Any doubts surrounding India’s first Formula 1 race can, it seems, be dispelled with Formula One Management and Formula One Administration CEO Bernie Ecclestone himself coming to the Capital to formally announce the title sponsor of the race, which will be officially known as the 2011 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix.
The deal is for three years. Ecclestone allayed the concern surrounding the completion of the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, which is to stage the race from October 28 to 30 this year. “There are people monitoring the work going on at the track on a daily basis,” said Ecclestone. “Everything is on schedule.”
Sameer Gaur, the managing director and CEO of Jaypee Sports International, who are responsible for the construction of the circuit, also maintained that the event was on track and that tickets for the event would be available for sale to the public from August 20. Gaur dismissed the possibility of the race running into trouble due to protests by local farmers demanding greater compensation for the sale of their land to Jaypee. “Just look at what happened when Maruti came to Gurgaon and what it has turned into now,” Gaur said to HT. “We can expect the same kind of progress for the Greater Noida region with the race being held there. The majority of the population in that region is welcoming the event.”
Gaur confirmed that the prices of the tickets would start from Rs 2,500 for general admission and go up to
Rs 35,000 for the grandstands and that these tickets would cover all three days of the race weekend.
For an F1 circuit owner, however, ticket sales are the only source of revenue from the race weekend. Gaur did not rule out the prices of tickets increasing sometime in the future but didn’t give a timeline.