Formula 1

India GP bosses deny F1 exit rumours

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Attendance fell sharply in the 2012 Indian GP. (©GettyImages)
Attendance fell sharply in the 2012 Indian GP. (©GettyImages).

Bosses at the Indian Grand Prix have rebuked claims the New Delhi race could be dropped from the 2014 schedule along with South Korea as F1 prepares for two new races to join the calendar next season. 

Next year F1 welcomes Russia and New Jersey onto the calendar leading to a record 21 race calendar if all the current races remain, but according to reports both India and South Korea may not have the financial ability to host a race next season. 

According to the reports Indian GP promoters, the Jaypee Group, is not committing to funding the race beyond this year and is ‘nearing bankruptcy’.

However, a spokesman for the Jaypee Group said on Wednesday: "Some international news organisations are trying to spread rumours that (Jaypee) may not host the 2014 Indian GP.

"This is totally baseless and malicious."

The report added poor race attendance was another factor behind the two races facing troubles, The Korean GP is well known for having one of the smallest crowds of the year due a lack of interest from locals and the difficult location of the Yeongam circuit.

As for New Delhi, the race attracted 95,000 people for the inaugural race in 2011 but that dropped to 65,000 last year.

However, Zaidi insisted: "Our agreement with Formula One Management is to hold F1 races at Buddh International Circuit until 2015, and we are fully committed to do that."

Meanwhile Australian GP bosses have admitted they might lose the opening slot on next season's calendar as Bahrain is tipped to kick-off 2014.

According to Andrew Westacott, the head of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation: "Our preference is to retain the third weekend in March," he said to reporters, playing down fears crowd numbers might be affected by the race's altered status.

"The Grand Prix ran on the first weekend in April (in 2006) and estimated attendance remained strong with crowds in excess of 300,000," Westacott insisted.

Reports suggest the Bahrain GP may be on March 2nd.


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