IOA spurs JP Group's F1 hope | india | Hindustan Times
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IOA spurs JP Group's F1 hope

The IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi has promised to support the JP Group in their F1 deal, reports Khurram Habib.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2007 23:20 IST
Khurram Habib

Whether the Formula One project in Delhi will be feasible or not remains to be seen, but for now the Indian Olympic Association chief, Suresh Kalmadi has promised to give full support to the JP group, who claim to have signed the deal with F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone.

Kalmadi, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the London 2012 Olympic organising committee on behalf of the Commonwealth Organising Committee, said, "The deal has been signed by the JP group. They are a private body and I think it is good for the sport because they can bring in the money. The IOA wanted the sport in Delhi. Our job was that of a catalyst. We are happy with whoever brings it, so long as it comes here."

JP group, themselves, say they'll come out with the details through a press statement in sometime.

While Kalmadi might be supporting the cause, what sort of a deal JP have entered with Bernie will be interesting to know, particularly, when quite a few circuits around the world are reporting losses or need government funding.

According to a report tabled in the Victorian parliament in October-end, Melbourne's Formula One Grand Prix ran at a $34.6 million loss. The report said that revenue decreased from $47.5 million in 2006 to $43.4 million this year.

The event cost more than $78 million to run and the Victorian government covered the shortfall.

Ecclestone had also recently commented about the possibility of F1 management removing Silverstone from the calender, because they are not paying the amounts other European circuits are paying and also that it 'lacks the standards'.

Not making enough money and being a burden on government is the case with many circuits around the world. Singapore government is spending 60 per cent on the track and the Sepang circuit is also a burden on the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Authority.

An official connected with motorsports in India said, "The problem is that Bernie controls almost everything. If you see his agreements - they are unclear and there is a lot of secrecy.

"The trackside advertising is controlled by a company with unknown shareholders and only 20-odd per cent of the TV rights go to the teams. The manufacturers are an unhappy lot.

"Honestly, a private party signing the deal with Ecclestone is a surprise. Because, TV rights and trackside ads being his property, you can't earn only on ticket sales and we know they are dwindling in places like Australia. So that leaves us with only testing and local events.

"We know that India's motorsport circuit isn't that big and also that top drivers, if they have to test in warmer climates, will test in Spain and Italy. So, how they'll cover the expenses remains to be seen."