Dropping off the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship calendar does not mean India’s grand prix dream is over.
So says Karun Chandhok, one of only two Indians to ever race in Formula 1, and the son of the Indian motor sport chief Vicky Chandock.
Chandhok, who contested grands prix for HRT and Caterham (nee Lotus) a few years ago, was reportedly involved in the latest talks between his father and Bernie Ecclestone over the troubled future of the Indian Grand Prix.
“We are trying to work out a way for the Indian GP to coexist in a now packed calendar, for both sides – [organiser] Jaypee Group and the Formula 1 Group,” sports car driver Chandhok told the Indian broadcaster NDTV.
It has been confirmed that India will not be on next year’s calendar, but that it will return early in 2015.
Chandhok insisted: “I was on call with Bernie earlier today and what we’ve come to know that everyone must understand is that both sides want an Indian Grand Prix.”
He said the idea of ‘rotating’ races – or two host countries alternating a single annual Formula 1 date – is possible as more and more grand prix venues seek to join the calendar.
“However,” Chandhok said, “then you have to figure out whether hosting a race every alternate year will be a viable option for all host countries or not.
“Let’s not forget that a lot of investment is done for hosting a race, for keeping the safety norms in place. Does it then makes sense to invest so much on the circuits just for one year?
“There will be much deliberation on such matters,” added Chandhok, who raised the possibility of India sharing its date with Malaysia. “But much of it is just speculation. We just need to see how the cards unfold.” (GMM.)
Subbed by AJN.