India has had its inaugural grand prix put back by twelve months, Bernie Ecclestone announced today. The Indian Olympic Committee had thought this may happen, and during the Singapore Grand Prix the rumour was spreading. But the increasingly developing country remained buoyant over its contract to hold a race, and apparently plans are being drawn up for the purpose-built permanent circuit on the outskirts of New Delhi.
Force India team owner Vijay Mallya, although not directly involved, had stated that he believes the new track will be ready by 2010, and that this is not the issue. Perhaps Bernie needs some more time to axe some more traditional races from the calendar before squeezing in the new ones, or maybe flying to India upsets the three-week holiday Ron Dennis had planned… who knows!? But the rumour was confirmed earlier today and India will host their first grand prix in 2011 and not 2010 as previously mooted.
From my information, even though I am not building the track, the track will be ready for 2010. But as you know the F1 schedule is decided by Bernie and I guess everyone has to accept what Bernie decides.
The land has been acquired and there is the usual process of preparing the ground for building, but my information is that it will be ready for 2010. Vijay Mallya.
Ecclestone also confirmed that despite his best efforts to change half the championship into an after-dark affair, Singapore would remain as the only night race on the 2009 calendar.
Every GP from that side of the world [Asia, Oceania] could in theory be moved to a night slot. But in 2009 it will just be Singapore. As for Europe I see no reason to stage a race after sunset. Bernie Ecclestone.
Erm, I can think of a few reasons Bernie, not least of which is that if Formula One becomes a night racing series, it won’t take to long before the novelty wears off. Besides, I prefer to wake up earlier than stay up late. And at Bernie’s age, I’m surprised he isn’t the same!