

The 2013 Formula One Indian Grand Prix is scheduled for Oct. 27, but that race will mark the final one in India for more than a year as the 2014 edition will be wiped from the calendar, according to IANS.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone confirmed on Tuesday that the 2014 Indian Grand Prix will not take place due to scheduling issues. Ecclestone always wanted the Indian Grand Prix to take place early in the year, but race organizer Jaypee insisted upon an October race. 

When we signed the five-year deal with Jaypee, we were keen on going to India in the first half and Jaypee wanted it to be in October. We gave in at that time, but now it looks we will have the race early 2015, Ecclestone, 82, told IANS.

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With the Indian Grand Prix shifting to earlier in the 2015 season, having a late-2014 race in India wouldn't be possible due to the fact that the hosts have to pay a $40 million licensing fee for every race, according to IANS.

First launched in 2011, the Indian Grand Prix is already one of the most popular races on the Formula One circuit. According to IANS, the inaugural race brought in 95,000 fans, and while only 60,000 showed up last year, there is a great deal of promise when it comes to F1 racing in India.

Moving the race to an earlier portion of the season makes sense as Asian nations such as Malaysia, Bahrain and China are routinely featured during the part of the schedule. Slotting India in with them would certainly cut down on travel, and it would simply be more logical from a logistical standpoint.

According to IANS, Formula One is in the midst of a five-year contract with the Indian Grand Prix, but it is uncertain how canceling a race will affect that deal. According to Ecclestone, though, he would like to extend the contract once it expires if at all possible.

I really want it to continue, but it all depends on a lot of other factors. The sport is expanding its base every year.

One person who can't possibly be happy about the cancellation of the 2014 Indian Grand Prix is Sebastian Vettel. The three-time defending Formula One champion has won both races that have been staged in India, so the removal of the Indian Grand Prix means that the race calendar will feature one less track that the German star excels at.

 

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