x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Indian Grand Prix race is on course

Organisers of F1 event insist the only reason the event was rescheduled from October was to restore the Bahrain race to the 2011 season.

NEW DELHI // Indian Grand Prix organisers said construction of their new Formula One circuit will be completed ahead of time and the only reason the event was rescheduled from October was to restore the Bahrain race to the 2011 season.

F1's governing body, the FIA, decided last week to reinstate the Bahrain race in the October time slot originally designated for the Indian Grand Prix, and to make the Indian contest the season finale on a yet-to-be determined date in December.

The Bahrain Grand Prix was scheduled as the season-opening event in March, but it was called off amid unrest in the country.

Vicky Chandok, the president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs in India, said yesterday that the rescheduling "has nothing to do the racetrack, which is getting ready well ahead of schedule".

"If you ask me if it the track will be ready as per the original date, the answer is yes," Chandok said.

Indian organisers are building the F1 circuit on the outskirts of New Delhi.

Preparations for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi last year were beset by construction delays which overshadowed the build up to the October event, but there have been no reports of serious delays with the F1 project.

Chandhok said Bahrain organisers needed certain time frames to stage their race.

"We spoke to our promoters, who said there was no problem. We are happy to make the adjustment to accommodate the Bahrain GP," Chandok said.

Chandhok said Indian organisers had asked for a two-week gap between the penultimate race in Brazil and the Indian Grand Prix.

"That's just owing to the logistics like distance between South America and India and transporting the cars," he said. "It has nothing to do with the racetrack."

* Associated Press