Rumors of this being India’s final Formula One Grand Prix have been the talk of the paddock, a fact that hasn’t gone down well with Indian GP race promoter Sameer Gaur. On Friday, a visibly irate Gaur went so far as to bet his life that the race will return in 2015.
While answering queries on the race’s future, Gaur was all-assurances. “I’ve already bet my life on motorsport so I am willing to bet my life on the fact that the race will return,” he told a bunch of journalists.
Gaur was not mincing his words and vehemently denied all fears. Whether you point out that other circuits are emerging on an already packed calendar, or how the fall of the rupee has hurt them vis-à-vis the licensing fee, Gaur’s response was alike. “No, not at all,” he said, to dispel all doubt, or at least try to.
“Who from Jaypee said that the race would not be held? In 2011, everybody thought that the track will not be ready. We have shown India that we can make it happen. We made it happen in 2011. Why should we have any doubt that 2015 will not happen? I really don’t know where the speculation is coming from. This speculation, from the paddock, is very baseless.”
Gaur was talking like a man who was either supremely confident or in denial. “Lots of rumours are doing the rounds but as of now we are not perturbed at all. We have a firm contract of five years — extendable to 10. We have missed 2014 but I am pretty sure we are on for 2015.”
Gaur also changed his previous stance of asking the government for help. Maybe even he’s realised it would just be barking up the wrong tree.
“I am not disappointed (by the government’s stance) at all but having said that I feel the tourism department should do more.If I was part of the tourism department I would have said ‘I will join Jaypee and make it all a package deal’. That’s when motorsport will develop. We cannot make it happen individually. The price involved in attending the track is very high but if people get a package a lot of people will come in, and that in turn will benefit everyone.”