No Indian Grand Prix in 2015 – Ecclestone

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Start, Buddh International Circuit, 2013In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone says the Indian Grand Prix won’t return to the F1 calendar in 2015 as originally planned.

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Indian Grand Prix must wait until at least 2016, says Bernie Ecclestone (The Guardian)

“At the moment, India won’t be on for next year for sure. Probably 2016… they’re gradually getting over all the bureaucracy with the tax position inside the country and the general finance.”

Buyout group HIG poised to buy historic Nuerburgring – sources (Reuters)

“HIG outmanoeuvred Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who had also submitted an offer for the circuit, which at 20km is the world’s longest race track but has not hosted a Grand Prix since Niki Lauda crashed there in 1976.”

German Grand Prix could vanish from F1 calendar, says Ecclestone (City AM)

“The German Grand Prix is in trouble because they haven’t got any money.”

Ecclestone bribery trial to be fitted around his F1 schedule (The Independent)

“I am in court for two days a week on Tuesday and Wednesday. The judge did it so I am able to go to races at the weekend.”

Jenson Button Q&A (Sky)

“The two that you would pick out that look strong and consistent are Mercedes and Williams. In a way it is not good when you are behind certain teams, but I am happy for Frank Williams that they have a competitive car so far this year.”

Mark Webber, Porsche LMP1, Algarve, 2013Mark Webber: “It’s a big learning curve” (Top Gear)

“When I drove [the Porsche 919 Hybrid], I knew immediately I’d made the right decision. It’s heavier of course, so it’s obviously not as responsive as an F1 car. But these cars are very complex under the skin, and this is the next best category to F1 by a mile.”

Force India: McLaren improved Perez (Autosport)

Deputy team principal Bob Fernley: “The thing that the fans find exciting, but teams find worrying, is when you go for a gap at Monaco that isn’t there.”

‘I have no fear – but I’ll stop racing when I have children’ (The Telegraph)

“[Susie Wolff] had her first ride on a motorbike at two and was in a go-kart at eight. ‘That first time, I remember that all these little boys kept hitting me. I came into the pits and I said to my dad: ‘I don’t like it. It’s awful.””

The Baku reality facing Bernie (ESPN)

“Baku is an exciting prospect, and could be a positive addition to the F1 calendar. But ensuring that the grand prix is free from the basic errors that plagued last year’s GT race will mean a lot of work for the FIA, and a lot of sleepless nights for Charlie Whiting.”

Insight: Behind the scenes look at how Formula 1 TV now operates team radio and other functions remotely (James Allen on F1)

“From here they can monitor the programme vision sources and output, many of the functions, and even operate robotic track camera heads at the circuit. And for this season all of the Team Radio is going to be managed from here.”

#ForzaMichael! – 5 March (Ferrari)

Giancarlo Fisichella: “I will never forget the lap when you gave me a lift on the sidepod of your Ferrari, when I stopped out on track with a problem at Hockenheim! I’m waiting to enjoy a nice game of football with you. Forza Michael!”

96 Silv (DailyMotion)

Description from the Digital Spy forums via Vee8: “Found something interesting when going through some old stuff earlier. The first F1 Digital+ broadcast was the 1996 German Grand Prix, However I’d read in the past that they did a full system trial at Silverstone which was never broadcast. In 2007 Premiere broadcast a short highlight program for Silverstone 1996 as part of their ‘Die Besten GP’ series and I captured it. At the time I missed the fact that it seems to be using the footage shot during the F1 Digital+ full trial. For the first four to five laps it’s the TV pictures from the BBC World-feed but the graphics are handled differently. Then from lap five on they start using some of their own trackside camera angles, a few of which would remain FOM angles going forward. I put together a video running from the start of the race to the time Premiere’s highlights cut forward a few laps to show the differences. The world-feed via EuroSport is in the picture-in-picture window and what seems to be the F1 Digital+ trial footage is full-screen.”


Site updates

Comment of the day

Here’s what an Azerbaijani F1 fan had to say about the prospect of a race in Baku:

I feel I’m bound to comment on this, as I’m actually from Azerbaijan and previously lived there for some 18 years.

On one hand, with Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore ostensibly involved; the deal is going to be as corrupt as any on the Persian Gulf. Expect multibillion venue a-la Yas Marina with fantastic facilities, developed infrastructure, some marina/seaside cityscape background. Do not expect a good track (probably a rather boring Tilkedrome); flat-as-a-car-park (Baku has very little elevation to offer); corrupt politicians and eye-cringing glamour to roam around. Think Monaco without racing tradition.

On the other hand; well, it may not be a strictly European race, but with unlimited oil budgets, the authorities are going to make sure it feels like one. More so than Istanbul Park. The flights from major European hubs are not long-haul, the tickets can be pretty cheap (I’m sure the government will subsidise national carriers from Europe too – they like nothing better than Western exposure) – you can get a return from London for like £250.

The setting is very welcome to tourists; hotels are top-notch (again, think Abu Dhabi), the country is virtually free of street-level crime, and tons of British/American expatriates live there on permanent basis.

I do hope that this race also improves the situation with racing drivers’ situation in Azerbaijan. The country genuinely loves racing (they do most of it on the busy streets though); and government will invest in just about anything that will boost their perceivable image. Yet the karting facilities are severely lacking (there were zero available outdoor tracks last time I visited) and most aspiring drivers I know race here in Great Britain.

Traffic is going to be a nightmare, as getting anywhere in Baku requires a lot of patience, time, and self-restraint.

Other than that, I’m quite happy to have a ‘home race’ for what it’s worth.
Marsianwalrus (@Einariliyev)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Mario Andretti scored the first victory of his Formula One career today in 1971.

He couldn’t have wished for a better to start in his first race for Ferrari, although he only ran a partial season for the Italian team.

Andretti took the win after long-time leader Denny Hulme dropped out with suspension failure late in the race. Jackie Stewart was second for Tyrrell ahead of Clay Regazzoni.

Images © Red Bull/Getty, Porsche

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55 comments on No Indian Grand Prix in 2015 – Ecclestone

  1. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 6th March 2014, 0:07

    Bernie should vanish from F1.

    • Chris (@ukphillie) said on 6th March 2014, 13:10

      I wouldn’t take a small suitcase to India because of the customs, taxes and bureaucracy. So imagine what it must be like taking several planes worth of stuff.

      Bernie’s exactly right here. If the corrupt Indian government wants to try and rob them blind then they can go fishing instead of having a GP.

      Not only that, but have you seen how India treats successful people? Sahara and Mallya are just the ones you hear about. Indian Gov HATES an Indian citizen making money.

      If I was as successful as Bernie, India would be the last place I’d take my parade.

      • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 6th March 2014, 13:52

        @ukphillie: Well coming from India myself, I agree with quite a few of your points. But I disagree on this

        India treats successful people? Sahara and Mallya are just the ones you hear about.

        Common! You don’t know the full story, do you?

        I have been pretty sure since the day it was announced that Indian GP will be dropped for 2014 that we pretty much saw the last of the f1 cars in India. The real problem is the bureaucracy and F1 isn’t considered as sport (with double points, I almost believed the government!).

        This stance of the government would seldom change as the GP promoter in India is a private company with no government hand involved.

        It’s sad but I think we might never see the Indian GP alive again.

      • Aditya said on 12th March 2014, 7:31

        India treats successful people? Sahara and Mallya are just the ones you hear about. Indian Gov HATES an Indian citizen making money.

        Do you know this Indian government is the most corrupt Indian govt of all time? Apparently they will befriend anyone who throws them money. But siding Malaya and Sahara shows how much you lack knowledge about the situation, and yet shoot your mouth so easily. Sahara has conned millions of investors and did fraud to promote their business. While Malaya pours money into his F1 and Cricket team, host lavish parties and still leads a ultra deluxe life while leaving his thousands of airline employees without many months of salaries. A person with a little commonsense would have researched before making allegations.

        But surprisingly I am with the Indian govt in this F1 case. F1 is nothing more than an entertainment business run by Bernie. The race organizers build tracks and host them, yet they have to pay. The teams fund and develop cars and pay to participate, yet they are running into losses and are struggling to stay afloat. They only one who earns money – an tonnes of it. The only one who makes the money if FOM who just decides the rules and make an itinerary.
        Also since Indian masses don’t have interest in this ‘sport’, nor do I see FOM interested in promoting this ‘sport’ in this country, but just to loot as much money as they can from India (do you know Indian GP pays more than many European circuits to host race?), I will say Indian govt is right to charge appropriate tax on the event.

        And no, even JP who are organizing this event are not profited by them. I heard that they were running into financial problems and asked Bernie to call off the deal. Bernie replied – sure, just pay us the hosting fee for the remaining races and the deal’s off.

  2. tmax (@tmax) said on 6th March 2014, 0:08

    Red Bull will be back to Form by 2016 and Web can win the Indian GP once again !!!!!

  3. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 6th March 2014, 0:12

    Happy Birthday F1 Fanatic! :D

  4. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 6th March 2014, 0:13

    It would be a monumental shame to lose Germany from the F1 calendar. Perhaps the only counties that have provided more to our sport in terms of technology, racers, tracks and passion are Britain, Italy and possibly France. We’ve lost France from the calendar for a few years now and although Magny-Cours was unpopular, the French GP is still a great loss. At least France still has one major motorsport event each year which is good (LM24), but if the Nürburgring shuts down I don’t think Germany has much else really to offer. The ‘new’ Hockenheim probably doesn’t help matters much but if a race has to happen there even once every two or three years then that will just be the situation we will find ourselves in. Losing the German GP would simply be a nightmare for F1 and German motorsport in general.

    • George (@george) said on 6th March 2014, 0:23

      Yeah the Nurburgring is a much better track than new Hockenheim, but that’s not saying much. I wouldn’t be too upset if instead of alternating with Nurburgring, Hockenheim alternated with the Red Bull Ring or something, but then I’m not a German F1 fan. I don’t know if any other German tracks are up to F1 standards.

      It was certainly be quite absurd to lose Germany altogether, considering the amount and quality of drivers, and the major constructor that are from that country.

    • Psychotext said on 6th March 2014, 2:48

      I visited the German GP last year and it was easily the best race I’ve been to in terms of spectator amenities and general stadium quality. Other races I’ve been to were positively third world in comparison.

      The passion wasn’t great if I’m honest (which was surprising given how Vettel did), but it would still be a massive loss from the calendar in my opinion.

    • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 6th March 2014, 10:31

      Bernie saying the German GP is in trouble could mean anything. It could mean they’re genuinely struggling to pay for the gp It could mean they’re a bit late on some payment to Bernie so he’s applying pressure. Or they could be renegotiating something with him and since they haven’t agreed yet he’s pretending they can’t afford it.

      I’m more inclined to think it’s posturing than the grand prix being in serious difficulties, just because it usually is when he says stuff like this.

      • Keith Campbell (@keithedin) said on 6th March 2014, 10:37

        I probably should have read the article before commenting, rather than just the headline ;) Didn’t realise it was based on the bid for the Nurburgring, but i guess some of my points still apply.

    • BJ (@beejis60) said on 6th March 2014, 16:09

      Wasn’t bernie spouting his mouth off sometime last year how we may lose the Italian GP as well? I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • rsp123 (@rsp123) said on 6th March 2014, 20:52

      It would be a monumental shame to lose Germany from the F1 calendar.

      Indeed it would. But France has gone. Imola has gone. We lost Spa for a while, and its future remains in doubt. We nearly lost Silverstone. FOM seem to have lost any sense of motor racing tradition, and their efforts to make F1 more and more like a video game suggests that they care little for the history of the sport, and now see it only through the lens of business and profit. F1 needs to make money, obviously, but the shady dealing, the disneyfication of the events, and the contempt with which FOM hold F1 fans threatens the future of the sport as we know it.

  5. Maciek (@maciek) said on 6th March 2014, 0:29

    A very happy 9th to F1 Fanatic then @keithcollantine. I’ve been coming around since… ummm… a while : P I think since like early 2009 or somewhere thereabouts. It’s still pretty much my daily F1 fix.

    Congrats to you, it’s been a pleasure watching the site grow.

  6. skylab (@skylab) said on 6th March 2014, 0:37

    Funny how Bernie slates the German GP for having no money (they do have to pay his sanctioning fees after all) on the same day that a famous German racetrack turns down his bid to buy. With this, and India and Baku, Bernie seems to be putting out a lot of smoke and flashing a lot of mirrors at the moment… I wonder if there is anything else that he would rather not talk about….

  7. mfreire75 said on 6th March 2014, 0:39

    The Indian Grand Prix will most likely never come back- a sad prospect. They will never be able to sort out their issues there- India is a country whose people thrive on disorder and chaos. How they make their day-to-day infrastructure work utterly baffles me. I’ve never been there and I’m sure there are parts of it that are beautiful, before but I watch the news; something related to India is on there often.

    There will always be someone who will try to keep the Grand Prix out- if people with power don’t want the Grand Prix there, why go there? Sure, it’s untried territory, but I think (cynically, I must admit) in such a cynical country that there will always be someone in that country who will do something to give the Indian GP organizers problems.

    The German Grand Prix, however, won’t be going anywhere, I believe. With Mercedes, Vettel and the other plethora of German drivers in F1 right now, Ecclestone sees Germany as probably the most important market in Europe (other than Italy, Britain is not as important because he knows British fans can go to Spa or other European tracks not too far away). That’s why he’s been making these public announcements that he wants to buy the Nurburgring- sometime everyone knows he won’t actually do. He’s only saying he wants to buy the track because he wants to get someone else to buy it; the attracting factor being that Formula One has shown some kind of interest in that track. If not the Nurburgring, then either at Hockenheim or somewhere else. It’s too important a race to be off the calendar.

  8. Mach1 (@mach1) said on 6th March 2014, 0:57

    They should have a rotating European Grand Prix rather than it being fixed in the same place each year. Maybe that way, cost can be shared and we get a bit of change each year…..

  9. Bernie’s mind: “The German boy will lose the championship… so no need of German GP. Let’s go around Russia (Azerbayan), at least they have the money. If they pay well enough, I’ll propose triple points in Sochi and Azerbayan next year.”

  10. evered7 (@evered7) said on 6th March 2014, 2:24

    The government’s changing in India (hopefully). I hope they are able to sort this issue out rather quickly.

  11. mantresx (@mantresx) said on 6th March 2014, 2:33

    Now I’m a bit worried for the New Jersey and Mexico races, there’s only one spot in the calendar for 2015, and if India and Azerbaijan make it to 2016 we could have 23 races, obviously that’s highly unlikely but some races will have to go to make some room.

  12. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 6th March 2014, 2:47

    Happy Birthday F1Fanatic!

  13. Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 6th March 2014, 2:57

    Happy Birthday F1Fanatic :D . Thanks for all the great f1 coverage .

  14. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 6th March 2014, 4:51

    Thanks for all the hard work over the years Keith, it’s been great watching the site grow.

  15. karter22 (@karter22) said on 6th March 2014, 5:23

    Thank God! The atmosphere is terrible in India… the “smog” or whatever it is is just depressing. The track sucks too so I´m happy for this news!

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