Tax issue could end India's grand prix UPDATE
(GMM) India, set to lose its place on the 2014 calendar, could return the year after.
|Eliminating India and Korea will take away two tracks Vettel excels at|
That is the claim of Vicky Chandhok, the president of the Indian motor sport federation, who works closely with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
Ecclestone admitted on Monday that the sport will "probably not" travel to India next year, amid reports he needs to trim the schedule to a maximum of 20 grands prix.
According to reports, the main issue with the privately-organized Indian grand prix is the government insists on taxing the teams and drivers at a full rate.
But Chandhok insisted the problem is merely organizational, not "political" as claimed by Ecclestone.
"Bernie told me he was alluding to the pressures arising out of expanding the calendar. He was not talking about politics in India," he said.
"In 2015," Chandhok explained to the Hindustan Times newspaper, "F1 is looking to start earlier than the usual March. This means that the 2014 calendar will have to be wrapped up earlier than November.
"As such, some races like India may be dropped."
Race organizer Jaypee has a contract to host two more races on top of this year's event in October.
"If the 2014 race is dropped," said Chandhok, "the Indian GP will be held in 2015 and 2016." He added that India's 2015 race would be early in the season.
A spokesperson for Jaypee told the Press Trust of India an official statement will be issued "soon".
Jaypee vice president Askari Zaidi admitted there is a problem with the tax arrangements.
"The FOM is extremely unhappy with the way they are being taxed by the government," he told India's Telegraph newspaper.
"They (F1) get tax benefits at all other venues across the world."07/26/13 (GMM) India has emerged as the most likely host to fall by the wayside, as Bernie Ecclestone promises teams the 2014 calendar will not have more than 20 grands prix.
Next year, New Jersey, Russia and Austria are set to join the schedule, meaning that - as things currently stand - the calendar could blow out to 22 races.
But F1 chief executive Ecclestone has vowed to limit the schedule to 20.
German-language reports in Auto Motor und Sport and Speed Week said India and Korea are the races likely to fall victim.
India's problems are imminent. But the problem is not new.
Ahead of the first race near New Delhi two years ago, the event was threatened until the eleventh hour over a tax dispute.
The Indian government wants the teams and drivers to be taxed according to their high incomes, but so far Ecclestone has managed to placate the issue.
Now looking to trim the calendar, however, it is rumored in the Hungaroring paddock that Ecclestone "will be tough this time".
So if the Indians do not calm their tax demands, "there will be no grand prix this year", Schmidt claims.