Indian F1 dream suffers blowout

Country's first Formula One grand prix pushed back until 2010, no reason given for the delay.
Indian F1 dream suffers blowout
By Safura Rahimi
Tue 18 Sep 2007 10:48 AM

India will have to wait a little longer for the chance to host its first Formula One grand prix after it was revealed on Monday the country's inaugural race has been delayed until 2010.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) previously announced the country will host a F1 race in October 2009, but IOA president Suresh Kalmadi said it had been decided that the date should be pushed back a year, without giving any reason for the delay, newswire AFP reported on Monday.

Kalmadi finalised the deal last week in London with Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

"It has been decided that the Formula One race will be held in Delhi in 2010," AFP quoted Kalmadi as saying.

The exact date for the first F1 race has not been set but “it could be March or later after the Bahrain Grand Prix”, said Kalmadi.

According to national daily Times of India, sources said the delay was because IOA needed "more time in hand for preparations".

Two sites - Greater Noida and Sohna - located on the outskirts of Delhi were shortlisted as possible venues for the race after F1 chief architect Herman Tilke's recent visit to India.

“We [IOA] have been asked to negotiate and finalise any one of them," AFP quoted Kalmadi as saying.

The IOA chief declined to reveal the amount India has to pay Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) - the sports governing body - to acquire the right to host the Grand Prix.

The IOA in June announced its plans to bring F1 to India after receiving a letter from Ecclestone allowing the country to host a race in 2009.

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