Could this be the last Indian Grand Prix?
23 October 2013 – The Indian Grand Prix could drop off the F1 calendar permanently following this weekend’s race, that's the fear of Vicky Chandhok, the president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India.
This will be the third event at the Buddh International Circuit, but with no race scheduled for 2014, and no deal confirmed yet for 2015 – when it is meant to return – Chandhok conceded the future is by no means certain.
“If it doesn't come back in 2015, it may never come back at all. That is my concern. Once you lose a race it can be gone for ever,” Chandhok told British newspaper, The Guardian.
“That is why I am calling on everyone in India to make this Sunday's race an event to remember, so everyone in F1 will realise that it needs the Indian Grand Prix,” added Chandhok, who is the father of former HRT driver, Karun Chandhok.
"If we lose it, I would be very disappointed, because it took us ten years to get the race in the first place.
“It was in 1999 that [F1 boss] Bernie Ecclestone first had talks with organisers and sponsors in India.”
Meanwhile, Chandhok said the event has definitely brought economic benefits and he is keen to see the Indian government support it directly: “This race has been good for the economy for the past two years. Hotels and taxi drivers have been busy and so have other workers. The taxpayers have not been paying for it. It has been a private promoter,” he continued.
“India is now recognised worldwide as making great technological advances. So F1 makes sense. It is more than just a sporting occasion. It is an event capable of encouraging people all over the world. The government [here] should take a look [and back it] because the Indian Grand Prix is good for the country and is now a wonderful facility [too],” he concluded.