- Indian Grand Prix
No Indian Grand Prix in 2014 - Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed the Indian Grand Prix will be dropped from the 2014 calendar before returning in 2015 as an earlier round in the season.
The race is scheduled to take part in October this year, but Ecclestone wants to move it to the first half of the year and the prospect of running one in October 2014 and another in early 2015 would have stretched the circuit's resources too far. Instead the race will take a year break before resuming its five-year contract in an earlier slot on the 2015 calendar.
"When we signed the five-year deal with [organisers] Jaypee, we were keen on going to India in the first half and Jaypee wanted it to be in October," Ecclestone told Indian news agency IANS. "We gave in at that time, but now it looks we will have the race early 2015.
"It [hosting one race in October 2014 and another in early 2015] was too close. Therefore, after speaking to promoters, we think it is best not to have a race in 2014 and have one in 2015,"
Moving the race earlier in the calendar will also take some of the pressure off the packed second half of the season that currently sees a gruelling series of three back-to-back flyaway races. Under Ecclestone's plans for 2015 the Indian Grand Prix will likely be tagged onto the early season flyaways in Bahrain, Australia, Malaysia and China.
"We will have to club India with the four rounds in the Asia Pacific region," Ecclestone confirmed.
Skipping India next year also helps accommodate new races in Russia and New Jersey as well as the return of the Austrian Grand Prix. Ecclestone said India is important to Formula One but warned new races are vying for places on the 20-race calendar all the time.
"The second year is always difficult for the organisers," he said, referring to lower attendance figures at last year's race. "I hope bigger crowds turn up for the third edition.
"I really want it to continue, but it all depends on a lot of other factors. The sport is expanding its base every year."