May 29 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Bernie Ecclestone is not ruling out a return to the F1 calendar for India.
Last week, a source close to the former promoter Jaypee indicated that the New Delhi race – scrapped for financial and bureaucratic reasons after its third edition in 2013 – appeared unlikely to return any time soon.
Indeed, India was already not featured on the recently-leaked provisional 2016 calendar.
“While the official line is that negotiations are happening, I don’t think anyone expects the race to come back in the near future,” the source told a local newspaper.
But now, F1 supremo Ecclestone has been quoted by the Telegraph India as saying he would be “happy” if the Indian race came back.
“I hope we have a race in India next year,” said the Briton. “I am waiting for the promoters to come back to me.”
The leaked 2016 calendar, however, already features 21 race dates, triggering speculation Ecclestone is under pressure to reduce it to twenty.
Asked how he will fit India in too, the 84-year-old answered: “We will do whatever is needed to make sure India is back.
“We just need the Jaypee Group to say that ‘we are happy to carry on’ and we can revive the existing contract.”
Ecclestone warned, however, that time is running out for the promoter.
“They (Jaypee) need to be in a hurry,” he said. “Within the next two months, we need to know.”