India too important for Formula 1, says pundit Jordan

Greater Noida: Eddie Jordan is a highly respected Formula 1 pundit and he believes that emerging countries like India are too important for the sport, so everything should be done to keep the Indian Grand Prix here.

Jordan should know what he is saying. He has seen it all, having been a driver, floating an F1 team and now analysing the races.

He is a little bemused at the Indian government`s lack of support for the Indian GP.

"It`s a shame that the Indian GP is not on the 2014 calendar. I think the emerging countries are important for Formula 1. We have seen a race in Brazil, a race in China and also here in India. India should be on the calander," Jordan told IANS at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) paddock here Saturday.

The 65-year-old was the founder, owner and team principal of F1 team Jordan Grand Prix (1991-2005) until it was bought out and renamed Force India.

"India is far too vast with 1.2 billion people, a fabulous place to come what with its rich history, colour, and passion to boot. Formula 1 has to be here, we should try everything we can to keep the GP here. But the big problem is that there is no race next year. Hopefully there is some synergy between politicians and sports administrators to save it," added Jordan, who is now the lead F1 analyst on BBC.

Unlike in India, Jordan says, in most countries the Formula 1 races are supported by their governments and the Indian government, perhaps, has not realised the potential of the sport by calling it entertainment.

"The government seems to believe that it has 52 sports on its roster, but I can`t imagine why Formula 1 is not among them and it`s beyond me why they should categorise motorsports as entertainment. We have to get it into government`s head, that this is a sport. People are saying that this is a business or promotion. Of course, all sports are today business or promotion but 3 o`clock Sunday when the Grand Prix starts, it is a sport," added the Irishman.

The 65-year-old also expressed his disappointment at the Indian Grand Prix being dropped from the 2014 calendar.

"India has been a big success. I get a little bit upset when I don`t see the race coming back because it can be great for the country and capital Delhi, look at the amount of visitors and the amount of worldwide appeal. At the end of the day it takes so many people so desperate to get a Grand Prix on the calendar and here is India letting it go. I feel very sad. Make no mistake, Formula 1 is happy to be here," summed up Jordan before rushing off to take his mike on the qualifying session.

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