India to Host First Formula One Race in 2010

September 17th, 2007

The wait for an F1 race in India just got longer. It is now going to make its debut in India in 2010, and not in October 2009 as announced earlier in June.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said on Monday it was on course to stage a Formula One grand prix after an inspection of possible sites around New Delhi. Two sites, Sohna in Gurgaon and Greater Noida have been identified for the race – both sites are in the National Capital Region. The sites were shortlisted after F1 chief architect Herman Tilke’s recent visit to India.

IOA President Suresh Kalmadi said,

  The race could be held in March 2010, as the first race of the season, or after the Bahrain Grand Prix

A Memorandum of Understanding has already been signed by the IOA with Formula One. Kalmadi has received two draft contracts — the race promotion contract and the circuit right agreement — from Formula One Boss Ecclestone and also an extension in deadline for meeting the conditions relating to hosting the F1 race. The earlier deadline was September 30.

Vijay Mallya, who has recently acquired the Formula One team Spyker, has already expressed his willingness to support in hosting the event.

On reports that Vijay Mallya has been given the authority by F1 Boss Ecclestone to take the final call on the F1 project in India, Kalmadi said: “The contract is with me. Bernie has said very clearly that he supports IOA. IOA is the main licensee. We will ask Mallya for support. But we are not dependent on anyone.”

Formula One is expanding its reach in Asia, away from its European heartland. Asia already hosts four F1 races – in Malaysia, Bahrain, Japan and China. India, South Korea, Abu Dhabi and Singapore are expected to join the Formula One League by 2010. Abu Dhabi is scheduled to host one from 2009 whereas Singapore is hosting a a Formula One Grand Prix next year, the race set to be the first in the sport’s history to be held at night.

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