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The Indian Grand Prix has been a point of consternation for some time…every year, in fact. The reasons are not so clear but Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says that the likelihood of a 2014 grand prix is not looking good. He told Sky Sports F1:

“Is India going to happen next year? Probably not,” Ecclestone said. When pressed for a reason why he added: “Very political.”

In 2011, the Indian Grand Prix has not been a team favorite as the taxing authorities have levied taxes on just about every step of the F1 process from cartage to equipment space to driver winnings. The teams were given tax exemption but the politics were still surrounding the event with hints and allegations. Drver visas were rejected and the entire process seemed to be an example of Indian politics and dodgy business in general. Jaypee Sports agreed to cover the tax bill for Formula 1 in 2011 to get the show on the road but perhaps that generosity is not on offer for 2014?

Regardless, the Indian Grand Prix is at risk of losing its place amongst F1’s race calendar venues with Sochi, New Jersey and Austria set to make their debut in 2014. Time will tell if India can get a grip on its politics and taxation issues for sporting events.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Andreas

    I read somewhere that the 2015 Indian GP would be moved to early spring (one of the first 5 races) – the spot where Bernie originally wanted it – and they agreed to skip 2014 as the races would otherwise have been too close. Of course it has nothing to do with the Indian tax office wanting to tax the teams for 1/19th of the gross revenue of F1 (the logic being that it’s one of 19 races). No, that can’t be it… ;-)

  • gsprings

    Ha, I invision a couple of Indian politicians holding Bernie upside down and shaking him until all the money falls out of his pockets

  • The Imperative Voice

    I will say it’s interesting that when it comes to Bahrain a deal is a deal until it reaches the level of force majeure but then here they can somehow pause a 5 year contract mid-term just because of claimed scheduling and regulatory concerns.

    The Asia scheduling excuse doesn’t hold water, India is currently part of the Japan/Korea/Singapore/Abu Dhabi swing. I think they want it spring 2015 not fall 2014 because the long gap sends a message and could simply be converted to permanent absence if F1’s back is not scratched right. FWIW skipping 2014 sticks it to the Indian government, if they feel the taxation is too much then you can’t tax the event that does not occur. If Bernie felt he was being soaked maybe he’s reminding them of the alternative.

  • Better4worse

    Just a thought, this photograph though representative of some folks and means of rural transportation in India, it sure has got nothing to do with the Indian GP, don’t think it was the best choice for this post.

    • That is a picture of a group of people that were traveling to the inaugural race. If memory serves, I got it from one of the teams media sites with pictures from the grand prix.