India GP pushed back to 2011 UPDATE #4 India will definitely host a Grand Prix in Delhi in 2011, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has told the BBC Asian Network. Ecclestone insists he and Indian company Jaiprakash Associates Ltd are "fully committed" to the project.
"Of course we will deliver... otherwise we wouldn't have entered into an agreement," said Ecclestone.
Work on a new circuit on the outskirts of Delhi was meant to begin in October 2008 but was postponed. Ecclestone said that this was because he has issues with the global calendar of sporting events and "certain contracts elsewhere to fulfill".
BBC Sport understands that work on India's track will now begin this summer, with completion expected at the end of 2010.
Top Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan cast doubt over the project last month, saying he didn't believe "anyone would want to invest in motorsport" during the current global economic crisis.
But Karthikeyan, who raced for Jordan and tested for Williams in F1, knows how popular the sport could be in his country.
"It will be very big for the whole of Asia because everyone will benefit," he said. "It will also be much better for fans in India to get closer to the sport." 09/26/08 F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Friday he plans to hold a Grand Prix in India in 2011, a year later than first thought. Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi announced last year that he had sealed a deal to host a Grand Prix in New Delhi from 2010.
But Ecclestone told AFP it would likely happen later than that, without giving a reason.
Asked if 2010 was still in the pipeline, he said. 'It's all going on as usual, but these things take time.'
'Probably 2011 is what I want.'
India's ambitious F1 plans were first unveiled in June last year when the IOA said it had received a letter from Ecclestone allowing the country to host a race subject to meeting certain conditions, like building a track.11/15/07 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Bernie Ecclestone has now confirmed officially that a deal has been struck to bring formula one to the world's second most populous country, India.
It was reported earlier on Thursday that F1 chiefs had penned a contract with Indian company JP Associates to build a circuit just outside capital city New Delhi.
Ecclestone, 77, clarified that the contract is with JPSK Sports Private Ltd, a subsidiary of JP Associates, to stage the first Indian grand prix in 2010.
"India has always been known for its love of cricket, but F1 has been growing hugely in popularity in recent years as the viewing figures would suggest," Ecclestone said on Thursday.
"Now with Vijay Mallya's team, Force India, and the news that Karun Chandhok could soon be driving in F1, the announcement of the future grand prix in India will spark an explosion of further interest to rival that of the traditional sport," he added.
11/15/07 (GMM) India has moved yet another step closer to securing a formula one race, according to reports on Thursday.
The local newspaper Hindustan Times claims that formula one bosses have signed a deal with a company to build a circuit just outside of New Delhi.
The company, JP Associates, is therefore now contracted to develop the site about 50 kilometers to the east of the capital for an inaugural Indian grand prix in 2010, a senior executive suggested.
It was reported in September that promoter Suresh Kalmadi met with Bernie Ecclestone in London and "finalized" a deal for 2010 and nine subsequent years.
The news followed the visit to Delhi of F1 circuit architect Hermann Tilke, who selected sites around Delhi for the promoter to choose between.
11/15/07 India's dream of becoming a Grand Prix host nation took a step closer to becoming reality this week when Formula 1 bosses reportedly agreed a deal based on the construction of a new race track just 50km from New Delhi.
According to a report in Thursday's Hindustan Times, Indian company JP Associates has won a ten-year contract to host the race at a purpose-built facility near Greater Noida airport from 2010.
JP Associates MD Manoj Gaur confirmed to the newspaper that he had signed an agreement with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Local authorities are also believed to have already granted planning permission for work to begin at the site while famed F1 track designer Hermann Tilke recently visited Delhi to consider possible lay-outs.
The decision to base the track in Greater Noida was taken after a detailed study of Delhi's infrastructure, given the city will also host the Commonwealth Games in 2010.