NEW DELHI // Plans for the Indian Grand Prix are going smoothly despite the Bahrain about-turn that has led to the dates of New Delhi's inaugural grand prix being swapped twice within a week, a race official said yesterday.
The organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix announced on Thursday that they had abandoned plans to hold a race this year after controversy over rescheduling the event.
Bahrain had been originally slated to hold the season-opening race in March, but it was postponed because of unrest in the country. Last week, it was reinstated with a provisional date of October 30. That meant the first Indian Grand Prix, originally scheduled for that date at a new US$350 million (Dh1.3bn) circuit on the outskirts of Delhi, would be pushed back to December.
But Bahrain's latest reversal means India is back to hosting the event in October.
Vicky Chandhok, the president of Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India, said organisers had taken the date changes in stride.
"We were always working with the presumption that Delhi race will be held in October because we never received any communication from FIA [the sport's governing body] about shifting the race to December," Chandhok said. "As far as Delhi is concerned, nothing changes."
Chandhok was confident of the track being completed well ahead of time. "The return to its original date will pose no extra challenge," he said.
Chief organisers of the Delhi race, the private Jaypee group, said they were awaiting an official confirmation of the October date from FIA.
"We will not take into account what Bahrain have said in their statement," a spokesman for the promoters said.
The FIA is expected to make a final announcement confirming cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend.