Dropping off the 2014 calendar does not mean India’s F1 dream is over.
That is the claim of Karun Chandhok, one of only two Indians to ever race in formula one, and the son of the Indian motor sport chief Vicky. Chandhok, who contested grands prix for HRT and Caterham (now Caterham) a few years ago, was reportedly involved in the latest talks between his father and Bernie Ecclestone over the troubled future of the Indian grand prix.
“We are trying to work out a way for the Indian GP to coexist in a now packed calendar, for both sides — (organiser) Jaypee Group and the Formula One Group,” sports car driver Chandhok told the Indian broadcaster NDTV. It has been confirmed that India will not be on next year’s calendar, but that it will return early in 2015.
Chandhok insisted: “I was on call with Bernie earlier today and what we’ve come to know that everyone must understand is that both sides want an Indian grand prix.” He said the idea of ‘rotating’ races – or two host countries alternating a single annual F1 date – is possible as more and more grand prix venues scramble to join the calendar. “However,” Chandhok said, “then you have to figure out whether hosting a race every alternate year will be a viable option for all host countries or not. “Let’s not forget that a lot of investment is done for hosting a race, for keeping the safety norms in place. Does it then makes sense to invest so much on the circuits just for one year? “There will be much deliberation on such matters,” added Chandhok, who raised the possibility of India sharing its date with Malaysia.
He said: “But much of it is just speculation. We just need to see how the cards unfold.”