• Bahrain rescheduling

India wants clarity over date change

Dhananjay Khadilkar
June 7, 2011 « DRS will make passing easy in Canada - Buemi | »
The Indian Grand Prix organisers want a decision on a date change © Sutton Images

Organisers of the Indian Grand Prix are still waiting on official confirmation that their event has been moved to mid-December to accommodate the rescheduled Bahrain Grand Prix and are keen to get a final decision soon.

On Friday the FIA World Motor Sport Council said the Bahrain Grand Prix would take the place of the Indian round on October 30, with the latter being moved to December to become the season finale. However, uncertainty still hangs over the Bahrain event and Bernie Ecclestone told the Times on Tuesday: "Better that we move Bahrain to the end of the season and, if things are safe and well, then that is fine, we can go. If they are not, then we don't go and there are no problems."

A spokesperson for Indian Grand Prix promoters JPSI told ESPNF1: "Ideally, we would like to have the uncertainty end as soon as possible. Considering the enormity of logistics like ticket sales, travel and accommodation bookings etcetera, we would like to get a clear idea about the date before long."

He added: "According to the FIA website, the Indian GP has now been slotted for December 11. However, internally we haven't relaxed the deadline. Work is still being carried out as earlier [with the October race in mind]."

One of the key factors in the calendar re-jig is whether the teams agree to an extended calendar after several high-profile figures have admitted reservations about a mid-December finish. When asked whether the promoters were anxious about teams skipping the Indian GP if it is held on December 11, the JPSI spokesperson replied: "I don't think any team would skip the race."

Vicky Chandhok, president of Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India, said that there have been no changes as far as the preparations are concerned.

"I have been told by the promoters that they are ready to host the race in either October or December," he said.

Chandhok conceded that he too would want the uncertainty to end soon but reiterated that they were fully prepared in either case. He also ruled out the possibility of some drivers or teams not attending the Indian GP if it is held in December.

"People are entitled to have different opinions," he said. "However, the key is to find a solution after considering these opinions."

He also said that regardless of the dates there won't be any change in the schedule of FIA's annual general assembly and the awards night.

"The awards ceremony will take place on December 11," he added.

When asked whether there were chances of the first Indian GP getting remembered more for events off the track than on it, Chandhok replied: "Why should it be the case? It's not that some overbridge has collapsed [Referring to one of the events that brought infamy to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi]."