Ecclestone says door is open for India return

Sat Nov 2, 2013 1:04pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - A deal has been done for India to return to the Formula One calendar in 2015 and for six years beyond that if tax problems with the country's authorities can be overcome, commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Saturday.

"The door is open for them," the Briton, who turned 83 on Monday, told Reuters at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"It's all there. Done. That's all done," he added when asked about a contract extension. "Just a case of the government sorting itself out."

The race, held at the Buddh International Circuit south-east of New Delhi, has been dropped from the 2014 calendar with its future uncertain.

Although some in the paddock fear it may be gone for good, organizers said last weekend that they were determined to complete the remaining two years of the existing contract in 2015 and 2016.

Indian motorsports chief Vicky Chandhok told Reuters last week that race promoter Sameer Gaur, of Jaypee Sports International (JPSI), was also speaking of a five-year extension.

Ecclestone said a new deal had now been agreed.

The construction of the $400 million circuit, which drivers have hailed as one of the best recent additions to the calendar, and race promotion fees have been paid by private enterprise without government subsidy.   Continued...

F1 commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone looks out of his motor home after the second practice for the German F1 Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring racing circuit July 5, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach