Chennai: The Formula One Indian Grand Prix is likely to be held at the fag end of the 2011 season provided the slot recommended by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) is accepted.
According to Vicky Chandhok, chairman of FMSCI's international racing commission, the Indian GP is very much on and the track at Noida, near New Delhi, should be completed within 10 months after Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone lays the foundation stone in October this year.
Speaking to reporters here Thursday, Chandhok said: "We have recommended a slot between Brazil and Abu Dhabi GPs in 2011. Yes, that would be at the end of that season."
Chandhok expressed confidence that the track would be up and running in quick time. "I believe it is possible to put together a road of 7 Kms the way Indian labour functions in three shifts and 24 hours a day. If we don't have restrictions on money, the track will be ready by 2011."
He said Ecclestone will arrive in Delhi in October to lay the foundation stone. "In fact, even as I speak now, the chief architect Herman Tielke and his team are on their way to India and will be arriving in Delhi tonight. Bernie has requested me to co-ordinate with the architects and the engineers to ensure the projects moves on smoothly," he said.
Chandhok reiterated that Delhi has the necessary infrastructure around the track to host a Formula One Grand Prix.
"Delhi has developed hugely in the recent times in view of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. So, that should not be a problem at all. We've got great hotels, great roads. However, we need co-operation from the Customs and Excise department to facilitate quick entry and exit of racing equipment. We can definitely create a window to make it happen," he said.
Reacting to union sports minister M.S. Gill's assertion that Formula One was not a sport but only an entertainment, Chandhok said: "I would love to have the sports minister at one of our races so that he gets to know firsthand what it's all about. And if that still fails to convince him, then there is not much you can do."
First Published: Thursday, September 03, 2009, 23:02