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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

 India

Committed to Indian Grand Prix till 2015: Jaypee
IANS
New Delhi, July 29, 2013
First Published: 18:40 IST(29/7/2013)
Last Updated: 18:45 IST(29/7/2013)

Jaypee Group, promoters of the Indian Grand Prix, Monday said they are committed to the race till 2015 even as Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone was not keen on having the event next year.

The Jaypee management was surprised with Eccelstone's comments but assured that they are willing to walk the extra mile to address all their concerns.

"We are yet to hear anything officially from the Formula One management. Jaypee Group is keen on having the contract till 2015, when the five-year contract will be up for renewal," Askari Zaidi, senior vice-president of Jaypee group said.

Asked if the Formula One organisers want tax benefits, Zaidi said: "That issue must be taken up by the Federation of Motor Sports Club of India (FMSCI). We have to sit down with the government and discuss these issues. I am sure we will have a fruitful outcome."

Zaidi said India have responded well to Formula One and also expect an increase in the spectators this season.

"We had an exciting race in the inaugural season and only hope for the things to improve this season. We are looking forward to an exciting race in October," Zaidi added.

During Sunday's Hungary Grand Prix in Budapest, English billionaire Ecclestone said:  "Is India going to happen next year? Probably not."

Ecclestone, 82, said the reason was "very political".

The Formula One management is concerned about the bureaucratic hurdles, as well as concern about finances and high local taxation.

Ecclestone has a possible 22 races jostling for space on the calendar with teams expressing a strong preference for a maximum of 20.

Russia has the possibility of having its first race in the Black Sea resort of Sochi towards the end of next year, and a Grand Prix in New Jersey is also planned for 2014.  Austria also due to make a comeback after an 11-year absence.

India first hosted a Grand Prix in 2011 and this year's race is scheduled for October 27 as the 16th round of the 19-race championship. The two races in India have both been won by Red Bull's triple world champion Sebastian Vettel.


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